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14 Feb 2012 20:18


U.S.: Researchers gradually deprive children of sleep over a century

  • 70 minutes of sleep taken away from children over 100 years source
  • » Between 1897 and 2009, 32 separate sets of sleeping guidelines for kids gradually suggested that children get less and less sleep — at a rate of about 0.71 fewer minutes each year. Despite this, parents over the year managed to fail at these declining expectations, with children getting on average of 37 fewer minutes of sleep each year. Why’s that? Depends on the era — at the turn of the 20th century, it was artificial light, radio and cinema; in the ’90s, it was video games, cell phones and the Internet. Let’s update these standards slightly: We blame Twitter and the iPad.

09 Dec 2011 12:25


Culture: Today in useless, obvious studies: Cereals are way too sugary

  • Call us when Cap’n Crunch calls a press conference about this. Thanks to a recent study from the Environmental Working Group, we now know how much sugar is in some cereals. The amount of sugar, by weight, is highest in Honey Smacks (55.6%) and Golden Crisp (51.9%). Did anyone still consider typical kids’ cereals to be healthy? Feed ’em some Total instead. (This message is not brought to you by General Mills.) (photo by Horia Varlan on Flickr) source

19 Oct 2011 10:42


U.S.: Father of the year: Drunk dad used 9-year-old as designated driver

  • Not the best move, dude: Shawn Weimer’s early-morning October 8 outing wouldn’t have drawn quite so many eyebrows … had his daughter been a decade older. She wasn’t, and as a result, he’s been getting negative national attention for the incident. But is it a momentary sign of bad judgment on the Michigan dad’s part … or a sign of something worse? With Weimer’s trial delayed for now, the father has some time to contemplate — as does the public. source

22 Aug 2011 23:02


U.S.: In tonight’s episode of “WHERE WERE THEIR PARENTS?!”:

  • 5,200 U.S. kids fall out of windows each year source
  • » On the plus side, that number’s falling: Between 1990 and 2008, roughly 7.3 children and teens per 100,000 fell out of windows each year, which is actually down — especially in areas that have pushed safety campaigns to prevent this from happening. However, it’s not the case in every city. In New York and Boston, previous studies have shown 96 percent declines. In this study, that level is much lower.

15 Jun 2011 16:49


Politics: Chinese government covering up lead poisonings, report says

  • Parents, journalists, and community activists who dare to speak out about lead are detained, harassed, and ultimately silenced.
  • Joe Amon, a director for Human Rights Watch • Voicing charges of large-scale deception by the Chinese government in informing its citizens about (and keeping them safe from) lead poisoning. The report comes on the heels of a major lead poisoning incident near a tinfoil factory that struck 103 children; it finds that the Chinese government would tell parents, among other things, that eating eggs and drinking milk was a sufficient treatment for lead poisoning. One parent describes being told his child wasn’t poisoned but not being allowed to actually examine his tests. This sounds like a case of putting an industrial economy above the health and safety of citizens — the level of safety regulation for factories in China is generally very poor. source

01 Jun 2011 16:11


Politics: Eric Holder will do whatever it takes to get more of “The Wire”

  • I want to speak directly to Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon: Do another season of “The Wire.” That’s actually at a minimum… If you don’t do a season, do a movie. We’ve done HBO movies, this is a series that deserves a movie. I want another season or I want a movie. I have a lot of power, Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder • Giving voice to the innermost hopes and dreams of “The Wire” fans everywhere. Holder was at an event featuring members from the revered HBO series, which used clips from the show to illustrate the perils children face in areas rife with drug abuse, when he made his forthright demand. We second this wholeheartedly! Also, for all we know, this could be a message from the top —  President Obama himself has made his love for the series known (his favorite character is Omar). source

17 May 2011 17:13


Offbeat: “Go the F**k to Sleep”: A kid’s book parody with a killer title

  • Know how this book hit No. 1 on Amazon? A great title. Also, a pirated PDF. Really.  source

09 Mar 2011 13:35


U.S.: California headlines America’s shifting racial demographics

  • 50%+ of children in California are Latino, says the U.S. Census
  • 1:4 children under 18 are non-Hispanic whites, a rate which decreased
  • 38% of all Californians are Latinos, compared with 40 percent whites source

01 Feb 2011 14:20


World: This week in horror: Swiss therapist arrested for molestation

  • 122 disabled adults, children molested by therapist source
  • » The disgustingly evil are unabated: A 54-year-old man, name hitherto unknown, admitted to Swiss authorities that he had sexually abused over 100 people in the course of his career as a therapist to disabled adults and children. The police say they’ve identified 122 of the victims, and that the youngest was 1-year-old at the time of the abuse. Stories like these make everyday life harder and harder to stomach. Anybody know how to build an evil detector?

22 Dec 2010 10:26


World: WTF study: Early breastfeeding leads to better grades in school

  • 10% improvement in math and writing, two things we suck at
  • 8% improvement in spelling, something we suck at even more
  • 6% improvement in reading; we’re guessing we weren’t breastfed source