When John and Lucy Wong had Angie three months ago, nothing was too good for her. Now their daughter is the first on her block to have a carriage with a built-in TV, so she can watch educational and other programming even when she’s out enjoying a stroll with mom or dad. “Why just have her watch TV when she’s in her crib?” says Lucy, 24, a marketing assistant with a financial services company in Atlanta. “Going outside for walks is the perfect time to have her watch TV, too.”
Although pediatricians generally discourage screen time for children before they reach two years old, parents like the Wongs say such advice doesn’t apply to them. “That’s for people who just throw their child in front of the TV for babysitting,” says Wong. “We don’t do that. We’re always educating our daughter. We want her to be comfortable learning her letters and her numbers, so when she was just a day or two old we were showing alphabet and counting videos on the TV in her crib. Now, with baby carriage TV, we’re just taking that to the next level.”
Wong estimates that Angie has watched about 600 hours of TV already, even though she’s only three months old. And their goal is to up her TV-watching rate another 10 percent with baby carriage TV.
Thats a good plan, says Robert Stearns, a pediatric psychologist who served as a consultant on development of baby carriage TV. “I’m aware of some concern out there about putting screens in front of babies too soon, but I don’t put much stock into those concerns,” he says. “In today’s environment, if a child is not interacting with a screen by three months of age, the child is already behind his or her peers and will unlikely get into the best preschool.”
Dave Saunders, a new father who took a hard look at screen time before his son, Zach, was born last month, says he’s read the pros and cons of TV watching for infants and decided TV immersion was the right strategy for today. “I spend my life in front of screens and my wife spends her life in front of screens,” he says. “We expect Zach will spend his life in front of screens, so we just added that all up and decided waiting would put him at a competitive disadvantage. What child today can function in our competitive world without screen literacy? Sure, nature is nice, and interaction with parents is nice, but let’s be real. Nature doesn’t pay the bills, and interaction with parents doesn’t teach a child about interacting with what’s important: screens.”
Stearns says parents who insist on introducing their child to nature are actually doing their child a disservice, because nature will be gone in another decade or two. “It’s the height of irresponsibility for a parent to waste a child’s time with something that’s on the way out rather than with something that’s on the way in, and 24-7 screen time is on the way in,” he says. “Even sex will be virtual in the not-too-distant future, so while it might be quaint to teach your child there’s a world outside screens, quaint doesn’t teach one about the real world. You know, they’re not spending time in nature with their kids in China or India. Those kids are watching shows and they’re watching them better and faster than our children.”
Baby carriage TV streams content from all major providers and doubles as a tablet computer, so infants can interact with the Internet and all the educational apps parents want to add.
“My daughter Lynsey used to become so agitated when we put her in her carriage for walks,” says Alena Richards, who in addition to five-month-old Lynsey is hoping to have another child soon. “There just wasn’t enough stimulation for her and giving her devices didn’t work because she had trouble managing them in her small hands. So baby carriage TV is perfect. She’s no longer agitated because she has something to occupy her eyes and ears. So now, instead of having to constantly interact with her, I can communicate with my family and friends on my tablet when I take her for walks. Thinking ahead, I hope they come out with tricycle TV in time or her to have that, otherwise we’ll be faced with the lack of outdoor stimulation all over again. and that’s not something we want to go through a second time.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: bctv (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
PHILADELPHIA—GridValve, Inc., CEO Jeff Barker says it’s imperative in today’s global economy for his company to cut costs and operate on a leaner margin if the industrial parts supplier is going to thrive in the years ahead. “Costs of materials are rising, the Federal Reserve has said more interest-rate hikes are coming, and mandatory healthcare insurance have combined to create a perfect storm that can cripple a globally competitive company like ours,” Barker said in a conference call with analysts today. The CEO, who owns three houses and a 30-foot yacht, said sacrifices must be made across the board. “As much as we try not to cut jobs, we’ll have to reduce our global staff footprint by 500 employees to keep our costs in line with revenue projections for 2016,” he said. A 500-person cut would represent about 6 percent of the company’s worldwide employee base. More.
After a lifetime of making the lives of his three sons miserable, Ralph Murton got in one more dig by living to 100 while still showing no signs of slowing down. “I know my sons would like nothing more than to finally be rid of me, but if they think I’m going to let them off the hook, they’ve got another thing coming,” says Murton, an engineer who retired from Midwest Pacific Railroad in 1983. Murton says he knows perfectly well his sons think he’s a bastard, a harsh disciplinarian who seemed to enjoy punishing them for the slightest infractions when they were younger, like when Dan, his oldest son, accidentally tore his new jeans when he was in eighth grade. “They used to cringe when I came home from work, wondering if I was going to find something they did wrong,” says Murton. “Usually I did find something, because it’s not hard to find things when you have three sons.” More.
