Posts Tagged ‘Children’

Pythagorean Theorum: The area of the square of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the square on the other two sides.


The theorem can be written as an equation relating the lengths of the sides ab and c, often called the Pythagorean equation:

a^2 + b^2 = c^2\!\,

where c represents the length of the hypotenuse, and a and b represent the lengths of the other two sides.

And that’s the way it is usually explained.

This way is MUCH cooler!

It is a demonstration of the Pythagorean Theorem using water.


Who said Euclidean geometry can’t be fun!



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Saw this disturbing article the other day at the Telegram.co.uk…

Chinese toddler’s karaoke tantrum ends in bloodbath

Now before you have visions of berserk toddlers going on a murderous rampage, let me assure you that is not the case. Well, at least not here.

(Somebody is NOT happy!)

It was more like…

“Toddler’s refusal to give up the microphone during a

family karaoke evening started a quarrel that left

two men hacked to death with a meat cleaver!”

(Are you ready to rumble??)

OK, here’s what happened. A couple were celebrating the Qixi Festival (i.e. China’s Valentine’s Day), with a singing session at a local karaoke parlour. So far, so good. Trouble starts when the parents’ four-year-old son hogs the karaoke mike and the doting parents were indulging him. [1]

(Beijing… we have a problem)

Mayhem ensues when two of the karaoke kid’s uncles berate the father for having raised such a spoiled child;  a “Little Emperor”, as the Chinese say [2]. Push literally comes to shove, then shoving proceeds to punching. A nephew grabs a meat cleaver and hacks the uncles to death.

(The problem solver)

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Karaoke-related violence is a real problem in the East.

Other karaoke massacres have taken place in the Philippines, where the Frank Sinatra song ‘My Way‘ has had to be removed from many songbooks after sub-standard renditions provoked a string of killings.

(Clearly a trouble-maker)

In Thailand, meanwhile, a man shot eight of his neighbours, including his brother-in-law, after tiring of their tuneless reprisals of John Denver’s ‘Country Roads.’

(An incitement to violence)

In the United States, a woman punched a man for continuing to sing Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ after she had told him he was not up to the task.

(It would have driven Mother Teresa to violence)

In her defence… it WAS a karaoke version of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow!’

Ghandi would have punched this guy out!


[1] NB: Karaoke is taken very seriously, not just in China but throughout Asia.

[2] There is no shortage of criticism inside China for the bad behaviour of the Little Emperors, the children raised under the strict one-child policy and doted on by their parents and grandparents.

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Hats off once again to the gang over at ScienceDaily.com for blowing the lid off of this story.

Babies May Not Have a ‘Moral Compass’ After All

New research from New Zealand’s University of Otago is casting doubt on a landmark US study that suggested infants as young as six months old possess an innate moral compass that allows them to evaluate individuals as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’

(Ethically handicapped)

The 2007 study by Yale University researchers provided the first evidence that 6- and 10-month-old infants could assess individuals based on their behaviour towards others, showing a preference for those who helped rather than hindered another individual.

Based on a series of experiments, researchers in the Department of Psychology at Otago have shown that the earlier findings may simply be the result of infants’ preferences for interesting and attention grabbing events, rather than an ability to evaluate individuals based on their social interactions with others.

The Otago study was recently published in PLoS One, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal.

In the original Yale experiment, infants watched a wooden toy (i.e., the “climber”) attempt to climb a hill. They viewed two social interactions; one in which a “helper” toy nudged the climber up the hill, and another in which a “hinderer” toy nudged the climber down the hill.

(Future sociopath)

After viewing these two scenarios, the infants were presented with a tray; on one side of the tray was the helper and on the other side was the hinderer. Amazingly, the majority of infants picked the helper over the hinderer. To further elucidate infants’ moral reasoning abilities, a “neutral” toy (i.e., a toy that neither helped nor hindered) was pitted against the helper or hinderer. When the neutral character was paired with the helper, the infants preferred the helper; when paired with the hinderer, they preferred the neutral character.

The paper concluded that the experiments show that infants can evaluate individuals based on how they interact with another individual, and that their ability to do this is ‘universal and unlearned’.

Lead Otago author Dr Damian Scarf says that the Yale study caused an international sensation when it was published in the leading journal Nature.

After reviewing videos of the Yale experiments, the Otago researchers noticed that two obvious perceptual events could be driving infants’ choices.

“On the help and hinder trials, the toys collided with one another, an event we thought infants may not like. Furthermore, only on the help trials, the climber bounced up and down at the top of hill, an event we thought infants may enjoy.”

