Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Asymmetrical "Uncertainty" -

Asymmetrical "Uncertainty" -

"Sorry, but this isn’t symmetrical. To the extent that policy uncertainty is a factor, it’s a factor because we have the most ruthless, self-absorbed opposition party since the 1850s."

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The London Whale and Bloomberg from NYC

Today we can read in the NYT the state of the financial catastrophe through the London Whale Tale. Bruno Iksil is the so-called whale. His boss, Javier Martin-Artajo is a Spaniard member of that country's 1 % elite. Spain has given us characters as Hernan Cortes, and Mr. Martin-Artajo; they established Exploitative systems, for their own self-interest.  In my eyes, they are criminals in need of punishment, I'm glad JPMorgan took the step of suing Mr. Martin-Artajo.

On the other hand, Mayor Bloomberg of New York, also a member of that class, has shown determination in dealing with the whale of a storm that hit the East coast of the United States.

Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead in Mexico, both my parents are now dead, and I feel a responsibility towards the younger generation to tell it how it is. When we die, we do not take any material possession with us, as Benoit Mandelbrot, reminds us in his autobiography, The Fractalist,  his friends who did not leave Europe when Adolf Hitler's followers were coming for them, because they wanted to keep some material possessions, ended up loosing their lives.

Michael Bloomberg is a great man who happens to be rich, Javier Martin-Artajo is a rich man who happens to be mean.

This is the Tale of the London Whale.

2012 JPMorgan Chase trading loss - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2012 JPMorgan Chase trading loss - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Javier Martin-Artajo
Reported to Macris, worked at Dresdner with him
Head of credit trading /credit-trading chief for the Chief Investment Office
Former Managing director and trader
No longer with the firm
Represented by attorney Greg Campbell
per WSJ[22]
often began weekly global strategy sessions by saying he had little to say—and then discussed global economies at length in his thick Spanish accent.
urged Iksil to adjust valuation prices higher to conceal losses
"We should not be showing a certain amount of losses from the trades until we see where the market is going"
"I'd prefer" that a higher price be put on certain positions"
[exasperated] "These marks just don't make sense" [referring to lower prices assigned by brokers as received by the Valuation Group 2012_JPMorgan_Chase_trading_loss#Valuation_Control_Group
trading team had begun to doubt market prices and were convinced rivals were manipulating markets to the detriment of J.P. Morgan
"Hedge funds can't keep dictating these prices""

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JPMorgan Sues Boss of 'London Whale' -

JPMorgan Sues Boss of 'London Whale' -

 "Now JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank, is taking aim at one of its former executives in the chief investment office, a once little-known unit at the center of the bungled trades. JPMorgan is suing Javier Martin-Artajo, the manager who directly supervised Bruno Iksil, the so-called London Whale, according to a lawsuit made public on Wednesday."

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Discovering Your Child’s Currency and Using It to Create Positive Change | Blog

Discovering Your Child’s Currency and Using It to Create Positive Change | Blog:

 "Influencing a child to make the right choices regarding his behavior can be a challenge, especially when the child in question is a particularly strong-willed one. Often, the most effective method of bringing about change is determining a child’s individual currency and using it as an incentive to motivate him to make the right choices."

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10 Unusual Ways to Use Epsom Salts at Home | Housekeeping

10 Unusual Ways to Use Epsom Salts at Home | Housekeeping:

 "Did you know that Epsom salts were named for the salty spring where they came from in Surrey, England?  When people think of Epsom salts, the first thing that comes to mind is probably soaking stiff muscles in the bathtub, but there are many more uses for Epsom salts than just that.  Check out these 10 unusual ways you can use Epsom salts at home."

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Is a Nanny or an Au Pair the Right Choice for Your Family? | Aupair Jobs

Is a Nanny or an Au Pair the Right Choice for Your Family? | Aupair Jobs:

"There are two types of in-home childcare that families can choose from as they search for the right provider to watch over their children: nanny care and au pair care. Although the two are similar to each other, there are also some significant differences between them that set them apart. Which choice is right for your family depends on what your individual needs are. Here are the factors to consider before making your decision."

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30 Blogs with Tips on Traveling With Kids

30 Blogs with Tips on Traveling With Kids:

"Making the decision to make a long distance trip with your little ones in tow can be difficult, especially when everyone you speak to on the subject advises you against it. Thankfully, these 30 blog posts discuss the ins and outs of traveling with children, offering great advice, hints and tips to help ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible"

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10 iPhone Apps That Help With Discipline | Find A Nanny

10 iPhone Apps That Help With Discipline | Find A Nanny:

"When it comes to Apple’s powerful and popular iPhone, it seems that there’s very little the mobile device isn’t able to streamline and simplify. Thanks to the App Store and the developers that make it great, there are even offerings to help busy parents track and manage parenting and disciplinary tactics. These 10 apps are among the most popular and useful for keeping up with kids’ behavior, as well as the rewards and consequences of their behavioral choices."

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5 Things Nannies and Employers Should Discuss Before They Happen - Become A Nanny

5 Things Nannies and Employers Should Discuss Before They Happen - Become A Nanny:

"While the day to day life of working as a nanny can be largely unpredictable given the nature of the children in her care, there are some things that occur on the job that are fairly predictable, yet often not planned for or discussed."

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5 Crafts You Can Do Using Broken Crayons | Babysitting Jobs

5 Crafts You Can Do Using Broken Crayons | Babysitting Jobs:

"Young children often love to color, but since they are still developing their hand-eye coordination they sometimes end up pressing down too hard on their crayons, accidentally breaking them.  Most parents hate to throw the broken pieces away, and instead end up tossing them into a bucket so the kids can still use them.  However, after a while it may seem like your collection of broken crayons is a little bit too big.  When that’s the case, check out these crafts you can do with them."

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Mexican man pleads guilty in killing of US agent - News -

Mexican man pleads guilty in killing of US agent - News -

 "PHOENIX (AP) — A Mexican man pleaded guilty Tuesday in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death revealed the botched ‘‘Fast and Furious’’ gun-smuggling operation, marking the biggest conviction to date in a case that embarrassed the federal government and prompted a series of congressional investigations."

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‘The Fractalist,’ Benoit B. Mandelbrot’s Math Memoir -

‘The Fractalist,’ Benoit B. Mandelbrot’s Math Memoir -

"When I find myself in the company of scientists,” W. H. Auden wrote, “I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes.” Benoit B. Mandelbrot (1924-2010) had the kind of beautiful, buzzing mind that made even gifted fellow scientists feel shabby around the edges. Mandelbrot is said to have revitalized visual geometry and coined the term “fractal” to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes that uncannily mimic the irregularities found in nature.

