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Posts Tagged ‘Kids’

Batman!

Batman made its television premiere on this date (January 12) in 1966. The series ran until March 14, 1968.

The show was aired twice weekly for its first two seasons, resulting in the production of a total of 120 episodes!

Who remembers watching it?

batman-

My family had a black and white television in those days. I remember a friend of mine who’s family owned a colour TV set. He told me that Robin looked like a Xmas tree, he was so colourful!

I had the pleasure of seeing Adam West last summer when he appeared at Comic-Con Niagara Falls. Old but still spry, still witty, still charming.

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Angela’s Reeses peanut butter no-bake bars

 
From my niece Angela, one of the most gorgeous women I know…
“Reeses peanut butter no-bake bars – I’ve been asked by many to repost this… so here you go!”
 
No-Bake-Reeses-Peanut-Butter-Bars-2(Image Credit: Sally’s Baking Addition [1])

Ingredients
1 cup salted butter (melted)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 (11 oz) bag milk chocolate chips

Instructions
1. Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
2. Pour peanut butter mixture into a 9 x 13 pan.
3. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave (at 50% power) for 1-2 minutes. Stir chocolate and pour over the peanut butter mixture. Spread chocolate with a spatula. To even out chocolate, tap pan on the counter.
4. Refrigerate bars for one hour. Cut while bars are still cool.

Enjoy!

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[1] Please Note: The above recipe is not the same as the recipe found at Sally’s Baking Addiction. For that splendid recipe, click here!

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On Monday, I arrived in Israel for the first time in my life after so many years… decades… of waiting, hoping, praying.

I came alone.

I knew it was going to be emotional. I knew it was going to be intense.

I was prepared… or so I thought.

It was like being prepared to be hit by a bus… compared to actually being hit by a bus.

When the plane touched down in Tel Aviv, I began weeping. [1]

I could barely stand. Other passengers grabbed their carry on bags and headed out. I was in a daze.

I made my way through a blur of tears. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop. I moved as if in a trance. Was this really happening? Am I in one of the thousands of dreams and daydreams I’ve had over the last 30 or 40 years?

ben-gurion-airport2

I was nervous about being questioned by Israeli authorities. Who was I? Where was I from? Where was I born? Why was I coming to Israel? Was I Jewish? A Jew with an Italian name? Were my parents Jewish? Did I convert? What rabbinical court converted me? My daughter lives in Israel? She immigrated to Israel? Where does she live? What is her address? Is this my first visit? What prayer does a Jew make when he embarks on a trip? Recite the first line. Do I wear tefillin? When do I wear them? When do I NOT wear them? What was the Torah reading for last Shabbes? What’s the Torah reading for next Shabbes? Was I married? Did I have an aufrufen? Did I read from the Torah? What was the Torah portion? Can I recite the first line from my haftorah portion? What holiday is coming up in 2 weeks? What book is read? Recite the blessings that are read before the book is read. Can you read the first few lines from that book? Do you know the melody that goes with that reading?

I had heard so many stories about Israeli security. I was nervous. I stepped up to the customs officer and handed her my passport.

“What is the purpose of your visit?”

I explained that this was my first visit to Israel and that I came to see my daughter who made aliyah (i.e. emigrated to Israel) a year ago.

“Where does she live?”

I told her she lives in Ramat Gan.

“How long are you going to be in Israel?”

I said I was staying for two weeks, returning on February 25.

The customs officer looked at me for a few moments, sizing me up.

She smiled and handed me back my passport and told me to proceed to baggage claims.

I walked to the baggage claim area and searched for my luggage. A plain black suitcase. My dear friend (and international travel guide) Tracy suggested I attach some brightly-coloured masking tape or cloth to make it distinguishable. I found it. Both wheels were broken off.

ben-gurion1

I extended the handle and dragged the suitcase behind me as I moved out into the main lobby. I felt numb. It all seemed so unreal. I couldn’t help feeling that I was going to wake up at any moment.

A tall handsome young man with a wide smile. Tomer. My daughter’s boyfriend. He waves and comes to me, giving me a big warm tight hug.

And then I see my beloved daughter. I’ve not laid eyes on her in over a year.

I cry again. I can’t help it. Tomer helps me with my crippled suitcase.

We walk out into the fresh air. I breathe it deep into my lungs.

I’m here. I feel I’ve finally come home to a place to which I’ve never been before.

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[1] Actually, I started crying as soon as I heard the landing gear lowering. 

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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!

Germs!!

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.

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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

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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!

 どーもありがとう

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Exhibit Two Gets Aished! 

(Exhibit Two at Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem earlier this month)

A bit of explanation is in order.

Aish = Aish HaTorah. [1]

Aish HaTorah is an apolitical network of Jewish educational centers in 35 branches on five continents. [2]

Aish is all about Jewish education and kiruv… drawing Jews closer to G-d. [3]

There is an expression for Jews who, through the educational and kiruv work of Aish HaTorah, become more connected to Judaism and more observant. It is said they get “Aished.”

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[1] The name Aish HaTorah literally means “Fire of Torah.” As Elie Weisel said: “Aish HaTorah means to me the passion of teaching, the passion of learning. The study of Torah, the source of Jewish values, is the way to Jewish survival.”

[2] Aish HaTorah is a Jewish outreach organization started in Jerusalem by Rabbi Noah Weinberg z”l in 1974. Aish HaTorah’s goal is to revitalize the Jewish people by providing opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds to discover their heritage in an atmosphere of open inquiry and mutual respect. Aish HaTorah is regarded as a world leader in creative Jewish educational programs and leadership training.

[3] Aish’s educational philosophy is that Judaism is not all or nothing; it is a journey where every step counts, to be pursued according to one’s own pace and interest. Mitzvot (commandments) are not rituals, but opportunities for personal growth, to be studied and understood. We learn the Torah’s wisdom to enrich our own lives, and to share these ideas with all humanity.

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