Patriots 49, Bills 21

Patriots lock up top seed, home edge in AFC playoffs

1-1-12: Foxborough, MA: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (left) gives a hand to fullback Lousaka Polite after he blocked for a touchdown by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (not pictured) in the second quarter. The New England Patriots hosted the Buffalo Bills in an NFL regular season game at Gillette Stadium. (Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis) section:sports topic:Patriots

jim davis/globe staff

The Buffalo Bills scored on their first three possessions, but the Patriots stormed back to claim home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.


Can’t trust them

Count me as a guy with zero faith in the immediate future of the New England Patriots.

The Word

Twenty-what? Two thousand who?

Most of us have said “two thousand eleven,” not “twenty-eleven.” But 2012 may mark a tipping point, says Ben Zimmer.

Tania Cooper, exercising at Healthworks Community Fitness, is monitored by wellness coach Ashley Norwood.

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Are you ready for wellness coaching?

Increasing numbers of health care officials are recognizing the benefits of prescribing individual counseling to treat some conditions, including obesity and diabetes.


Control yourself by monitoring your bad habits

Even if you’ve tried a thousand ways to drop pounds, it’s doubtful that you have tried the Other Hand Diet, writes Gareth Cook. Romney pits business background against rivals

Calling himself a “conservative businessman,” Mitt Romney today chided rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as career politicians. Laden with baggage, Newt Gingrich tries to defy odds

As Gingrich seeks the GOP presidential nomination, he is fighting not just for the country’s future, as he often proclaims, but also against his past.

“Negative advertising is popular among campaign strategists because it works. So what it says about us is that we pay attention to it, even as we decry it.”

Jeffrey Berry,  a Tufts University political science professor


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December wraps up as second-warmest on record

There has been no measurable snowfall in the area since late October, a rare stretch making for gleeful golfers and a dramatic change from last winter.


President Obama’s election-year strategy is an attempt to capitalize on his recent victory on a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut and on his rising poll numbers.

Obama to escalate assault on Congress

President Obama plans to step up his offensive against Congress, concluding he cannot pass any major legislation in 2012 because of Republican hostility toward his agenda.

Nation & World

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Adam Finkelstein and Kelly Rausch, of Frederick, Md., are breeding super-hardy queen bees to defeat colony collapse disorder and other threats. With up to one-third of colonies routinely dying off each year and the rest requiring extraordinary care, the quest for a better bee has become critical. Illustrates SUPERBEES (category a), by Adrian Higgins (c) 2011, The Washington Post. Moved Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Linda Davidson.)

With bees dying off, a search for solutions takes on added urgency

Scientists are trying to find the cause of colony collapse disorder, the five-year-old phenomenon of worker bees suddenly disappearing


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Celtics 94, Wizards 86

Celtics win second straight, first on road

Kevin Garnett finished with 24 points and nine rebounds as the Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards tonight.


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As Boston museums surge, galleries struggle to keep up

Contemporary art is surging in Boston. So why is the gallery scene here so often overlooked? Commercial galleries are struggling in a weak economy and in a city that has not been viewed as supportive.


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In 2012, the best place to . . .

It’s the little things that matter, so resolve to make the most of them in 2012 - starting with our micro sampler of random hot spots around the world.