Living

Living

On Gardening: Conifers bring joy to the cool season landscape

There is nothing that adds a thrill to the winter landscape quite like conifers. Much to the chagrin of my wife I could be forever happy gardening among conifers. I love green selections, blue-gray varieties, and then there is nothing that causes my heart to race quite like the gold varieties. Then to add the magic I would like as many shapes and sizes as possible.

Living

CNET: Best holiday gifts for home chefs

It's time to heat up your holiday shopping. If you have a family member who loves to cook, these gifts are perfect and you're bound to get something tasty out of the deal. Here our four of CNET's top picks for the chef in your life.

Families

Ex-etiquette: For the holidays

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year and last month we decided to move in together. He was married previously, has two children, and they share equal custody of the kids. I see the kids every other week, and we get along great, but I have yet to meet his ex. According to my boyfriend, his parents invite her to all their family's get-togethers and it appears this Thanksgiving is no different. This makes me uncomfortable. Meeting her for the first time at his parents' home with everyone starring just seems wrong. What's good ex-etiquette?

Families

Chris Erskine: We love gold, worry about orange

The sun comes up big and orange, like a harvest moon. The angry grit from the recent fires sends bloody beams of sunlight through the oaks and the chaparral. I can hardly sleep lately, for a variety of reasons, but if I could sleep, this alone would keep me up.

Families

Ask Mr. Dad: Gender vs. sex. Yes, there’s a difference

Dear Mr. Dad: My 13-year old son told my husband and me that his gender identity is "non-binary" and that he wants to start using different pronouns – "they" and "their" instead of "he" and "him." We asked whether that means he's gay, but he just laughed and said that there's a big difference between gender identity and sexual orientation. I'm completely stunned and have no idea what any of this means. Our son offered to answer any questions we have, but we're too embarrassed to ask him. Can you help?

Families

Living with Children: The AAP on discipline

The prestigious American Academy of Pediatrics has just released (November 2018) a policy statement claiming that "Aversive disciplinary strategies, including all forms of corporal punishment and yelling at or shaming children, are minimally effective in the short-term and not effective in the long-term. With new evidence, researchers link corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children."

Families

App review: Lasso – short, fun videos: Facebook’s TikTok clone falls short and can’t compete

Parents need to know that Lasso – short, fun videos is a short-form video app that allows users to record themselves lip-synching to songs, recording original comedy shorts and more. It's made by Facebook and is meant to copy some of the more popular features of TikTok – Real Short Videos, which has become a phenomenon with tweens and teens. Teens need a Facebook account to log in to the app. Because the app is filled with user-generated content, what you'll see and the age-appropriateness of it will vary from moment to moment. Songs are uncensored, so profanity is frequent. Users also dance suggestively, and alcohol and cigarettes sometimes appear in videos. Parents will also want to closely monitor how long kids are on the app, as it can become an obsession for some. Note that there's no way to have a private account, so all videos and profiles are pubic. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

Families

Game review: ‘Tetris Effect,’ classic puzzle game awesomely revamped with VR and other 21st century effects

Parents need to know that "Tetris Effect" is a downloadable puzzle game for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR. The game is the latest installment in the long running and extremely popular puzzle franchise, and has expanded its reach into virtual reality for the first time. The gameplay builds on the "easy to learn, hard to master" formula that made the original title so gripping, although it increases the challenge at times by varying up the speed that puzzle blocks descend on the screen. This test of reflexes could frustrate some players that can't react fast enough. There's no inappropriate content to be found in the game. Parents should also be aware that VR isn't recommended for kids under 12 due to the potential impact the technology may have on younger players' physiological development.

CDC advises consumers to throw out all romaine lettuce

The Centers for Disease Control says an E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has sickened 32 people in 11 states in the U.S. and 18 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.