Calyx News

Parents tricked by Baby Einstein

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the latest crop of baby educational videos, like Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, not only don’t help kids learn but actually slow their learning. Every hour spent watching TV or videos — of any kind, even education ones — resulted in the babies (aged 8-16 months) understanding an average of 6-8 words less than non-video-watching babies. Beyond that age, the videos didn’t seem to hurt, but didn’t help either.

Reading to the kids or telling them stories, on the other hand, did help.

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I’ve been meaning to start adding some parenting resources to this site, now that (as those of you who know me in person know) my wife and I have a baby. They’ll probably go in the Calyx section since that has the most connection to relationships and that sort of thing. Kind of ironic that stuff pertaining to kids ends up in the only section with an age warning, though. Maybe I need to rethink the site’s structure a little…

Study: Female sharks fertilize own eggs – Yahoo News

Lesbian hammerhead shark moms! Well, all right, maybe not lesbian. But there is a baby hammerhead with three moms and no dad in a Nebraska zoo, apparently conceived parthenogenetically.

In an interesting bout of synchronicity, this comes just as I’ve lately been rediscovering Shriekback, a band one of my housemates back in the 80s used to love and play incessantly. And my two favourite songs of theirs are “Hammerheads” — relevance rather obvious! — and “Nemesis”, which rhymes the title word with, yes, “parthenogenesis”.

Here’s an interesting article that recently appeared in the Toronto Star: Two parents are better than one

Apparently Canada’s Conservative government has been suppressing a report that shows that kids of same-sex parents turn out just as well – and in some ways slightly better – than kids of straight parents! It was commissioned by the previous government, and when the Conservatives came to power, they basically sat on it until the study’s author forced its release via the Access to Information Act.

It does say kids of single parents, gay or straight, have a few more problems, though. But I’d be interested I knowing whether the study distinguished between planned children of single parents, and children of couples who’d broken up. If not, it could be that what they took for the negative effect of single parents is more the negative effect of fighting parents.

Well now, this is kind of cool: – Victoria’s Secret going green

Apparently, after a campaign by ForestEthics, Victoria’s Secret yanked a $100-million-a-year contract for the paper for their catalogues away from the company that was cutting in old-growth caribou habitat, and is now only accepting bids from companies that log sustainably.

Nice to hear. Now if only they’d actually make clothes in a wider range of sizes…

For those who were at either of my two presentations at the 9th International Conference on Bisexuality, Gender, and Sexual Diversity (a.k.a. 9ICB), or who weren’t but are curious about what went on there, I’ve uploaded my notes:

I was on a panel on sex-positive spiritualities, along with Brian Walsh, Luigi Ferrer and Loraine Hutchins, and also did a workshop on creating online communities.

It’s a Family-Values Affair : Radar Online

Some interesting commentary on recent sex scandals involving right-wing politicians in the US. Apparently, “family values” means that it’s not OK for queers to get married, but it’s OK to have cybersex with teenage boys, strangle your girlfriend, and coerce your wife into performing in homemade porn movies. It’s nice to know that moral standards are still high among the Christian right. 🙂