Archive for May, 2010

Should schools ban Silly Bandz?

Silly Bandz are all the craze with the kids but they are making teachers just plum crazy. And so principals in multiple states, including New York, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts have banned them.

From Time Magazine:

“Students fiddle with them during class and arrange swaps – trading, say, a bracelet with a mermaid for one with a dragon – when they should be concentrating on schoolwork, teachers say. Sometimes a trade goes bad – kids get buyer’s remorse too – and hard feelings, maybe even scuffles, ensue.”

“That’s what prompted Karen White, principal of Snow Rogers Elementary School in Gardendale, Ala., in October to become one of the first administrators to forbid students their Bandz. “We try not to limit their freedom of expression and what they wear, but when this became a problem, I knew we had to nip it in the bud pretty quickly,” says White, who has since extended an olive branch in the form of monthly Silly Bandz days. (See pictures of a public boarding school in …

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Are you planning to boycott BP?

As of May 5, the Associated Press reported there didn’t appear to be a consumer backlash against BP. Some commenters on our own Biz Beat blog said accidents happened and the overall feeling on the blog on May 5 wasn’t too angry.

However, 22 days later I’ve been hearing more moms talking about boycotting BP. I kept hearing snippets at the school picnic on Wednesday of moms reminding other moms not to stop at the BP. I also was involved in a conversation about it at the Kroger gas station.

What are you hearing and seeing in your community? Are you planning to boycott BP?

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Are you worried about summer brain drain?

Editor’s Note: My mom came home from the hospital yesterday and is doing well. They didn’t find any damage to her brain.(We are so lucky!) However, the doctors are disagreeing about the cause of the TIAs. Neurologist thinks it’s a medicine she’s been on for more than a decade. The doctor who prescribed the medicine says no way. If it’s not the medicine, then we need to know what caused it. Sorry for the non-posting! Back to business!

We just got out of school yesterday and there are already 47 articles on Google News about keeping your kids’ brains from turning to mush during the summer.

I am irritated by these articles! Let the children have some fun. Let the children unwind. Let the children have physical activity that they don’t have time for during the school year. Every afternoon is a mad rush of snack, homework, maybe an activity, and then dinner, bath and bed.  We are so thrilled to have leisure time to explore books, play games, play out back or just let their little …

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Caring for your aging parents

My dad called yesterday afternoon saying that my mother was having a medical problem. She couldn’t speak for a few minutes.

I told him that was a sign of a stroke and she needed to go the hospital immediately. They meandered home from work and I went to my parents’ house to take my mother to the hospital with a sense of urgency they apparently weren’t having. My dad had to deal with their dog and eat dinner. (My dad is like Shaggy on Scooby Doo – always needing to eat!)

Her speech became slurred in the car going to the hospital and that was scary. When we got there they took her immediately back. (If you think your parent is having a stroke or stroke-like symptoms please tell them that and don’t wait in the ER.)

After checking her in the ER they decided she had had two mini-strokes and admitted her for more testing.

When she woke up this morning she immediately combed her hair, brushed her teeth and put on lipstick. She was offended when the nurse told her it was written in …

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Follow your heart or pocket book to pick college major?

My favorite babysitter is headed to the University of Georgia next year all set to major in journalism, and I’m having to a hard time not throwing myself on her and telling her to go to business school instead!

As a parent do you let your child (ie-pay for your child) to major in something they are interested in or do you try to convince them to major in something they can make a living at? It would be great if these interests went hand in hand but that is often not the case.

Yahoo Hot Jobs recently had an article about the worst-paying college degrees in the country.

“There’s no denying the value of a college education: According to recent U.S. Census surveys, the median salary for college grads is more than $20,000 higher than that of people with only a high school diploma. And the unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees is almost half the rate for people without.”

“But some degrees are worth more than others, as PayScale.com shows in its 2010 report on the …

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Group graduation parties: Less expensive or more fun?

I’ve heard of many high school seniors’ families throwing group parties this year for graduation, and I’m wondering if they are doing it because it’s more fun to be with all their friends or because it makes more sense financially to share the costs for a party, especially in this economy.

The other trend I’m noticing is for the family party to be thrown before the actual graduation night as not to interfere with the graduate going out with his or her friends after graduation.

