World and Nation

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FTC Will Require Bloggers to Disclose Gifts Or Pay

For nearly three decades, the Federal Trade Commission’s rules regarding the relationships between advertisers and product reviewers and endorsers were deemed adequate. Then came the age of blogging and social media.

On Monday, the FTC said it would revise rules about endorsements and testimonials in advertising that had been in place since 1980. The new regulations are aimed at the rapidly shifting new-media world and how advertisers are using bloggers and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to pitch their wares.

The FTC said that beginning Dec. 1, bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently.

The new rules also take aim at celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they promote products on a talk show or on Twitter. A second major change was to eliminate the ability of advertisers to gush about results that differ from what is typical.

For Those Who Die in Moscow, Searching for an Afterlife Dwelling

Aleksei Orlov’s grandfather was buried in Moscow’s Danilovskoe Cemetery in 1946. His grandmother was laid to rest there four decades later. And, about 11 years ago, Orlov buried his father there.

But when his mother died unexpectedly last August, he found there was no room for her in the family plot. Or almost anywhere else.

Moscow, it turns out, is largely closed to the dead. Of the 71 cemeteries in the Russian capital, only one is open to new burials. The shortage of space has left relatives without room in family plots to choose between burial far from the city and cremation, a practice that is frowned upon by the Russian Orthodox Church.

“Mama was a Christian and wanted to be buried according to Christian tradition,” Orlov, a Moscow business analyst, said. “On the other hand, it wasn’t possible to bury her. New plots are either far away, expensive or both.”

Much of a Muscovite’s life is spent jockeying for space. Officially, some 10.5 million people live there, unofficially millions more.

Why Identical Twins Have Nonidentical Fingerprints

Q. Why do identical twins have different fingerprints? Why do we have fingerprints to begin with?

A. The probable answers to both questions are related to the minute differences in the mechanical forces each developing fetus experiences in the uterus as its cells proliferate.

Researchers have found that identical twins have a very high correlation of loops, whorls and ridges, but a review study last year in Circulation Research examining how complex structures like the circulatory system develop says that “the detailed ‘minutiae’ — where skin ridges meet, end or bifurcate — are different even between identical twins.” Even twins that develop from one zygote occupy different positions in the womb, and the variations are enough to make a difference.

At the crucial stage of development, the study explains, ridges are thought to form as compressive stresses develop in the dermal cell layer of the skin, sandwiched between the epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue. “Like the buckling of land masses under compression,” the study continues, regular ridges form to relieve the stress.