Nation / World

Social Security Q&A: Benefits Increase for 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Question: I’m creating my budget for 2015. How much will my benefit increase at the beginning of the year? Answer: The monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase by 1.7 percent in 2015. This annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is tied to the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This New Year, you can enjoy …

Playing Pets Are Cute, But the Ads Matter Too

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Los Angeles — From brain-devouring zombies in The Walking Dead to crime-scene bloodshed on CSI, special-effects wizard Sam Nicholson has delivered gore galore to television viewers. But he says nothing has personally affected him more than the commercial he made for Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a rare ad urging viewers to spay or …

Milestone Media Rises Again

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The idea arose not just in the wake of Dwayne McDuffie’s death, but also at the wake to remember the man. Reggie Hudlin, the Django Unchained producer, spoke at the gathering in 2011 with artist Denys Cowan and Derek Dingle, who with McDuffie had co-founded Milestone Media, the prominent minority-owned comics publisher. McDuffie, …

On Fashion: Beards, Boots and Whiskey: New Stores Aim for ‘Manly’ Market

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Next to the button-down shirts and brown-leather boots at the Cloak and Dapper store, you can find make-your-own-gin kits and beard-grooming oils. The retailer that opened in November in Orlando’s Ivanhoe Row neighborhood is what owner Calvin Cearley …

Watch Puppies, Not Players, Today

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Inside a secret location in midtown Manhattan, a pug-Pekingese mix named Bowser shakes his head and launches into a trot across a mini football field that’s outfitted with water bowls and a tsunami of squeak toys. The 14-week-old …

Food From a 3D Printer

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Journey to the frontier of food and you’ll find a 3D printer, spewing out chocolate. While traditional cooking isn’t going anywhere, you can count on 3D printed foods eventually finding a place in our world. Researchers around the …

Making the Kitchen More Germ-Free

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Even the tidiest kitchens might be harboring harmful bacteria, and often where they’re least expected. Paying more attention to a few often-overlooked places can help keep your household safer, experts say. For starters, home cooks should have four watchwords, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: …

Why Some Can’t Ignore Those Nasty Online Comments

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Washington — These days I don’t have much occasion to use my fight-or-flight response. That’s the automatic release of chemicals in our bodies that our barely human ancestors depended upon to keep from getting eaten by a saber-toothed tiger. Saber-toothed tigers are rather thin on the ground anymore, …

Picture These Bands in Their Prime

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A shirtless Mick Jagger, relaxing poolside in Clearwater, Fla., in 1965, intently studies the back cover of Bob Dylan’s then-new Bringing It All Back Home album, still in the shrink wrap. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr gaze with delight as George Harrison tosses a yellow balloon …

Shelby Lyman on Chess: Good Moves, Not Psychology

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hint and Explanation: Force Checkmate Bobby Fischer famously once explained that he believed in good moves, not psychology. Despite this statement — which attested to his not deliberately distracting, disturbing or denigrating an opponent — Fischer was a superb psychologist. Sitting a few feet across from each other …

Miss Manners: Wedding Invitation Requires Some Sleuthing

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dear Miss Manners: My fiance just got an invitation in only his name to the wedding of his childhood friend. This couple is well aware of our relationship status, as they visited our city twice in the past year and stayed in our home. I think he should …

To Your Good Health: Blisters May Need Medication Long Term

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: A year ago, I broke out with pimples on my back, arms and thighs. They itched so badly I thought I would go mad. A dermatologist took a biopsy and told me it was an autoimmune disease called bullous pemphigoid. I was started on prednisone …

Snails Slither Into Spa Scene in Thailand and Around World

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chiang Mai, Thailand — The last time I encountered escargots they were served up by a French waiter, sizzling in garlic and herb butter. Now, one is slithering up the bridge of my nose while five others are …