(Has no conscience)

The researchers carried out a series experiments to test these assumptions and, by manipulating the collision and bouncing events, were able to show that these perceptual events were driving infants’ choices of the helper over the hinderer, Dr Scarf says.

In other words, the infants couldn’t care less who was helping and who was hindering. They chose the one who was bouncing around more because it amused them.

“For example,” continues Dr Scarf, “when we had the climber bounce at the bottom of the hill, but not at the top of the hill, infants preferred the hinderer, that is, the one that pushed the climber down the hill. If the social evaluation hypothesis was correct, we should have seen a clear preference for the helper, irrespective of the location of the bounce, because the helper always helped the climber achieve its goal of reaching the top of the hill.”

So there you have it, boys and girls.

A generation of cold, heartless infants. They will be the ones who will eventually choose the nursing homes in which we end up.

Better start bouncing around now, folks!


Be sure to check out my sister blog, Vampyre Fangs!

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I love this article which I read at United-Academics.org.

Babies are healthier when there is a dog at home.

Why? Simple!


New research published in Pediatrics suggests that children living with a dog are significantly healthier than those living without it. The researchers followed up 397 Finnish children, asking their parents to fill in weekly questionnaires about their health until they were 1 year old. Scientists believe that this is so because dog contact helps the babies build up their immune system.

The results showed that children with a dog at home were healthy for about 73% of the time, while the percentage on children without a dog was of 65%. According to the study, the former ‘had fewer respiratory tract symptoms or infections’, as well as ‘less frequent otitis and tended to need fewer courses of antibiotics’ than those without dog contacts, according to Eija Bergroth, the study’s lead author and a pediatrician affiliated with Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, Finland.

Moreover, when dogs spent most of their time outside the home, the babies were healthier.

Why? Simple!

Dogs that spend a lot of time outside are likely to bring more dirt and bacteria inside the home compared with dogs that spend more time indoors. Researchers believe that exposure to dirt and bacteria builds up babies’ immune systems.

The study emphasizes the benefits of exposure to animals, at least when it comes to the so-called ‘man’s best friend’. The researchers also analyzed cat contacts, but it seems that the influence of cats on the baby’s health was weaker.


Source: The Wall Street JournalMedical Xpress

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As set out in a recent article in MedicalDaily.com website, girls who spend more time updating pictures, chatting and surfing the internet are more likely to suffer from negative body image and low self-esteem, says a new study.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 girls between the ages of 12 and 16 as part of the The NetGirls Project. They found that 40 percent of girls thought their bodies weren’t good enough and that they were scared about gaining weight.

The study also showed that 96 percent of girls said that they had access to some form of internet connection at home and of these girls, 72 percent said that they uploaded pictures of themselves on the internet.

On an average, girls spend about 3.5 hours on the internet and particularly on sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

Just about 30 percent of the girls said that their parents set rules about internet use at home.

“We set out to investigate the role of media in adolescent girls’ self-image. We were interested to find out how adolescent girls were spending their free time and how different activities related to how they felt about themselves and their bodies. Our findings demonstrate a worrying correlation between excessive media use, particularly social media and the internet, and lower self-esteem, body-esteem and sense of identity and higher depression,” said Dr Amy Slater from the School of Psychology at Flinders University, Australia.

Television and magazines are often regarded as factors that influence girls to be thinner .There are hundreds of studies that draw conclusions between media like television and magazines with poor self-esteem or body image.

Researchers of the present study will also be presenting analysis of 600 advertisements in social media directed at young girls, according to a news release.

“A content analysis of adverts found on sites that appeal to adolescent girls showed likely exposure to those reinforcing the importance of beauty and thinness,” Dr Slater explains


The study was presented at the Appearance Matters 5 conference and should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

(Photo: REUTERS/Michael Dalder)

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Yes, it’s true.

I have an unhealthy interest in Hello Kitty.

(I have this soap in my bathroom. Really)

But this isn’t some fledgling, new-found friendship. Hello Kitty and I go back a long way.

(OK, maybe not THAT long!)

There are strong Hello Kitty connections with Jews…

(Hello Hasidish)

..I’m not sure why but so many Jews are just dippy about Hello Kitty.

(Hello Kitty mezuzah)

Seriously. We just can’t seem to get enough of Hello Kitty!

(Hello Kitty Hanukah menorah)

And Israel! My kids say Hello Kitty is HUGE in Israel… especially Jerusalem!!

