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Happiness

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OPINION
May 19, 2013 | By Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton
Imagine that you woke up tomorrow morning to discover $1 million under your mattress. Leaving aside the obvious lumpiness issue, take a moment to think: What would you do with that cash? If you're like many people, contemplating your newfound wealth would probably make you think about one thing above all else: yourself. A growing body of research shows that the mere whiff of money draws out our selfish sides, focusing us on what that money can do for us, and us alone. Perhaps you imagined buying a raft of new possessions: a faster car, a high-end gas grill with rear rotisserie or even a new house, with a fancy rain shower in your commodious bathroom.
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SPORTS
April 24, 2014 | By David Wharton
MESA, Ariz. - If Michael Phelps had a number in mind for his first time back in the pool - the first step in his comeback - he was keeping it to himself. After finishing as the fastest qualifier in the 100-meter butterfly at a Grand Prix meet in Arizona on Thursday, Phelps would say only that it felt good to swim competitively again. "I wanted to get out there," he said. "I wanted to get this first race done. " The 22-time Olympic medalist and his coach, Bob Bowman, took a few moments to review videotape of the preliminary heat before meeting with reporters.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2010
'Happiness Runs' Writer-director Adam Sherman's haunting early years growing up on a hippie commune inspired his semi-autobiographical "Happiness Runs," an astoundingly bad memory piece that blows its potential dramatic heft at every turn. Certainly, how the peace-and-love generation's experiment with group living may have turned rancid is a topic ripe for narrative dissection, but Sherman never finds a safe enough distance from his traumatic past to tell an effective story.
SPORTS
April 21, 2014 | By Lance Pugmire
DALLAS - If there's a line of sportsmanship that shouldn't be crossed, Ryan Getzlaf's judgment is that you shouldn't throw a left hook at a guy whose face is severely stitched up. Yet, that and other unwritten rules were fudged Monday night by the Dallas Stars, whose reward of a 3-0 Game 3 victory over the Ducks at American Airlines Center probably means the hostilities and punchiness will escalate. The Ducks' lead in the first-round Western Conference series was cut to 2-1 with Game 4 in Texas on Wednesday night.
HEALTH
December 22, 2012
Ever wonder how other people cultivate happiness? Here are a few ideas. Susan Feniger, chef • Preparing a dish of California avocados drizzled with olive oil and salt • Picking tomatoes in her garden • Spending time on the deck of her house with her partner, Liz, and their dogs, Augie and Chewie • Shopping at the Indian market   Andrew Weil, doctor, author and proponent of integrative medicine ...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
“Ask any one of your friends or neighbours if they are happy and the answer they will probably give is that they have nothing to complain of,” David Malouf writes toward the end of his brief but piercing meditation “The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World” (Pantheon: 96 pp., $19.95). “What they mean is that the good life as previous generations might have conceived it has been attained. Medical science ensures that fewer children die in infancy, that most infectious diseases have been brought under control and the worst of them - smallpox, plague, TB, polio - have in most part of the world been eliminated; that except for a few areas in Africa famine is no longer known among us; that in advanced societies like our own we are cared for by the state from cradle to grave.” You can quibble with the particulars - in the U.S., unlike the author's native Australia, the state resists cradle-to-grave social services and healthcare - but there's no doubt Malouf is onto something: Why, in an advanced culture, where issues of sustenance are for many people no longer a cause for worry, does happiness elude us?
OPINION
November 4, 2013
Re "The key to a happy society," Column, Nov. 3 Well-being is more than feeling good about oneself, as Michael Hiltzik suggests. Personal happiness is hardly the most important measure of a satisfying life. What is the effect, for example, of being satisfied with our society and its values? How can we determine the price for treating one another well, for having faith in one another, or for being proud of our country and ourselves? I once read about a woman from a Scandinavian country who said about homelessness in the United States, "If there were people living on the streets in my city, I would feel personally ashamed.
OPINION
May 30, 2013 | Meghan Daum
We're No. 6! That's according to new data from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development , which on Tuesday released results of a survey measuring quality of life in 36 industrialized nations. For the last three years, the Paris-based outfit has weighed 11 criteria, including housing, income, jobs, environment, safety and work-life balance. For the third year in a row, Australia was the big winner, thanks in large part to an economy that managed to avoid the global recession of the last decade.
HEALTH
September 8, 2003
I find it a sad commentary on the times (and city) we live in that your section so consistently emphasizes those twin obsessions of the rich and famous: the latest cosmetic surgery techniques and the latest trendy exercise fads. The Aug. 25 edition was almost a parody of this pattern. Your top two stories were about a new way for people to artificially look younger than they are through injections; and high-priced boutique gyms for over-scheduled kids. The stories only added to the already warped mind-set of our culture by confirming that we all need to look younger and have more money to be happy.