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AKRON, Ohio—Touring a wire coat hanger factory in what was once a blighted industrial area here, President Barack Obama said the United States is returning to its roots as a manufacturing giant and he took a stab at critics who say the country risks losing more manufacturing jobs if a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is passed. “Like this wire coat hanger I have in my hand, the United States is strong,” Obama said, speaking before the 75 employees of the Ace Wire Company. “Anyone who needs evidence that the United States can compete with anyone in the world just needs to look at the factory floor that surrounds me. Every day, more than 10,000 coat hangers are made here and distributed to dry cleaners and hotels throughout the United States and throughout the world. America is back!” More.
“OMG!” A Silicon Valley web start-up is shifting the micro-blogging movement into hyper gear with its launch this week of hhrmp.com, a “hyper-micro” blogging site that limits posts to just 5 characters. “At this point in the evolution of social media, the 140-character limit of Twitter is just too big,” says Jeremy Gliner, whose title is chief hhrmp’er at hhrmp! Media. “Today’s teenagers have grown up on Twitter, Snapchat, and other micro-blogging platforms and they want their own thing. And they don’t want to compose anything that resembles a sentence. Given the success of our beta site with this critical demographic, we feel we’re giving this up-and-coming generation of word-economizers what they want.” A quick check with a group of 19- and 20-year-olds outside Hillsdale College in College Park, Md., appears to bear out Gliner’s assessment. More.
An unsuccessful applicant for an account executive opening at an Macro Surety Analysts, an insurance risk management firm, says the company’s failure to hire him constitutes discrimination against his headphones, which he refused to remove during his interview. “I wear headphones when I work, everyone I know wears headphones when they work, and I’ve been told that Macro Surety employees often wear headphones at work, so to be discriminated against in the hiring process because I wore headphones to the interview is a clear violation of federal equal opportunity rules and the national goal of equal opportunity in the workplace, says Joseph Bernard, 24, who’s put the issue of headphone discrimination on the front burner with his claim filed yesterday with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. More.
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The long-brewing debate over the accuracy of the psychiatry profession’s bible, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, came to a head this week as the American Psychiatric Association released the sixth edition of the 900-page book, and realized that 100 percent of Americans are now classified as having a mental disorder. “We feared this was going to happen,” says Jim Dulaney, professor emeritus at Columbia University and chair of the American Psychiatric Association. “Every time we update the DSM, more Americans fall under one of its disorders. Now we’re at the point where all Americans fall under one of its disorders, so we either have to reevaluate how we define mental illness in this country or we’re all really sick.” More.
SmartCarry™ Luggage Carts are the go-to brand of carts for most homeless people, a survey released today by Brand Trust, a business-to-business trade magazine. The magazine asked 250 homeless people in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto about their brand preferences when it came to luggage, grocery, or other types of carts for carrying their possessions and just under 200 said SmartCarry™ is their cart of choice. “They last a real long time,” says Arnold Sween, a homeless person in New York City. “I’ve had mine for 10 years and it still rolls good. Holds a lot, too.” More.
George and Helen Murphy are pretty much over each other but they plan to stay married. “We took a vow before God that we would stay married in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, so that’s what we’re going to do,” says Helen, 48. When the two of them were married, in 1987, they kind of liked each other, although it was never clear if they were in “love.” “Neither of us dated much,” says George, “so when we saw that we kind of got along, at least most of the time, we thought, ‘This is it! I guess we’re the ones. No one else is really coming forward.’ it was kind of exciting at the time, and it seemed like it was what we were supposed to do.” More.
BEIJING—China this week released its plan to dominate the world by 2020 and also host a summit on the overfishing of red herring in the South Sea. “This is China’s century and we are determined to assert our interests globally in accordance with our stature as the one true superpower,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a news conference here yesterday. China is the world’s largest country by population, with 1.36 million people, not counting ethnic Uighurs, and the world’s second largest economy, with a gross domestic product of $16.1 trillion. That is about $1 trillion less than the United States, although that gap is expected to close within the next 18 months because of America’s declining productivity and “black president,” the plan says. More.