When he was in Israel this year, I got my son Exhibit Two to bring me a Hello Kiddush Cup!

(…”asher kittyshanu”…)

I promise you, this cup will be a regular feature on Shabbes and Yontiff tables from here on in.

(The heart reads “b’ahava” ~ ‘with love’)

I only wish I had the presence of mind to have him bring me another one that I could use during Passover as Elijah’s Cup.

(Open the door for ~ Eliyahu HaKitty!)

Oh well, maybe I can talk my daughter Exhibit One who lives in Israel into sending one to me in the mail.

(Hello Kitty Bento lunch)

 Hello Kitty has a fun, lovable side. But as with so many things…

(Darth Kitty)

There is a Dark Side…

(Hello Kitty Stormtrooper)

And there are those who have no qualms about exploiting that side of Hello Kitty!

Some can go to extremes and even try to impose Hello Kitty upon others by means of brute force!

(Hello Kitty armoured personnel carrier)

Some have even turned the Hello Kitty motif into themes that are quite disturbing…

…quite disturbing indeed!

(Trick or Treat! It’s Hello Kitty Jason from [and for] Halloween!)

And I suppose it was just a matter of time before Hello Kitty was drafted into the service of preparing for The Upcoming Zombie Apocalypse!

(Clearly not a George A. Romero Hello Kitty zombie)

So, there you have it, folks… my addiction, for better or worse.

Hats off to the Sanrio corporation of Japan (celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) for bringing me so many hours of harmless fun over the years!


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I was born and grew up in a small city. [1]

I suppose it was suburban. It’s probably a stretch to call it urban metropolitan living.

My city was/is located in the middle of what was then a sprawling agricultural area, so even while I myself grew up on pavement and asphalt, it was an island of concrete in a sea of strawberries, cherries, peaches and grapes.

As far as I could tell, everyone of my generation loved peanut butter. We couldn’t get enough of it. Everyone liked eggs. Everyone drank milk and lots of it.

(What happened to the Mr Peanut we knew and loved?)

I thought about this as a was reading an article at ScienceDaily.com reporting on a study that found that city kids are more likely to have food allergies than rural children and that population density is a key factor.

Children living in urban centers have a much higher prevalence of food allergies than those living in rural areas, according to a new study, which is the first to map children’s food allergies by geographical location in the United States. In particular, kids in big cities are more than twice as likely to have peanut and shellfish allergies compared to rural communities. [2]

Here are the key findings of the study:

  • In urban centers, 9.8 percent of children have food allergies, compared to 6.2 percent in rural communities, almost a 3.5 percent difference.
  • Peanut allergies are twice as prevalent in urban centers as in rural communities, with 2.8 percent of children having the allergy in urban centers compared to 1.3 percent in rural communities. Shellfish allergies are more than double the prevalence in urban versus rural areas; 2.4 percent of children have shellfish allergies in urban centers compared to 0.8 percent in rural communities.
  • Food allergies are equally severe regardless of where a child lives, the study found. Nearly 40 percent of food-allergic children in the study had already experienced a severe, life-threatening reaction to food.
  • The states with the highest overall prevalence of food allergies are Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

When I was in grade school, I don’t recall any of my friends or indeed anyone I knew suffering or dying from food allergies. Did they all die before making it to kindergarten?

In high school, my dear friend Jo McB (and, for all I know, the entire McB clan) had food allergies but I didn’t know it. It just wasn’t on the radar.

Nowadays, it seems like every other kid is allergic to some food or another.

Not sure if it was an urban legend but I recall hearing a story from one city (let’s say it was New York) where it was discovered that one child on a school bus had a peanut butter sandwich. They halted the bus and practically brought in a hazmat team to dispose of the toxic substance.

(The sandwich is secure and has been neutralized)

Sadly, the study, while showing urban living is a key factor in food allergies, doesn’t yet show us why. Further research is required.

Food allergy is a serious and growing health problem. An estimated 5.9 million children under age 18, or one out of every 13 children, now have a potentially life-threatening food allergy, according to 2011 research by Gupta. A severe allergic reaction that can lead to death includes a drop in blood pressure, trouble breathing and swelling of the throat. A food-allergic reaction sends an American to the emergency room every three minutes, according to a March 2011 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.


[1] About 40,000 at the time. Around 50,000 now

[2] The study will be published in the July issue of Clinical Pediatrics. The study controlled for household income, race, ethnicity, gender and age. It tracked food allergy prevalence in urban centers, metropolitan cities, urban outskirts, suburban areas, small towns and rural areas.

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