Archive for April, 2012

Pottermore.com open to all muggles, but will its magic enchant you?

I was excited to read Sunday morning that Pottermore.com, J.K. Rowling’s long-awaited website about Harry Potter’s world and books, was finally open to all muggles. (It’s the only place you can buy the e-books.)

I immediately signed on to register. The site asked for extensive personal information. For any other website, there is no way I would have given up that much info but I told myself it would be worth it. (And I needed to do it to report to you guys.)

So I thought I would be in after filling all that out, but no, they have to send you an email. So then you log in through that email and you think you’re in. But no! You do another step and then they have to send you a final link to log in.

It took six hours between the first and second emails but the website is warning it may take even longer due to high-demand for the site.

When I finally got in, I poked around on it a little bit and felt like I wasn’t getting it. I love Harry Potter – the books, movies and even the …

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Modern prom rules: Are they different from when we went?

Parenting expert and  Huffington Post contributor Erika Katz (bondingoverbeauty.com) has put together her top safety tips for prom night. Here’s what she sent me:

Get the phone numbers of your child’s prom date and at least 5 friends so you can reach someone. Inform your child, you expect them to answer their cell phones and texts should you call them.

Give Your Kids a Curfew – There is nothing your kids can do after 2 a.m., that they can’t do before 2 a.m.  Its not a trust issue, it’s a safety issue.  Do you really want your kids roaming around after 2 a.m.?

Remind your child that everyone has a camera. With cameras hidden everywhere, it is so important your child realizes not to behave in public in a way that might cause them shame if it ended up on YouTube.

Colleges can take away what they have offered. A college acceptance can be revoked for illegal behavior and for getting expelled from high school. Prom night is not Vegas. What happens on Prom night could jeopardize …

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Women and the election: Ann Romney reared five boys but did she ‘work’?

Women are going to be a crucial demographic in electing the next president and mommy street fighting has broken out before the general election has even begun.

A Democrat, Hilary Rosen, speaking on CNN said Wednesday night that Ann Romney, whose husband is worth millions, never had to work to pay the bills and should not be her husband’s surrogate on women and the economy.

“His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen said. “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of women in this country are facing.”

While the Democratic party has distanced itself from this comment, Ann Romney has fought back. (Hilary Rosen has just released an apology. I am pasting it in at the end.)

Here’s the story from AP: (I’ve bolded the good stuff for a quicker read for you.):

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Ann Romney fought back Thursday against a Democrat who suggested she’s no economic expert because she “hasn’t worked a day in her life.” Raising the five …

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Mom needs our help: Sad about miscarriage and sib keeps asking questions

One of our regulars sent me a sad note. She recently miscarried and is having a hard time dealing with it. She hoped other moms who have experienced similar pain can help her. Here’s what she wrote:

“I would never have hoped that this would be a topic, but now it is close to my heart.  Instead of announcing No. 2 in March, I am now explaining to a handful of people that I had a miscarriage.  It has been the most painful experience of my life, even if you discount that I endured the D&C with only a spinal (meaning I was awake – a first for my OB/GYN).  I’m wondering how others may have talked about this with their children, as we had told our daughter, and now she mentions the baby periodically.  I’m in agony when she does, but I try to answer her questions.”

So what should she do to A. Deal with the pain of losing the baby and B. Help her child be comfortable with the miscarriage without upsetting herself each time it’s brought up? (I thought maybe tell the child to …

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Know teens doing great volunteer work?

One of our advertisers wants to recognize teens who volunteer in the community. They are sponsoring a Young Leadership Award, and four winners will get $500.  If you know a teen doing great work, nominate him or her today.

•Nominee must be a high school student (grades 9-12) and enrolled in a public or private school program in Metro Atlanta.

•Nominee must be a Georgia resident and reside in Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding and Waltom.

•Nomination must be for actively volunteering with a non-profit organization or church program, or for an accomplished feat of community service which is voluntary and does not involve academic credit or financial remuneration.

•Nomination must be made by an adult – parent, teacher, guidance counselor, school administrator, church or …

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Trayvon Martin fundraiser: Should teachers not be activists with their students?

A middle school English/journalism teacher says she lost her job because she helped her students organize a fundraiser for Trayvon Martin.