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Did Gov. Christie Just Elect Obama?

With a few days to go, and after hurricane Sandy went head on to Jersey Shore, Governor Chris Christie has been all over the TV talking head hit parade, highly praising President Obama.

Of course Obama deserves the praise, but I thought Christie supported Romney.

After Obama's reelection, I wouldn't be surprised if Christie goes up in the the public eye, and why not, maybe he'll land a Federal Department job, say head of that one, Governor Rick Perry wanted to eliminate, and neither him, nor I, remember the name of.

Well done Chris!

Monday, October 29, 2012

30 Blogs Focused on Boosting Your Immunity | Full Time Nanny

30 Blogs Focused on Boosting Your Immunity | Full Time Nanny:

 "As the weather begins to cool down and the days get shorter, thoughts naturally turn to strengthening and protecting your immune system to prevent seasonal colds, flu and other illnesses. While nothing listed in these 30 blogs should be considered a substitute for the advice and care of a trained medical professional, they do offer up plenty of food-for-thought information that can help you make the most of all your natural defenses this cold and flu season"

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5 DIY Last Minute Halloween Costumes | Live-In Nanny

5 DIY Last Minute Halloween Costumes | Live-In Nanny:

 "You’re down to the wire and you can’t find a costume, so what do you do?  You could send the kids in last year’s costume if it still fits, but that’s probably not going to be much fun for them.  Or you could have them put a sheet over their head and go as a ghost, but that’s been done a thousand times.  Don’t despair; instead check out these last minute costumes you can throw together at home."

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Nanny Classifieds » 30 Must Read Blogs for Those Considering Hiring a Nanny

Nanny Classifieds » 30 Must Read Blogs for Those Considering Hiring a Nanny:

 "Making the decision to return to work after the birth of a child, whether it’s at the end of your maternity leave or several years later, is never easy. And while the idea of leaving your child in the care of a trustworthy, dedicated private employee is often more comforting than the thought of a large center-based daycare plan, there are some things you’ll want to take into consideration before making that plunge. These 30 blog entries discuss the details of employing a domestic worker, and cover everything from typical duties to the importance of tax compliance. These posts are great resources for parents considering the engagement of their first nanny."

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10 iPhone Apps for Tracking Public Transportation Schedules « House Sitting Jobs

10 iPhone Apps for Tracking Public Transportation Schedules « House Sitting Jobs:

 "Opting to commute or traverse your city via mass transit comes with a variety of perks. From creating downtime that allows you to read or boost your work productivity to saving money as fuel costs rise and eliminating the morning struggle to find parking while doing your part to save the environment, it’s well worth the occasional hassle. Managing the schedules in a larger city can be a fairly daunting tasks, though. Fortunately, the talented developers of applications available through the App Store for your iPhone can come to the rescue, eliminating one more reason to drive your own car to work."

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How to Dress Kids for Winter Weather « Nanny Care

How to Dress Kids for Winter Weather « Nanny Care:

 "As cooler weather starts to roll around, new parents or those that have recently relocated to a more wintry climate often find themselves struggling to determine the best methods for dressing their youngsters in weather-appropriate attire. While opinions on the subject can be quite varied on the topic, there are a few truths that parents forced with their first real winter weather should consider before the chill sets in."

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Impact of Hurricane Sandy on Election Is Uncertain -

Impact of Hurricane Sandy on Election Is Uncertain -

 "I’m not sure whether I render the greater disservice by contemplating the political effects of a natural disaster — or by ignoring the increasingly brisk winds whipping outside my apartment in Brooklyn. Still, I thought it was worth giving you my tentative thoughts on how Hurricane Sandy might affect the runup to next Tuesday’s election."

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10 Red Flags Nannies Should Watch For During a Nanny Employer Interview | Nanny Interview Questions

10 Red Flags Nannies Should Watch For During a Nanny Employer Interview | Nanny Interview Questions:

"There are a lot of things to consider when deciding if a potential nanny position is the right job for you or not, so before you accept a post there are several things you want to evaluate. Here are 10 things that may say the job you’re interviewing for just isn’t a good fit."

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5 Tips for Preparing Your Garden for Fall | Housekeeping

5 Tips for Preparing Your Garden for Fall | Housekeeping:

"Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean your garden has to be done displaying beautiful colors.  While it’s important to do some routine maintenance on your garden in the fall, you can also plant some fall flowers.   Fall flowers will give your garden that pop of color that will last into the winter.  Grab your gloves and throw on a sweatshirt and get ready to get dirty."

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8 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Child While You’re at Work | Blog

8 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Child While You’re at Work | Blog:

 "Being away from your child all day long is no easy feat, even for a mom who loves her job and her childcare provider. But just because you’re physically separated doesn’t mean you need to be in the dark with regards to how your child spends the moments of his day. With a little creativity and effort, working moms with a willing caregiver can stay in touch in more ways than you may think."

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10 iPhone Apps That Foster Creativity in Kids | Babysitters

10 iPhone Apps That Foster Creativity in Kids | Babysitters:

"The business innovators, problem solvers and success stories of the future are very likely to be children whose parents encouraged their creativity, doing everything that they could to nurture creative impulses throughout their little one’s childhood. Thankfully, the wildly popular iPhone not only manages a variety of tasks for busy parents, but also has an entire subsection of applications in the App Store that can help kids develop their creativity along the way."

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Should You Let Your Nanny Bring Her Child To Work With Her? | Nanny Jobs

Should You Let Your Nanny Bring Her Child To Work With Her? | Nanny Jobs:

 "Many nannies who are also moms look for families that will allow them to bring their own child to work with them. This is a valuable benefit to the nanny and, under the right circumstances, can also be a benefit to the employer. Here are the things you should think about when deciding if this situation is right for your family."

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30 of the Best Blogs for Christian Moms | Find A Nanny

30 of the Best Blogs for Christian Moms | Find A Nanny:

 "The New International Version of Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” For Christian mothers, this is clear instruction to raise children in accordance with the ways of Christ, teaching them to live their faith every day. In today’s world, that task can seem like an almost overwhelming challenge; thankfully, there’s a virtual fellowship of like-minded moms created by the vast network of Christian parenting blogs. These 30 entries cover several aspects of Christian parenting, from spiritual instruction to education and discipline, and are valuable resources for women of faith determined to parent according to God’s word."

