Archive for February, 2013

What are the most romantic movies?

It’s Valentine’s Day on a school night so you may end up ordering in and snuggling up with a romantic movie, but which one to choose? A British online movie rental company LOVEFiLM examined couples watching romantic movies for neurological responses.

From thewest.comau (An Australian news site on Yahoo):

“When a couple watch a romance together each person mistakenly attributes a part of the adrenaline buzz produced by the film to the presence of their partner,” said neuropsychologist David Lewis, of Mindlab International, which analysed the reactions.

“Couples are far more likely to touch, hold, hug and kiss one another than couples watching a less emotional film,” Dr Lewis said.

“LOVEFiLM editor Helen Cowley added: “Our research shows that romantic movies can cause a romantic reaction, which is why snuggling up with a carefully chosen film is the perfect way to spend time together this Valentine’s Day.”

“The Top 10
1. Love Actually
2. The Notebook
3. Wall-E
4. Notting …

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Does it matter that Valentine’s Day falls on a school night?

It may be Valentine’s Day but it’s just another school night for parents. They still have to make sure homework is done, backpacks are loaded up and kids are in bed on time. They also have to be up bright and early the next day to get kids off to school. So I am wondering if parents will try to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day or just wait until the weekend.

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day since it falls on a school night? Will you still try to go out or just try to do something at home? Will you celebrate on Friday or Saturday instead?

Do you celebrate as a family or just as a husband or wife?

We did our family celebration last Saturday since it would be hard to give gifts on a school morning. I made a nice breakfast and the kids opened some presents. Walsh got a Lord of the Rings Lego set, Lilina got some My Little Pony stuff and Rose got some clothes. (She’s a big girl now.)

I have a few chocolates to give them tomorrow, and I picked up some cupcakes for …

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Alec Baldwin, young wife expecting: When are you too old to be a new dad?

Alec Baldwin, 54 and his new wife, Hilaria Thomas Baldwin, 28, confirmed Tuesday that they are expecting. The baby is due this summer.

From USA Today:

“Today People magazine and Extra are both reporting “exclusively” (how can they both be exclusive?) that the couple are expecting. However, InTouch magazine reported it last month.” …

Extra had a few more details, probably because Thomas, 28, a yoga instructor who married the 30 Rock star last summer, also is a “lifestyle correspondent” for the TV gossip show. They sat for an interview with AJ Calloway today.

“It was a surprise, a wonderful surprise,” she told Calloway. She said she secretly took a pregnancy test, then startled Baldwin, 54, with her screams. At first he thought she had found another spider on the wall, then realized they were screams of delight.”

People often discuss maternal age in relationship to having a baby but what about the father’s age? Is there a point when a dad is just too old to start again? …

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Home-delivered fresh dinner kits: How much help do you want with dinner?

There is an old story that cake mixes didn’t take off until manufacturers took out the powdered eggs and let women add their own fresh eggs to the mix. Cracking those eggs allowed women to say they had “made” that cake.

But does the same hold true for dinners? How much help does the home cook want? Where is the sweet spot between getting help with dinner and feeling like you’re cooking for your family?

You know fast food, you know frozen food, you know prepared fresh foods (like rotisserie chicken) and then the stores where you pre-assemble your dinners for the week or month and freeze them.

But now companies such as Blue Apron, Chefday, HelloFresh and Plated are offering similar fresh dinner kits delivered to your home.

From The New York Times:

“Home-delivered food, of course, is not news, and neither is online shopping. Over the last decade, services like Peapod and FreshDirect have accustomed millions of consumers to buying fresh ingredients online, while frozen-dinner …

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And right next to the kids’ Valentine’s cards are …

A friend reported on Facebook that a certain big box store had regretfully placed the children’s Valentine’s packaged cards next to a very large display of … Trojan condoms.

His son asked his dad if they were cigars. I’m not sure how my friend answered.

Have you seen any odd juxtaposition in stores of Valentine’s items? Do you think it was just an oversight at the store or do you think they really didn’t think that was a problem? (I just thought this was a funny story. I don’t think this is earth-shattering news so no need to be ugly about it.)

