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Jun 11 2014

How Do We Protect Children From School Shootings? Bulletproof Blankets, Apparently

By at 3:20 pm

bulletproof-blankets

It’s safe to say that security blankets have taken on a new meaning. Meet the Bodyguard Blanket, the latest bulletproof product on the market to protect children in schools from increasingly tragic events like school shootings and natural disasters.

Created by Oklahoma company ProTecht, the $1000 bulletproof blanket is designed to withstand being punctured by debris falling at 200 mph and protects against “90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States.”

Gun-control lobby groups say there were at least 44 school shootings in the U.S. between December 2012 and February 10th, 2014—that’s an average of about three per month. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 2 2014

News Roundup: The Shocking Truth About Steve From “Blues Clues”

By at 4:51 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.blues-clues

-Ever since he resigned from the show in 2002, rumors have been swirling about “Steve” from “Blues Clues.” One rumor claimed he had died from a drug overdose while another insisted he had died in a car crash. All have thoroughly been debunked. The real reason the indefatigable man-boy with a preference for striped polo shirts left the show was because 1) he joined a band and 2) he was starting to go bald–Oh, the scandal! (Huff Post)

-Judy Blume thinks parents need to chill out and stop worrying about what the kids are reading. The best selling author whose own books were banned in the ’80s, argues that kids will just “self-censor” or be bored by material that is over their heads. Her final word to her young fans: ”I say go and read. Read what you like to read.” (Telegraph)

-In this cautionary tale, Julia Fierro writes about the suspicion and distrust that followed when a photo of her pissed-off daughter somehow turned up on a meme site–and went viral. In the end, her husband’s coworker fessed up to posting the meme on Reddit to earn “karma” points. (Huff Post)

-Let’s face it, coding is the language of the future. And by next year, it will be part of many K-12 classroom curriculum across the nation, thanks to Code.org, a nation-wide push backed by major tech companies and their founders like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. (New York Times)

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May 23 2014

Hummus Warning: Target & Trader Joe’s Issue Recall for Listeria Risk

By at 2:35 pm

Hummus recall from Trader Joe's and Target

Planning an Israeli-themed spread for your Memorial Day celebration? Make sure to double check your hummus, as nearly 15,000 pounds of the delicious chickpea dip from Target and Trader Joe’s have been recalled over possible listeria contamination. Oy!

Massachusetts-based Hot Mama’s Foods (good name, right?) recalled the hummus after potential for contamination was found during routine testing. According to the LA Times:

Some of the affected products were shipped nationally and include 10-ounce and 2-pound containers of Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus marked for use by June 11, and 8-ounce containers of Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus with April 28, April 29 and May 14 use-by dates. A full list of recalled products can be found on the Hot Mama’s Foods website.

So double check your hummus, folks. And when all else fails, make your own.

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May 15 2014

The Firing of Jill Abramson is a Scary Wake-Up Call For All Working Women

By at 1:18 pm

NYT

Somewhere buried in my archive of VHS tapes is a video yearbook of my graduation class from college. I have never seen it, but have promised myself that I will watch it next year, at my (gulp) 20th reunion. In it somewhere is a video interview with me at a black-tie formal, sitting on my then-boyfriend’s lap, holding a glass of champagne. “Where are you going to be in 20 years?” the videographer asked me. “Happy and editor of the New York Times,” I confidently replied.

Well, at least I’m happy. And it sure looks like being executive editor of the New York Times is no good way to get to “happy”–if you’re a woman. Jill Abramson, the paper’s first woman executive editor, was unceremoniously and suddenly fired from the paper this week–and it’s entirely unclear why.

In The New Republic, Rebecca Traister’s piece titled, “I Sort Of Hope We Find Out That Jill Abramson Was Robbing the Cash Register,” exemplifies what most women, particularly women journalists, are thinking right now: hopefully there was another explanation for her firing, other than the fact that Abramson reportedly had the audacity to demand equal pay with what her male predecessors received. Equal wages for women, ironically enough, is a cause célèbre of the Times editorial board. Read the rest of this entry →

May 12 2014

News Roundup: Noah Beats Jacob as Most Popular Baby Name of 2013

By at 1:32 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.500-names

-Noah beat Jacob as most popular baby boys name of 2013, after a 14-year reign, according to the Social Security Administration’s recently released list.  Sophia remained in the favorite girl name spot for the third year in a row. Noah was followed by Liam, Jacob, Mason and William. Sophia was followed by Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Ava(AP)

(Shameless plug: If you need help choosing a name for your new baby, try Kveller’s new baby name app!)

