Archive for April, 2012

Teen job market improving; Need to look now, differently

Teenagers will have an easier time finding jobs this summer but they need to start looking now and not necessarily on the computer.

From JobMouse:

“The teen job market definitely rebounded in 2011, with more than 1,000,000 teens finding new jobs.  However, job gains among teens were still well below the levels achieved prior to the recession.  While teen employment is likely to see further improvement this summer, job gains will probably once again fall short of pre-recession figures,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

(According to the article, 2010 was the lowest level of seasonal hiring since 1949.)

“We are probably still several years away from teen summer hiring returning to pre-recession levels.  Teenagers hoping to find employment this summer definitely want to start their searches now, if they have not already done so.  And, they should not expect to find a job by simply filling out electronic applications …

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‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ well worth your doubloons

Be sure to wear your thinking pirate’s hat when you go to see “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” because there are a lot of references to catch and the bits move very quickly!

I took all three kids to ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ on Saturday night and three out of the four of us loved it. At age 5, Lilina missed a lot of the references (Why doesn’t she know who Charles Darwin is?) and was afraid during the fight sequences even though they weren’t violent. (There are a few pirates that are “run through” with swords but it’s not bloody or graphic.) (She also had to go to the bathroom three times during the movie – damn you extra-large Sprites!)

Now the third and the fifth-graders were totally on-board this pirate ship and laughed (almost a little too loudly) through the entire movie.

Created by the “Wallace and Gromit” and “Chicken Run” team (Aardman), ‘Pirates” is a vibrantly animated pirate world from the 1830s with absurdly hilarious situations …

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Spontaneity of a Suitcase Party not really for parents

We have been invited to a fundraiser called a Suitcase Party. Apparently they host them in big cities all over America. The gist is you buy expensive tickets to get into this party. (We got a deal on our tickets.) Most of the money goes to charity but part of it goes to this fantastic prize that is raffled off during the night.

The prize here is a weekend getaway to Sonoma Valley, Calif. It’s called a Suitcase Party because you are supposed to bring your suitcase and be ready to leave right then just in case your number is chosen.

A private jet whisks you off to the wine country for a weekend of fun and brings you home on Sunday.

And while that sounds amazing to be whisked away, as a parent it’s extremely stressful.

It’s not just a matter of packing a suitcase for a parent. You’ve got to have a sitter set up who may or may not be keeping your kids for a weekend. You have to the refrigerator stocked and activities planned to entertain the kids in the event you are …

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Which ‘healthy’ foods really aren’t that great for you?

Time’s Healthland took an interesting look at foods that people think are healthy but aren’t actually great choices.

Several experts explain on the site why the foods listed below aren’t as healthy as you might think. Some of the story’s examples included:

Reduced fat peanut butter – They don’t like that there are other ingredients added to this product to lower the fat and calories only a little bit.

Frozen yogurt – People choose big portions because they think it’s healthy and then add high-calorie toppings. Also there may not be as many live pro-biotics in this frozen treat as the consumer believes. It all depends on how it was made.

Gluten-free foods – “(Katherine Booking, a registered dietician and co-founder of ) notes that many gluten-free foods are now marketed to the general public as health foods — even though some processed gluten-free products are made with significant amounts of added sugar, saturated fat and preservatives. …

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Maybe helicopter parents aren’t so bad: Death rate from accidents for kids drops nearly 30 percent this decade

Today’s parents get made fun of for hovering around their kids, but a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says that those five-point harnesses and those bike helmets are keeping this generation of kids safer.

From The New York Times:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report this week showing that while accidental injuries remain the leading cause of death for children from 0 to 19 years old, the death rate for children from accidents has dropped nearly 30 percent in the last decade.”

“In the wake of those better car seats and new laws slowing the rate at which teenage drivers take the wheel unsupervised, there has been a 41 percent drop in traffic fatalities. Deaths from drowning, falls and fires are down as well, while suffocation rates, especially for infants, are up, suggesting a need to return to the basics of infant sleep: on their backs, on firm surfaces, away from soft bedding.”

