Data Breach Hits Major Banks

JPMorgan Chase and at least four other major U.S. financial institutions are reporting hack attacks by cyber criminals who lifted customers’ personal information, according to published accounts. The attacks, which apparently took place earlier this month, stole customer data that could be used to drain checking and savings accounts, Bloomberg News said, citing sources briefed by law enforcement. News accounts didn’t name the other banks targeted in the cyber theft or disclose how many customers may be at risk. Banks …

A New Boomer Grandma’s Tips for Buying the Right Stuff

Only two weeks till I become a first-time grandmother — and I desperately need some baby basics. I’m told that the must-have item these days is the Pack ’n Play. That’s what we used to call a playpen, children, but now it’s a “play yard, complete with options like “micro-fleece newborn napper station, changing table attachment, night light (!), music player (!!) and detachable toy bar. As someone who came of age in the ’60s, may I just say: Shoot me now. …

Blessings Near and Far: A Lesson in Honoring Elders

We arrived with jasmine garlands and two rosettes folded out of Thai baht. We slipped off our sandals and felt the cool, smooth tiles beneath us as we walked toward a woman sitting on her front porch. The woman was my friend Fon’s 90-year-old great grandmother, Chid. Fon had invited us — my friend Jess, my boyfriend Joe and me — to go to the beach, a few hours south of Bangkok. But first, she asked, could we stop to …

Wake Up and Go to Sleep

I have just returned from an all-night study of my sleep habits that should have been called an all-night study of my awake habits, because all during the study there’s no getting any sleep. You lie there as tense as death, hooked up to 17 electrodes that in turn are hooked up to electronic devices that study exactly how your body and your inner organs are doing while you are struggling to go to sleep, a struggle that keeps you …

Fire and Rain: Beauty and Good Health From the Ashes

My wife and I took a nature walk on the southern slope of the Santa Monica Mountains shortly after a brush fire had ravaged the earth and turned the blackened branches of the laurel sumac trees into hands that clawed at the darkening sky. It was a scene right out of Dante’s Inferno, tempered by the life that lay on the other side of the hill. On that “other side,” stretched out before us were acres of lavender blossoms belonging …

At 90+, They Did What?!

When it comes to seeking thrills, there’s apparently no age limit. Consider the case of 95-year-old Margit Tall of Helsinki, Finland, who on Aug. 7 may have become the oldest woman ever to complete a bungee jump. Tall, who walks with a cane, approached the staff of Sky Breakers, the firm that operates the highest bungee jump in Finland from a crane near her home, with no small measure of determination. “When she came to buy a ticket, she asked …