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Medicaid on the Ballot -

Medicaid on the Ballot -

 "There’s a lot we don’t know about what Mitt Romney would do if he won. He refuses to say which tax loopholes he would close to make up for $5 trillion in tax cuts; his economic “plan” is an empty shell."

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Shallow Waters and Unusual Path May Worsen Surge -

Shallow Waters and Unusual Path May Worsen Surge -

 "Storm surges like those accompanying Hurricane Sandy as it churns north in the Atlantic Ocean are, at their simplest, a function of strong winds driving too much water into too small a space. But other factors, some of which will come into play as this storm approaches the New York area, can combine to make surges higher and more destructive, experts said."

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Chile - Daughter of Allende's VP's Wins in Santiago -

Chile - Daughter of Allende's VP's Wins in Santiago -

 "SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The ruling center-right alliance has held onto most major cities but lost some key races in the capital in municipal elections Sunday that saw millions of young Chileans vote for the first time.

The left's biggest victory was in central Santiago, where Carolina Toha defeated Pablo Zalaquett of the ultra-conservative Independent Democratic Union. Toha served as former President Michelle Bachelet's spokeswoman. Her father died of torture during the dictatorship after serving as socialist Salvador Allende's vice president.

Toha had sided with the students protesting for free, quality education in Chile, while Zalaquett ordered police to crack down on their demonstrations.

For many members of Chile's student protest movement, which burst onto the scene last year with a series of massive demonstrations, this was their first chance to vote."

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Teaching Lessons -

Teaching Lessons -

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The War on Objectivity

Brad DeLong points me to this National Review attack on Nate Silver, which I think of as illustrating an important aspect of what’s really happening in America.
For those new to this, Nate is a sports statistician turned political statistician, who has been maintaining a model that takes lots and lots of polling data — most of it at the state level, which is where the presidency gets decided — andconverts it into election odds. Like others doing similar exercises — Drew LinzerSam Wang, and Pollster — Nate’s model continued to show an Obama edge even after Denver, and has shown that edge widening over the past couple of weeks.
This could be wrong, obviously. And we’ll find out on Election Day. But the methodology has been very clear, and all the election modelers have been faithful to their models, letting the numbers fall where they may.
Yet the right — and we’re not talking about the fringe here, we’re talking about mainstream commentators and publications — has been screaming “bias”! They know, just know, that Nate must be cooking the books. How do they know this? Well, his results look good for Obama, so it must be a cheat. Never mind the fact that Nate tells us all exactly how he does it, and that he hasn’t changed the formula at all.
This is, of course, reminiscent of the attack on the Bureau of Labor Statistics — not to mention the attacks on climate science and much more. On the right, apparently, there is no such thing as an objective calculation. Everything must have a political motive.
This is really scary. It means that if these people triumph, science — or any kind of scholarship — will become impossible. Everything must pass a political test; if it isn’t what the right wants to hear, the messenger is subjected to a smear campaign.
It’s almost besides the point to notice that the whole notion that Nate Silver is somehow serving Obama’s interests by skewing the results is bizarre. This race is going to be decided by actual votes, not perceptions of “momentum”. But then posturing and bragging seems to be central to the right’s theory, for reasons I don’t get.
Anyway, it’s another disgraceful episode. And the fact that the National Review ran with this tells you all you need to know about the publication.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Some Are More Unequal Than Others