The Pontiac, Mich., students identified with Trayvon and wanted to help to his family so they organized a school fundraiser. Normally the students at the charter school could pay $1 to wear street clothes on certain days. They wanted to wear hoodies up and donate those dollars to Trayvon’s family.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has taken up the Brooke Harris’s case and has started a petition with more than 8,000 signatures so far.

From Yahoo news:

“According the Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance blog:

Harris said while the school’s principal signed off on the fundraiser, Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell said no because of the manner in which they would be wearing the hoods – over their heads. Harris asked Cassell to meet with the students so they could present their case, but Harris was suspended for two days.”

” ‘I was told I was a bad …

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Follow AJC’s live coverage of Atlanta Public School board meeting tonight via Twitter, on ajc.com

AJC reporter Jaime Sarrio will be reporting in real time tonight via Twitter from the Atlanta Public School board meeting. The board will consider a proposal to close 10 schools and move the boundaries at dozens of others. The goal is to balance enrollment in the 50,000-student district and make better use of district dollars. (Here is a primer on the issues at hand.)

Jaime will be live tweeting from 6 until 8 p.m. from the meeting. You can follow her at https://twitter.com/#!/ajcschoolsK12

(Don’t be afraid of Twitter — You don’t have to be a member of Twitter or Tweet to follow along. All you have to do is follow the link like a regular website. She will be updating in blurbs as the meeting unfolds. It’s basically like reading her notes from the meeting in real time. )

The AJC also will be updating the story on ajc.com as it unfolds, and there will be extensive coverage in print editions tomorrow. Maureen Downey will be covering the vote from her Get Schooled blog as well.

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‘Hunger Games’ among most challenged library books: Should it be in school libraries, on curricula?

The Associated Press is reporting that “The Hunger Games’’ is among the most challenged books by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. The association defines a challenge as “a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.”

From AP:

“In last year’s list, when just the title book of the trilogy was in the top 10, complaints included “sexually explicit” and “unsuited to age group and violence.” Collins herself acknowledged her dystopian stories were not for everyone, telling The Associated Press at the time that she had heard “people were concerned about the level of violence in the books. That’s not unreasonable. They are violent. It’s a war trilogy.”

“For the new study, which also included “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay,” the objections were more varied, and harsher, including “Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive …

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Will nickname ‘Bubba’ have resurgence thanks to Masters?

As a Georgia grad I was thrilled to see Bubba Watson win the Masters, but I also enjoyed the announcers just saying ‘Bubba.” (This New York paper seems also to enjoy using the word Bubba.)

Growing up in Georgia, lots of our friends were nicknamed Bubba. You routinely heard it yelled out the front door when it was time to come in for dinner. But when my kids were little I didn’t hear it anymore in the suburbs. (I suspect my cousins down in Savannah were still hearing it, and I know we would hear it in Gulf Shores on vacation.)

So now I am wondering with a Bubba winning the Masters will the nickname make a comeback in Atlanta? Will big-city Southern parents re-adopt the traditional nickname?

Is there a stigma with the nickname Bubba? Does it make you a “redneck?” Does Bubba Watson winning make you less embarrassed to use it? Do you already refer to your child as “Bubba?”

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What was the best part of your holiday weekend?

Lilina had a big time running around the farm. She loved picking flowers.

Lilina had a big time running around the farm. She loved picking flowers.

Me and the big kids before brunch. Have I mentioned I am worried about my skin? (Note the big hat and sunglasses.)

Me and the big kids before brunch. Have I mentioned I am worried about my skin? (Note the big hat and sunglasses.)

What was the best part of your holiday weekend? Was it church services? Was it family time? Was it a brunch? Was it relaxing with the Masters on TV? Was it attending the Masters?

I had a fabulous weekend with our family and friends celebrating Easter and my 40th birthday.

After a great Easter service, we went to a lovely brunch on a farm with the kids. It was very kid-friendly and low stress. I usually cook for holidays so it was nice to have a break.

Lilina loved seeing the Easter Bunny and eating the homemade Peeps. It was relaxing to sit under pecan trees and eat a meal I wouldn’t have to clean up after. Then we came home and napped to the Masters. (Golf announcers are awfully relaxing.)

What were your highlights for the weekend? Are you so bummed spring break is over?

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