Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Soccer Moms and other sport parents

What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent—and What Makes a Great One
The Post Game
Feb. 15, 2012
"College athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame.
Their overwhelming response: "I love to watch you play.""

Monday, August 5, 2013

How to get your kids talking

Conversation starters from Dr. Laura Markham
Aha Parenting!
Aug. 8, 2013

Changing nutrition and marketing is difficult, Obama finds

Michelle Obama's nutrition campaign comes with political pitfalls
LA Times
July 20, 2013
"But when food and media companies — including many that supported her anti-obesity campaign — mounted a fierce lobbying battle against the [new] guidelines in 2011, the first lady went silent. It wasn't until earlier this year, after the guidelines had been blocked, that Obama resumed her call for more responsible food marketing."

"In 2009, Congress approved a Harkin-sponsored measure to set up an interagency working group to write voluntary nutrition standards for products advertised to children."

You Scandinavia no advertising is allowed to be targeted to children aged 7 or under.  I would have to think that would help, here. Not that it's even imaginable in our corporation-happy culture here....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bee theory going back to pesticide problems

Scientists discover what's killing bees, and it's worse than you thought.
July 24, 2013
Is this a reputable source? The author's Twitter tag is @greenwombat?

"But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives...

"When researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite calledNosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Random stories for around your gourmet water cooler

The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover
The New Yorker
July 16, 2013
Lovely story for you visual folks, and studiers of social trends.

Toys for tight schedules
Wall Street Journal
July 23, 2013

"Toymakers are increasingly creating playthings aimed at busy kids who only have bite-size bits of time to play—a trend some in the industry are calling "snack toys."
"School-age children are increasingly playing in short bursts of time between organized activities—whether on the sidelines of a sibling's soccer game or at home, between piano lessons and homework. And while many parents default to their smartphone or another electronic device as a quick diversion, toy companies are working hard to maintain their market by refreshing traditional games and playthings to be shorter-playing, more portable and faster to clean up."

$20 for a bottle of water? Your water sommelier will bring the menu right away.
Los Angeles Times
July 18, 2013
"Martin Reise is the water sommelier -- yes, there is such a thing -- for the Patina Group of Retaurants. He's launching a water menu Monday at Ray's and Stark, the restaurant at LACMA, where he is also the general manager. Some of the bottles will be priced as high as $20. "

How Chinese ingenuity destroyed salad bars at Pizza Hut

July 19, 2013
Creative salad sculptures give "all you care to eat" a run for the money. Why not just charge by the pound?

Friday, August 2, 2013

LAUSD and iPads

Oh, this whole thing just fries me. They have $434 MILLION for these useless things that have to be maintained, updated and wrestled with, but no money for a PE teacher at every school? Or an art teacher? Children learn with their hands on, building things, moving their bodies. That's how they build the neural pathways for future growth. Not by sitting on their butts drawing their pointer fingers over something they have to watch.

This is all about putting corporations before kids. Jesus. This whole thing makes me want to homeschool.

LA will give all 640,000 students a $678 iPad by the end of 2014
July 26, 2013
"The bulk of the total cost is the $678 per iPad fixed cost, which will come pre-loaded with Pearson e-textbooks and other educational apps that make up the remainder of the money.

Read more:"

Apple to replace LAUSD iPads if broken, stolen or damaged
LA School Report
July 30, 2013
With a link to the contract, which also details the Pearson software on the iPads

Low Income schools getting first wave of new iPads
LA School Report
July 31, 2013

Controversy Awaits $30m iPad Vote
LA School Report
Note at the writing they thought it would be only 31,000 iPads for $30million, which actually only covers the frist 49 schools.

"The district received 13 bids for the contract, three of which were found to be within “competitive range.”  Superintendent John Deasy defended the decision to go with Apple. ”It is the best product that went through the bidding process,” he said.
"However, the LA Times‘s Steve Lopez pointed out that Deasy appeared in an Apple video in January of 2012, promoting the use of textbooks on iPads."