Laura Bliss

Another Argument for a Minimum Wage Hike: It Could Reduce Smoking

A 10 percent pay bump leads to a 5 percent drop in smoking rates among men, a new study finds.

How California's Drought Is Sweetening This Year's Produce

Less water means a little more sugar in your fruit bowl.

California's 'Katrina' Could Be Coming to Sacramento

You don’t need a hurricane to have a catastrophic flood.

Yes, Some Students Are Throwing Out Their School Lunch Veggies

But that doesn’t mean Congress should throw out healthier eating standards.

This Tactile Map of Burning Man Is Awesome, No Matter Your Level of Sight

Jaded haters of the Burn, this innovative map might just change your mind.

Here's How Often New Yorkers Pay Full Price For Illegal Cigarettes

A study finds that 15 percent of packs sold over the counter bear illegal tax stamps. Even for nonsmokers, that’s a lot of dollars lost.

Watch Poverty in School Districts Escalate Before Your Very Eyes

Since the recession, more children than ever are living in impoverished school districts.

10 Years Later, There's So Much We Don't Know About Where Katrina Survivors Ended Up

An incomplete picture of displacement and return in New Orleans, in maps.

When Racial Boundaries Are Blurry, Neighbors Take Complaints Straight to 311

In NYC, calls about noise and blocked driveways are most frequent in zones between racially homogenous neighborhoods.

The Legacy of 'Rumor Control,' From Watts to Ferguson

How rumors have shaped indelible events of civil unrest in America.

How to Pay for a New L.A. River

Frank Gehry’s involvement in the river’s revitalization could compromise public funding.

How Can Cities Get Renters to Use Less Water?

California's drought demands an answer, but as homeownership rates drop, the question has implications for the whole country.

A Classic L.A. Taco Stand Has Beef With Cyclists

On the eve of the car-free festival CicLAvia, Tito's Tacos is on the wrong side of history.

How Not to Get the Plague

News reports of humans contracting the infamous disease are alarming, but it's still very rare.

Your Vacation Destination Really Does Reflect Your Personality

New research shows introverts do, in fact, prefer the mountains.

The Hidden Health Dangers of Buried Urban Rivers

Cities have been paving over streams since the 19th century, but scientists are only now learning of potential harms to water quality.

Where $15 Is Only Worth $12

Local costs of living complicate the conversation around a huge increase to the federal minimum wage.

The Economics Lessons in a Single New York City Block

How Greene Street went from a red-light district to hosting some of the highest property values in the world.

Drought's Lasting Effect on Trees Spells Danger for Carbon Levels

Shrinking tree rings point to a worrying future for forests and humans, a new study finds.