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Thoughts and comments about making life even better
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Backyard Fossils by Michael Ajax | The Write Room Blog

Backyard Fossils by Michael Ajax | The Write Room Blog | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

It was a crisp spring morning when my son and I headed toward the pond in the woods behind our house. Heavy dew beaded on the thick grass and soaked our boots as we headed to the trailhead that attached to the yard.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

What's better than an adventure with your son? Here's a delightful story by a fine author of young adult fiction.

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Kids consume 12% of their calories from fast food, study shows

Kids consume 12% of their calories from fast food, study shows | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Kids now consume 12% of their calories at fast food restaurants, a trend that may contribute to rising rates of childhood obesity.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When I read this one question kept popping through my head. Why do people think this stuff tastes good? Too much salt, too much sugar, too much fat; I prefer a good salad and fruit; burgers not so much. Have we as a nation taught ourselves to love the wrong tastes? Of course, I'll still go for friend chicken (not from any of the chains) and love greasy tuna from Subway (on a sald not in a sub). Heck, nobody's perfect. So what are your healthy food choices and your guilty pleasures?

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New School Study Shows Black Kids Get Cops, White Kids Get Docs

New School Study Shows Black Kids Get Cops, White Kids Get Docs | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A new study says black students are more likely to get criminalized discipline, while white students receive medical intervention.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This study is consistent with others, for example while teacher reaction to misbehaviors of Blacks and Whites are the same when they are told it is a first offense, their reaction is much more punitive when they are told the misbehavior is a second offense.  Also, the language used by school therapists tends to differ; at least that was my personal experience as a clinician reviewing their reports. A White kid might be described as active, while a Black demonstrating the same qualities might be called disruptive.

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Harvard psychologists have been studying what it takes to raise 'good' kids. Here are 6 tips.

Harvard psychologists have been studying what it takes to raise 'good' kids. Here are 6 tips. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Help unlock your child's best self with a few tried-and-true strategies.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Some excellent, basic advice. Top of the list, spend time with your kids, real time not just working on tasks and homework, hang out time.

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Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, expert says

Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, expert says | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

We are hearing a lot about small children using electronic devices; here is an essay suggesting that may lead to developmental problems.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

The other day I posted an article about the widespread use of electronic devices by toddlers. Here's a followup; does that use help produce an autistic attitude towards the world around them. I do know that many people seem to prefer texting to looking one another in the eye. Ever get a text from your dinner partner? My wife just kicks me under the table.

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These kids aren't all right. 7 photos show you a world of change.

These kids aren't all right. 7 photos show you a world of change. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

Photographers from around the world share photos of kids to help us see what climate change really looks like. It's literally about fire and ice.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

No, the world isn't getting that much warmer at this point, because the ice is melting and that keeps the temperatures down. But the climate is changing and the net-absorption of energy from the sun is rising. As a result, disasters are looming larger and greater. Meanwhile, for some it's all about business as usual. Perhaps it's time for us all to see the threat we are creating for all our children.

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They spent millions trying to sell their product to girls. They only needed to change 1 tiny thing.

They spent millions trying to sell their product to girls. They only needed to change 1 tiny thing. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
What if she's not into shopping, horses, or pink?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is certainly time to recognize that girls and boys shouldn't be forced into stereotypes. Let them grow.

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10 Pictures You May Need To Show Your Kids. But I Really Hope You Don't Have To.

10 Pictures You May Need To Show Your Kids. But I Really Hope You Don't Have To. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Inspiring and sad and scary and positive all at the same time.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

These young men from the Yale University Black Men's Union have something important to say to their unborn children. While clearly about race and racism, these pictures also say something about what is best in young men and women who face the world with hope and determination.

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Egg freezing’s popularity is booming, but it’s a choice that offers no guarantees

Egg freezing’s popularity is booming, but it’s a choice that offers no guarantees | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Among urban women in their 30s, egg freezing is trending. But the choice is hardly a perfect one.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

For those, like myself, who consider Gracia Lorca's "Yerma" to be one of the great plays of all drama, this story evokes a challenge: to write a play that captures the humanity and pain of a woman faced not with her own barrenness but with the absence of a suitable mate and/or opportunity. What does having a child mean?

