Archive for April, 2013

Dove experiment: How do you see yourself?

Dove has posted a new video looking at how women see themselves, and it really is quite moving. (I will admit I teared up at the end.) So watch the video and then look at the sketches below.


“A former forensic artist for the San Jose police department met a series of women and asked each to describe the way they look. He had no way of seeing them behind a curtain. He prompted them to detail everything: hair length, facial structure, their most prominent features. He then sketched each participant from their self-description.”

“Each woman was asked before the study to get to know one of the other participants. The forensic artist then prompted each woman to describe the other’s face. “

“At the end of the video, the artist reveals two sketches — one from the participant itself, one from their partner. The differences are remarkable.”

How do you think you see yourself? Would you be more critical than a stranger?

Source: via Theresa

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Broward County schools trying to revamp discipline with less arrests

Broward County School District in Florida leads the state in the number of students arrested on campus. The criticism is that principals have relied too heavily on school-assigned police officers to deal with discipline problems often causing unnecessary arrests. Now the district wants to try a new approach to remedy discipline problems, such as petty theft, substance abuse, or in-school gambling, and reduce arrests.

From The Miami Herald:

“Broward had 1,062 school-related arrests during the 2011-12 school year, according to a report by Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice. Miami-Dade County schools, which have significantly more students, had 552 arrests. Miami-Dade has in recent years employed a variety of strategies to reduce student arrests: psychologists and social workers are involved in the discipline process, school police officers were retrained to be more cautious in making arrests, and a Civil Citation Program gives students a chance to nullify a misdemeanor …

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Are your kids worried about Boston bombing, North Korea?

For the last few weeks my 9-year-old has been very concerned about North Korea bombing America. He keeps asking me about the possible missiles the North Koreans have to deliver their nuclear devices. I keep telling him not to worry, but I can remember worrying in the 1980s about the Soviet Union attacking us as well. I understand what he’s feeling.

I worked hard on Monday to keep him away the news about Boston. I kept shooing him out of the room as I was trying to watch and read coverage on my computer. I didn’t want to add another potentially scary prospect to his analytical and imaginative mind. I can fairly easily tell him the North Koreans can’t reach America. It’s pretty hard to say that about terrorists when they’ve just blown up a marathon route in a major city. (If he hadn’t been so concerned about North Korea I probably would have at least told him about Boston. I mentioned it passing today to Rose. But I just didn’t want to stress the poor kid out!)

A …

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Racial manners: Is it rude to call biracial kids ‘the cutest?’

I ran across a very interesting column on The Root about racial etiquette and ethics.  The first installment addresses whether it’s insulting to tell a family that their biracial child is adorable and maybe even the cutest. Here’s the question and part of the explanation. (I wish I could pull more but check out the full column at the link

The Root:

“I’m a Caucasian woman with a biracial child (her father is black). I live in a predominantly white community. Why is it that whenever people discover that I have a ‘mixed’ child, they always say things like, ‘Oh, he/she must be so cute/gorgeous/adorable, those kids are always the best looking. You are so lucky.’ …

“You’re right to be bothered by the remarks from the Biracial Babies Fan Club. Here’s why: These people aren’t pulling an arbitrary appreciation for almond-colored skin and curls from the ether. Instead — even if they are not aware of this — they’re both reflecting and perpetuating troubling beliefs that are …

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Is Mexico Barbie a stereotype or just celebrating international heritage?

Mattel’s “Dolls of the World” line, which was introduced 30 years ago is being criticized for Mexico Barble. All of the Dolls of the World Barbies are dressed in traditional garb and carry a passport.


“Poor Mexico Barbie. She just wants to teach girls “about the culture, traditions and ancestral dress of Mexico,” according to her online description. Little did she know her two possessions, a passport and a Chihuahua, would stir up an argument over cultural diversity.”

“China Barbie, for example, wears a red silk embroidered gown and comes packaged with a panda tucked under her arm. India Barbie wears a sari and has a pet monkey. The beret-capped French Barbie does not come with an animal, but can offer buyers a basket of baguettes instead.