This election has rightly been characterized as one that will deeply affect the future direction of the country: Americans are being given a choice with potentially large consequences. One arena in which there are profound differences that has not been adequately debated is the future course of inequality.
Mitt Romney has been explicit: inequality should be talked about only in quiet voices behind closed doors. But with the normally conservative magazine The Economist publishing a special series showing the extremes to which American inequality has grown — joining a growing chorus (of which my book “The Price of Inequality” is an example) arguing that the extremes of American inequality, its nature and origins, are adversely affecting our economy — it is an issue that not even the Republicans can ignore. It is no longer just a moral issue, a question of social justice.
This perhaps provides part of the explanation for why inequality and poverty should suddenly appear as part of the Romney-Ryan makeover, as they attempt to portray themselves (to use a phrase of some 12 years ago) as compassionate conservatives. In Cleveland on Wednesday, Paul Ryan gave a speech that might lead one to conclude that the two Republican candidates were really concerned about poverty. But more revealing than oratory are budget numbers — like those actually contained in the Ryan budget. His budget proposal guts programs that serve those at the bottom, and little could have done more to enrich those at the top than his original tax proposals (like the elimination of capital gains taxes, a position from which he understandably has tried to distance himself). Every other advanced country has recognized the right of everyone to access to health care, and extending access was central to President Obama’s health care reform. Romney and Ryan have criticized that reform, but have said nothing about how or whether they would ensure universal access. Most important, the macroeconomic consequences of the Romney-Ryan economic program would be devastating: growth would slow, unemployment would increase, and just as Americans would need the social protection of government more, the safety net would be weakened.
We’d all do well to pay a bit closer attention. That American inequality is at historic highs is undisputed. It’s not just that the top 1 percent takes in about a fifth of the income, and controls more than a third of the wealth. America also has become the country (among the advanced industrial countries) with the least equality of opportunity. Meanwhile, those in the middle are faring badly, in every dimension, in security, in income, and in wealth — the wealth of the typical household is back to where it was in the 1990s. While the recession has made all of this worse, even before the recession they weren’t faring well: in 2007, the income of the typical family was lower than it was at the end of the last century. While Obama may not have done as much as he should to counteract the steep downturn he inherited from George W. Bush upon taking office — and he underestimated the depth of the problems that had been passed along to him — he did far more than his predecessor. And he could have done far more, as the dimensions of the problem became clearer to everyone, had he not faced such strong opposition in Congress.
There are many forces giving rise to this high and rising inequality. But the fact that America’s inequality is greater than other advanced countries’ says that it’s not just market forces. After all, other advanced countries are subjected to market forces much like those confronting us. Markets don’t exist in a vacuum. Government policies — or their lack — have played a critical role in creating and maintaining these inequities.
Inequality in “market incomes” — what individuals receive apart from any transfers from the government — has increased as a result of ineffective enforcement of competition laws, inadequate financial regulation, deficiency in corporate governance laws, and “corporate welfare” — huge open and hidden subsidies to our corporations that reached new heights in the Bush administration. When, for instance, competition laws are not enforced, monopolies grow, and with them the income of monopolists. Competition, by contrast, drives profits down. What is disturbing about Romney and Ryan is that they have done so little to distance themselves from the economic policies of the Bush administration, which not only led to poor economic performance, but also to so much inequality. Understandably, perhaps, Romney has not explained why those, like him, in the hedge fund and equity fund business should be able to use a loophole in the tax law to pay 15 percent taxes on their earnings, when ordinary workers pay a far higher rate.
Our government does less to correct these inequalities than we did in the past, or than other countries do, and as disparities in “market” incomes have increased, its efforts have diminished. It’s not just a matter of redistribution, as some suggest. It’s in part a matter of ensuring that those at the top pay a fair share of their taxes. And it’s in part a matter of ensuring that those at the bottom and in the middle get a fair start in life, through access to education, adequate nutrition and health, and not being exposed to the environmental hazards that have come to plague many of our poor neighborhoods.
But Romney’s campaign likes to play tricks with numbers. When he unleashed a tirade against the bottom 47 percent of supposedly freeloading Americans (for which he has since apologized), he failed to note what should have been obvious and has been pointed out repeatedly since he made that remark:  those Americans do pay large amounts in taxes. These include (and I’m hardly the first to point this out) payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, and even part of the corporate income taxes that our major corporations manage to pass on to their customers. He failed to note, too, the many older Americans barely above poverty who receive social security payments, for which they contributed through a lifetime of work. Yes, the rich may pay a high and increasing share of the country’s total tax revenue, but that’s only because they have a high and increasing share of our national income— not because their rates have gone up. 
Many of the very rich, like Romney, are avoiding taxes because of numerous loopholes that favor the rich, and capital gains taxes that are taxed at less than half the rate of other income. The 14 percent rate Romney reportedly paid on his income last year is well below that of Americans of comparable income who worked for their money doing things like creating a real business. Tax havens like the Cayman Islands (condemned by the Group20 and all economic experts) facilitate another level of tax avoidance. That the practice is legal is not an economic justification — the loopholes that allow it were put in place by the rich and the bankers, lawyers and lobbyists who serve them so well. We can be sure that the money is not in the Cayman Islands just because it grows faster in the bright sunshine there.
Putting all this together isn’t the politics of envy, as Romney’s camp likes to complain, or even about shaking a finger at the country’s real freeloaders. It’s about cold, hard economics. Tax avoidance and low rates on capital gains — and the inequality they amplify — are weakening our economy. Were the rich paying their fair share, our deficit would be smaller, and we would be able to invest more in infrastructure, technology and education — investments that would create jobs now and enhance growth in the future. While education is central to restoring America as a land of opportunity, all three of these are crucial for future growth and increases in living standards. Tax havens discourage investment in the United States. Taxing speculators at a lower rate encourages speculation and instability — and draws our most talented young people out of more productive endeavors. The result is a distorted, inefficient economy that grows more slowly than it should.
We can be sure that the money is not in the Cayman Islands just because it grows faster in the bright sunshine there.We can be sure that the money is not in the Cayman Islands just because it grows faster in the bright sunshine there.
The Romney campaign, however, has defended inequality or brushed it aside. To do so, it has employed a handful of economic myths. Here are a few of the most important:
(1) America is a land of opportunity. While rags-to-riches stories still grip our imagination, the fact of the matter is that the life chances of a young American are more dependent on the income and wealth of his parents than in any of the other advanced countries for which there is data. There is less upward mobility — and less downward mobility from the top — even than in Europe, and we’re not just talking about Scandinavia.
(2) Trickle-down economics works (a k a “a rising tide lifts all boats”). This idea suggests that further enriching the wealthy will make us all better off. America’s recent economic history shows the patent falsehood of this notion. The top has done very well. But median American incomes are lower than they were a decade and a half ago. Various groups — men and those without a college education — have fared even worse. Median income of a full-time male worker, for instance, is lower than it was four decades ago.
(3) The rich are the “job creators,” so giving them more money leads to more and better jobs. This is really a subset of Myth 2. But Romney’s own private sector history gives it the lie. As we all know from the discussion of Bain Capital and other equity firms, many made their money not by creating jobs in America but by “restructuring,” “downsizing” and moving jobs abroad, often using debt to bleed the companies of money needed for investment, and using the money to enrich themselves. But more generally, the rich are not the source of transformative innovations. Many, if not most of the crucial innovations in recent decades, from medicine to the Internet, have been based in large measure on government-financed research and development. The rich take their money where the returns are highest, and right now many see those high returns in emerging markets. It’s not a surprise that Romney’s trust fund invested in China, but it’s hard to see how giving the rich more money — through more latitude to escape taxation, either through low taxes in the United States or Cayman Islands hide-aways — leads to a stronger American economy.
(4) The cost of reducing inequality is so great that, as much as idealists would like to do so, we would be killing the goose that lays the golden egg. In fact, the engine of our economic growth is the middle class. Inequality weakens aggregate demand, because those at the middle and bottom have to spend all or almost all of what that they get, while those at the top don’t. The concentration of wealth in recent decades led to bubbles and instability, as the Fed tried to offset the effects of weak demand arising from our inequality by low interest rates and lax regulation. The irony is that the tax cuts for capital gains and dividends that were supposed to spur investment by the wealthy alleged job creators didn’t do so, even with record low interest rates: private sector job creation under Bush was dismal. Mainstream economic institutions like the International Monetary Fund now recognize the connection between inequality and a weak economy. To argue the contrary is a self-serving idea being promoted by the very wealthy.
(5) Markets are self-regulating and efficient, and any governmental interference with markets is a mistake. The 2008 crisis should have cured everyone of this fallacy, but anyone with a sense of history would realize that capitalism has been plagued with booms and busts since its origin. The only period in our history in which financial markets did not suffer from excesses was the period after the Great Depression, in which we put in place strong regulations that worked. It’s worth noting that we grew much faster, and more stably, in the decades after World War II than in the period after 1980, when we started stripping away the regulations. And in the former period we grew together, in contrast to the latter, when we grew apart.
As I have explained in detail elsewherethe cost of these myths goes far beyond the damage to our economy, now and in the future. The fabric of our society and democracy is suffering. The worry is that those at the top are investing their money not in real investments, in real innovations, but in political investments. Their big contributions to the presidential and Congressional campaigns are, too often, not charitable contributions. They expect, and have received, high returns from these political investments. These political investments, exemplified by those the financial institutions made, yielded far higher returns than anything else they did. The investments bought deregulation and a huge bailout — though they also brought the economy to the brink of ruin and are a source of much of our inequality. 
Such political investments undermine and corrupt our democracy. But there are other manifestations: America is fast becoming a country marked not by justice for all, but by justice for those who can afford it. (Just one of many examples is that no banker has been prosecuted, let alone convicted, for banks’ systematic lying to the court regarding the fraudulent practices that played so large a role in the 2008 crisis.) And with the increasing influence of money, especially notable in this election, the outcomes of our political process are becoming more like one dollar, one vote than one person, one vote. It’s even worse, because political inequality leads to economic inequality, which leads in turn to more political inequality, in a vicious spiral undermining our economy and our democracy.
Recognizing all this is not class warfare. It is simply acknowledging the realities of life in the United States, which Romney has not done. That should be cause for concern: if you don’t recognize that there is a problem, and if you don’t understand the sources and consequences, you will never work to solve it.
Obama has at least touched on key elements: his education policies, from “the race to the top” to the reforms of student loan programs, will enhance opportunity. His tax proposals will do a little bit about the extremes at the top. His jobs and investment programs will expand growth now, and in the future, and these will be of enormous benefit to those in the middle. Romney and Ryan have tried a hard tack to the center in their rhetoric in recent weeks. But let no one be deceived: their tax policies will lead to even more inequality at the top, the continued hollowing out of the middle, and more poverty at the bottom. Worst of all, they will lead to a more divided society that endangers our future — our economy, our democracy and our sense of identity as a nation.
Joseph E. Stiglitz , a winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and a former chief economist of the World Bank, is University Professor at Columbia University. His most recent book is “The Price of Inequality.”

