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Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS

James Lileks: Will we ever get over our pandemic cleaning fetish?

Health / Lifestyles /

New guidelines from the CDC: You do not have to hose down everything with hot bleach for a minimum of 90 sustained minutes.

You might have one of three reactions:

1. We've turned the corner! Only 60 minutes of bleach-blasting now!

2. I never did that anyway. At most I waved a container of Purell toward a package that was delivered, much like ...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

UC explains admissions decisions in a record application year of much heartbreak, some joy

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES – The Burbank mother knew her high school senior would have a tough time competing for a freshman seat at a University of California campus in a year of record-shattering applications — more than 200,000 students were vying for about 46,000 spots. Still, she thought her daughter — with a 4.3 GPA, eight AP and honors courses and...Read more

Chris Sweda/TNS

In these times of COVID-19, how does adults wearing masks affect children's speech development?

Health / Lifestyles /

CHICAGO – Brittany Manning is a Ph.D. student studying how children learn to speak. She is also a mother, wondering how masks might affect her infant daughter’s ability to learn language.

“I’ve been having a lot of these conversations with a lot of moms,” said the Northwestern grad student. “A lot of moms are concerned.”

Manning...Read more

Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Network of neighbors plan to provide food, resources to community members beyond pandemic

Health / Lifestyles /

DETROIT – Last March, the pandemic forced grassroots group Detroit Action to halt a 10-year program helping people who face homelessness or have low incomes to get their vital records. That program ran out of soup kitchens, where it reached people in need, and closed at that time.

More than a year later, the initiative relaunched, reviving a ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: A Stormburst of verbena blossoms and butterflies awaits your pollinator garden

Health / Lifestyles /

Spring has been incredible at The Garden Guy’s house, and I am absolutely thankful for the Superbena Stormburst verbena. Swallowtails and hummingbirds came really early this year, not only in Georgia but throughout the Southeast.

So while I have been waiting for lantanas, salvias, agastaches and cupheas to reach the blooming stage, the ...Read more

Marvel Comics/TNS

Captain Comics: 'Godzilla vs. Kong' didn't make a whole lot of sense. But it didn't have to

Health / Lifestyles /

I had a strange experience with “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which premiered in theaters and on HBO Max March 26: It reminded me of lessons learned from a 43-year-old comic book story.

“Let There Be Battle!” was published in “Tales to Astonish” #100, an example of a 1960s phenomenon called a “split book.” Every month, half the pages of ...Read more

Ask Anna: How do I come out when I have no experience?

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Anna,

I am 24 years old and deeply in the closet. Over the past year I have stopped lying to myself and have come to the realization that I am a lesbian. I know that in the age of marriage equality there should be no reason to be terrified to come out (especially to my super liberal, gender-studies-major friends), but I am.

I do not feel ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Give yourself a break

Health / Lifestyles /

Like many creative people, I sometimes get bored with my “art” and have to take a break. Stepping back can be a great way to unblock your creativity. I just did this and came back much stronger.

This process has also proved helpful to my writer and musician clients. Hopefully, it will be helpful to you in overcoming your own creative blocks...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Eyes off the prize, please!

Health / Lifestyles /

“Take your eye off the prize.”

I do realize this sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out…

In dating, many people see one goal is their “prize.” Especially with my clients, who have come to me, both emotionally and financially, in the hopes of meeting someone, that perceived “prize” is generally a long-term relationship, and ...Read more

Michael Gard / Post-Tribune/TNS

Balancing Act: Some parents complained about Pride and Black Lives Matter flags, so a school removed them. Now students and parents are demanding their return

Health / Lifestyles /

A Pride flag is a symbol. It doesn’t love you. It doesn’t listen to you. It doesn’t stand up for you when bullies come for you in the locker room.

But it reminds you that you deserve what it stands for: love, allies, safety. It reminds you that people have fought, for decades, for your right to those things. It reminds you that people ...Read more

Jarrod Valliere/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

After a year of struggle, here's what reopening looked like at one school

Health / Lifestyles /

SAN DIEGO – Perkins K-8 School Principal Fernando Hernandez was so nervous early Monday that he didn't eat breakfast.

