This month's postings, February 2010
Sad news from the darkest corners of the Woodland Park Zoo: Budget woes are forcing the closing of the Nocturnal House, home to bats, sloths, armadillos and the beloved slow loris. Most of the critters will go to other zoos; the move is expected to save the zoo around $300,000. The zoo is trying to fix an $800,000 budget gap.
Big budget gaps are behind the growing number of double-income families (DIFs) in our country. The New York Times reports that in more than a third of U.S. families, women are now the chief breadwinners. When both spouses work, about a quarter of the wives now earn more than their husbands. One reason: The recession; men held about 75 percent of all the jobs lost during the past year.
Scientists in England and Sweden say they’ve cracked the peanut code. A report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology says there’s a new test that can predict whether a child will develop an allergy to peanuts with more than 95 percent certainty. That’s good news; current tests have been shown to have a huge false-positive rate, according to the report. Read more on the new test.
Super news from Tinsel Town! Seems now that only half of the scenes in movies geared toward kids overlook basic safety messages! A study of 67 G- or PG-rated movies found that only 25 percent of bicyclists are shown wearing helmets. Slightly more than half — 56 percent — of all motor vehicle passengers are shown using seatbelts. This is actually an improvement, according to the study in this month’s issue of the journal Pediatrics. Read more.
Nag, nag, nag!
Listen: If you’ve got a teen, it’s all but certain he or she is not sleeping enough. And the problem is worse than some of us thought. A huge new study finds that only about 8 percent of high school students are getting enough sleep on an average school night! The rest of ’em are just the walking exhausted, suffering side effects such as headaches, depression and poor performance at school. Believe it or not, that busy, chaotic, wonderful mess of a kid probably needs nine hours of sleep! Read more.
We do! We’re psyched to once again feature rock-star family therapist Dr. John Gottman as part of our Pathways Lecture Series again this year. Tickets will go fast, so order right away! Choose between “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” on March 3 and “Making Marriage Work” on May 4. Then, clear your calendar for an evening with the fascinating, funny and fabulous Dr. Laura Kastner (aka “the teen whisperer”) on March 16. And pssst! Superstar authors Dr. Carol Dweck and Dr. John Medina are also part of our Pathways lineup; check it out.
You da mom!
And you know the best local places to shop, eat — even change a diaper! How ’bout a little dish? Fill out our annual “best of” readers’ survey and you could win fabulous prizes — including getaways and spa days! Get more details. We’ll bring you the results in our May issue!
—Kristen Russell Dobson