East Coast Keeps a Watchful Eye on Hurricane Sandy -

East Coast Keeps a Watchful Eye on Hurricane Sandy -

 "Hurricane Sandy tore through the Bahamas with 100-mile per hour winds early Friday, after killing at least 21 people in the Caribbean, as it made its way toward the Eastern Seaboard."

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10 iPhone Apps That Make Organizing Photos Easier » Nanny.NET

10 iPhone Apps That Make Organizing Photos Easier » Nanny.NET:

"The built-in camera on your iPhone is powerful enough to replace a small handheld digital camera, granting you the ability to take high-quality snapshots at a moment’s notice. Having this power at your fingertips usually results in a flood of photographs, which can be difficult to navigate and put in some semblance of order after a while. For the organization buffs among iPhone owners, here are 10 offerings that can be found in the App Store that will make the task of straightening those photos a snap."

'via Blog this'

The Things Kids Say About Gifts |

The Things Kids Say About Gifts |

"It’s no secret that gift-giving holidays and birthdays are big events on the kid calendar. The excitement of ripping into packages to find a much-desired toy or hobby item can move children into paroxysms of joy, just as opening a gift that they didn’t want can lead to complaining. These are just a sampling of the things that kids commonly say about the gifts they receive, and the typical reasons behind those comments."

'via Blog this'

How to Tell if a Teenager is Mature Enough to Babysit

How to Tell if a Teenager is Mature Enough to Babysit:

 "Babysitting is a time-honored tradition among teenagers looking for a way to earn some extra money while selecting their own schedules, rather than being forced to adhere to one made each week by a manager. If your teen has recently approached you with a desire to begin her career as a babysitter, there are some things you’ll need to take into consideration when determining whether she’s mature and responsible enough to be charged with the very important task of caring for dependent children. Before giving your teen the green light to start searching for babysitting clients, you should consider the following points."

'via Blog this'

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Nanny Your Personal Confidante | Hire a Nanny

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Nanny Your Personal Confidante | Hire a Nanny:

"Because your nanny cares for your children, has an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of your household, and may even live in your home, it’s easy for personal and professional lines to blur. Oftentimes, nannies become more like friends or treasured members of the family than employees. There are, however, a few boundaries that are wise to keep in place. Specifically, parents should avoid viewing their nanny as a confidante. There are several reasons why there needs to remain a professional distance in the nanny/employer relationship, as well as many instances in which viewing your nanny as a confidante could prove to cause regret in the future, but these are 10 of the most serious."

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10 Things to Keep in Mind When Teaching Your Kids about Stranger Danger

10 Things to Keep in Mind When Teaching Your Kids about Stranger Danger:

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center estimates that roughly 2,000 children are reported missing every day. Luckily, the vast majority of missing children are found and their cases are resolved within hours; of those who aren’t immediately found, up to 49% are later found to have been abducted by a non-custodial parent or relative. 27% are kidnapped by an acquaintance, leaving only 24% at the hands of complete strangers. While the term “Stranger Danger” has a catchy ring to it, it’s actually a bit misleading because less than ¼ of all abducted children are taken by a stranger. This makes it extremely important to teach children about more than just stranger avoidance."

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How Parents Can Write an Effective Online Profile | Find A Nanny

How Parents Can Write an Effective Online Profile | Find A Nanny:

"Online nanny job sites are a popular way for parents to find a nanny. With hundreds or even thousands of caregivers available in a city, it’s essential to write a profile that attracts the potential candidates that best match your family’s needs. Here are some tips that will help you write an effective profile that will attract matching caregivers."

'via Blog this'

On the Couch: Study links creativity with mental illness - Ealing Gazette

On the Couch: Study links creativity with mental illness - Ealing Gazette:

 "A RECENT study by the Swedish Karolinska Institute has found evidence to suggest that creativity is often a part of mental illness. Writers are particularly badly affected, with a higher risk of anxiety and bipolar disorders, depression and substance abuse, as well as being twice as likely to kill themselves as the general population."

'via Blog this'

4 Types of Nannies Revealed and Discussed

While all nannies are unique, there are four general types of nannies that you may encounter during your nanny search. As you look at different nanny candidates, consider which type of nanny they may be. Doing so may give you a glance into their backgrounds, motives and qualifications for working as a nanny.

1. The Career Nanny. The career nanny is a nanny who is making a career out of working as an in-home child care specialist. A career nanny may or may not have formal nanny training, but generally has some type of educational background or interest in early childhood development. Career nannies tend to have extensive experience working in private homes and are typically passionate about their work. Sometimes a career nanny will develop a niche, like working with multiples, newborns, special needs children or children of divorce. Career nannies may be closely connected to other nannies and be involved in nanny groups, nanny support groups or professional nanny organizations. Many career nannies will have more experience working with babies and young children than their employers. For this reason, if you’re considering a career nanny you’ll want to evaluate if you are open to a parenting partner that will regularly share tips, advice and suggestions.

