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I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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Link Round-up

by Sierra on February 20, 2010 · 6 comments

in Uncategorized

Clearly it’s time to stop pretending these link round-ups are a weekly event. In my head they happen every Saturday, but here in reality it’s spottier than that. Nevertheless, here’s a good one.

I’ve spent the past week riding the whirlwind that my angry rant about US Airways started. I’m more than a little embarrassed to see that post has now become the most popular item on this blog by nearly an order of magnitude. Not because I don’t stand by what I wrote – I do – but because it’s so very far from my best writing. Just this month, I wrote  about Naked Sex With Barbies, The Power of Small Change and Choosing a Greener Life Together. I guess people love a good rant, and everyone has something to say about air travel.

All of the sound and fury about the airline post almost swamped what is really my most exciting writing news: I’ve been brought on as a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly! I’ll be posting there about personal finance and frugal living roughly twice a month.

This link round-up starts with my first staff post at GRS, and then moves on to Strollerderby, where my hottest post for the past few weeks has been another righteous rant – this one about Jenny McCarthy’s crazy anti-vaccine campaign.

Get Rich Slowly:

Building On What You Already Know: The most important trick to managing your finances — and maybe the hardest — is just getting started. My household finances were like an impenetrable jungle of budget formulas and investment accounts and bank policies and tax codes; not knowing where to start kept me broke and confused for years.

Strollerderby:

Jenny McCarthy Has a Body Count: Andre the Giant may have a posse, but Jenny McCarthy has a body count. At least according to TV producer Derek Bartholomaus, who has been tracking vaccine preventable illnesses in the U.S. and blaming Jenny for them since she first went on Oprah to support the theory that vaccines cause autism.

Cat in the Hat Comes to iPhone: The Cat and the Hat has just been put out as an iPhone app by Oceanhouse Media, the nice people who brought us the Grinch game last Christmas. They’ve also released Dr. Suess’ ABCs.

Airlines to Parents: No, You Can’t Sit With Your Kids: Over the weekend, I flew from Boston to Tucson on US Airways. Our trip involved three separate flights, and on each one, I was seated far away from my kids. When I first noticed this on my boarding pass, I approached the gate agent with a joke, “Hi! I don’t want to sit next to these kids any more than anyone else does, but I’m sure you won’t really let me get away with that.”

Sweet Tooth May Signal Future Addiction: Kids with an extra-sweet tooth may be at higher risk for future problems with alcoholism and addiction, a new study published by the journal Addiction says.

Jenny McCarthy Calls Autism Retraction Censorship: When the Lancet fully retracted Andrew Wakefield’s controversial study linking autism to vaccines, most of the scientific community breathed a huge sigh of relief. Now we can move on to other topics, right? Like finding a real cure for autism?

Michelle Obama Rolls Out Let’s Move: Michelle Obama rolled out Let’s Move, her new program to combat childhood obesity, today. I think this is a pretty brave and classy topic for her to take on as First Lady. The obesity epidemic is another symptom of the same period of excess that brought us the current recession. Like the recession, we’re going to have to deal with this one through a combination of changing our personal habits and holding big corporations and government accountable.

School Gardens Bad For Kids:Few things warm the cockles of my crunchy, alternative-education loving heart like the site of a thriving school garden carefully tended by the local elementary kids. This month’s Atlantic Monthly features a scathing take-down of this charming trend. Caitlin Flanagan takes on the school garden movement for, as she sees it, robbing children of valuable instructional time and replacing those hours with menial labor.

Elmo Rocks the iPhone: Sesame Street has done it again. Created an awesome iPhone app, that is. Elmo’s Monster Maker is even more awesome than the first app Sesame Street put out, Grover’s Number Special.

They Say: Don’t Drink With Your Kids: Like a lot of my friends, I’ve subscribed to the idea that sharing an adult beverage with teens at home once in awhile – a glass of wine with dinner, say – will teach them to drink responsibly. They’ll learn how it’s done, the theory goes. That’s how they do it in Europe, people say knowingly over their own wine glasses. Some European scientists have a message for us well-intentioned family drinkers: Don’t do that.

Parenting Squad:

Is Spanking Good For Kids?: A professor at Calvin College claims kids who remember being spanked do better in school and grow up to be better-adjusted adults. I don’t think so.

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  • http://twitter.com/veek Vika Zafrin

    “The obesity epidemic is another symptom of the same period of excess that brought us the current recession.”

    I'm not sure I disagree with the potential link there, but it seems to me that obesity is most strongly linked with poverty. Worse: it's strongly aligned along race/ethnicity lines: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

    It goes something like: poorer people need to work more; they therefore have less time to cook; the cheapest ready-made foods are highly caloric and of dismal nutritional balance. Even food you have to cook gets more nutritionally unbalanced and more caloric (but the wrong calories) as it gets faster/cheaper to prepare.

    [Reply]

  • http://childwild.com Sierra

    YES! That's exactly right. Similarly, the recession has fallen hardest on the poorest and most vulnerable people. While the poor quality food stems from the multi-$$$ food industry that has made a few people fabulously wealthy, it's the most vulnerable amongst us who pay the price with their own health. I didn't meant to suggest that individuals are at fault for the obesity epidemic – the main focus of my Strollerderby article was that I wish the administration was doing more to hold industry and institutions like schools accountable, in addition to educating parents.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/veek Vika Zafrin

    “The obesity epidemic is another symptom of the same period of excess that brought us the current recession.”

    I'm not sure I disagree with the potential link there, but it seems to me that obesity is most strongly linked with poverty. Worse: it's strongly aligned along race/ethnicity lines: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

    It goes something like: poorer people need to work more; they therefore have less time to cook; the cheapest ready-made foods are highly caloric and of dismal nutritional balance. Even food you have to cook gets more nutritionally unbalanced and more caloric (but the wrong calories) as it gets faster/cheaper to prepare.

    [Reply]

  • http://childwild.com Sierra

    YES! That's exactly right. Similarly, the recession has fallen hardest on the poorest and most vulnerable people. While the poor quality food stems from the multi-$$$ food industry that has made a few people fabulously wealthy, it's the most vulnerable amongst us who pay the price with their own health. I didn't meant to suggest that individuals are at fault for the obesity epidemic – the main focus of my Strollerderby article was that I wish the administration was doing more to hold industry and institutions like schools accountable, in addition to educating parents.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/veek Vika Zafrin

    “The obesity epidemic is another symptom of the same period of excess that brought us the current recession.”

    I'm not sure I disagree with the potential link there, but it seems to me that obesity is most strongly linked with poverty. Worse: it's strongly aligned along race/ethnicity lines: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

    It goes something like: poorer people need to work more; they therefore have less time to cook; the cheapest ready-made foods are highly caloric and of dismal nutritional balance. Even food you have to cook gets more nutritionally unbalanced and more caloric (but the wrong calories) as it gets faster/cheaper to prepare.

    [Reply]

  • http://childwild.com Sierra

    YES! That's exactly right. Similarly, the recession has fallen hardest on the poorest and most vulnerable people. While the poor quality food stems from the multi-$$$ food industry that has made a few people fabulously wealthy, it's the most vulnerable amongst us who pay the price with their own health. I didn't meant to suggest that individuals are at fault for the obesity epidemic – the main focus of my Strollerderby article was that I wish the administration was doing more to hold industry and institutions like schools accountable, in addition to educating parents.

    [Reply]

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