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Mary Ann Thomas/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

This leap year baby is about to turn 92 -- or is it 23?

Health / Lifestyles /

PITTSBURGH — If Ethel Jean "E.J." Bergad Bonder hits the lottery, she plans to buy a Porsche for her granddaughter because they will both turn 23 years old this year.

Yep, Ethel was born on Feb. 29, 1932, and will technically turn 23 Thursday. She's a leap year baby.

The Gregorian calendar is based on 365.25 days — the amount of time it ...Read more

David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS

Autism diagnoses are soaring. Here's how some colleges are responding

Health / Lifestyles /

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The first time Hailey Hall went to college, it was 2008. She lived in Georgia and had been diagnosed with autism four years before.

In high school, the diagnosis meant she had access to smaller classes and a therapy group that helped with social skills. But when college started, that all stopped.

“I was responsible...Read more

Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images South America/TNS

A total solar eclipse will be visible to millions of Americans in April. Here's how to view it

Health / Lifestyles /

Paul Maley has spent much of his life chasing solar eclipses.

He has witnessed 83 solar eclipses from 1960 to 2023. On April 8, he plans to see the 84th aboard a cruise ship in Mexico, located right in the path of totality — the swath where the moon fully blocks the sun.

"It's more eclipses than anyone living or dead," he said, proudly.

But...Read more

Handout/Jerry Zezima/TNS

Jerry Zezima: Not exactly fast food

Health / Lifestyles /

I am out to lunch. This is especially true when I make lunch.

That’s because, in my incapable hands, organizing the second meal of the day takes so long that I am surprised I haven’t starved to death by now.

My wife, Sue, who usually eats lunch with me and simplifies matters by having an apple and a cup of tea, marvels at how I can turn ...Read more

Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Pa. could become the latest state to mandate 'evidence-based' reading instruction

Health / Lifestyles /

PHILADELPHIA -- As a reading specialist in the Cumberland Valley School District in Central Pennsylvania, Megan Gierka saw her roster of students who needed extra help swell to all but seven of her school’s second graders.

Gierka didn’t understand how so many children were struggling.

But as her school began to shift to a “structured ...Read more

Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

A battle over how to teach kids to read is playing out in Philly-area classrooms. Parents are losing trust

Health / Lifestyles /

PHILADELPHIA — As a first grader, Beth Taylor’s son had struggled to read. But in the years that followed, the Radnor Township School District suggested Taylor shouldn’t worry: Her son was close to reading at grade level, meeting the goals set by the district.

His main problem, teachers told her, was his behavior: “If he would just ...Read more

Ivan Couronne/AFP/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

If this nation wanted to protect children we'd curb gun violence and poverty -- not criminalize IVF

Health / Lifestyles /

The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system is no longer performing in vitro fertilization procedures for fear of criminal prosecution following an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos have the same status as children in wrongful death lawsuits.

The decision, which will likely have wide-ranging implications for IVF clinics...Read more

I-Hwa Cheng/Getty Images of North America/TNS

Frank Shyong: Lunar New Year traditions were abstract until my grandmother died

Health / Lifestyles /

Most years, I visit my family in Taiwan for Lunar New Year. And each trip, since I was very small, I have found myself before a family altar, with a stick of smoking incense in my hands, wondering exactly what I'm supposed to do, think or say.

None of my Taiwanese relatives ever offered any instructions that I can recall. In the convoluted ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Add pop to the garden with ColorBlaze coleus

Health / Lifestyles /

The excitement for spring planting is building at a feverish pitch and many are wondering what they can do to add more pop to the landscape. The answer just may be ColorBlaze coleus, and I am not just talking a dab.

A dab is precisely how many of you have looked at coleus. One little coleus here should do just fine. This prevalent thinking ...Read more

K. Skilling/TNS

After heavy storms, Death Valley is now open to kayakers: The return of ghostly Lake Manly

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES -- Storms pummeling Southern California have dramatically transformed Death Valley National Park, doubling the size of a vast temporary lake that is even visible to orbiting spacecraft.