2. The Transitioned Nanny. The transitioned nanny is a nanny that transitioned to being a nanny from another related profession. Transitioned nannies may include nannies who were first preschool teachers, elementary school teachers, pediatric nurses or family psychologists. Transitioned nannies are likely to have the appropriate skill set for working with young children, but may lack the experience working in an in-home environment. When considering hiring a transition nanny, you’ll want to be clear about your expectations, allow her time to assimilate to working in a private home, and tweak her skill set to work in the in-home environment.

3. The Stepping Stone Nanny. The stepping stone nanny is a nanny that is working as an in-home child care provider until she figures out what she wants to do next. Stepping stone nannies may include nannies who have completed a degree in early childhood education and want to work as a nanny until they find their ideal teaching job or perhaps a high school graduate considering a degree in early childhood education who wants to test the waters of working with young children first. Stepping stone nannies may also include nannies with previous nanny or childcare experience who are looking to utilize their experience while in between jobs. Stepping stone nannies don’t typically view being a nanny as a career, but rather a stepping stone to doing what they really wish to be doing next. If hiring a stepping stone nanny, you’ll want to be sure your stepping stone nanny will commit to at least one year of employment, or whatever other timeframe you require.

4. The Granny Nanny. The granny nanny does not refer to a nanny’s age, but rather her experience in raising her own children and her desire to help others raise theirs. Granny nannies may not have any formal childcare training or experience, but instead rely on the experience of raising their own children. Many granny nannies look for nanny employment after being laid off from a job, out of a desire to leave their current career and pursue something new, or as something to do during their retired years. Since parenting wisdom and styles changes from generation to generation, if you’re considering hiring a granny nanny, you’ll want to be sure she is familiar with current safety recommendations and practices (like putting healthy babies on their backs to sleep).

While not all nannies will perfectly fit into one of these four general types, chances are that you will be able to identify a category that your candidate fits into best. During the hiring process, keep these categories in mind to help you find the right fit for your family.

Taken From GoNannies

The Things Kids Say About Stepparents

The Stepfamily Association of America estimates that one-third of Americans are part of a blended family that includes a stepparent, stepchild or stepsibling. This massive cultural shift has taken place over the course of only a few generations, leaving many stepfamilies struggling to make sense of their family dynamic. When a child’s household unit changes, first to accommodate a divorce and then with the remarriage of one or both biological parents, these are some of the things that kids are commonly known to say.

  • “Dad Knows How to Do That!” – Bitterness at the change in his home, the absence of a biological father in the household, and a perceived effort by a stepfather to replace that absent parent can leave children feeling as if they’re forced to defend the father that they no longer live with full-time. These comments can be hurtful to a stepfather that’s making a genuine effort to connect with his stepchild, but should be acknowledged as a defense mechanism that often abates as a personal relationship is established.
  • “She’s Mean!” – The myth of the “Evil Stepmother” is so culturally ingrained in the collective consciousness that it can be a knee-jerk reaction for children to classify their new stepmother as “mean,” even when she’s a genuinely nice and affectionate person.
  • “He’s Okay.” – Kids that are reluctant to engage in a discussion about their new family dynamic often make ambiguous statements, refusing to classify a stepparent at all. This reticence may fade with time as he realizes that liking or even loving a stepparent isn’t inherently a betrayal of his biological parent.
  • “She’s Scary!” – Change is frightening for everyone to an extent, but especially for children. The simple act of altering the fabric of his established routine by moving into his home and assuming a role of authority can make kids perceive a new stepparent to be scary, despite a lack of any efforts to intimidate or frighten by that stepparent. While it’s also natural for a biological parent to be suspicious of their former spouse’s new love interest, it’s best to consider every aspect of the situation and do a bit of research before making a snap judgment of the stepparent’s character without cause. Leveling accusations of abuse or harassment is potentially devastating, even if they’re later discovered to be unfounded.
  • “She’s Not My Real Mom!” – In the heat of an argument, a stepchild’s first line of defense is a stinging reminder that a stepmother is not a replacement, and will never take the place of their biological mother. While it can be deeply hurtful to hear those words, stepparents should take the time to consider the feelings of the child.
  • “We Do Fun Things Together!” – Not all relationships between stepchildren and stepparents are negative; in fact, many are healthy, functional parts of the family unit. It may be a bit painful to hear your biological child rave about the great adventures he has with his new stepparent, but an effort to be grateful for his happiness and apparent adjustment to the situation should be made.
  • “He Makes Mom Really Happy.” – Though many children of divorce harbor a desire for their parents to reunite, the knowledge that each parent is finding the happiness with their new spouse that was missing in their marriage to one another can be enough to put some of those hopes to bed for older, more mature children.
  • “I Love Her.” – The ultimate goal of most stepparents is to establish a strong, affectionate relationship with their stepchildren. Proof of success comes when a child willingly utters those three magical words. Reaching this milestone is rarely easy and can be fraught with obstacles along the way, but a bit of patience and understanding can help feelings of love, trust and security to grow.

The shift in dynamics that accompanies the inclusion of a stepparent can create strains on both the relationship between the biological parent and child, and the new marriage in some cases, according to a study released by Robert Emery, PhD. Making a concerted effort to foster resilience and a strong relationship between a child and his stepparent can alleviate some of this pressure, but it often requires more effort than originally anticipated.

Taken From Part-Time Nanny

Helping Your Child Choose a Musical Instrument

Musical instruction can help your child master more than just how to play an instrument over the course of their education, which is why so many parents jump at the opportunity to encourage and foster an interest in music from an early age. According to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation, kids that study music boast more advanced language development than their non-musical peers, while a 2004 study by the University of Toronto at Mississauga showed that six-year-olds who were given weekly voice and piano lessons had a higher IQ than those participating in the study without music lessons. Kids that participate in school band and music programs are also more likely to finish high school, and tend to score more highly on the SATs. With the benefits of instruction in the musical arts so apparent, the only question left to many parents is how to choose the right instrument for their child.

