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Bugs and Hugs and H2O No-Nos

Under the “What’s with kids these days?” heading, here’s a ”new” trend among teenagers that of course the rest of us are just picking up on now: indiscriminate hugging!

The hallway embrace, the before-class and after-school hug — it’s common on campuses these days, but there’s always more to it than that. A USC sociologist helped us to parse the behavior in the social hierarchy of huggers vs. huggees, and why a generation that has a million virtual ”friends” they’ve never met is so invested in the physical embrace. We got some terrific calls from students too — please, keep calling in so we can hear* from *you and not always just *about *you!

The new water regs take place in LA on Monday, and the DWP chief, David Nahai, took your questions about the new rules that he hopes will cut back water use by 15% — either by the carrots of persuasion or the stick of enforcement. Don’t hose off your driveways and sidewalks, don’t run your sprinklers on any days but Mondays and Thursdays, after 5 p.m. and before 9 a.m. — and put in drought-tolerant plants. We use more than half of our water — that’s drinking-quality water, every drop of it — outdoors!

And a study in the journal Science has found about a thousand different kinds of bacteria camping out on our skin, but before you grab that anti-bacterial gel, don’t forget that many of those bacteria are good bacteria, on patrol to keep the bad guys off the turf that is your forearm [and navel and armpit, and so on …]

On Monday, how differently would we wage war in Afghanistan if we treated the Taliban like a drug cartel instead of an ideological force? Because heroin is the cash crops that bankrolls the Taliban and some Al Qaeda forces. Follow the poppies-to-terrorism trail next time.

— Patt Morrison