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Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Goodbye, Amy! Hello, Eric! Baltimore native R. Eric Thomas to write new advice column

Health / Lifestyles /

When the Baltimore-born writer R. Eric Thomas begins his new job July 1, he won’t be the only Black person to pen a mainstream advice column, and he won’t be the first gay man. But the 43-year-old Thomas suspects he might be the answer to a future trivia question:

“I’m probably the first nationally syndicated advice columnist to come ...Read more

'Ask Amy' says goodbye, making way for new advice columnist, R. Eric Thomas

Health / Lifestyles /

Don’t get it twisted. Longtime syndicated Tribune advice columnist Amy Dickinson is not retiring. She’s leaving “Ask Amy,” the writing gig that she’s had for 21 years, on her own terms and with her own “steam.”

Although doing the job she calls “amazing” was not physically taxing — she admits to working on it while in bed on ...Read more

Goodbye, Amy! Hello, Eric! Baltimore native R. Eric Thomas to write new advice column

Health / Lifestyles /

When the Baltimore-born writer R. Eric Thomas begins his new job July 1, he won’t be the only Black person to pen a mainstream advice column, and he won’t be the first gay man. But the 43-year-old Thomas suspects he might be the answer to a future trivia question:

“I’m probably the first nationally syndicated advice columnist to come ...Read more

CHARLES FOX/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

The South Jersey dog that was the first to walk around the world has died

Health / Lifestyles /

PHILADELPHIA — Savannah, a once-rescue-puppy who enthusiastically accompanied her South Jersey owner Tom Turcich on a seven-year walk around the world, has died.

Savannah, a retriever that Turcich adopted from a Texas animal shelter four months into his The World Walk, was euthanized at a New Jersey animal hospital Sunday after treatment for ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A rare songbird's epic journey from the edge of extinction back to the LA River

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES — As visitors to a bustling park in northeast Los Angeles shot hoops, scrambled up play equipment and lounged in manicured grass, an endangered songbird covertly — but not quietly — did his part to stave off extinction.

The least Bell’s vireo, a small, mostly gray songbird, was on the verge of nesting in Rio de Los ...Read more

Heidi Stevens/Heidi Stevens/TNS

Heidi Stevens: What a night of watching kids' dreams come true at Wrigley Field reminds me about humanity

Health / Lifestyles /

Every year the Chicago Public League hosts the city championship baseball game at one of Chicago’s Major League Baseball parks, alternating years between Guaranteed Rate (home of the Chicago White Sox) and Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs.)

Meaning every year, two Chicago Public Schools teams — and their families, and their friends, ...Read more

Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Trees, not asphalt: The $1 billion effort to build 'cooler' California school playgrounds

Health / Lifestyles /

SAN JOSE, Calif. — As summer approaches and temperatures soar, one of the most dangerous places for Bay Area students might actually be the playground.

On a hot, sunny day, the asphalt on school playgrounds can reach 149 F, while a rubber mat can reach 165 F, according to UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation. That’s hot enough to cause a ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Anna: Does uncircumcised sex affect female pleasure?

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Anna,

I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a few months now, and our sex life is generally fantastic. He’s uncircumcised, however, and sometimes sex can be a bit painful. Is it possible his uncircumcised status has anything to do with it? — Puzzled

Dear Puzzled,

Pain and discomfort during sex are never fun, so it’s ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: This hydrangea is a Fairytrail come true

Health / Lifestyles /

Boy, have I got a fairytrail for you gardeners about an incredible new hydrangea. That sounds so funny and you are probably thinking a horticulturist is about to tell you a tall tale about a hydrangea that doesn’t exist. This column however, is about an award-winning hydrangea that does exist and it is called Fairytrail Bride. If you decide to...Read more

Mountaineers Books/Mountaineers Books/TNS

Veterans return to help a couple that helped them heal

Health / Lifestyles /

They came to split and stack wood, to weed the garden and wrangle goats, a simple way to give thanks to a couple that gave them hope again.