  • Consider Size and Age – The size of an instrument, ease of portability and your child’s age are all factors that should be taken into consideration before settling upon a particular instrument. For instance, children whose permanent front teeth have not erupted aren’t typically considered good candidates for instruction in brass instruments like the trumpet, trombone or tuba and an ungainly and heavy cello may not be ideal for a small child to transport or support during lessons. Piano and violin are popular choices for younger children because they can build a foundation from which kids can gain proficiency in other instruments as they get older. While pianos aren’t known for their portability, most teachers will come to your house for instruction.
  • Look for Specific Inclinations – A child that displays an affinity for rhythmic movement or sound may be more suited to percussion instruments, just as a child who plucks out a recognizable tune on a toy piano may have inclinations that run in just such a direction. Any signs of an inclination towards a particular instrument should definitely be considered during the decision-making process, although these inclinations may not be overly apparent in very young children.
  • Pricing and Feasibility – Some instruments can be significantly more expensive than others, which is an investment that cash-strapped parents may not want to make when they’re not sure that a child’s interest in it will last. Before discussing possible instrument choices with your child, it’s wise to research general, ball-park pricing on student-models in a variety of families to help you determine what will be financially feasible before the search begins. By narrowing the field to instruments that you can reasonably afford before discussing the matter with your child, you can avoid the difficulty of explaining to a heart-broken child that he cannot have the instrument he’s chosen after a glimpse at the price tag.
  • Health Concerns or Physical Limitations – While no parent wants to think of their child as being limited in any way, the truth is that some children have health problems or physical disabilities that make them less suited for certain instruments. Kids with asthma or other respiratory problems, for instance, are likely to struggle with a brass or woodwind instrument. Children that are particularly diminutive may become discouraged when managing a bulky double bass proves difficult. Taking any health concerns into consideration can help you prevent your child from settling on an instrument that he’s not suited to play, and consequently giving up on musical instruction altogether when it doesn’t work out as he expects.
  • Guide Your Child, But Let Him Make the Final Choice – You absolutely should guide your child away from instruments that you know aren’t suited to him, but it’s also important that you offer that guidance in such a way that allows your child to ultimately make the choice himself. Feeling as if he’s been forced into a particular instrument, especially if it’s one he doesn’t want to play, is likely to only leave him disillusioned with musical instruction altogether, making him less receptive during his lessons.
  • Lesson Availability in Your Area – Though it can be tempting to both you and your child to choose an exotic, unique instrument that none of your child’s classmates will play, it’s important to ensure that lessons for that instrument are available in your area before making a final purchase. A didgeridoo might be exciting, but it’s essentially useless if there’s no one around to teach your child how to play it.

Choosing the right instrument is an absolutely essential part of ensuring that your child will practice willingly, approach his lessons eagerly and take his instruction seriously. Forcing your child to play an instrument that he does not like will only make him reluctant to practice and cause him to view lessons as a chore, rather than a fun and desirable hobby. Though as a parent you certainly know what’s best for your child, this is one area where he should be encouraged to play a very active role in the decision-making process.

Taken From Full-Time Nanny

Pop Quiz: How do you get a toddler to have a tantrum free day?

1.) You’re in the grocery store when your toddler has a spontaneous temper tantrum over something that seems relatively minor. You’re in a hurry and fairly stressed, after having a difficult behavioral day with your child. Why is he behaving so badly in public?

A) To deliberately cause you more stress.
B) Because he’s irritable and isn’t verbal enough to express the reason he’s upset clearly.
C) He’s tired or hungry
D) None of the above
E) B, C or D

2.) Your child was a calm and relatively happy infant, but seems to be having at least one temper tantrum a week now that he’s reached toddlerhood. What do you do?

A) Contact his pediatrician.
B) Put strict rules and punishments in place.
C) Be patient and understand that occasional tantrums are a developmental phase that will pass.

3.) Your child is visibly tired, but begins to have a tantrum when you try to put him in a stroller or cart. Why is he being so difficult about walking when he’s obviously low on energy?

A) He’s trying to assert his independence.
B) He’s irritable and difficult to please because he’s exhausted.
C) He’s simply being contrary.
D) Both A and B

4.) Your child deliberately breaks a rule that you know he’s well aware is in place. When you verbally correct the behavior or attempt to put him in time out, he begins wailing and throws a temper tantrum. How do you respond?

A) Drop everything to console him; he’s obviously upset because you were too harsh.
B) Calmly explain why he’s being punished and ignore the tantrum.
C) Extend his time out and scold him more harshly for reacting so strongly.

5.) Your child has tantrums on a regular basis, and seems to be showing no signs of letting them go. What is the cause of this behavior, and how do you approach the issue?

A) Change your parenting style altogether, feeling that you’ve failed him as a parent.
B) Take his individual personality and outside factors into consideration before making any decisions.
C) Ignore the tantrums altogether, in hopes that he’ll simply grow out of them.
D) Shower him with affection and attention the moment a tantrum begins in an effort to soothe him.

6.) Your child is engaged in an activity that, while annoying to you, isn’t at all likely to put him or anyone else in danger. How do you proceed?

A) Immediately intervene, explaining that his behavior is unacceptable to you.
B) Selectively ignore the behavior to prevent a tantrum and let him continue what he’s doing.
C) Redirect his attention, putting a stop to the irritating behavior in a non-confrontational manner.

7.) Your toddler is past the age of two, but not quite a preschooler. He’s still having tantrums on occasion, usually in high-pressure situations. What do you do?

A) Exercise patience and continue to follow your current parenting philosophy.
B) Contact a medical professional to rule out behavioral disorders or emotional problems.
C) Enforce new, stricter rules now that he’s past the “terrible twos” and should be better able to control himself.

8.) You know that your child tends to have more trouble controlling his emotions in crowded, public places, but you can’t find a sitter on short notice and have errands to run. How do you handle the situation?

A) Refuse to let your toddler’s temperament affect your plans, and set off to complete your errands with him in tow.
B) Shuffle your schedule to put the errands off until a day when your regular sitter is available.
C) Talk to your child before you leave about the behavior you expect from him and what he can expect from the trip.

9.) Your child likes to make as many decisions for himself as possible, often leading to disputes that dissolve into tantrums. How do you handle his requests?

A) Give him complete control, unless his choices put him in immediate danger.
B) Don’t pander to his insistence on choosing for himself at all.
C) Allow him to make some decisions, but continue to put your foot down when necessary.

10.) Your child is absorbed in his favorite television show, which has five minutes left in the episode. You have strict rules about screen time, but know that he’ll be upset if you make him abandon the show while it’s still on. How do you proceed?

A) Snap off the television and announce that TV time is over for the day.
B) Take a softer approach, attempting to redirect his attention, though you know he isn’t likely to be receptive.
C) Pick your battles, and decide that this isn’t one of them. Five extra minutes here and there isn’t likely to affect him too adversely.

