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Sebastian Hernandez, left, 15 and his brother Benjamin, 12, pose May 24 in Los Angeles. While some kids are stressed, confused, bored and isolated during quarantine, the Hernandez brothers have relished the opportunity to slow down.<br>Jason Armond, Los Angeles Times/TNS

Though controversial, distance learning has benefited many students

Those annoying puffy spots under the eyes of eighth-grader Natalie Alvarez began to disappear, followed by the 10 a.m. hunger bouts and the midafternoon yawns — much to the Carson, Calif., girl’s delight and surprise.


In a time of social distancing, robots could be what the doctor ordered

As the coronavirus pandemic rewrites the rules of human interaction, it also has inspired new thinking about how robots and other machines might step in.


Books

Jim Carrey fashions a wild story about acting, Hollywood and privilege

Jim Carrey’s new semi-autobiographical novel, “Memoirs and Misinformation,” features flying saucers and a fire-bombing on Rodeo Drive, apocalyptic fires devouring Malibu and a mega-budget Hungry Hungry Hippos movie written by Kenneth Lonergan. One moment, “Carrey” dreams of strangling his late mother; the next, he pines for Renee Zellweger (“his last great love”) and challenges Nicolas Cage, a man “whose artistic bravery had always given him courage,” to a jujitsu duel. (Warning: Cage fights dirty.)

Strength training can help mature adults regain muscle mass, mobility and power

Starting sometime in our 30s (the data aren’t precise), we lose up to 8% of our muscle mass per decade, a decline called sarcopenia, along with up to 30% of our strength and power. This leaves us weaker, less mobile and — especially after we cross age 50 — more vulnerable to injury from falls and similar accidents. But it doesn’t have to be that way.


‘Lincoln Conspiracy’ recounts plot to kill president-elect en route to inauguration

So entrenched and revered is Abraham Lincoln in America’s national myth that it is almost impossible to imagine what the country would look like without his presidency. There’s the real possibility it wouldn’t exist at all — at least not as the still functioning, if admittedly strained and battered, United States. It is startling to read, then, how close the nation came to losing its most consequential and important president before he was even sworn in.



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the meat and potatoes of life

Pandemic party fashion faux pas

For a few minutes last weekend, I was winning at life. My husband, Francis, and I were getting ready for a small gathering of friends on our neighbors’ wraparound porch overlooking the bay. It was a warm summer evening, my stomach felt flat for once, and I was in the mood for a cocktail.