“Hovering isn’t the goal, but keeping …

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Dear TSA: Where is your common sense patting down a hysterical 4-year-old?

I am wondering where the TSA’s common sense was when they patted down a hysterical 4-year-old girl.

And the girl’s parents and a Montana U.S. Senator are wondering the same thing according to The Associated Press. Here’s the story:

From The AP:

“The child’s grandmother, Lori Croft, told The Associated Press that Michelle Brademeyer and her daughter, Isabella, initially passed through security at the Wichita airport without incident. The girl then ran over to briefly hug Croft, who was awaiting a pat-down after tripping the alarm, and that’s when TSA agents insisted the girl undergo a physical pat-down.

Isabella had just learned about “stranger danger” at school, her grandmother said, adding that the girl was afraid and unsure about what was going on.

“She started to cry, saying ‘No I don’t want to,’ and when we tried talking to her she ran,” Croft said. “They yelled, ‘We are going to shut down the airport if you don’t grab her.’”

But she said the family’s main concern …

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Is the CRCT as stressful for teachers as kids?

I noticed a trend on my Facebook feed this week – many of the teachers are talking about how stressed they are about administering the CRCT.

One friend from DeKalb said after her training about the tests, she’s now afraid to even touch them.

Another friend is having stress dreams about the test. She writes that she dreamed none of the pencils would sharpen and when they finally did the erasers would fall out.

If you are a teacher are you stressed about administering the CRCT? What worries you about it? How is the stress coming out?

Has your child’s teacher expressed to you any stress about the test?

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Teens drinking hand sanitizer to get drunk

The Associated Press is reporting that teens have found another use for hand sanitizer – an affordable and available way to get drunk.

From The AP via USA Today:

“Teenagers are showing up in Los Angeles emergency rooms after drinking inexpensive liquid hand sanitizers to get drunk.”

“Cheap and easily accessible hand sanitizers contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol.”

“The Los Angeles Times ( says six teenagers have shown up in two San Fernando Valley emergency rooms in the last few months with alcohol poisoning after drinking hand sanitizer.”

“Some of the teens used salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, making a potent drink similar to a shot of hard liquor. Distillation instructions can be found on the Internet.”

“Although there’s only been a few cases, county public health toxicology expert Cyrus Rangan says it could signal a dangerous trend.”

Growing up in the 1980s in the suburbs of Atlanta, Robitussin was the legal and …

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Would you want sex advice from your Grandma?

An 87-year-old grandmother sent her granddaughter a practical letter two years ago telling her specific do’s and don’t about sex and how to find her soulmate.

I adore this grandmother’s honesty with her granddaughter, and it’s useful information.

Here are some of the tips she gave her granddaughter via The, where the full letter is published:

“4. Always make sure the man’s penis is CLEAN. Make sure he washes it with soap and water before coming to bed.

5. Many men are PIGS. They want sex every day! You are not obligated to say “yes” to please him if you do not feel up to it. You never do anything unless you want to. To pacify the pig, give him manual stimulation!

7. Some men are pre-mature ejaculators; that is very frustrating and bad for the female. He needs help to learn to control himself until the female is ready.

16. Hope you find the happiness you deserve. There should be love, respect, admiration, trust, and a mental and physical connection. If …

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How do you teach teens the difference between a prank and a felony?

There is a long-standing tradition of senior pranks in high school but how do you teach teens the difference between a funny joke and a felony?

From The AJC:

“Pranks by the departing senior class can be funny and harmless, like the time someone loosed a pig in the hallway of Fulton County’s North Springs Hall School. But sometimes they can be destructive, criminal even, like in 2006 when someone used a sledge hammer to destroy a $5,000 statue of a ram outside Grayson High School in Gwinnett.”

“The wisdom to know the difference is crucial, especially in this competitive age when a criminal charge can damage career prospects.”

“Two dozen teenagers in Paulding County are now saddled with such worries after finding themselves before the local prosecutor this month. They had spray painted East Paulding High, some school vehicles and the entryway to a neighborhood.”

“District Attorney Dick Donovan said even the homeowners near the school asked him not seek prison for …

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