Some time ago, a friend sent me a YouTube link with no explanation. In fact, I'm pretty sure the e-mail didn't even have a subject. Once I clicked the link and started watching the video I realized why: how does one neatly describe the hilarity of a video in which a monkey forcibly rides a pig backward? Even better, the video's creator, Perry Gripp, wrote a silly song to go with the video. If you haven't seen it, the video is worth checking out for a good laugh, but be warned: the song will stick with … Read more
Since 2010, Facebook users have been able to list family members on their profiles. In February, the social-networking site added "in a civil union" or "in a domestic partnership" to its relationship status line.
Now, Facebook lets people announce that they are expecting through a status update that includes anticipated date of birth and name(s). (Being a twin, I am compelled to point out that some will be entering multiple babies/names.)
An obvious debate quickly ensued, and will likely rage for a good week or two before everyone forgets that there once was a time when such an option was unavailable.
Among the currently trending questions: Is this just another way for Facebook to add to its data pool? Is it at all appropriate to announce pregnancy (or adoption) online? Does this simply serve our growing ability to self-aggrandize? Et cetera.
Immediately after Facebook launched the feature, it was discovered that a technical glitch enabled pranksters to enter their Facebook friends' names as the expected children, but that has since been fixed.
Related stories How to follow Facebook pages anonymously Control who can view your Facebook photos How to move your Facebook photos to Google+
Of course, the beauty of the system is that the user gets to decide whether to take advantage of the new status option. If you like it, use it. If you don't, then don't. And people can still let everyone know in their preferred way first, before releasing the news in one fell swoop via Facebook.… Read more
Anyone who's ever been around small children can tell you that they love to imitate Mom and Dad. If this tendency is endangering your computer with Junior's indiscriminate keyboard banging, Baby Kids Keyboard Free Edition might be the program for you. This simple software provides kid-friendly images and sounds while protecting your computer from potentially problematic keyboard inputs.
The program comes with five themes: the default theme (an assortment of random objects), cartoon animals, keyboard, piano, and an editable theme that you can customize. Each touch of the keyboard changes the image displayed and, depending on the theme, … Read more
The term "sudden infant death syndrome" is vague for a reason; it names the unexpected and inexplicable death of a child under age 1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that roughly 2,500 babies in the U.S. alone die from SIDS each year.
While the cause of the syndrome remains unknown, researchers theorize that a big drop in heart rate precedes the death--which is why two students at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel have been busy working on a computer system that would sound an alarm should an infant's heart rate drop below a certain level.
Using what is described as a basic video camera with a home computer, the researchers added software which, while still being developed, actually monitors the baby's skin tone to detect a drop in pulse.… Read more
Pregnancy is an exciting time, and it gives a person a lot to think about. What expectant parent isn't curious about their fetus' development, or counting down the days until her or his arrival? ParentWeb Baby Tracker lets parents track their child's development both in the womb and after they've entered the world, and also gives users access to the content on ParentWeb.com.
The program's interface has several components. There's a widget at the top of the screen that tracks either the length of your pregnancy or how old your baby is, depending on … Read more
It was hard enough coming up with names for my cats. I can't imagine the struggle to find just the right name for a human baby. Busy parents-to-be can now hand the baby-naming burden off to their unborn children with the Kick to Pick iPhone app.
Choose your favorite names from a list of thousands or let the app randomly pick from boys' or girls' names in its database.
The 99-cent app takes the term "baby bump" in a whole new direction. Start up the kick picker, place the iPhone on your belly, and wait for your baby to give a hearty kick. You can stick with the name Junior lands on or try again.
I picked out a few names and tested out the app. I'm not pregnant, but it still works with the tap of a finger. If I have a boy, he will be named "Festus." If it's a girl, she will be called "Agnes." My imaginary kids are going to hate me.
Kick to Pick doesn't shy away from some of the unusual names that are so popular with Hollywood types. You can, for example, throw "Captain," "London," "Early," and "Zebulon" into the name hopper.
If your little angel complains when he gets older, you can just say remind him that he picked his own name using an iPhone app. … Read more
About 80 percent of commonly used baby products recently surveyed by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, contain toxic or untested halogenated flame retardants, and 36 percent contain chlorinated Tris--a toxin that, along with the related brominated Tris, was banned for several years in the 1970s.
What's more, the flame retardants--there to meet California standard TB117 that consumer items withstand a small open flame--are easily rendered ineffective when put in, for instance, baby furniture with fabric covers that are not required to be resistant, says chemist and visiting scholar Arlene Blum, who helped organize the study just reported in in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
"The California furniture flammability standard called TB117 does not provide proven protection from fire," she says. "If we can change that requirement, we can have a positive effect worldwide, because these flame retardants are not just a California or U.S. problem--they've become global pollutants."
The semi-volatile chemicals get into the air and then into dust, where researchers say they can be ingested or form films on walls and windows. (An April 2011 UC Berkeley study found that Latino children in the U.S. have seven times the level of flame retardants in their blood than those living in Mexico.)… Read more
Facebook is apparently spawning an epidemic of child cruelty at the hands of their own parents--we now have our second report of the inspiration for a newborn's name being drawn from Mark Zuckerberg's own baby. First there was the Egyptian infant who was named "Facebook," and now an Israeli child faces enduring adolescence with the name "Like." Yes, that Like, as in the little hand with the thumbs-up, constantly approving of photos of your niece, your drunken co-workers at happy hour, and of course, this story.
Like is the latest addition to the family of Lior and Vardit Adler. Father Lior says he was simply looking for a unique name and had considered some Chinese names, but settled on Like because, well, his wife liked the sound of it.
He says the name isn't part of any marketing gimmick and he hasn't been paid by anyone from Silicon Valley. In fact, he's not even that big of a Facebook fan, with less than 150 friends. Regardless, I'm clicking my Mazel tov! icon in honor of Like Adler.
Let's just get right to it: This is not an article about soft porn. Neither is this man trying to eat what appears to be a seafood pasta dish out of his partner's belly.
However ill-conceived this illustration may be, it is an entirely realistic prediction of body positions if the beltlike device around the pregnant woman's belly is actually giving this man a view of an unborn baby.
Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:
Windows Phone 7 is scheduled for its first update since the mobile operating system launched last fall
The next generation of MacBook Pros may have a new wireless connection technology
Apple may be working on a television product other than the Apple TV
Toyota is going to start selling hybrid car chargers in 2012
Former Senator Chris Dodd may soon be named chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America