It was the first day back to in-person school for students at Perkins and hundreds of other schools in San Diego Unified — one year and a month since the pandemic began. In recent weeks Hernandez and his staff have been ...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

These families opened their hearts and their homes to foster dogs during COVID-19 pandemic

Health / Lifestyles /

BALTIMORE – In the dead of winter, and the throes of the pandemic, the Berman family chose to foster a passel of puppies and their mother, all desperate for shelter. Five dogs in all clambered into their Ellicott City home — a squirming, squealing brood from the Canine Humane Network, a nonprofit rescue organization in Highland.

The 4-week-...Read more

Stacey Wescott/TNS

Balancing Act: Chicago couple undergoes state's first kidney transplant between HIV-positive patients. 'They are really pioneers'

Health / Lifestyles /

Al Morales learned he needed a new kidney in late 2017. He had a seizure around Halloween that year that left him blind in one eye, and a series of tests revealed chronic kidney disease.

“At this point I was thinking I’m out of hope,” Morales, 49, said. “Who’s going to donate a kidney to me?”

Around 5,000 people die each year ...Read more

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Ask Mr. Dad: Love (or lack thereof) in the time of COVID-19

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Mr. Dad: Now that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be coming to an end, I’m curious about whether it has had much of an impact on family relationships, both between mom and dad and between parents and their children.

A: I hope you’re right about the pandemic coming to an end. More than 100 million Americans have had at least one vaccine ...Read more

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Ex-etiquette: How to stop the fight

Health / Lifestyles /

Q. I have tried to talk to my children’s mother about some concerns I have, but she immediately gets defensive. It turns into a shouting match and nothing gets accomplished. Now, she is reluctant to tell me anything about the kids when they are with her because it ends in a fight. How can we change this? What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. I like ...Read more

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The world is reopening and I'm worried. How will I hold on to the friendships I've built?

Health / Lifestyles /

Two ice cubes. One and a half ounces vodka. One ounce triple sec. A splash of lime and fill to the brim with cranberry juice.

Cradling my cosmo, I made my way to the couch and plopped in front of the TV. It was time for my nightly ritual: an absurdly fruity cocktail and an equally delicious episode of the cheesy Netflix drama "Firefly Lane."

...Read more

Yekatseryna Netuk/TNS

Zoom intimacy and creative sexting: How COVID-19 has changed the way some have sex

Health / Lifestyles /

When Juan's long-term relationship ended the same day Philadelphia announced its first COVID-19 case and started the citywide shutdown, he knew the isolation to come would be a challenge.

So Juan, 33, created profiles on a handful of dating apps, including Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and OkCupid.

"It was tough because it was the peak of COVID and I ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Living with Children: Parents of bullies can (and should) stop the cycle

Health / Lifestyles /

A sixth-grade teacher recently shared the following story with me: Two girls in her class were making fun of a classmate whose family was struggling financially. The girl was socially awkward and had no friends. The mocking was taking place both at school and on social media.

As I read the teacher’s email, I reminisced about what being in the...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Lori Borgman: Move aside, the kid has a map

Health / Lifestyles /

She is 5 years old, skipping across the parking lot with a paper map squeezed beneath her arm and against her body like it is a top-secret document. She shakes wild curly hair out of her face and reminds the group she has the map the park ranger handed us on entry to the state park. She shouts this with an air of importance as though being in ...Read more

Sue Zezima/TNS

Jerry Zezima: Dotting my eye

Health / Lifestyles /

I spy with my swollen eye, which got that way because of a stye.

It may come as no surprise that when I took poetry in high school, I wasn’t a very good pupil. That my pupil was recently covered by an inflamed eyelid was a big surprise to me, especially after my wife, Sue, told me to put a hot teabag on the painful peeper and started calling ...Read more