The Boutique Fitness Boom

A visit to an upscale suburban mall or a city shopping district used to be marked by stops at Gap, Sharper Image and Barnes & Noble, ending in a pile of shopping bags. Now it’s about taking a $36 Pilates class, maybe followed by a $36 indoor cycling session if you’re really committed, then hitting…

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California Tests a Digital ‘Fire Alarm’ for Mental Distress

Last winter, several dozen people who were struggling with suicidal urges and bouts of intense emotion opened their lives to a company called Mindstrong, in what has become a closely watched experiment in Silicon Valley. Mindstrong, a venture co-founded by a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, promised something that no drug…

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When Gloria Vanderbilt Reviewed ‘Harriet the Spy’

Gloria Vanderbilt, who died on Monday, has a long list of books to her name: several memoirs, including 1985’s “Once Upon a Time”; a primer on the art of collage; an erotic novel, “Obsession” (“mint, cayenne pepper and a fresh garden carrot are deployed in the book in ways never envisioned by “The Joy of…

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It’s Time to Rethink Wine Criticism

Robert M. Parker Jr., who dominated wine criticism in the United States for roughly 30 years after his enthusiastic embrace of the 1982 Bordeaux vintage, formally announced his retirement last month after quietly withdrawing from writing a few years ago. The post-Parker era actually began a decade ago, as more critical voices and points of…

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Grow Faster, Grow Stronger: Speed-Breeding Crops to Feed the Future

Farmers and plant breeders are in a race against time. The world population is growing rapidly, requiring ever more food, but the amount of cultivable land is limited. Warmer temperatures have extended growth seasons in some areas — and brought drought and pests to others. “We face a grand challenge in terms of feeding the…

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Can Marijuana Help Cure the Opioid Crisis?

The idea that legal cannabis can help address the opioid crisis has generated much hope and enthusiasm. Opioid misuse has declined in recent years at the same time that cannabis use has been increasing, with many states liberalizing marijuana laws. Based on recent research, some advocates have been promoting this connection, arguing that easier access…

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Foolproof Fish Isn’t a Myth

I think more people should be cooking fish at home, and that is a hill I am willing to die on. It cooks quickly, it takes kindly to most flavor profiles, and under the right circumstances (and with the right recipes) it can be prepared without an avalanche of anxiety. Surely you must be looking…

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In the Hudson Valley, a Drive Back in Time

Some people travel with a particular objective in mind: to find the past in the present. It’s an impossibility, of course — you never truly succeed, because the present is so very present. But in a wayward, fast-moving world, a focus on history can root you, and offer perspective. This was my idea on a…

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