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Should Parents End 'Screen Time' For Children?

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The New York Times reports that in Silicon Valley, "a wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high." One Facebook engineer doesn't allow his own kids to have any screen time, according to this article shared by schwit1, and even Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired, believes screen time is addictive for children. "On the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it's closer to crack cocaine," Mr. Anderson said of screens. Technologists building these products and writers observing the tech revolution were naive, he said. "We thought we could control it. And this is beyond our power to control. This is going straight to the pleasure centers of the developing brain... I didn't know what we were doing to their brains until I started to observe the symptoms and the consequences... We glimpsed into the chasm of addiction, and there were some lost years, which we feel bad about...." Tim Cook, the C.E.O. of Apple, said earlier this year that he would not let his nephew join social networks. Bill Gates banned cellphones until his children were teenagers, and Melinda Gates wrote that she wished they had waited even longer. Steve Jobs would not let his young children near iPads. But in the last year, a fleet of high-profile Silicon Valley defectors have been sounding alarms in increasingly dire terms about what these gadgets do to the human brain. Suddenly rank-and-file Silicon Valley workers are obsessed. No-tech homes are cropping up across the region. Nannies are being asked to sign no-phone contracts.... John Lilly, a Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist with Greylock Partners and the former C.E.O. of Mozilla, said he tries to help his 13-year-old son understand that he is being manipulated by those who built the technology. "I try to tell him somebody wrote code to make you feel this way-- I'm trying to help him understand how things are made, the values that are going into things and what people are doing to create that feeling," Mr. Lilly said. "And he's like, 'I just want to spend my 20 bucks to get my Fortnite skins.'" What do Slashdot's reader think? Should parents end 'screen time' for children?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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jgallaway
50 days ago
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Dozens More Breakfast Foods Test Positive For Weed Killer Ingredient

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The list of breakfast foods that tested positive for glyphosate includes several varieties of Cheerios

Over the summer, nonprofit advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) published test results that showed unsafe levels of a weed killer ingredient in a number of popular breakfast cereals, oats, and snack bars. They performed another round of tests for the ingredient in a new list of breakfast items — and all but two tested positive for levels of glyphosate that were “higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health.”

Out of 28 items tested by EWG in results published last week, 26 of them contained levels of glyphosate above the group’s health benchmark of 160 PPB. The list of items includes Apple Cinnamon, Very Berry, Chocolate, Frosted, Fruity, and Honey Nut Cheerios. It was also detected at higher levels than the group considers safe in Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and S’mores flavor granola bars along with several varieties of instant and overnight oats. EWG scientists say that levels as high as discovered in these items could pose a cancer risk for people who consume them long-term.

Glyphosate is found in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, which is the most widely used herbicide in the world and according to EWG, is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as “probably carcinogenic” to people. IARC has defended that claim despite attacks from Monsanto saying otherwise.

After the first round of results were released this summer, General Mills and the Quaker Oats Company defended the chemical’s presence in their products by saying that the amounts found were consistent with limits set by the EPA. “The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats. We continue to work closely with farmers, our suppliers and conservation organizations to minimize the use of pesticides on the crops and ingredients we use in our foods,” General Mills said in a statement.

But EWG notes that “just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe,” and steadfastly insists that possible carcinogens have no place in foods eaten by humans — especially foods eaten by children.

As far as a course of action? EWG President Ken Cook wants General Mills and other food companies that market their products to kids held accountable. “How many bowls of cereal and oatmeal have American kids eaten that came with a dose of weed killer? That’s a question only General Mills, PepsiCo and other food companies can answer,” says Cook. “But if those companies would just switch to oats that aren’t sprayed with glyphosate, parents wouldn’t have to wonder if their kids’ breakfasts contained a chemical linked to cancer. Glyphosate and other cancer-causing chemicals simply don’t belong in children’s food, period.”

When it comes to human consumption, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution — and science. Just recently, according to CNN, a jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who argued that exposure to Roundup caused his cancer. His payout was ultimately reduced to $78 million, but a judge upheld the verdict just last week.

“Once again, our message to General Mills, Quaker and other food companies is that you can take the simple step of telling your oat farmers to stop using glyphosate,” said Cook. “You can hide behind an outdated federal standard, or you can listen to your customers and take responsibility for cleaning up your supply chain. It’s your choice.”

The post Dozens More Breakfast Foods Test Positive For Weed Killer Ingredient appeared first on Scary Mommy.

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jgallaway
50 days ago
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This hoodie looks like the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the Apollo 11 mission

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Can't help but love GearHumans' astronaut suit hoodie ($45.99). The image is a 3D-photo print of the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore in 1969 during his Apollo 11 moon mission. It ships with his last name on it unless you specify otherwise.

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jgallaway
56 days ago
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Tea swilling British love coffee so much it contaminated their ground water

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A 2016 study shows the UK drinks so much coffee it has invaded their water systems.

I far prefer Irish tea.

Via Forbes:

More surprisingly, the researchers also found large amounts of caffeine in the groundwater. Caffeine is an organic molecule found in coffee, tea and soft-drinks. Coffee is the world's most popular drink, a comfort to millions and a daily necessity for many due to its stimulating effects. The annually produced 120,000 tons of coffee are enough that every person on the planet could consume at least one caffeinated beverage every day. The concentration of caffeine found by the research was highest under major cities, especially London.

The caffeine most likely enters the underground groundwater reservoirs from leaking sewer sources. Aquifers in chalk and limestone are especially vulnerable to this contamination. Because limestone is a water-soluble rock, large cavities are found in limestone formations, allowing wastewater to seep into the ground in urban and agricultural areas.

Consumption of one gram of caffeine per day is associated with a condition known as caffeinism in humans. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include nervousness, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches and an irregular heartbeat. A massive caffeine overdose of more than fourteen gram (as found in 75 to 100 cups of coffee) can result in death. The highest concentration measured in the groundwater study was around 10 micrograms. A cup of Espresso contains almost one thousand times the concentration of caffeine.

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jgallaway
89 days ago
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Health Canada rejects claim that new radon gas standards put Canadians at risk

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Radon detector

Late last year, Ottawa published for the first time a guidance document on how to rid homes of dangerous radon gas. CBC News has learned the document was published over the strenuous objections of the Canadian Home Builders' Association, which said the mitigation measures might themselves pose health risks to Canadians. Health Canada disagrees.

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jgallaway
271 days ago
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Lending ‘library of things’ opening in Kitchener

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— “Caring is sharing” is the model of the KW Library of Things, set to open later this month.

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jgallaway
314 days ago
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