Archive for June, 2010

Do you mind swimming with the fishes on your Gulf vaca?

There will be no need to pay to swim with the dolphins if you vacation in the Gulf this summer.

AP reports that due to the massive oil spill much of the sea life is heading toward shore trying to escape the noxious liquid.

From the AP story:

“Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.”

“Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange phenomena.”

“Fish and other wildlife seem to be fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast in a trend that some researchers see as a potentially troubling sign.”

“The animals’ presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by …

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Cox hosts teen summit to examine online safety for families

Broadcasting Live with Ustream.TV

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s sister company Cox Communications hosted its fifth anniversary TeenSummit yesterday examining online trends with a panel of teens. The event was hosted by John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted” and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

I was surprised to learn that Walsh’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a national clearing house that examines cybercrimes and Internet child pornography for the government.

The Cox TeenSummit Fifth Anniversary discussion focused on: What do your online posts and pictures really say about you? You can watch the entire summit online, but you can also just listen to it while you work on other stuff. (The first three minutes are introduction and then jump ahead to 19 minutes for John Walsh to begin the conversation.)

Cox also conducts surveys about teen online use and here were a few stats:

85 percent of teens now have mobile phones.

85 …

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Has MTV gone too far?

The Hard Times of RJ BergerMTV Shows

I know I’m going to sound like that guy that spits in the Twisted Sister video “We’re Not going to Take It” but I’m really feeling like MTV has just gone too far. I tuned in for about an hour of the MTV Movie Awards last weekend and couldn’t get over the ridiculous amount of cursing and very graphic sexual references.

I know Madonna was pushing the envelope in the 1980s squirming around on the floor in her underwear but this year’s movie awards came off as adult programming, not a show for 16-year-olds wanting to see Bella and Edward from “Twilight” kiss. (I couldn’t get the stupid videos to load properly so you’ll have to click the links to see Christina Aguilera’s performance where her back up dancers fondle her and her vaginal region lights up in a heart shape at the end. Also watch one of the stars of “Twilight” curse a blue streak accepting his award.”

I was thrilled when Entertainment Weekly’s coverage of the MTV Movie Awards …

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Will the World Cup, ‘Karate Kid’ influence kids’ next sports?

We did spend the weekend watching the World Cup matches out of South Africa and by the end of the weekend Walsh seemed much more interested in playing soccer than he did three years ago when he wandered aimlessly around the field.

It made me start to wonder if watching a month of games and getting into the excitement of this international tournament would increase the number of kids signing up to play soccer next fall?

The New York Daily News is reporting that local Kung Fu classes are overflowing thanks TV shows like “SpongeBob” and the remake of the movie “The Karate Kid,” which made a whopping $56 million this weekend at the Box Office.

From The Daily News:

“When movies like ‘The Karate Kid’ come out, we get more calls,” says Janett Pabon, an instructor at World Martial Arts Center in Union Square.

“After ‘Kill Bill’ came out, people came in wanting to break wood using one punch. They see it and they want to try it.”

And it’s not just movies, says Pete Paramithis, owner of …

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World Cup Mania: Just stop the *&@# buzzing horns!

You may think I only complain about American football but no, I also complain about the international form of the game. The World Cup started today and 18 minutes into South Africa versus Mexico I’m going crazy from that *&^& buzzing sound in the stadium. (Rose says “It sounds like a fly is inside the TV.”)

I have no other problem with this game  — other than the slow action and the flopping with fake injuries – but those freakin’ horns make me nuts! (Officially, the giant plastic horns are called vuvuzelas.)

I’m not an oracle but I can already tell you what my weekend is going to look like  — 6 games at 90 minutes each of that annoying buzzing heard throughout my house!!! (If you’re wondering, the World Cup includes 64 painful games total!)

Just take the horns away from the people as they enter the stadium. They aren’t little kazoos. They are GIANT horns. They can’t hide them! Michael routinely gets flasks taken off of him at the UGA stadium and yet these stadium workers …

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Dads: Would you want 13 months off to care for your kids?

So Dads,  let’s pretend your company says you can 13 months of paternity leave (2 months paid) without penalizing you at promotion time, would you take it?