“Mexico Barbie has long, black wavy hair, tied back in a purple bow, and is “dressed for a fabulous fiesta” in a pink dress with ruffles, ribbons and lace. However, her accessories of a Chihuahua dog and a …

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Hey non-parents, you think we’re oversharing?

Non-mom and former Atlanta resident Blair Koenig created a blog and now a book about the things she says parents are oversharing on Facebook. The book is called “STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare.”

From the AJC story:

“To write the book, Koenig borrowed heavily from her “STFU, Parents” blog, which she started in 2009 after noticing her own Facebook newsfeed becoming cluttered with even the most mundane photos and stories about her friends’ children.”

“The blog, which now attracts more than 1.5 million readers a month, asks readers to submit the most egregious overshares they see on Facebook, which Koenig separates into categories, including “Woe is Mom” (Mothers who complain about being mothers), “Mommyjacking (Mothers who use friends’ unrelated status updates to share news about their children) and, in Koenig’s opinion, the most noxious of the group – Sanctimommies …

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Occupational therapy growing as way to help kids with Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, sensory issues

About a year ago I met a woman in Phoenix who specializes in occupational therapy for children.  Aimee Piller and her husband run the Piller Child Development centers around Phoenix.

Occupational therapy is a rapidly growing field (Bureau of Labor expects a 33 percent growth between 2010 to 2020) that can help children who have Autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, sensory issues and many other conditions. Occupational therapy has become recognized as not only a way to treat motor skill issues, such as writing or balance, but also executive function skills and behavior, such as regulating their bodies and impulse control.

Aimee has an awesome Pinterest site with all kinds of ideas for kids with special needs. She has ideas to help develop:

Fine Motor Skills



Sensory Activities

Sensory Places

Visual Skills

Feeding issues (such as extremely picky eaters.)

Oral Motor development

Self-care skills

Social skills

Language Skills

One of my favorite boards has posts …

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Are you shopping at J.C. Penney?

I have been reading stories about J.C. Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson’s strategy for the company and why he was fired this week.  The article said he cut coupons and deals and instead offered everyday low prices. It said he introduced little “boutique” areas into the big store and developed relationships with new brands, such as Sephora.

From USA Today:

“(Ron) Johnson turned off long-time customers who were used to seeing markdowns to know they were getting a good deal. Now, interim CEO Mike Ullman — who headed Penney from 2004 to 2011 — is faced with the task of getting them back. “

“Driving traffic should be the company’s No. 1 goal, says Barbara Kahn, director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school. Yes, Johnson dropped sales, but getting rid of coupons also turned customers off, she says….”

“Penney has already started bringing back discounts after an abysmal year that ended with a 32% decrease in sales …

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10 things your kids should know about kids with Autism

April is Autism Awareness month, and Babble has recently a launched a new Autism section with articles and reference material for parents.

One of my favorite articles on the page is a slide show of 10 things your kids should know about kids with Autism.

I can only pull a couple but here are my favorite items that I think are most important. Please check out the article on Babble for all of them and share them with your kids.

From Babble:

“Everybody’s brain works differently.

Everyone’s brain works a little differently. There are probably kids in your class who are really good at reading, but have to work harder in math. There’s probably a kid who is really good at art, but not so good at reading. Or a kid who is really good at every sport, but is afraid of public speaking. Everyone has things they’re good at, and things they have to work harder at. One way that brains can be different is that some people have an autism spectrum disorder. Just like every other kid, most kids …

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Do tax refunds actually cause you to overspend?

According to, 75 percent of Americans will receive a tax refund this year, but they aren’t always helpful to your bottom line.

According to

“Most of the nation’s 100 million or so individual filers of federal tax returns will get a refund this year—an estimated 75%, in fact—and for those lucky souls we have a message: Be careful; windfall monetary gifts can be dangerous to your financial health.The culprit is one of the most common decision making biases identified in the past four decades of research in the field of behavioral economics. It’s called “mental accounting,” and it’s a subject visited frequently in this blog. Mental accounting is the process by which the human brain, consciously or otherwise, labels and prioritizes money differently depending on where it comes from (paycheck vs. gift from grandma), where it’s kept (savings account vs. stock market), how it’s spent (home repairs vs. vacation cruise), or  size of transaction …

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