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Friday, June 13th, 2014
Last year, Parents rated Philadelphia as one of the 10 best cities for families to visit. If it’s in your summer plans, be sure to check out the massive new exhibit, Your Brain, that opens at The Franklin Institute tomorrow. Almost 10 years in the making, the exhibit has dozens of interactive features. When my daughter and a few friends (ages 9 to 12) visited during a sneak peek event earlier this week, they were blown away, and you know that tweens are not easily impressed. Some highlights:
The exhibit starts out with a large screen that lets you see your own skelten. Jump, bend your leg, raise your hand, and the skelton on the screen will move too.
The visuals in all the displays were bold and fun, like this one that demos what a brain scan is like.
The kids spent a half-hour on two-story climbing structure, complete with lighting and sound effects, that represents brain pathways. They would have stayed in there all day if we let them.
Many of the activities in the exhibit are geared to kids ages 8 to 13. But if younger sibs are exploring too, making a face on this magnetic board will be fun for them (and so will that climbing structure!).
Another section of the exhibit focuses on illusions. I won’t give away all the surprises, but be sure to go in the bedroom. I took this pic of the kids in an area designated for photo ops.
Bonus! A traveling exhibit, Circus Science Under the Big Top, is at the Franklin Instutute through September 1. Check out the dress-up area with amazing costumes (of all sizes), a tight rope that kids who weigh 50 pounds or more can walk on, and circus games.
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Friday, May 9th, 2014
Whether you live in a warm, beachy climate or reside among subways and skyscrapers, your hometown may make up one of Tom Spiggle’s top five cities to live in if you’re working and pregnant.
Spiggle is the founder of the Spiggle Law Firm which examines pregnancy and family care discrimination in the workplace. He’s also the author of the soon-to-be-released You’re Pregnant? You’re Fired: Protecting Mothers, Fathers, and Other Caregivers in the Workplace. According to his analysis of local regulations, his ranking is as follows:
1) New York City
2) San Francisco
Discrimination against pregnant workers has been a hot topic lately. Maybe you’ve heard horror stories such as these: one woman’s maternity leave will end (that’s right, end) over a month before her baby is due–she has since filed a lawsuit against her company. Other women have been denied health accommodations, as in the case of Heather Myers, whose supervisor did not allow her to keep a water bottle accessible while working during her pregnancy–she, too, sued her employer. Spiggle noted this issue–as quoted in his report, he states, “‘Courts have held that employers don’t have to make minor accommodations at work—like allowing women to carry a water bottle to stay hydrated—to allow pregnant women to keep working. Fortunately, a lot of states and cities are stepping up to fill the gap.’”
Read Spiggle’s full report here, and learn more about maternity and paternity leave so that you’ll be prepared when your time comes!
Back in the office? Here are some tips on how to balance work and breastfeeding.
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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Language Learning Begins in Utero, Study Finds; Newborn Memories of Oohs and Ahs Heard in the Womb
Research led by Christine Moon, a professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University, shows that infants, only hours old showed marked interest for the vowels of a language that was not their mother tongue. (via ScienceDaily)
Circumcision On The Decline? What Parents Need to Know About The Procedure
Having your newborn baby boy circumcised used to be a common practice in the United States, but in recent years, more parents are opting out. According to Charge Data Master, newborn circumcision rates declined from 58.4 percent in 2001 to 54.7 percent in 2010. Yet these numbers don’t take into account circumcisions performed outside of the hospital – such as those for religious reasons. (via Fox News)
Ultrasound Parties: New Frontier in Pregnancy Oversharing
Thanks to improved ultrasound technology, parents-to-be can now invite friends and family to share in an intimate viewing of baby in utero. (via Today Moms)
Philadelphia School District Plans to Close Dozens of Schools
Now, facing deep financial problems, the Philadelphia School District has proposed an unprecedented downsizing that would close 37 campuses by June — roughly one out of six public schools. If the sweeping plan is approved, the district says it will improve academic standards by diverting money used for maintaining crumbling buildings to hire teachers and improve classroom equipment. (via New York Times)
More Food for Hungry Students: USDA Tweaks School Meals
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Schools across the country continue to struggle with implementing the first new nutritional guidelines in 15 years governing meals served to nearly 32 million U.S. students every day. Some schools are finding it a challenge to meet the new requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Lunch Program, put in place in January 2012. Amid pressure from government officials, the USDA recently loosened up on some of its requirements on meat and grains. (via TIME)
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Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Here, Tweeting Is a Class Requirement
Big consumer-products companies are going back to school. (Wall Street Journal)
Dad, I Prefer the Shiraz
Parents teach their children how to swim, how to ride a bicycle and how to drive. Should they also teach their teenagers how to drink responsibly? (Wall Street Journal)
Making Kids Work on Goals (And Not Just In Soccer)
Thirteen-year-old Jackson Sikes has been struggling for years to raise his test scores in math. When he got a 33% last year on fractions, Jackson says, “I didn’t know how I was ever going to learn them.” Battling his homework just made him frustrated, says his mother Linda, of Gilmer, Texas. (Wall Street Journal)
Cancer During Pregnancy on the Rise
Lisa Peterson Bender is coping with two conflicting but very real truths: She’s eight months pregnant. And she has breast cancer. (Aol Health)
21 Priests Suspended in Philadelphia
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Tuesday that it had suspended 21 priests from active ministry in connection with accusations that involved sexual abuse or otherwise inappropriate behavior with minors. (New York Times)
Snoring: Nuisance Or Serious Health Problem?
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Whether it’s a loud sawing or one of those grating, breathy affairs, snoring can be irritating for both snorer and significant other alike. So irritating, in fact, that recent Department of Health advertisements promoting marital health highlighted snoring as a potential source of tension. (Huffington Post)