Shorter Fed’s Beige Book: Holiday sales at the end of 2011 were okay, but the housing market’s still holding us back. Oh, and chicken slaughtering in St. Louis is down. Just FYI.

Excerpt from a new book on Mitt Romney.

— Why the Twinkie will never die.

Coming soon to America: whiskey in a can.

— Volcano appears out of nowhere in the Red Sea.

— This winter’s weirdly warm weather explained. (And no, global warming isn’t one of the answers.)

— Why do well-off people shoplift?

— Engineer from 1900 made a bunch of predictions about what the world would be like a century later. He got ten of them right.