Tag Archives: family

CNN profile of a couple moving from a 1,500 to 168-square foot home

There are many who dream of owning the smallest home they can find; a strong reaction to those who dream of owning a two-story mini-mansion. Here is a CNN profile of a young couple who did just that – moving their two kids, cat and dog into a 168 square foot home (on 3 acres of land):

“The things we have are beautiful, enriching our tiny space. We got rid of so much and kept the beautiful things,” Hazi Berzins said. “Freeing ourselves from consumer debt and living mortgage-free has cleared the clutter to help us see what is truly important: our relationships, our happiness, each moment.”

And Mayor Michael Bloomberg agrees – or he wants to improve the city’s studios – as he announced a contest to design and build 1.8 million studios in Manhattan. Each unit is to be less than 300-square feet and contain a kitchen and bathroom.

New Yorkers love their studios, young quirky families love their tiny homes, how about you – do you enjoy your small or large space?

 

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Periodontist: remove plaque by brushing, toothpaste doesn’t help – only adds sweetener

The more I research toothpaste the scarier it becomes. Not only does it contain sweetener and chemicals, but it may not even help our teeth:

As a Periodontist, I get asked about recommendations for toothpaste all the time. What most people don’t know is that plaque is removed by the mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles against the teeth and gum whether toothpaste is used or not. Much to the toothpaste manufacturers chagrin they have never been able to prove that using toothpaste increases plaque removal, it simply makes for a better experience by adding some flavor, thus the title.

Which is Toothpaste is just a spoon full of sugar.

If we could only get more dentists and periodontists to go on record and offer support for alternatives, like this mom received when she took her family off toothpaste.

 

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Personal story from a mom who stopped using toothpaste to get rid of cavities

The first thing to say is that she had dentist approval. She also had her kids stop eating processed sugar. And that might’ve been the reason the cavities stopped, but she was a healthy mom to begin with.

The results were a big success, from No Toothpaste, No Cavities:

Before we stopped toothpaste, and before we eliminated processed sugars, one of my children had a small cavity between two molars — not big enough to drill out, but enough for the dentist to watch.

At our first six month check-up post toothpaste, no cavities.

A year later, no cavities.

Eighteen months later, still no cavities.

Two years later, you guessed it, no cavities.

 

In the full article she describes what they used instead of toothpaste, how her own teeth improved, and that they still included weekly Sunday Sundaes in the diet. Well worth the read!

And, if you’re interested in learning more:

 

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The ‘dirty’ middle class

I propose a new way to think about the Great Recession in America. Instead of the middle class is dying, how about the dirty middle class is dying. The way of life where overconsumption and gas guzzling is more American than recycling or biking. If our energy supply can be both dirty and clean, why not our lifestyles?

Consider the average family spends 20% of their budget on transportation. That’s 10 weeks/year just to pay for car and gas. But what about the big gas guzzlers, the kind that cost $80 to fill-up. No one wants to pay $100 for gas but that is where we are headed. And yet there are plenty of them on the street. As those gas prices tick up I think they will slowly disappear and be replaced by bikes and EV’s.

Food is another area in slow decline. You might’ve heard that 69% of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s a lot of extra money spent on food, especially when times are tight. A new report shows our consumption of candy and processed foods has doubled in the last 30 years. What if a family were to save money by committing to healthy portion sizes, cutting out processed foods, and putting that savings towards college.

Last, think about the basic rule of disposable goods. They only work once and you have to buy more every week. Not only is this horrible for the environment but it costs a lot of money. Families could go broke following the jingles in commercials. And those who are pushing hard on – reduce, reuse, recycle – are again finding themselves with extra money to spend on family vacations.

After all, isn’t that what being in the middle class is about, family vacations? Being able to work, have fun, and save a little money for college or retirement. I thought so, but somehow that dream became owning an SUV, overeating, and buying something to throw out. But take solace in knowing that this dirty way of life is moving towards extinction. To be replaced by green families who ride bikes and have vegetable gardens.

It gives new meaning to the saying, there goes the neighborhood.

 

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The most fun had all summer – The Paipo Stokefest 2012

The Paipo (pronounced pie-po), a member of the family of ancient Hawaiian surfboards like the alaia and olo, is experiencing a resurgence and finding a place back in the lineup. The small, flat, wooden bellyboards have become so popular that The Paipo Society decided to create a summer gathering.