NEWS
September 28, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Someday in the not-too-distant future, the U.S. departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor could be joined be a new executive branch entity: The Department of Happiness. That's right. There's a growing movement among economists and other researchers to make the psychological well-being of citizens a major government priority. The first step, they say, is to come up with a way to measure a nation's happiness. Ideally they'd like to be able to boil it all down into a single statistic that will resonate with voters - think of it as a mental health equivalent of GDP or the unemployment rate.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 2014 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
Considered deeply uncool at one point, music from animated movies is back - and singing along is now not only OK for kids, it's something adults record themselves doing on their phones and share on YouTube. The boom in popular songs from animated movies comes after a long fallow period when the form yielded few hits in the music world, despite box-office juggernauts like the "Toy Story," "Shrek" and "Ice Age" franchises. Though all incorporated music in their films, it was rarely the kind that had come to define the genre at Disney Animation in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it was making music-driven hits like "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Little Mermaid.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 15, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Even Pharrell Williams, he of the flamboyant toppers, can't overcome the bowling-over capabilities of Oprah Winfrey. During his "Oprah Prime" appearance on Sunday, the seven-time Grammy-winner was overcome with emotion as the TV queen brought up his infectious song "Happy" and its breakout influence all over the world. Winfrey played a poignant tribute video set to the song, showcasing global fan renditions of the upbeat tune from the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack. "Happy" was up for an Academy Award in March but lost the best song honor to "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen.
NEWS
April 7, 2014 | By Jay Jones
if you're looking for places that will delight children, consider San Francisco's Exploratorium, Legoland California and the Twirl Toy Store and Play Space in Taos, N.M., Those are among the 15 attractions that CNN says will keep kids—and their parents— happy. CNN created its " 15 Best Spots for Kids " list from the Travelers' Favorites list compiled by travel site Gogobot . No. 1 on the list: San Francisco's Exploratorium . You'll see nearly as many adults as you will kids in this "learning lab" that's now at Pier 15. Its exhibits deal with sound, color, biology—really the gamut of life, including the quirky toothpick sculpture above by Scott Weaver, a 37-years-in-the-making creation that consists of more than 105,000 toothpicks.  Legoland California  in Carlsbad ranks eighth.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2014 | By Claire Zulkey
If you thought the Louis CK episode of “SNL” was weird and dark, you ain't seen nothing until you've watched the Anna Kendrick episode. Just kidding. this weekend's show, with Pharrell Williams as musical guest, was as harmonious, lighthearted and girly as one would expect from the “Pitch Perfect” actress, serving as a spring palate cleaner between CK's episode and next week's, which will feature Seth Rogen as host and undoubtedly some pot humor and James Franco references.  Not only was last night's episode musical, it was downright Disneyfied, with Kendrick performing a parody of “Belle” from “Beauty and the Beast" during her monologue, enchanting everyone at the show (except for Lorne Michaels)
HEALTH
April 4, 2014 | By Lily Dayton
Picture potato chips or chocolate - or any food you feel you can't resist. Chances are, your brain associates this food with a promise of happiness, says Kelly McGonigal, psychology instructor at Stanford University. But foods we have little control around act like the elusive carrot on a stick: The more we eat, the more we want. We never feel we have enough because the promise of reward is always in front of us - if only we eat one more, then another, and soon we're left with crumbs at the bottom of the bag. Yet the longing remains.
SCIENCE
April 1, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Happy April Fool's Day! Why not celebrate with a little humor from the world of science? No, that's not an April Fool's joke. It really IS possible to blend humor with science and math. The American Chemical Society proves it in the video above. You may find some of the jokes funnier than others. One of my favorites: “Never trust an atom - they make up everything.” There's another gem about two glasses of water concerned about the too-cool-for-school behavior of their ice-cube son. The punch line requires a junior-high understanding of chemistry.
NEWS
December 26, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Feeling guilty about overspending this holiday season? Stop. Not only did your role as a consumer help the economy -- though, as a whole, we could have done better and might have if we weren't so freaked about going over the "fiscal cliff" -- but spending money is good for your well-being. Does that mean money actually can buy happiness? Absolutely, reports AsapSCIENCE -- if it's spent the right way. “Instead of buying things for yourself, try giving some of it to other people and see how you feel,” says the narrator in the Dec. 20 AsapScience video.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2013 | By Inkoo Kang
Any one-man crusade is likely to fail, but a rom-com character's war against sincerity is doomed from the start. Recently unemployed David (pastor-turned-actor Joe Boyd) has good reasons for being a Negative Nancy, and his aloofness earns him early triumphs over the omnipresent forces of perkiness and optimism. But writer-director Brad Wise's "A Strange Brand of Happy" is determined to make David experience the film's titular emotion: delight in the knowledge that fulfilling one's potential pleases God too. So along comes a lady ex machina in life coach Joyce (Christian singer Rebecca St. James, mugging her heart out)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
We already know Fitz is a pretty lousy politician, and in Thursday's “Scandal,” we discover he's also not exactly the world's greatest dad either. Last week, "Scandal" explored the dark side of democracy, and this week, it's all about the twisted ties that bind family members to each other.  Now, I know this may come as a shock to you, given how often the Grant children are mentioned on this show, but it turns out that the president is...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Kit Harington, who plays Night's Watchman Jon Snow in HBO's "Game of Thrones," isn't totally opposed to the lavish fantasy series' frequent nudity. "It's only right, if you're going to make a show where nudity and sex is a large part of it, that you be a part of that," the 27-year-old Brit told GQ magazine, whose three April covers shot by Paola Kudacki feature a leather jacket- and faded jeans-clad Harington, "Happy" singer Pharrell Williams and "Non-Stop" star Liam Neeson. "I wouldn't say I'd be happy about it," Harington said when further pressed by writer Chris Heath about doing a full-frontal nude scene himself.
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