Work Friend: An Argument for Ruining Your Horrible Life

Send questions about the office, money, careers and work-life balance to workfriend@nytimes.com. Include your name and location, even if you want them withheld. Letters may be edited. The Shallow End of the Car Pool I’ve been a part of a car pool for several years. Recently I asked the main organizer (one of two drivers)…

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Why New York Lags So Far Behind on Natural Childbirth

Lisa Binderow had envisioned her labor a thousand times. She bought a birthing ball, hired a doula and even practiced hypnotherapy. Her plan was to deliver at the Mount Sinai West Birthing Center, an area of the hospital marked by pastel curtains, family-size beds and large birthing tubs. Separated from the regular labor and delivery…

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Bites: In Chicago, a Reclaimed Swedish Heritage for a New Bakery

When Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood bid farewell to its beloved Swedish Bakery in February 2018, it was as if a princess cake-shaped hole was left in the historically Scandinavian neighborhood’s collective heart. The traditional Swedish neon green-domed cake had long been local legend. When pastry chef Bobby Schaffer, who had previously led the pastry programs at…

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Ask Well: What Are the Effects of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Q. What are the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency if left untreated? A. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause neurological and psychiatric problems that “can progress if left untreated, and can lead to irreversible damage,” said Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program. Fortunately, it can be reversed fairly easily…

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How Jewelry Makes Us Who We Are

To understand how people think about jewelry, consider the words we use for it: trinket, ornament, bauble. So jewelry is pretty frivolous, if not downright unimportant. Right? The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York hopes visitors to “Jewelry: The Body Transformed” will come away with a different perspective. Unlike most exhibitions on the subject,…

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Modern Love: Marooned on ‘Love Island’

One of the greatest joys of my life is watching the British reality television program “Love Island,” a daily show in which six men and six women are placed in a luxury island villa, filmed constantly and encouraged to fall in love. The couple that wins the heart of the United Kingdom wins 50,000 British…

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Dr. Gerald Berenson, 96, Dies; Traced Heart Disease to Childhood

Dr. Gerald S. Berenson, a cardiologist who found that detecting and reducing elevated weight, blood pressure and cholesterol in young children could help prevent heart disease when they became adults, died on Nov. 22 in Houston. He was 96. Dr. Berenson, who lived in New Orleans, had been visiting a daughter in Texas when he…

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Patricia Quintana, Champion of Mexican Cuisine, Dies at 72

Patricia Quintana, the chef and author whose work exalted the range and sophistication of Mexican cuisine, died on Monday at her home in Mexico City. She was 72. Her son Patricio Pasquel Quintana, who confirmed the death, said Ms. Quintana was given a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma several years ago. Beginning with her first cookbook,…

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