Many of the Dads in Sweden are. In fact 85 percent of fathers take paternity leave with some interesting affects. Not only have the women come to expect the help at home, the women’s pay checks have increased at work. (One study found women’s pay increase 7 percent for each month of work their husband took leave.)

From The New York Times:

“In this land of Viking lore, men are at the heart of the gender-equality debate. The ponytailed center-right finance minister calls himself a feminist, ads for cleaning products rarely feature women as homemakers, and preschools vet books for gender stereotypes in animal characters. For nearly four decades, governments of all political hues have legislated to give women equal rights at work — and men equal rights at home.”

“Swedish mothers still take more time off with children — almost …

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A chance to share Jacques Cousteau with your kids

Several months ago when we talked about the new  wonderful wildlife series “Life,” and many of you commented about how much you enjoyed the old Jacques Cousteau series. Well here’s your chance to share the series with your kids.

To celebrate the great undersea explorer’s birthday, Turner Classic Movies (TCM on Comcast 69) is airing a 20-hour marathon of Cousteau documentaries. The movies begin tomorrow (Friday) at 6 a.m. and run all day! So set your DVR’s tonight.  The episodes include searching the Nile, the Mediterranean, searching for Atlantis and Greek ruins off of Crete. (Walsh will love all of these!)

From TCM’s Web site:

“The Cousteau birthday itself, June 11, includes a twenty-hour marathon of documentaries in which he participated. All are TCM premieres, including six episodes of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau dating from 1968 to 1974, and twelve episodes of The Jacques Cousteau Odyssey, an Emmy-nominated 1977 television series featuring the research …

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Can the family fly with Fido?

We talk a lot about flying with kids on this blog but now I need to know about flying with your dog!

The rich and famous do it all the time, but I’m trying to figure out how possible and how terrible it would be to fly with our 16-pound Shih Tzu (and three kids)?

Michael wants all of us to join him on trip out West later this summer — including the dog. But he’s never flown before.

I’ve heard horror tales of dogs dying from the heat (on the ground) or freezing to death (in the air) being in the cargo holds of planes so I feel like putting him below the plane is a non-starter. (Just imagine waiting for the carrier to come around the luggage conveyor and there being our dead pet inside. Can you imagine what the kids would do?)

You can try to convince me otherwise on putting the dog below the plane if you’ve had good experiences with this. Although it looks like according to Delta’s rules we couldn’t check the pet as baggage between May 15 through Sept 15 or anytime the ground …

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Police: Joran van der Sloot confessed to killing in Peru!

Filed under “Holy Cow!”



The Associated Press is reporting that Joran van der Sloot has confessed to killing the young Puruvian woman in his hotel room. (Apparently Peru is better at interrogations than Aruba!)

From the AP story posted at 9:17 a.m.:

“LIMA, Peru — Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, long the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of a U.S. teen in Aruba, has confessed to killing a young Peruvian woman in his Lima hotel room, a police spokesman said.

“The broadcaster America Television reported that Van der Sloot killed Flores in a rage after learning she had looked up information about his past on his laptop. It said it had access to details of the confession but did not cite its source.”

“Peru’s chief police spokesman, Col. Abel Gamarra, told The Associated Press that Van der Sloot admitted under police questioning Monday that he killed 21-year-old Stephany Flores on May 30. …”

“Van der Sloot’s confession came on his third full day in Peruvian …

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Taken to the cleaners by your carpet cleaners?

I wanted to have our carpets steam cleaned (no detergent) and started making calls last week. I called three different companies to get phone quotes. One company was a rec from a friend, one was an ad in the newspaper and one was a name I knew but found on the internet.

I asked a lot of questions on the phones, and I thought I knew most of the ways the companies will trick you such as:

Larger rooms not counting toward the deals

Extra charge for moving heavy furniture

Extra charges to get out stains

Stairs costing extra

I asked a bunch of questions of each company and spent extra time on the phone with the company I was going to use.

I actually chose the most expensive quote because it was still reasonable and I felt like the other two were so much less that I knew I was either going to get a sub-par job or prices would be raised when they showed up.

I talked with the company rep on the phone about pet stains and she said there was no guarantee they could get them out but …

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