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Analog and then some: The allure of the fountain pen

In an age of screens and keyboarding, when kids hardly learn cursive anymore, fountain pens — along with their old-timey accoutrements like blotters, bottled ink and fancy nibs — are making a comeback. There are jazzy new colors and styles, and an array of affordable options. It's a ...

Kindness is Contagious: True kindness allows for unlikely friendship

Would you rather have 100 casual acquaintances or one special friend? It’s a no-brainer, right? We all long to have someone special in our lives. But that can be tricky when the world only sees your disabilities. Ciera Ball is mostly nonverbal, was diagnosed with autism and has attention ...

Fitbit does make you just a little bit more fit

So a few weeks ago, I finally broke down and got one. A Fitbit. The must-have accessory for anyone who desires a fancy watch with nagging and shaming capabilities. I don’t really know why. I think I would do better with a Napbit, a Snackbit or, best of all, a Baconbit. But I do know that I ...

Luke Perry, heartthrob on ‘90210,’ dies at 52

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Luke Perry, who gained instant heartthrob status as wealthy rebel Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” died Monday after suffering a massive stroke, his publicist said. He was 52. Perry was surrounded by family and friends when he died, publicist Arnold Robinson ...

Slow and steady: Sometimes, we accomplish more by doing less

For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to catch up. I was the youngest of four girls, so I was never as wily, fast or smart as my big sisters. I started first grade at 5, so I always felt like I was emotionally behind my classmates. I was a type B person at heart, but I could never ...

Kindness is Contagious: Will your kindness be remembered in 2059?

I often say I have the happiest email inbox in the world. Every once in a while, I’ll also get a handwritten letter in my real mailbox explaining how someone is adding light to the world through kindness. I’ve received the sweetest stories of kindness. Despite what you might see on the ...

‘Brew’ up your own potting mix

My gardening season begins on my garage floor. Here I mix potting soil that will nourish this season's seedlings and replace worn-out soil around the roots of houseplants. Why make potting soil? Why bake bread? There's really no special magic in good potting soil. BASIC ...

From bombers to Big Macs: Vietnam a lesson in reconciliation

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The Vietnamese capital once trembled as waves of American bombers unleashed their payloads, but when Kim Jong Un arrived here for his summit with President Donald Trump he won't find rancor toward a former enemy. Instead the North Korean leader will get a glimpse at the ...

New Disney area to immerse parkgoers in a Star Wars story

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The world of Star Wars is coming from a galaxy far, far away to become the largest single-themed land created in a Disney park. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is an adventure through the grungy planet Batuu where guests can build their own droids and lightsabers, interact with ...

Smile: Some airliners have cameras on seat-back screens

Now there is one more place where cameras could start watching you — from 30,000 feet. Newer seat-back entertainment systems on some airplanes operated by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines have cameras, and it's likely they are also on planes used by ...

Hometown Hollywood: You’re doing great, Mama

LOS ANGELES — Last week I was pushing my son, Arlo, in his stroller around our neighborhood. A woman stopped us, told me she was a mother, and asked how old my baby was. “Two months” I told her. That’s all I said, just those two words, but that’s all she needed to hear. She smiled, ...

Kindness is Contagious: Kind plumbers are priceless on holidays

I can’t remember the exact year, but I remember the date: Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve. Saul and I were living in a little house in north Fargo and Jordan was a baby. It was teeth-chattering cold outside, because that’s what winter in North Dakota is like. On this particular night, we were ...

Minding Our Elders: Stroke damage prevents carpenter from doing home projects

Dear Carol: My husband’s an experienced carpenter, so there’s rarely been a house problem that he couldn’t fix. Now that’s changed because he had a stroke a year ago, which took away most of his ability to use his tools. He gets upset when he notices things around our home that need ...

AP Oscar predictions: What will win, what should win

For today’s 91st Academy Awards, Associated Press Film Writers Lindsey Bahr and Jake Coyle share their predictions for a ceremony that has few sure things. BEST PICTURE The Nominees: “Black Panther,” ‘’BlacKkKlansman,” ‘’Bohemian Rhapsody,” ‘’The Favourite,” ...

Nominees for the 91st Academy Awards

Best picture: Black Panther,” ‘’BlacKkKlansman,” ‘’Bohemian Rhapsody,” ‘’The Favourite,” ‘’Green Book,” ‘’Roma,” ‘’A Star Is Born,” ‘’Vice.” Best director: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”; Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”; Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold ...

Fun facts and figures from this year’s Oscar nominations

— After more than 30 years and some two dozen films, Spike Lee received his first Academy Award nomination for best director for "BlacKkKlansman." It's also the first time one of his movies has been nominated for best picture. — Glenn Close's best actress nomination for "The Wife" is her ...

Oscar nods honor ‘Roma,’ ‘The Favourite,’ ‘Black Panther’

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar voters showered Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma" and Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Favourite" with a leading 10 nominations for the 91st Academy Awards, while two dominant but contentious Hollywood forces — Netflix and Marvel — each scored their first best picture ...

Oscars 2019: Beyond the stats, why diversity matters

(THE CONVERSATION) With the Academy Awards approaching, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released its most recent report on diversity in Hollywood. It documented an upward trend toward equality: The number of women and people of color in the role of lead or co-lead has risen over the last ...