Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Returning From a Station Break: Relevant News Flash (8:8)

The news hasn't stopped; I've just been indulging in writing about my other passion, often glimpsed here, politics, and 'tis the season! If you would like to check out what I've been writing about, head over to Open Salon and check it out. Rest assured, I have been also checking the news sources as well, so let's get current shall we?
  • Triumph of the Tomato Tots! I have previously brought you the story of two entrepreneurial sisters in Clayton, CA who have a homegrown vegetable "stand" (think card table) in their front yard; they grow it, pick and sell it for some extra preteen spending loot. They had been instructed to shut down by the City for violating a city zoning ordinance. Well, the story traveled and the outcry grew, and the City acknowledged that perhaps they had been a little ridiculous. Well, no, they didn't go that far, but they should have.
  • Speaking of vegetables, it should come as no surprise that a recent study has proven what anecdotal evidence has pointed to about vegetable consumption and kids: parents must lead by example, and do it early. Even better, grow it in the backyard and involve the kids, who find it more cool to eat that which they have had a hand in growing. Who knows, they could follow the Tomato Tots example and someday finance their own extracurriculars.
  • While we are on the topic of nutrition, another recent study joins the large amount of data coming out recently about the effects of vitamin D deficiencies. A recent New York Times article cautions breastfeeding mothers to be aware that breast milk can be deficient in vitamin D, and especially if you, yourself are deficient. It is easily remedied however with vitamin supplementation or cod liver oil. And, don't forget a little appropriate sun exposure. African American women particularly need to be vigilant.
  • Nutritional issues also directly contribute to our medical care costs, and as the politicians duke it out, be aware of a recent report that had some very illuminating findings, directly related to the question of whether universal health care is in our economic best interest.
  • And speaking of politics, the greening of energy has some specific challenges to overcome, and if we want to make it viable and affordable, it goes beyond individual states, and is definitely something to consider in assessing the candidates if this issue is important to you.
  • As a woman, to what degree do you really understand your finances, or do you subscribe to the ostrich financial plan? Syndicated personal finance columnist, Michelle Singletary, tells women it's time to address your "confidence gap," and she has some ways to get started.
  • In tougher economic times, I suppose it's natural that the decrease in personal earnings should also be felt in the adolescent sector, i.e. lower or no allowance. If your kids start to whine, remind them that it could be worse; they could be French. The French are really cutting their kids back, or off all together!
  • If they start looking for ways to redress the financial situation, suggest that they assist the family by making some homemade personal care items with these recipes.
  • Switching gears to education, which is getting a tiny bit of mention in the convention cycle thus far (more is needed in my opinion), The New York Times ran an interesting article about the educational tensions about teaching evolution.
  • Also, did you know about the growing trend of 9th grade only schools? Proponents work on the supposition that it improves ultimate graduation rates, if young teens are given another year to mature before entering the high school population.
  • A story about a nine year old with a mighty talent poses a parental tough call. A young baseball player has been barred from pitching because he is too good. When he took the mound, the other team immediately forfeited! Is it fair to bar this young guy from playing the game, or is it unfair for the other kids, who are beginners and amateurs, who have to face down this young man who can bring the heat?
  • If the current princess craze seriously concerns you, and you are searching for other books featuring better heroines for your young daughters to read about, check out the Amelia Bloomer Project.
  • Do you believe your child is truly gifted? "Gifted" has become a word marginalized by over and misuse. Truly gifted children are a much smaller percentage of the population than what other parents might have us believe, but check out these suggestions for helping your child fulfill their own unique potential.
  • Join the mile high birth club? An Indian woman recently gave birth to a six week premature baby boy while en route via airplane to Australia. It appears even storks are outsourcing these days.

Back to the labor pains of a party trying to birth a president...

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