-Doctors may be cutting you open for no reason. According to a New York Times piece, a San Francisco hospital which serves the poor has drastically lower C-section rates than other hospitals. But somehow San Francisco General has the same birth outcomes for infants and better outcomes for the mother than other hospitals. The possible reasons for this disparity are chilling. (New York Times)

-A Toronto Library denied a request to pull the Dr. Seuss classic “Hop on Pop” from shelfs after a complaint argued the children’s book encourages violence towards dads. And, thank goodness–where would children’s lit be without Dr. Seuss? (CNN)

-Literature and television fans rejoice. Anita Diamant’s ground-breaking book, “The Red Tent,” is about to become a Lifetime Network miniseries. Diamant’s best selling novel about Dina, daughter of Jacob, made waves for being a rare literary interpretation of the bible through the eyes of a woman. (JTA)

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May 5 2014

News Roundup: The Academic Gap Between Boys and Girls is Growing

By at 1:49 pm

 All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this weekclassroom

-The learning and behavior gap between girls and boys is growing even faster than the gap between rich and poor children–with boys falling far behind. This has some scary implications for boys’ future earning potential. But the reasons for this trend are unclear. (New York Times)

-On a related topic, the number of stay-at-home dads in America is once again declining. One writer speculates the short-lived rise in hands-on dads was mostly a result of the bad job market during the recession. (Slate)

-Tennessee is a terrible place to be a pregnant woman. First the state declined to expand its healthcare program, and now women can be criminalized for their birth outcomes. It’s a catch 22. Seriously, ladies, stay the hell away from Tennessee. (Salon)

-Oops, your kid’s in high school and you’ve saved nothing for college! No worries. Here are eight great tips for giving your kid a great education on the cheap, from Ron Lieber, the New York Times’ money columnist.  (New York Times)

-Not all mohels are the same! This great new series interviews eight of America’s most popular mohels, highlighting their humor and individual styles. (JTA)

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Apr 8 2014

After Emergency Rescue, Is it Fair to Judge the Couple Who Brought Young Daughters on Sailing Journey?

By at 12:10 pm
kaufman family sailboat rescue

via Eric Kaufman/YouTube

 

A story on the cover of the New York Times this morning has stirred quite the parenting storm–pun completely intended.

2 Tots, a Sailboat and a Storm Over Parenting” is about the Kaufman family, who decided to go on a months-long journey in a 36-foot sailboat from Mexico to New Zealand with their 1- and 3-year-old daughters in tow. Less than two weeks later, 900 miles off the coast of Mexico, the adventuresome family had to call for emergency help when they could no longer steer the ship. Their younger daughter, Lyra, was covered in a rash and had a fever, but everyone is safe and stable now.

Cue the opinions. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 7 2014

News Roundup: Can Electroconvulsive Therapy Help Children With Autism?

By at 4:24 pm

 All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

autism

-One mother shares her experience using electroconvulsive therapy to soothe her child with autism. Once debilitated by violent outbursts, today her son plays well with his siblings and is even learning Hebrew. (Slate)

-The New York Times published a guide for women on how to ask for a raise, explaining that they are at a higher risk of sounding demanding and unlikeable. (New York Times)

-One dad makes the case for using piggy banks to teach your child fiscal responsibility, but not savings accounts, which kids see as punishment. (Motherlode)

-Melanie Notkin on the awkward conversations that happen at the seder table when you are over 40, childless, and single. (JTA)

-Over one million Evenflo carseats have been recalled due to a problematic seat belt which gets stuck easily, making it difficult to retrieve the baby. (NBC)

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Mar 26 2014

Kveller Story About Boy’s Leg Amputation Gets the Media Spotlight

By at 2:06 pm

11-year-old boy gets his wish to have leg amputated

Like just about everybody else, we here at Kveller love to get attention. But attention is that much sweeter when it means an amazing 11-year-old boy gets to share his story far and wide.

Earlier this month, we ran a story by Zimra Vigoda called “Choosing to Have My Son’s Leg Amputated was the Most Difficult Decision I’ve Ever Made.” As the title suggests, Zimra’s 11-year-old son, Amit, was born with a rare orthopedic condition whereby his right leg is chock-full of pathological fractures that don’t heal. After dealing with pain all his life, Amit decided it would be best for him to have his leg amputated, and after much consideration, Zimra agreed.

Apparently, Zimra and Amit’s story spoke to many, because since the post went live on Kveller, they’ve been making the media rounds and sharing their story on major news outlets. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 13 2013

Kveller Makes its MSNBC Thanks to Jennifer’s Bat Mitzvah Tee

By at 1:31 pm

msnbc_kveller

In the concluding (we think) piece to the Jennifer’s bat mitzvah t-shirt saga, we are proud to say that Kveller was featured on MSNBC last night!

Earlier this week, NPR’s Planet Money alerted readers to be on the lookout for the owner of a bat mitzvah shirt from 1993 that ended up in a used-clothing market in Africa. We posted about it with hopes to help solve the mystery, which inspired JTA employee Adam Soclof to use his Facebook searching skills to find Jennifer, as well as the owner of the t-shirt.

Last night on MSNBC, Chris Hayes included the story in his “Click 3″ round up, which summarizes the three most awesome things on the internet that week. We make our debut at .56 seconds in!

Kveller: solving bat mitzvah mysteries, one tee at a time.

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