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Advocates want restaurants to stop catering to young diners with kids’ menus

Advocates want restaurants to stop catering to young diners with kids’ menus | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
At certain restaurants, chefs are now offering young diners house-made pappardelle pasta and grilled polenta over ratatouille instead of the usual chicken fingers and french fries.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

With cooking shows popular on TV, it should become easier to get kids to try new food. The real problem is getting adults to think about trying better places and teaching their kids how to behave in restaurants so the experience can be fun for all.

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ENCOURAGE THE YOUNG TO WRITE by Salvatore Buttaci | The Write Room Blog

ENCOURAGE THE YOUNG TO WRITE by Salvatore Buttaci | The Write Room Blog | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

When I had my first writing published in the New York Sunday News in 1957, my parents thought it justified buying me a Remington typewriter. I loved that machine! I kept it in the corner of our kitchen, safe in its dark brown case, and after homework, I would carry it to the kitchen table, remove it from its case, and sit there thinking of what to write.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sal Buttaci is one of my favorite writers. It's a pleasure to share his recollections and advice to parents.

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'You Don't Really Know Us,' Chicago Kids Tell News Media

'You Don't Really Know Us,' Chicago Kids Tell News Media | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Tired of bad publicity, fifth-graders write an op-ed for The Chicago Tribune that includes this line: "This isn't Chi-raq. This is home. This is us."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One can only hope that these great kids' view will not be changed as they grow up, that they will not find themselves locked in by poverty, drugs, and absence of opportunity. We must work to make sure that no child's best choice is ever to join a gang, pick up a gun, or degrade their life with drugs. It takes a nation to raise our children.

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Researchers: Children exposed to religion have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction

Researchers: Children exposed to religion have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

A study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science determined that children who are not exposed to religious stories are better able to tell that characters in “fantastical stories” are fictional — whereas children raised in a religious environment even “approach unfamiliar, fantastical stories flexibly.”

Kenneth Weene's insight:

So if parents tell kids that fantasy is true, the kids tend to believe fantasy; and if parents rear their kids knowing the difference, the kids recognize the difference. It seems obvious, but it isn't. Conventional wisdom has always taught that kids were naturally credulous.

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What happens to restaurant crayons? This dad found out and decided to do something about it.

What happens to restaurant crayons? This dad found out and decided to do something about it. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
One person's trash is another person's great idea.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What a wonderful idea. This is the kind of story I want to talk about on It Matters Radio, the show I co-host on Thursday evenings (9 PM Eastern U.S. time)

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10 Rebel Kids Who Aren't Too Young To Sue - ODDEE

10 Rebel Kids Who Aren't Too Young To Sue - ODDEE | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Admit it. Americans are litigious. We will sue our neighbors, sue our businesses—and in some cases—we will even sue our mamas.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Some of these suits make good sense. I always had a problem with Shirley Temple's suing Graham Greene. He did not defame her only made a clear statement about the existence of pedophilia. If anyone should have sued him it should have been the movie producers who chose to make the young star so alluring. But the kid who as tasered by a cop for refusing to help wash his police car. Well, that's another story.

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A 5th-grader made a discovery about stuffed animals and germs. It landed her in a medical journal.

A 5th-grader made a discovery about stuffed animals and germs. It landed her in a medical journal. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Kids are the best.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A simple but wonderful insight. Nut, why limit it to kids. I's want my stuffed moose with me if I need an operation. Hospitals are scary places for us all.

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8 Inappropriate Kid's Toys - ODDEE

8 Inappropriate Kid's Toys - ODDEE | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
From a toy Soviet-era rocket launcher to a playset depicting post-9/11 airport security, check out these 8 questionable children's toys.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One person's idea of fun may not be the same as another. I personally thought jarts were great although I did have trouble hitting any of the toddlers we used for targets. On the other hand, I used the Breaking Bad action figures to do the interior design for my new meth kitchen. Seriously, some extraordinary bad taste out their in toy land.

