Two teen boys video games shutterstock_154972361

Sticks, Stones and Video Games: Tools for Imaginary Play

In Why Sticks are Good for Kids on, Andrea Bonior makes some excellent points about the importance of allowing creativity and imagination in play without overzealous, politically-correct, anxiety-driven restriction that keeps kids out of trees and puddles and away from sticks.  When I was a kid, we lived near an orange grove and my neighborhood buddies and I spent a lot of our summer sitting in one particular tree, freely making use of sticks for a multitude of purposes.  We make bows and arrows.  Then swords.  Then wands.  We used the sticks to draw fantastic houses in the dirt.  We stuck sticks into oranges to let the juice out. We also used small sticks to block up … [Read More...]

selfies tower

Russian government publishes guide to taking ‘safe selfies’

The Russian authorities have launched a “safe selfie” campaign in response to a series of deaths and serious injuries among selfie-takers who, in the pursuit of extreme selfie shots, have suffered numerous accidents such as falling off bridges, receiving self-inflicted gunshot wounds and being bitten by venomous snakes. The Russian booklet shows all the ways NOT to take a selfie, including hanging from buildings, standing in front of moving trains or posing with wild animals or firearms. It's understandable why people are concerned.  Will it work? Probably not. The people most likely to be impacted by this campaign are the parents of extreme selfie-takers (since most are teens and young … [Read More...]

Forks with app logos

Digital Weight Loss (Part 3): How to Choose a Good Diet App

In Part 1, I talked about the importance of consulting with a healthcare professional to learn about healthy diet approaches. Most apps are not based on behavioral change theory. As I wrote in Part 2, apps are uniquely suiting to providing easy ways of self-monitoring diet and activity and facilitating social connection. These two features are very important because they are consistently associated with successful weight loss. What makes a good diet app?  Something that works for you because, while I know this seems obvious, you want to find an app that you will actually use.  Sometimes that involves a little trial and error. Here are seven pointers to help you figure out which app will … [Read More...]


Digital Weight Loss (Part 2): Why Use an App?

As I wrote in Part 1, apps can be very effective tools to support weight loss, but there is some work you need to do first: make a commitment, visit your doctor or a nutritionist to get a good sense of a healthy diet plan and reasonable weight loss goals and visit a trainer or coach to get an idea of what exercise plans make sense so you don’t hurt yourself. In Part 2, I’m going to talk about what it is that apps CAN do, once you get all the information you need to make informed decisions about a diet. The reason most diets fail isn’t due to lack of willpower; it’s due to unreasonable expectations and nutritional knowledge gaps. It’s fair to ask, however, if you need all this information … [Read More...]