 

 

Over 75 stoked people attended the inaugural Paipo Stokefest, which took place on July 29, 2012 at Scripps Pier in La Jolla. Besides having plenty of paipos to test ride (thanks to Encinitas shapers Jon Wegener of Wegener Surfboards and Christine Brailsford of Whomp), it included other prone surfing craft such as handplanes, mats, alaias, and basically anything that can be propelled by a pair of swimfins.

 

 

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Reforms in foster care showing good results – children in foster care drops for 6th straight year

The number of U.S. children in foster care has dropped for the sixth straight year, falling to about 400,000 compared to more than 520,000 a decade ago, according to new federal figures demonstrating the staying power of reforms even amid economic turbulence.

The drop results primarily from a shift in the policies and practices of state and county child welfare agencies. Many have shortened stays in foster care, expedited adoptions and expanded preventive support for troubled families so more children avoid being removed from home in the first place.

The average length of stay in foster care has been reduced by more than 10 percent since 2002, according to the report. The mean stay is now 23.7 months.

Of the children in foster care as of Sept. 30, 52 percent were boys. Twenty-one percent were Hispanic, 27 percent black and 41 percent white; 104,236 of them were available for adoption.

 

Source: The Washington Post - Number of children in foster care drops for 6th straight year, to 400,000, despite hard times

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Mitt Romney begins foreign tour of UK, Israel and Poland

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in Britain on the first leg of a week-long foreign tour that includes stops in Israel and Poland.

He is to meet political leaders and attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in the next three days.

The former governor of Massachusetts is not expected to make any policy announcements in London, but correspondents say the visit will give him the chance to show himself to the US electorate in the international arena.

…Critics have accused him of having a weak background in foreign policy, the same claim made about Mr Obama, who was a first-term senator during his 2008 White House campaign when he made a high-profile trip to the Middle East and Europe.

That tour culminated with a speech to hundreds of thousands of people outside the Victory Column in Berlin, Germany.

 

Source: BBC - Mitt Romney begins foreign tour of UK, Israel and Poland

 

 

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New museum exhibit – Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology

The Chachapoyan Fertility Idol

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, presented by the National Geographic Society, immerses you in the science and history of field archaeology. Walk in the footsteps of beloved film hero Indiana Jones as you embark on this interactive museum adventure.

This unique exhibition features :

  • A vast and exclusive collection of Indiana Jones film props, models, concept art, and set designs from the Lucasfilm Archives
  • An interactive tour of legendary sites that sheds light on historical myths such as the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail
  • A rare chance to see some of the world’s most impressive material remains and real-world artefacts from ancient societies from the collections of the world-renowned Penn Museum and the National Geographic Society archives
  • A handheld multimedia guide that lets you personalize your exhibit experience
  • An interactive quest game that let’s children of all ages test their skills and explore the exhibit content in a fun, innovative way

 

Currently, in Spain but coming to Southern California in October 2012.

 

Learn more  - Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology – The Exhibit

 

 

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Jane Austen’s beautiful 200 year-old ring goes up for auction

A ring once owned by author Jane Austen will be auctioned by Sotheby’s later this month. Austen, the author of the much-loved novels “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility” and “Emma,” never married or had children, but the ring has remained in the possession of her family since her death in 1817. Scholars had been unaware of its existence, and it is expected to sell at auction for $31,000 to $46,000.
 

 

The ring is made of gold with a cabachon blue stone of natural turquoise. It is, as Sotheby’s auction house notes, in a simple style Austen wrote of sympathetically in her work. In “Mansfield Park,” Fanny Price is given a gold chain by her cousin Edmund, who tells her, “I consulted the simplicity of your taste.”

The ring will be offered at Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations auction on July 10.

 

Source: Jane Austen ring goes up for auction

We were promised jetpacks! (they’re here)

We were promised jetpacks! Well, they exist. I flew one last weekend, and it was awesome. Video of my flight with Jetlev Southwest is below. – Danny Sullivan

 

 

For Father’s Day 2012, my family got me a 30 minute flight with Jetlev Southwest. Best present ever. I got the hang of it fairly quickly and was even able to do things like “The Submarine,” where you dive under the water and come back up. They’re based in Newport Beach, and you’ll find more info here: http://www.jetlevsouthwest.com

 

Prices:

  • Intro (20 min) – $159 on weekdays, $199 on weekends
  • Jetlev (30 min) – $249 on weekdays, $279 on weekends
  • 10 min add-on – $99
  • Returning pilot
    • 10 min – $79
    • 20 min – $149
    • 30 min – $209