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Is it possible for students to still work their way through college?

This weekend The New York Times took a look at what it takes to work your way through college these days.  With the cost of college exponentially higher than it used to be, it is almost impossible to earn enough in part-time jobs to pay for school and end up debt free.

The article looks mainly at two students’ struggles – one at New York University and one at Appalachian State. I am only allowed to pull a few paragraphs so please click and read the full the story for all the details.  The student in New York makes a lot more at his part-time job waiting tables for brunch, but his university is also more expensive.

The New York Times notes that no one organization tracks how many students are trying to work their way through school, but according to the National Center for Education Statistics 17 percent of full-time undergraduates of traditional age worked 20 to 34 hours a week.

Another article from The Journal of Student Financial Aid notes that “Students who work fewer than …

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Should employers be able to ask women if they plan to get pregnant?

One of readers asked on Friday to discuss Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s comment that employers should be able to ask women if they plan to get pregnant — even though it is illegal.

From The Grindstone: (I don’t know anything about this site but it was the only place I could find the original article.)

“There aren’t many women who attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, but those who do sure know how to make waves. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg told an audience this weekend that she believes employers should be able to speak freely with female employees about whether they plan to get pregnant. The question is considered taboo by HR departments (not to mention feminists) because it’s illegal (not to mention slimy) to discriminate against a job candidate or employee based on pregnancy status. Why is Sandberg, one of the top women in male-dominated Silicon Valley, in favor of changing the system?

“Sandberg wants a “much more open dialogue about …

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Fans outraged by sexy, blonde ‘Anne of Green Gables’ cover

Fans are upset about the cover art on a new edition of the classic novel “Anne of Green Gables,” originally written by  Lucy Maud Montgomery and originally published in 1908.

This new edition was published in November and offers a three-in-one set of “Gables,” ”Anne of Avonlea” and “Anne of The Island.” You can buy it on

Anne who is described in the book as a redhead is now a blonde on the cover – and a kind of sexy, farm girl blonde at that.

See the old and new cover art here.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

“Anne (with an “e,” thank you), the orphan girl who is adopted by stern Marilla and warmhearted Matthew of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, often bemoans her red hair and freckles. “Now you see why I can’t be perfectly happy,” she says tragically soon after meeting her new guardian, Matthew. “Nobody could who had red hair. I don’t mind the other things so much – the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness.” (She, in fact, informs him she wishes …

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Cartoon Network’s new app lets kids play and watch: Is multiple-screen viewing good for us?

Do your kids routinely use You Tube or other internet sites to watch cartoons or videos on demand? Do your kids use two devices at once – such playing Angry Birds on the iPod or iPad while listening to a TV show in the background?

Well those kids are exactly the type that Cartoon Network is after with its new watch-and-play app that  millions have downloaded since its release in late 2012.

According to USA Today, Cartoon Network’s new app offers clips from more than 50 shows. There are also currently six games based on TV shows such as the very popular “Adventure Time.” (My kids love this show, and I can’t bear to watch it!)

Executives plan to introduce new cartoon characters on the app as well and those that “click” with kids may be added to the TV schedule.

On smaller devices, kids have to toggle between watching and playing but on the iPad they can have a split screen to watch and play at the same time.

From USA Today:

“James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research and …

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AP: 9-year-old girl gives birth in Mexico

The Associated Press is reporting that a 9-year-old has given birth in Mexico.

From The Associated Press via The Washington Post:

“Mexican authorities say a 9-year-old girl has given birth in western Mexico and they are looking for the purported father, a 17-year-old.

“Jalisco state police spokesman Lino Gonzalez says the baby girl was born last week at a hospital in the city of Guadalajara. He says the girl and her baby are doing well

“Gonzalez said Wednesday that the girl’s family alerted authorities after she gave birth and the alleged father has not been seen since in the neighborhood the both live in. He says that if the teenager’s paternity is proven he could face child sex abuse charges.

“Gonzalez says the girl told authorities the teenager was her boyfriend.”

Thoughts? Comments? Do you buy it? Should the boy be charged with sex abuse? Do you put the baby up for adoption?

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