Living

Travel

Best way to see Niagara Falls is up close

Niagara Falls is nature at its mightiest. More than just a look at a waterfall, a visit is a full vacation surrounded by the natural beauty of the area and the luxury that has drawn tourists from around the world.

Travel

The world's most beautiful boulevards find favor with 'flaneurs'

When my architect friend Westley visits Paris, he doesn't dawdle in the Louvre or climb the Eiffel Tower. Instead, he goes for a stroll. "I want to experience the city like the locals do," he once told me. "The idea of crowding around the Mona Lisa with a scrum of tourists just doesn't interest me." In other words, Westley is a boulevardier, a "flaneur," that great French word derived from the Old Norse verb "flana" or "to wander with no purpose."

Travel

12 days to explore the ancient wonders of Egypt

Let's hope the "mummy's curse" isn't real. Because I'm sweatily crouching through a claustrophobic 125-foot-long tunnel inside Egypt's iconic Great Pyramid on my climb to its 4,500-year-old royal burial chamber. Dangling from my necklace is an amulet charm – the protective Eye of Horus – because you can't be too sure in this myth-mesmerizing land of powerhouse pharaohs and ominous gods.

Family

How to talk to kids about violence, war, and crime

Mass shootings. Nuclear weapons. A robbery at your local corner store. Where do you start when you have to explain this stuff to your kids? Today, issues involving violence, crime, and war – whether they're in popular shows, video games, books, or news coverage – reach even the youngest kids. And with wall-to-wall TV coverage, constant social media updates, streaming services that broadcast age-inappropriate content any time of day, plus the internet itself, you have to have a plan for discussing even the worst of the worst in a way that's age-appropriate, that helps kids understand, and that doesn't cause more harm.

Family

App review: Love Balls, despite being No. 1 on the App Store, clever puzzle game is ruined by overabundance of ads

Parents need to know that Love Balls is a clever physics puzzle game that's safe for all ages. Despite what the name might suggest, this has no inappropriate content. But it's very ad-friendly – there's always a banner ad running along the bottom of the screen, and full-screen ads pop up randomly after you finish some puzzles. You can also opt to watch ads if you want to earn some in-game currency. This currency, which you also earn by playing, is then used to buy new pens, balls, and backgrounds. Not surprisingly, there's an option to buy an ad-free version of the game. Read the app's privacy policy on the game's website to find out about the information collected and shared.

TV

TV review: '13 Reasons Why: Season 2,' reveals more intense, dark subject matter teens may have difficulty navigating

Parents need to know that "13 Reasons Why" is an intense, dark Netflix drama based on the popular young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and is definitely not a light watch or for younger kids. The disturbing story explores a troubled teen's motivations for committing suicide, opening after the fatal event, with all appearances by deceased Hannah in the reflections of a boy who harbored a secret crush on her. Messages about treating people with respect and not taking others for granted are prominent, but the fact that Hannah blames others for her suicide is problematic and may send the wrong messages to some sensitive teens. The series doesn't shy away from mature issues, as Hannah's suicide is shown in great detail, as is more than one graphic rape scene involving a teenager. There's teen drinking, voyeurism (a boy circulates a picture of a girl in a compromising position after a sexual encounter), and lots of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and "a--holes"). While this challenging story could help parents start conversations with teens about issues like bullying, isolation, and depression, the way the series addresses these issues is complex and may be confusing for impressionable viewers.

Zoo Boise's new director loves animals

Gene Peacock loves the animals and will carry on Zoo Boise's commitment to wildlife conservation.
Katherine Jones