My grandparents lived very long lives. My mother's father was born in 1893, grew up on a sheep ranch in Australia, fought for the British in World War I, suffered numerous life-threatening calamities and collisions as a semi-professional adventurer, and lived 86 years. My father's parents both lived to the age of 96. And my mother's mother lived to be more than 100 years old. She was a professional musician who played in the big bands, backing movies like Abbott and Costello's Here Come the Co-eds and played most famously in Phil Spitalny's Hour of Charm All Girl Orchestra, chronicled in the book Swing Shift. (Sadly that book was written after the memories of most of the sources had begun to degrade.)… Read more
When you think of a parenting and technology blog, you might expect lots of posts about new gadgets for kids. But I have found that the biggest impact that technology has had on my "parenting" life isn't in my relationship with my child, it's in my identity as a mother. And rather than being about gadgets, for me technology is primarily about relationships and sharing information.… Read more
As everyone knows, you only get one shot at making a first impression, and my first impression upon visiting Searchles was one of bewilderment. I received a couple e-mails from an employee at Searchles and decided to check out what the site was about. I was greeted with a search box along the top of the screen, and a feed of recent posts running down the left. A listing of groups and tags filled up the rest of the real estate.
Not sure where to begin, I typed Iraq into the search box and returned a query of 3,188 results. The top result was culled from October of last year and the top 10 posts seemed to be all over the map including videos from the Iran-Iraq war. So perhaps the site isn't geared toward current events, but each subsequent search I performed yielded an equally diverse set of posts. The group functionality seemed a bit more utilitarian, but it took some time before I stumbled onto the part of the site where Searchles really does excel.… Read more
A co-worker sent me a link to the kids pages at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Part of me is delighted that our government is trying to make itself more accessible to children. Indeed, next month I intend to take advantage of that very accessibility when our family visits Washington DC to see the three co-equal branches of our federal government and the various departments they operate. If we are lucky, we might even meet one or more of our elected representatives in person!
But part of me is mortified by the levels of propaganda filling pages that purport to be educational and the thought that millions of children may be exposed to such propaganda without thought or review by tech-savvy parents.… Read more
Girls and women are under all sorts of pressure to look perfect--and to make it look easy in the process. Duke University identified this new unattainable standard as "effortless perfection."
As individual women, it can be easy to wonder why we fall into the trap of trying to live up to an unattainable standard. It's something we absorb on an almost subconscious level. Deconstructing this month's Redbook magazine cover shows us just how manufactured the images of beauty we see really are.
I didn't think twice about the cover image of country singer and actress Faith Hill when I first saw it. But an untouched original photo obtained by Jezebel shows just how much "digital magic" even a certified star needs to be ready for her close-up. … Read more
A Facebook profile containing a photograph of young men posing with guns has been cited as a factor in a police shooting that killed an 18-year-old robbery suspect last December.
The shooting death of Peyton Strickland during the course of a police raid has been big news in North Carolina but has not been widely reported. Strickland was a suspect in the assault and robbery of a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student whose two Sony PlayStaton 3 machines were stolen.
During the police raid on Strickland's house, a deputy mistook the sound of a battering ram for gunfire and shot through the door, killing the unarmed Strickland.
The Raleigh News & Observer reported this week that the Facebook photos of another suspect posing with two buddies while brandishing a friend's gun collection led the police to expect to encounter heavily armed resistance during the raid. The police were fortified with weapons in anticipation of coming up against AR-15 firearms they had seen in the photograph.… Read more
Among two-parent, Mom and Dad families, most women feel that the "Mom" role means that her brain becomes not only the family's collective memory store, but its search engine as well. Even Google can't answer questions such as:
"Mom, where's Princess Leia's shoe?" (At the bottom of the blue box in the playroom.)
"Honey, are we out of toilet paper?" (Look in the kids' bathroom.)
When are our property taxes due....when is my next dental check-up...what day is the dog's birthday?… Read more
As a previous generation of children was given the blanket advice "Don't talk to strangers," today's kids are told "never give out your personal information online." A new study suggests that this well-intentioned advice is not sufficient to protect children from unwanted sexual solicitation and harassment. The study comes to the controversial conclusion that sharing information online is not correlated with victimization. Many other online safety experts maintain that privacy protection is always a good first line of defense, though clearly not the only step.
The study, published in the February 2007 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and reported by the AP, found that victimization is likely to be associated with online behavior such as talking about sex with people met online, or intentionally embarrassing someone else on the Internet. … Read more