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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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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.
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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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2014 | By Bob Pool
A monthlong mystery over who illuminated the big grin on Simi Valley's Happy Face Hill has been solved: Two sisters, ages 3 and 7, did it. "They wanted to surprise me because they knew how much I love the happy face," said their mother, Allison Robertson of Simi Valley. Robertson is a business administration student at Moorpark College who tries to do her studying on weekends. Her husband, Doug, takes Tabitha and Evelyn on Saturday jaunts to give her some peace when she hits the books.
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?
BUSINESS
December 27, 2013 | By Charles Fleming
Freud asked, "What does woman want?" Harley-Davidson has the answer. She wants a motorcycle -- or should. That is the result of a study of female motorcycle riders and non-riders, commissioned by the Wisconsin-based bike manufacturer. Female riders were twice as likely as their non-riding counterparts to feel "confident. " They were twice as likely, too, to feel "extremely satisfied" with their appearance. More than half of those riders said the two-wheeled experience made them feel "free" and "independent.
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.
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.
SPORTS
March 21, 2014 | By Gary Klein
Cassie Harberts played last summer on a USA women's basketball team that won a World University Games gold medal in Russia. The USC forward had plenty in common with her teammates - except one thing: She was the lone player with no NCAA tournament experience. On Saturday, the senior from San Clemente will add that to her resume when she leads USC against St. John's in the Trojans' first NCAA tournament game since 2006. "Yes!" she said, pumping her first, during an on-campus interview, "I can say, 'I'm in there now.'" Unbeaten Connecticut (34-0)
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Noelle Carter
It's Pi Day! While geekdom recognizes March 14 (3.14) as the unofficial glorious day symbolic of the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, we say, make a pie. We've compiled 52 of our favorite pie recipes -- everything from cream pies to berry pies to custard pies and more -- to help you out. That strawberry pie pictured above? You can find the recipe below. Happy Pi Day! RECIPES: 52 favorite pies from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen Strawberry pie Total time : 20 minutes, plus chilling time Servings: Makes 1 (9-inch)
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Friday is Pi Day -- the Greek letter that represents the mathematical number 3.14159 (etc.)-- a thoroughly American invention with more happening than you might think. The day may not merit a stop at the mall for a gift (unless you're buying something for someone who just got admitted to MIT , which sends out its college admission decisions on 3.14), but plenty of places in California are celebrating with pi worship, science puzzles, races and, of course, slices of pie (for the mathematically challenged or those who don't want to sit around calculating the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter )
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2014 | By Bob Pool
Steve Apostolof had a frown on his face as he drove past Happy Face Hill. The hillside features a 150-foot-wide smiley face that was created in 1998 by a man armed with a weed-whacker and a sprayer of herbicide. Since then, it has become something of a curiosity piece that welcomes motorists on the 118 Freeway to Simi Valley. But in the January dusk, Apostolof couldn't see Happy Face Hill, let alone its enormous grin. "With the sun setting early, the hill was pitch-black," Apostolof said of his trip home from work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The leave of absence by Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) has left the 40-person state Senate with just one African American member, a situation that is sparking concern about a lack of diversity. Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), now the chamber's only black member, said more needs to be done to encourage underrepresented groups, including women and African Americans, to run for office. "We need more diversity," said Mitchell, who is hosting a forum on promoting political leadership by black women during the California Democratic Party's state convention this weekend in Los Angeles.
SPORTS
March 6, 2014 | By Helene Elliott
  When Corey Perry extended his hand to Stephane Robidas on Thursday, for once it wasn't in anger. The combative players have gotten under each other's skin frequently over the years, but they put their hostilities aside when the Ducks acquired Robidas from Dallas this week. "He came and shook my hand and it's all good," Robidas said after his first practice with his new team. "He's a competitor. He's a great player. And playing against him, you've always got to watch him. It's not easy to play against him. I'm just happy that I don't have to watch him anymore.
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.
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.
SPORTS
March 5, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
The Newbury Park-Sun Valley Poly baseball game on Wednesday had special meaning for the Nealon family. Greg Nealon was an All-City pitcher for Poly. His wife, Wanda, graduated from Poly in 1988, while his aunt, Diane Faehnie, graduated from Poly in 1960. But on the mound in the seventh inning for Newbury Park pitching against Poly was Nealon's son, Landon. He threw a scoreless seventh in Newbury Park's 5-0 victory. Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
SPORTS
March 2, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
Kobe Bryant has played only six games this season, taking away a strong-willed and sometimes critical voice of the Lakers. But Pau Gasol has played more than six years with Bryant, long enough to pick up some of his behavior. Several days after criticizing some of his teammates' selfish play and Coach Mike D'Antoni's small-ball approach, Gasol was no longer angry. It's not as if his words directly led to a victory Friday against the Sacramento Kings. But he felt the need to crack the whip regardless.
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