Archive for August, 2011

What are the must items for college students in 2011?

When I went to college in 1990, the must-have items included a cute shower pail for the communal bathroom, a Velcro shower wrap from Victoria’s Secret, a cute comforter and some extra-long sheets.  (Why are the dorm beds all extra long?)

We didn’t bring a computer or phone – cell or otherwise. I do think I brought an electric typewriter.  (Do dorms even bother with landlines anymore?)

My sister-in-law is heading off to Florida State University this fall and she will be taking an Apple laptop, an iPad and a cell phone. I am so worried about her laptop and iPad being stolen. Can you put a LoJack on those things? How do you protect those items in a dorm room? Heavy safe in the closet?

What are the must-haves for college now and how do you protect your expensive electronics from being stolen – not necessarily by intruders but even by roommates and their friends? Is that a concern?

Continue reading What are the must items for college students in 2011? »

Can you train kids to be good ‘hackers’? DefCon hopes so

For the first time a hacking conference in Las Vegas offered a kids track. Spanning two days, the DefCon conference let kids 8 to 16 explore security flaws in computer and gaming platforms they use every day hoping to convince them to be good hackers instead of bad.

The kids listened to lectures from officials at the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency and much more.

From USA Today:

“Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer of vulnerability management firm Qualys, brought his son, Filipe, 14, with him to Vegas, to participate in DefCon Kids. Dad came away with these observations.”

“My 14 year old son attended DEFCON this year for the first time and he took part in DEFCON Kids. On Saturday he was in the Social Engineering Capture the Flag (CTF) contest where he was teamed up with another 10 year old participant and had to solve a 6-step scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt involved decryption of secret messages, collection of information from …

Continue reading Can you train kids to be good ‘hackers’? DefCon hopes so »

Postpartum depression, trouble breast-feeding go together

A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that mothers who struggle to breast-feed in the first two weeks after giving birth are more prone to postpartum depression.

The study, which was published in the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, looked at data from 2,586 women in the government-funded Infant Feeding and Practices Study II, which assessed issues of feeding and depression. Nine percent of the women fell into the category of “major depression.”

The scientists are clear on if problems breast feeding leads to depression or vice versa but they do see a correlation to the two occurring together.

From Time Healthland:

“Clearly all women who have pain breast-feeding are not depressed, but the message for clinicians is to look not just at baby’s mouth and the boob but to also look at mom’s brain,” says Dr. Alison Stuebe, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology in the UNC …

Continue reading Postpartum depression, trouble breast-feeding go together »

Are you serving bacteria in your child’s lunchbox? Study finds lunches aren’t packed at safe temperatures for serving

I sent this fried rice to school yesterday for lunch. I heated it but I didn't heat the thermos. I wonder if it stayed hot enough and was safe to eat? Scary!

I sent this fried rice to school yesterday for lunch. I heated it but I didn't heat the thermos. I wonder if it stayed hot enough and was safe to eat? Scary!

A new study from the University of Texas in Austin found that 98 percent of packed lunches in a study group of kids were not at the right temperature for safe eating.

The Journal of Pediatrics reports that the team examined 700 packed lunches for kids ages 3 to 5 who attended day care. They found that parents incorrectly packed food to stay as cold or as hot as it needed to be to prevent bacteria growth.

From The Interntional Business Times:

“I was shocked to discover that almost 40 percent of the time, parents had not packed an ice pack in their child’s lunch,” said Fawaz Almansour, a study co-author with the Department of Nutrition at the University of Texas at Austin.

“And even for lunches with ice packs, more than 90 percent of perishable foods had entered the danger zone of food temperature. When foods that should …

Continue reading Are you serving bacteria in your child’s lunchbox? Study finds lunches aren’t packed at safe temperatures for serving »

Buy school lunch or send it? How do you keep it healthy and interesting?

In related news, we are going to try send lunches to school this year for a couple of reasons.

No. 1– My little guy kept buying two lunches a day to fill up instead of just one for a grand total of $4 a day! I can provide a heck of a lot of food that he likes and is good for him for less than $4 a day.

(Also I just found out they raised the price of lunches this year!)

No. 2 — I just think the lunches at our new school are NOT as nutritionally sound or as lovingly made as our lunches were in Gwinnett County.

Those ladies in Gwinnett made lasagna from scratch and it was good! I could smell it when I walked in the school and I was like “I’ll be staying for lunch today!”

The set up of the new lunchroom isn’t as conducive to children choosing fruits and vegetables with their main entrée. In Gwinnett the kids went down a line filling their tray and everything was together. Here the fruits and veggies are off to the side so you can pick up the main entrée and never go over …

Continue reading Buy school lunch or send it? How do you keep it healthy and interesting? »

Back to School: How did it all go?