I can remember from my high school graduation that I couldn’t wait to leave my parents’ party to head out with my friends.

Are you throwing a group graduation party this year? Have you noticed others doing it? Are they throwing it a week or even two before graduation? Why do you think they are doing it?

What do you remember about your graduation party?

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Do you care if your kids eat high-fructose corn syrup?

There is an epic battle being fought in science labs, Congress, on the TV airwaves and in your kitchen over the use of high-fructose corn syrup in everyday products, such as ketchup.

High-fructose corn syrup has been demonized by many as the reason our children are so obese. But it has also been cleared of any wrong doing by respected scientists.

Regular folks are protesting the ingredient on Facebook. The companies that produce and use corn syrup have defended their product in high-profile TV ad campaigns. (The ad goes something like: You’re not serving high-fructose corn syrup? Well why not? What’s wrong with it? Silence from the other person cause they don’t really know. They’ve just heard it’s bad.)

Some of companies are calling uncle and are removing it from their products.

The theory being that even if it’s not truly bad for you, if the perception is that it’s bad then why not just go ahead and replace it with real sugar. Well the reason is cost. Sugar costs about 40 …

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Vacation plans on hold while you follow the oil flow?

We had hoped to return to Orange Beach this summer after the kids had such a great time there last year. However, with all that oil seeping out into the Gulf of Mexico I had kind of decided we would just head to Hilton Head this year – a safer bet. Or so I thought.

But now with fears of oil reaching currents that would bring it around the Florida Keys and up the East coast all of our vacation plans are on hold.

I know vacation plans seem trite when we’ve got a whole ocean and all the little animals in it to be worried about, however I’m sure people are trying to figure out where it’s safe to book for the summer. (Pacific Ocean anyone?) No one wants to lose money they’ve put down on a condo or beach house, especially in this economy.

I did search the City of Orange Beach site and as of the date I was searching no oil had come ashore and they were handling this PR emergency very well. They are posting current photos of the beach and the ocean so people can see how it looks. They …

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Are twins still special?

When I was growing up we had one set of twins in our grade. They were a brother and a sister – obviously fraternal and not identical. But we still thought they were so cool being twins!  I was always fascinated with twin secret languages and often read books about twins.

Last week I ran across a story about how more unmarried, older, educated women are having babies.  Here’s the story in full with all the details on that.

But the fact that I found most shocking from this entire story was buried deep at the bottom:

Since the 1980s, there has been a 70 percent increase in the twin birth rate!!!!!!!!!!

From The Huffington Post:

“Multiple births associated with the trend toward older motherhood were up sharply, including a 70 percent increase in the twin birth rate from 1980 to 2004.”

” ‘Not only are women in their 30s more likely than younger women to conceive multiples on their own, they also are more likely to undergo fertility treatments, which are linked to births of …

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MacGyvers in the making: Gwinnett hosts solar science competition this Saturday

This was our first solar oven testing this week. All the different oven types were set out to heat up.

This was our first solar oven testing this week. All the different oven types were set out to heat up.

Our team was making the fruit shish kabobs in this photo. Notice the gloves they were using for food safety. The ovens were heating at about 150 degrees durign the week. I believe anything below 125 is not considered safe cooking.

Our team was making the fruit Shish kabobs in this photo. Notice the gloves they were using for food safety. The ovens were heating at about 150 degrees during the week. I believe anything below 125 is not considered safe cooking.

The shrimp on the barbie! The shallow box seems to be helping to keep up the oven's temperature. There's less area to heat. Also the Saran Wrap, while not attractive, is effective at helpign to keep the heat from escaping uder the glass. It's a lot like a Crock Pot. You lose heat every time you open it.

The shrimp on the barbie! The shallow box seems to be helping to keep up the oven's temperature. There is less area to heat. Also the Saran Wrap, while not attractive, is effective at helping to keep the heat from escaping under the glass. It's a lot like a Crock Pot. You lose heat every time you open it.

Duct tape, cardboard boxes, recycled glass and a whole lot of tin foil – what’s that make? A solar oven for a third grader!

For the first time-ever Gwinnett County is hosting the FLARE (Focus on Leadership and Advancement in Renewable Energy) science competition. It takes place this Saturday at the school district’s Instructional Support Center …

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