Todd Gladfelter watched the workers, mostly men who served in the military and suffered afterward, from his wheelchair on a Sunday afternoon in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Gladfelter, 63, had slipped ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Hive mind: Still the place to find your honey? Bumble bungles ad campaign

Health / Lifestyles /

In case you don’t know, Bumble is a dating app founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, who was also a co-founder of Tinder. Over the years, it’s been known for its unique approach to online dating, especially with regards to how women interact with potential matches. One of the most distinct features of Bumble is that it requires women to ...Read more

Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Zoo's capybaras find love in their own version of 'The Bachelor'

Health / Lifestyles /

A shy guy from Abilene, Texas, moves to a small town on the Jersey Shore, looking for love. It sounds like the setup for a romantic comedy, or the premise of a reality dating show, at least to Cape May zookeeper Stephanie Schnitzler.

The big twist? The guy in question is a young capybara named Goomba. The zoo welcomed Goomba on Valentine’s ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Florida couple seeks student journalists to cover return trip to space

Health / Lifestyles /

Winter Park, Florida, power couple Marc and Sharon Hagle already flew to space with Blue Origin. They’re set for a return flight soon and want to corral some student journalists to cover the story.

It’s part of a contest from the Winter Park-based national nonprofit SpaceKids Global that Sharon Hagle founded in 2015. It aims to stoke ...Read more

Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group/TNS

At this middle school, students teach each other. Is this new model the future of education?

Health / Lifestyles /

GILROY, Calif. -- In Gilroy Prep’s eighth-grade math class, there are no quiet rows of orderly desks facing an instructor. Instead, the room feels less like a classroom and more like the floor of a stock exchange, with the constant buzz of conversation as students sketch slopes and equations on tablets that project their stylus strokes onto ...Read more

Dana Rothstein/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Bonus mom is asking for trouble

Health / Lifestyles /

Q. My co-parent and I have two kids. I recently married a woman with two more children, a few years younger than my own. My wife insists on going to the children’s doctor and dentist appointments, which causes my co-parent to become extremely territorial and recently caused a huge brouhaha at the dentist’s office. The kids were there, and ...Read more

Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

'I want to tattoo in a way that disrespects the status quo.' A Q&A with Hajichi revivalist and tattoo artist Mona Maruyama

Health / Lifestyles /

PHILADELPHIA -- How many people can say they’re in a 13-person worldwide collective of people doing their specific job? Or that folks travel from all over to work with them? Most of us certainly can’t, but Mona Maruyama, a tattoo artist at Floating World Tattoos in Philadelphia, can.

Maruyama does Hajichi, a traditional style of permanent ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

The Kid Whisperer: How to use an effective alternative to immediate consequences

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I know I need to have immediate consequences for negative behaviors in my third-grade classroom, but no matter how immediate those consequences are or how big they are, they seem to make things worse. Kids talk while they are supposed to be taking a test, for example. It started with one student; now it’s 15. I tried a ...Read more

DREAMSTIME/TNS

Lori Borgman: The 24 notes that tap emotions

Health / Lifestyles /

The bugle call known as taps is 24 hallowed notes long. My dad was a World War II Army veteran. At the close of his funeral service, a soldier stood on the crest of a small nearby hill and played taps. Each note rang with a piercing sorrow.

When taps is played, military members salute, civilians place their hands over their hearts, and loved ...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

'An apple a day keeps the doctor away' is a big fat lie

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES -- I went to my dentist earlier this year for a regular checkup, and he made a series of observations nobody wants to hear.

I had a cavity.

It was under a crown.

And the crown was next to a wisdom tooth that might have to be yanked to make room for him to saw off the crown and fix the cavity.

So I went to see an oral surgeon, who...Read more

Jerry Zezima/Jerry Zezima/TNS

Jerry Zezima: Have passport, can travel

Health / Lifestyles /

In case I am run out of the country, which is probably inevitable but would give me a great reason to have my own travel show, I just renewed my passport.

“Now I can visit my mother,” I told Jenn, a very nice postal employee who helped me and my wife, Sue, with our renewals at a post office branch on Long Island, New York.

“Where does ...Read more