Decoding Secret Florence

Image Beatrice Albrici at her home in Florence, Italy. Her antique store next door, which opened in 1961, features home furnishings to fashion.CreditClara Vannucci for The New York Times Florence is accustomed to invaders. The French, the Spanish, the Austrians, the British on the Grand Tour and the international tourist hordes in their cargo shorts…

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The Dessert to Make Right Now

Good morning. Maida Heatter died last week at 102 and our Margaux Laskey jumped into the archives to find all the recipes she developed and wrote for The Times. Chief among them was this chocolate mousse torte (above), which in 1972 was the newspaper’s most popular recipe for dessert. You could knock that out tonight…

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Would You Like to Spend Forever in This Tree?

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Death comes for all of us, but Silicon Valley has, until recently, not come for death. Who can blame them for the hesitation? The death services industry is heavily regulated and fraught with religious and health considerations. The handling of dead bodies doesn’t seem ripe for venture-backed disruption. The gravestone doesn’t…

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The Highs and Lows of LSD Literature

It can seem as though everyone in Silicon Valley is either heading to or coming back from a psychedelic trip, and it is probably Michael Pollan’s fault. He did after all write a best seller, “How to Change Your Mind,” about how healthful psychedelics can be. His neighbor Ayelet Waldman, whose memoir “A Really Good…

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How to Have a High-End Vacation for Less

Why pay top dollar for a luxury vacation when it’s possible to have it for less? A high-end trip without a premium price tag is possible anywhere in the world, but your approach needs to be tailored to your destination. Here, locals in five famously expensive cities — London, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney…

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Pushing the Limits of Human Endurance

Our bodies seem to adjust to prolonged, repeated physical exertion and its energy demands by burning fewer — instead of more — calories over the course of the day, even if our exertions continue at the same level, according to a surprising new study of energy expenditure conducted during a 20-week running race across the…

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When Britney Spears Posts on Instagram, a Thousand Conspiracies Flower

However meager our lives, celebrity Instagram accounts offer certain reliable comforts: front-facing studio-quality portraits of our favorite stars standing or sitting alone in careful outfits; a high percentage of photos taken from the manubrium up, so that our entire phone screen is dominated by their proportional features. And, if the celebrity is Beyoncé-level famous, a…

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Can Home Cooking Reverse the Obesity Epidemic?

Many nutrition experts blame processed foods for the obesity epidemic, suggesting that a return to home cooking would turn it around. But now some researchers are pushing back against that idea, arguing that it oversimplifies the obstacles that poor and middle-class families face. The case against processed foods has been growing. A flurry of studies…

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Could gut bacteria drive the spread of breast cancer?

New research in mice has discovered that disrupting the gut microbiome may result in more aggressive breast cancer. One factor that may drive the spread of breast cancer is the population of gut bacteria. Although the outlook of people with breast cancer has improved dramatically in recent years, predicting and preventing the spread of cancer…

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