We got up early enough that Walsh had time to relax on the floor watching a little TV. We'll see how long that lasts. Notice the Minion T-shirt. I had a big debate on Facebook last night about whether to let him wear the T-shirt or a more dressed up shirt for the first day (just one with a collar). Everyone voted T-shirt. I am working on releasing!

We got up early enough that Walsh had time to relax on the floor watching a little TV. We'll see how long that lasts. Notice the Minion T-shirt. I had a big debate on Facebook last night about whether to let him wear the T-shirt or a more dressed up shirt for the first day (just one with a collar). Everyone voted T-shirt. I am working on releasing!

That's a mighty big backpack you've got there Rose. The school just outlawed rolling back packs due to foot injuries. But what about back injuries?

That's a mighty big backpack you've got there Rose. The school just outlawed rolling back packs due to foot injuries. But what about back injuries?

Lilina went right to work in her 4-year-old class. She seemed very comfortable. Mom just had a little bit of a hard time leaving.

Lilina went right to work in her 4-year-old class. She seemed very comfortable. Mom just had a little bit of a hard time leaving.

So apparently every mom in Atlanta is making these cookies for back-to-school snack for this afternoon. I posted a photo and everyone chimed in "Me too!" Mine spread a litle too much and I didn't quite get 24 -- I need to not nibble while I bake.

So apparently every mom in Atlanta is making these cookies for back-to-school snack for this afternoon. I posted a photo and everyone chimed in "Me too!" Mine spread a litle too much and I didn't quite get 24 — I need to not nibble while I bake.

So, how did it all go? How did they do on their first day back at school?

(Submit your …

Continue reading Back to School: How did it all go? »

How actively are regular families following their 401Ks?

With all the stock market turmoil last week and the downgrading of the U.S.’s credit rating, I am wondering how actively regular families are following or adjusting their retirement funds?

Are you a stick-it-in the account and I’ll look at it when I’m 65?

Do you examine or change your fund distribution yearly?

Are you following week to week? Do you move things to less risky holdings?

Did you pull anything last week? Do you plan to move anything around this week? Or buy low on today?

How much do you think the average family is paying attention to the stock market ups and downs?

Continue reading How actively are regular families following their 401Ks? »

Back-to-school breakfast: Are you a short-order cook for the most important meal of the day?

You always hear that breakfast is the important meal of the day. I definitely believe that kids need to have full tummies to be able to concentrate and do their best at school.  However, there is often disagreement among siblings about what they want to eat in the morning and there isn’t much time to make multiple dishes.

My girls most of the time are happy eating either oatmeal or frozen waffles. Lilina wants the instant Quaker Dinosaur oatmeal, which is easy to make but pretty high in sugar. Rose is happy for me to make the 1-minute oats on the stovetop and then add her own flavors but that does add some time and is different than what Lilina wants. (Although it is healthier oatmeal.)

Walsh always wants eggs with some type of meat (soy or turkey sausage). However, they all like their eggs differently.

Rose likes well-done fried eggs. Walsh and Lilina like scrambled. But you don’t want to be making two sets of eggs on a school morning.

Walsh love those Jimmy Dean lite …

Continue reading Back-to-school breakfast: Are you a short-order cook for the most important meal of the day? »

Which high school football players are more likely to die in practice?

According to researchers, most high school football players who die from heat-related illness are:

  • Overweight — 85 percent of those who died in recent decades were linemen.
  • In the first few weeks of practice — preseason.
  • And on the field in the morning – which is perceived as a cooler, safer time but may actually have higher humidity leading to problems.

According a Reuters story scientists and climatologists say the risks for high school football players are higher than ever in this record-heat, drought-stricken summer.

From Reuters:

“Just in the past month, morning temperatures have been higher across the country than they have ever been, Deke Arndt, chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said on the teleconference.”

“That raises the risks even further for players whose coaches believe mornings are less risky, the group said.”

“Some 123 players died from heat exhaustion between 1960 and 2009, said Andrew Grundstein, an …

Continue reading Which high school football players are more likely to die in practice? »

You don’t need diapers, just elimination communication!

Mayim Bialik, better known as Blossom from the 1990s TV series of the same name, is promoting Elimination Communication instead of using diapers.

Bialik, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, is a certified lactation educator, is a mother of two young boys and is writing two books on parenting, wrote about Elimination Communication on the Today Show blog.

Here is some of what she wrote:

“Elimination Communication (EC, also known as Natural Infant Hygiene) is the term for learning a baby’s innate inborn cues for pottying, responding to those cues, reinforcing them, and ultimately, helping a child not pee or poop in a diaper. Some people practice EC only at home, some practice it all the time; some start when their babies are newborns, others wait several months. Some people think that people who practice EC are crazy, and some people think that crazy is too harsh a word; preferring instead “totally out of their heads loco bonkers insane in the membrane…”

She writes that …

Continue reading You don’t need diapers, just elimination communication! »