Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Pandemic and screen time erode children's social skills, Emory professor says

Health / Lifestyles /

ATLANTA — Emory University clinical psychologist Stephen Nowicki understands the pain that parents feel when their children fret that they have no friends. He’s dedicated his career to helping children foster healthy relationships, and he’s worried we’re making it harder by giving them more time on the internet than on the playground.

...Read more

Penguin Random House/TNS/TNS

Heidi Stevens: An eating disorder threatened his life. Now his story inspires us to live ours to the fullest

Health / Lifestyles /

John Schu takes over a room in the best kind of way.

His energy, his quick laugh, his warmth — all befitting a children’s book author and school librarian, which is what Schu does.

But I was in the room because of what Schu is. And he’s a survivor.

Schu has written a new book called “Louder Than Hunger,” a graphic novel intended ...Read more

Robert Byron/Dreamstime/TNS

Can toothpaste tubes be recycled across the US? It's getting closer

Health / Lifestyles /

Toothpaste tubes and other squeezable plastic containers are getting closer to being more sustainable in the U.S. Some 90% of toothpaste tubes on the market are now made in a way that makes them compatible for recycling with HDPE, the same plastic used for products like shampoo bottles, according to research firm Stina Inc.

Overall, 75% of all...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Cobalt verbena super from north to south

Health / Lifestyles /

It’s planting season for many and verbenas are high on the list. We had just fallen in love with Superbena Imperial Blue verbena and piled on a bunch of awards then, stop the presses! It has a new name, which is now Superbena Cobalt. Not sure if this would be similar to Shakespeare’s "what’s in a name" scenario, but one thing is for ...Read more


Ask Anna: Navigating casual dating when she wants more

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Anna,

I'm a guy in my late 20s, and I'm not on the lookout for a lasting relationship at the moment. I'm enjoying the freedom, exploring my options and focusing on personal growth. Recently, I've started seeing this fantastic woman. She's got all the great qualities you’d look for, but here's the rub: She's interested in something ...Read more

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Sage Against the Machine bandmates are native plant nerds by day, punk rockers by night

Health / Lifestyles /

In a cavernous convention hall in Northern California, at the end of a long, loooong day of important, yes, but eventually mind-numbing presentations about native plants, nearly 200 scientists, botanists and students had had enough. It was pushing 9 p.m. and everyone, exhausted from paying attention, was edging toward the doors and the ...Read more

Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Dungeons & Dragons bar pop-up lets players fight monsters and social anxiety

Health / Lifestyles /

PHILADELPHIA — A barbarian, warlock and a sorcerer walk into a bar.

No, this is not the setup for some lame joke, but it is more or less what happened when Dungeons n Drafts — a roving Dungeons & Dragons pop-up that takes over different bars — crowded the back half of Yards Brewing Company on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia last ...Read more


Erika Ettin: Yes, no or even maybe: How to react to a second date invitation

Health / Lifestyles /

Anyone on the dating scene knows that it can feel like an accomplishment just to get to the first date. You’ve both swiped right (or whatever the equivalent is on the app you’re using), chatted a bit, planned a meeting and now you’re grabbing cocktails or coffee—success! With a second date on the horizon, things can go in quite a few ...Read more

Jackie Fortiér/KFF HEALTH/TNS

California universities are required to offer abortion pills. Many just don't mention it

Health / Lifestyles /

When Deanna Gomez found out she was pregnant in September 2023, she felt the timing couldn’t have been worse.

The college senior at California State University-San Bernardino worked 60 hours a week at two jobs. She used birth control. Motherhood was not in the plan. Not yet. “I grew up poor. And I don’t want that for my children, like, ...Read more


Ex-etiquette: Accepting differences

Health / Lifestyles /

Q: My girlfriend and I moved in together about 4 months ago. We both have sons about the same age. They are nothing alike and it’s really difficult for her—and me--because she compares the boys all the time and it makes it very uncomfortable. For example, her son is very athletic, mine is not. He prefers to draw and she has out and out said ...Read more


The Kid Whisperer: How to get your kid to do what you ask

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a 5-year-old who hates being told what to do. Even simple instructions like clearing his plate after dinner or bringing in his things from the back seat of the car are a problem. He not only refuses, he gets angry. Our 7-year-old was never like this. We told her to do things and she did them. I know for sure that he ...Read more

Vladimir Voronin/Dreamstime/TNS

Lori Borgman: Conversations are growing ear-resistible

Health / Lifestyles /

My husband and I have experienced some hearing loss. The most frequently heard word at our house is "WHAT!?"