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More Women Aren't Having Children, Survey Finds

More Women Aren't Having Children, Survey Finds | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Nearly half of women between 15 and 44 are childless
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This means the population of America will fall unless immigration makes up the difference. The big question: Are women not having children because they despair of the future those children would face, because they are too self-absorbed to want to care for a child, because they are too busy trying to stay economically afoot to have children, because they have become aware that life without a man can be better than in a marriage and don't want to carry the load of children alone, or simply because as a society we have changed our values away from family life? I'd love to hear your theories and reactions.

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A struggle worth having for students

A struggle worth having for students | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Learning to teach to Common Core standards made us better teachers.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In this brief essay, the author highlights both the strength and the weakness of Common Core. The strength is getting teachers to think about the goals of instruction and to better understand how to implement those goals. In that process of struggling with the concepts and applying them, their teaching has to improve. The weakness is those teachers (and parents) who do not want to do that very necessary work. I so often see posts in the social media praising the educational past, for example about cursive writing, rather than struggling with how to improve new skills and understanding. It is time to celebrate teachers like Kyle Schwartz, teachers who want to be the best for the sake of the best of our children.

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7 Children Who Were Raised By Animals - ODDEE

7 Children Who Were Raised By Animals - ODDEE | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Abandoned children, found living among animals, walking on all fours, and unable to speak – stories about them have been circulating since ancient times. Every once in a while, these so called
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have no idea how much truth there is in any of these stories, but they surely make for interesting reading, maybe even ideas for a piece of creative writing.

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They Gave Each Kid A Barbie And A Doll With Real Proportions. What They Say Next Really Says It All.

They Gave Each Kid A Barbie And A Doll With Real Proportions. What They Say Next Really Says It All. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

MThey're just toys. Or are they?

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Many parents have stopped letting their kids play with toy guns, and for good reasons. Now, what about those dolls? This is a great article about Barbie versus reality. My poetic take on Barbie: Sprung full boobed / ready role model / for a generation / willing to die / of self-starvation / for flatter stomachs / and thinner thighs.  (Wrote that back in 1995)

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Dyslexie: the chubby-ankled font that makes reading easier for dyslexics

Dyslexie: the chubby-ankled font that makes reading easier for dyslexics | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
By weighing down the characters and distorting similar letters, this new typeface pins words firmly to the page
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If this actually makes it easier for dyslexics to read, it will be a wonderful contribution not only to education but to mental health. So often reading has been a devastating roadblock in the development of self-esteem.

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13 Creepiest Plush Toys (plush toys, plush toy) - ODDEE

13 Creepiest Plush Toys (plush toys, plush toy) - ODDEE | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Meet some crazy ways to traumatize a kid. (plush toys, plush toy)
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Got to love weird. Check out these off-the-wall plush toys, but best you not give them to your kids.

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10 Amazing Inventions by Teens (young inventors, hot car death, new inventions) - ODDEE

10 Amazing Inventions by Teens (young inventors, hot car death, new inventions) - ODDEE | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
If you think youth is all about selfies and games, you'll be surprised by these ten young inventors and their amazing creations. (young inventors, hot car death, new inventions)
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Some great ideas from some great kids -- start your day feeling good and take a look.

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Isla Aitken's curator insight, August 25, 2014 5:39 AM

Fantastic innovation from the more youthful among us. I especially love the I-Pack, a portable IV drip created by an.... eight-year-old.

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Study: Kids on screen-time diet lost weight, performed better in school

Study: Kids on screen-time diet lost weight, performed better in school | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Research suggests parental monitoring of media consumption can have a lasting effect on a child's development
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While I certainly think this study tells us something important, I wonder how much of the effect was due to getting the kids away from those ubiquitous screens and how much was due to the greater amount of parent-child interaction that resulted or the simple fact that the parents were showing some interest and concern. I must admit that I am always torn when we go out to eat and see kids with their pads. Part of me applauds the lovely quiet. Part of me wants to yell at the parents, "Why don't you interact with your children?"

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Nur Afifah Binte Mohamed Rahim's curator insight, July 21, 2014 12:37 PM

Parents used to think that they cannot control children and technology. However, parents do have power and this is demonstrated in this article. Weight loss can be determined with the amount of technology we use. Additionally, the more time we use on technology, the more the weight gain! This could be due to the inactivity while we are on our devices thus not doing anything. Thus this article further reiterates the point on healthy lifestyle, especially so about inculcating certain healthy habits starting young.