Although water sports are a definite rarity for the hottest place on Earth, Park Ranger Abby Wines recently launched a small, inflatable kayak on ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Addicted to swiping right? Lawsuit claims Tinder and Hinge are designed to get users hooked

Health / Lifestyles /

If you’re swiping on dating apps for hours, you’re not alone — and a new lawsuit claims it’s by design.

Dating apps such as Tinder and Hinge are intentionally addictive, a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in California on Valentine’s Day claims.

Hidden algorithms push users to stay on the apps and “gamify dating” — ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Anna: Navigating straight curiosity while in a queer relationship

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Anna,

I'm seeking advice about my sexuality and relationship. I'm in a sapphic relationship and while I love my girlfriend deeply and envision a future with her, I can't shake this lingering curiosity about being with men — despite not actually wanting to act on it due to my commitment to my current relationship. As I've only been with ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Erika Ettin: Defining the relationship: More of a conversation than a specific milestone

Health / Lifestyles /

You’ve swiped right, had the first dates and are now “together” with a person. Great! Or is it?

A client recently reached out to me and said, “I’ve been seeing this guy for about a month from Hinge. I’ve met his family already, mine know about him. We’ve met each other’s friends. When is it OK to define the relationship? Do I ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

So you haven't been sticking to your resolutions. Here's how to reset and crush the rest of the year

Health / Lifestyles /

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans (86%) had at least one financial goal going into 2024, according to a recent Bankrate survey. But having a goal and being able to take steps to achieve it are two different things. If you’re one of the millions of people who set New Year’s resolutions every year, especially financial ones, you’re likely familiar ...Read more

Bodrova Natalia/Dreamstime/TNS

The Kid Whisperer: How to guide students to restore a feeling of safety in the classroom

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach at an alternative school, where most students have been unable to be successful at their assigned public school and most students have at least one behavior goal in their Individualized Education Plan. I have received your training and read your book. They both have helped tremendously. Things are going well in my ...Read more

DREAMSTIME/TNS

Lori Borgman: A furry good job of reading

Health / Lifestyles /

The doorbell rings, I open the door and nobody is there. As scripted, I exclaim in surprise that the doorbell rang but nobody is here.

On cue, a 5-year-old in a puffy pink coat barrels around from the side of the porch squealing with laughter. She runs into the house, throws her coat toward the hall tree (but not exactly on it) and races to the...Read more

Los Angeles Times/TNS

Scammers used AI to tell the world I was dead. Why? I had to find out why

Health / Lifestyles /

When I died the other day, no one really noticed. That is, aside from a few alarmed members of my family.

“The event,” as I now call it, unfolded one morning last month as I was racing out the door to a meeting. My phone rang.

“De-De-Debbie, hi,” my dad said, nearly out of breath.“Listen: please DO NOT BE ALARMED by what I am about ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Advice on common complaints

Health / Lifestyles /

Over years of working with couples, both dating and no longer, there are some common complaints I hear every day. So I’m passing on a little good ex-etiquette in the hopes that this will help everyone someday will find their special someone.

“ I recently met someone online and we were having quite a good conversation but when talking about ...Read more

Jerry Zezima/Jerry Zezima/TNS

Jerry Zezima: The oak's on me

Health / Lifestyles /

I know I am going out on a limb by saying this, but in our yard, everything happens in trees.

The stately sentinels — mostly oaks, although a modest maple stands out front — serve as headquarters for birds that poop on our cars and squirrels that ravage the garden. The trees also have a nasty habit of being hit by lightning, dropping on ...Read more

Richard Tsong-Taatariii/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

We're addicted to PFAS. Can we adapt to live without?

Health / Lifestyles /

MINNEAPOLIS — Over the past two years, 3M sold nearly 25,000 different products that contain PFAS, the "forever chemicals" that will soon be largely illegal in Minnesota.

While the company has reformulated nearly one-third of those products — mostly sandpaper and tape that didn't use much to begin with — 3M expects to lose out on more ...Read more