More pressing than our physical hearing loss is our selective hearing loss, something that happens to couples who have been married a long time.

Just the other day, the husband was working on his laptop at the kitchen table with his ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

The Hawaiian steel guitar changed American music. Can one man keep that tradition alive?

Health / Lifestyles /

KAILUA, Hawaii — Quincy Cortez plucks at a slim black box laid across his legs, his fingers flashing silver.

Steel strings twang with each pull from the metal rings — wearable guitar picks — adorning his right thumb, index and middle finger. His left hand hovers over the strings along the neck, a cylindrical tube held between his thumb ...Read more

Billy Beimann/Billy Beimann/TNS

Jerry Zezima: Thanks for the muscle memory

Health / Lifestyles /

I have always believed that exercise and health food will kill you. This explains why I live in deathly fear of broccoli and don’t do anything more strenuous than getting up twice a night to go to the bathroom.

But now that I have reached the ripe old age of 70, and at the urging of my doctor, who takes my health to heart, I have returned to ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

They transformed a sad, junk-filled yard into a DIY native plant wonderland

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES -- At the top of a roller-coaster hill in Highland Park, Thomas Zamora and his husband, Raul Rojas, enjoy two spectacular views — of the Pasadena hills to the east and of the meandering expanse of native plants, succulents and vegetables in a backyard that once was nothing but dirt and junk cars.

It's been an evolution of nearly a...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Exhausted, hungry and sleep-deprived: UCLA student super-commuters search for relief

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES -- Sofia Gevorgian's life as a college student revolves around her nearly one-hour commute to and from UCLA's campus in Westwood and her family home in the San Fernando Valley.

During her first year, she would race home after the last class of the day around noon, forgoing clubs and social events typically hosted in the evening so ...Read more

Monica Herndon/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

These comics creators are thinking outside the cereal box

Health / Lifestyles /

PHILADELPHIA -- While most mainstream comics feature super-powered heroes and menacing villains bent on world destruction, Philly-based creators Don Steinberg and Rich Harrington feel the world of corporate America is just as wicked.

Under their independent label Boink Comix, Steinberg and Harrington launched the comic Cereal in January 2023. ...Read more

Punporn Aphaithong/Dreamstime/TNS

Is your child struggling to master the potty? These 5 takeaways from our panel can help

Health / Lifestyles /

Potty training isn't easy and it can vary a lot from child to child. The L.A. Times spoke with experts about how parents can best navigate this chapter, how they can prepare their child for a new level of independence and how they can tell that it's actually time to start.

Here are five takeaways from a discussion among Jenny Gold, L.A. Times ...Read more

Celadon Books/Celadon Books/TNS

Heidi Stevens: The search for answers--and belonging--in the wake of family tragedy

Health / Lifestyles /

Journalist Meg Kissinger spent more than two decades reporting on America’s labyrinth, broken mental health system and its human casualties.

Her careful and dogged reporting led to public policy changes in Milwaukee, where she’s based, as well as numerous awards; she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, the winner of two George Polk Awards, a ...Read more

Alexandra Wimley/Chicago Tribune/TNS

What you need to know about next week's total solar eclipse

Health / Lifestyles /

CHICAGO -- On April 8, daytime skies across North America will dim as the moon obscures sunlight. It will be the last total solar eclipse seen from the contiguous United States for the next two decades. What makes this event so historic and rare? And how should Illinoisans prepare? Find answers to all your questions here.

What kinds of solar ...Read more