Researchers are developing programs that promise to teach people how to be better

Illustration: Cathryn Virginia

By now, the news cycle is familiar: The United States is using tear gas on asylum seekers. Hundreds of migrant children remain separated from their families. A professor’s office is vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

It’s easy to feel like we’re living in a social climate increasingly unconcerned with the suffering of others. A frequently cited 2009 study suggests that people may be getting less empathetic over time, and as politics, current affairs, and rhetoric fuel anger and polarization, it can certainly seem like we’re becoming a less compassionate society.

Can that change?

There are a lot of factors, including wealth

New tech promises to diagnose your skin problems with selfies and AI

Illustration: Nicole Ginelli

I have a huge pimple on my cheek when I try Olay’s skin analysis app, Skin Advisor. The app directs me to take a selfie and answer a few questions, like what worries me most about my skin — wrinkles or acne, for example — and what kinds of products I use on a daily basis.

I’m prepared for the obvious news: I’m having a breakout. But within a few seconds, the app alerts me to an issue I didn’t know I had. …

How to avoid being duped by your vitamins and supplements

Photo by pina messina on Unsplash

Taking a daily multivitamin or fish oil pill is a common ritual. In fact, Americans spend more than $30 billion a year on dietary supplements.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that popular vitamins and supplements may not always contain what their labels claim, and potentially dangerous ingredients can get into the pills. A recent October 2018 report by California Department of Public Health researchers, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, revealed that more than 700 supplements on the market included unlabeled ingredients found in pharmaceutical drugs, and less than half received voluntary recalls from health authorities. “That’s…

Is CBD oil a promising antidote or another supplement landmine?

Credit: Bloomberg Creative Photos/Getty

For nearly a decade, Danielle Brand-LeMond, 39, dealt with persistent anxiety and trouble falling asleep. “There were nights I barely slept,” she says. As someone who prefers natural antidotes to pharmaceuticals, Brand-LeMond began taking herbal remedies and hormones like melatonin, but nothing worked. Then, last year, Brand-LeMond’s father, who owns a health food store, suggested she try CBD oil.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a nonpsychoactive compound from cannabis touted as a promising therapeutic for a variety of health conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, pain, and epilepsy-related seizures. The market for CBD could surpass $1 billion by 2020, according to one estimate.

Is it true that experiences, not things, bring us lasting joy?

Olivia Pope collage via Style Vitae

It’s been almost a year since I left journalism to join the world of corporate communications. With a new job and a significant raise, I decided to celebrate by buying myself some designer shoes, a pair of $550 black suede Isabel Marant boots, the kind that everyone liked five years ago but until now I couldn’t afford. That was my first pair of actual nice, leather shoes, and the first time I had ever spent more than $100 on footwear.

I justified the purchase because they boots are a classic style that I could wear over and over again, and…

Or, what I’ve learned since leaving journalism.

Six months ago, I quit my job as a newspaper reporter to work in corporate communications, and just like that, I left behind a big part of how I identify as a person.

With the layoffs and terrible pay that comes with the profession, it isn’t uncommon for reporters — young or old — to leave journalism behind. But honestly, I never thought I would be one of them so soon.

I had so many expectations and dreams and goals about writing and work that it never occurred to me to look outside of journalism — until there were finally…

by Julissa Trevino

Last month, my car got its second clutch replacement at the cost of $190 for parts and $0 for labor, thanks to the help of my boyfriend and my brother.

Now 12 years old, my Jeep Liberty is — by a lot of people’s standards — a piece of shit. She’s been through her fair share of repairs and replacement parts since I got her in 2007. …

by Julissa Trevino

In late July, I rode more than 500 miles across the state of Iowa as part of an annual bike tour, RAGBRAI, or the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. It was my first real bicycle tour of any kind, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Since I didn’t know anyone going to the tour, I found a team that gave me a ride on their bus headed out of the Dallas-Fort Worth area to Iowa in exchange for gas money. …

by Julissa Trevino

I live in Fort Worth, Texas, where rent is manageable compared to major West and East Coast housing markets, but the rent here has recently been skyrocketing. Even so, I was just able to find my new apartment for the next year.

It’s a house that’s south of my favorite neighborhoods. Because of its location, it isn’t ideal. But truth be told, it’s one of the only reasonably priced housing options I’ve found in the two months of searching for a new place to live.

These were my requirements: a functional kitchen with working cabinet space, bikeable…

Julissa Treviño

Writer and journalist based in Texas.

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