Answer Key:

Question 1: E. While it may seem like your child deliberately chooses exactly the wrong moment to have an emotional meltdown, he doesn’t have enough of a grasp on adult social niceties to know that a tantrum is an effective method of shaming you into giving in.

Question 2: C. Unless your toddler’s tantrums are exceptionally violent or occur far more often than you feel comfortable with, they should be considered a normal, albeit difficult, developmental phase.

Question 3: D. By toddlerhood your child is exploring boundaries and wants to begin testing his independence. Despite being tired, he will want to prove to both you and himself that he’s capable of walking on his own. Of course, being tired will also increase the chances of a tantrum as well.

Question 4: B. Lavishing your toddler with affection and attention while he’s in the throes of a tantrum sends him the message that tantrums lead to attention. Still, he’s too young to grasp some concepts, which makes harsher punishment unsuitable.

Question 5: B. While the fact that your child is prone to tantrums can make you feel as if you’re a bad parent, that isn’t the case. Toddlers, just like adults, have individual personalities and require a tailored approach to most issues.

Question 6: C. Picking what you know will be a fight simply to put an end to minor, harmless behavior that’s faintly irritating to you might not be the best way to go in situations like these. Because of his relatively short attention span, redirecting your toddler to an activity that doesn’t bother you is most likely the most effective way of ending the behavior without causing a meltdown.

Question 7: A. While the “terrible twos” tend to get all the attention, the truth is that there’s no set age for tantrums to end. In some cases, your child may still be having emotional reactions well past toddlerhood.

Question 8: C. Explaining your expectations in clear, short sentences that are easy for your toddler to grasp help give him a clear picture of what is and is not acceptable, while explaining to him what he’s likely to see and experience while you’re out could prevent tantrums resulting from fear of unfamiliar places.

Question 9: C. With toddler independence, as in most areas, it’s best to take a moderate approach. All or nothing is a very rigid parenting philosophy, leaving neither you nor your child much room for growth.

Question 10: C. While you certainly shouldn’t make a habit of breaking the rules you’ve set, occasional lenience can go a long way towards preserving the peace in your house.

Taken From eNannySource

30 Blogs on Healthy Eating for Moms

Balancing the demands of a career, juggling a busy family, and maintaining a nutritious diet to ensure your continued good health can pose a very serious challenge, but it’s a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Aside from protecting your own physical wellbeing, you’re also responsible for modeling the good dietary habits that your children will emulate. These 30 blog entries offer great recipes, tips and meal ideas for today’s busy mom, making it a bit easier to maintain the healthiest diet possible.

Expecting Moms

Moms-to-be have different dietary requirements and restrictions than their non-expecting peers, which means you’ll have to do a bit of research to ensure that you and your impending bundle of joy get all of the nutrients you need. While these five entries do offer advice and ideas for expecting moms, they’re no substitute for the advice and guidance of your physician.

Moms on the Go

Between commutes, carpools and sports practice, it can be difficult to grab more than a few moments to throw a meal together. These five bloggers understand the demands placed upon the modern mother, and offer great meal solutions to suit your packed schedule.

Vegetarian and Vegan Moms

Whether you’re simply a meat-free vegetarian or eschew animal products of any kind as a vegan, the challenges of providing a well-balanced, nutritious meal while adhering to your dietary restrictions are nothing to sneeze at. These five blog entries approach vegetarianism and veganism cooking, and offer real-world meal solutions for meat-free families.

Gluten-Free Moms

Whether you or someone in your family suffers from gluten sensitivity, or you’re simply making the choice to eliminate gluten from your diet, you probably know that finding meals to suit your lifestyle isn’t always easy. From kid-tested recipes for family meals to more grown-up gluten-free fare, these five bloggers are serving up great recipes.

Dieting Moms

Struggling to shed the last of your baby weight or battling more serious obesity requires not only discipline and self-restraint, but also the ability to assemble quick, healthy meals. These five blogs cover a variety of method diets, and offer advice and weight-loss solutions. While some of them are tested by the bloggers themselves, it’s still important that you consult with your doctor before starting any new diet.

Foodie Moms

Who says healthy has to be boring? These five blogs are serving up meals with serious foodie flare from a more nutritious perspective. There’s no need to sacrifice flavor in the interest of good health with the recipes, meal ideas, hints and tips offered by these health-conscious foodie moms.

Taken From Babysitters

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Triumph of the (Electoral) Nerds?

Nate Silver — whom everyone interested in this election should be reading — is bemused by Intrade, which is showing a much higher chance of a Romney victory than his analysis (and he’s actually less bullish on Obama than other quant sites, like Drew Linzer’s Votamatic).
You should probably also know that Nate is, predictably, being accused of deliberately skewing the numbers — no doubt as part of a grand conspiracy also involving the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Area 51.
If you’re new to this, there are two basic approaches to election analysis at this point. One is the campaign reporter style, full of impressionist reporting about who won the news cycle and who has “momentum”, whatever that means (politics ain’t beanbag, but it ain’t billiards either). The other is poll-based. And that mostly means state-level polls at this point: there are more of them, and we have an electoral-college system, not a popular-vote system.
The impressionistic style has been all about Romney on the rise, a narrative that is to a large part being fed by the Romney campaign itself. But the state-level polling doesn’t show it.
In fact, the state polls pretty much say that Obama would win if the election were held right now, taking Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and quite possibly Virginia. Florida is a dead heat, too. (See the Pollster map). Nor is there any sign of movement in Romney’s direction after his big post-first-debate bump.
So why is Intrade trending Romney? One possibility is that Romney supporters are trying to manipulate the results — as Nate points out, other markets and betting forums are much less Romney-friendly. Another is that Intrade traders actually buy the spin cycle.
Whatever is really going on, we’re now getting close to a showdown between styles of political analysis. By inclination, I of course trust the nerds. But we’ll soon see.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Federal Prosecutors Sue Bank of America Over Mortgage Program -

Federal Prosecutors Sue Bank of America Over Mortgage Program -

"Federal prosecutors in New York sued Bank of America on Wednesday, accusing it of carrying out a mortgage scheme that defrauded the government during the depths of the financial crisis."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Unwraps Mini-iPad to Take on Amazon, Google -

Apple Unwraps Mini-iPad to Take on Amazon, Google -

 "SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Apple Inc will begin to sell an 8-inch version of the iPad on Friday to compete with Inc's Kindle and other smaller tablets, but it set a higher-than-expected price tag of $329 (206 pounds) that Wall Street fears could curb demand."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 22, 2012

True Blue Stands Out in an Earthy Crowd -

True Blue Stands Out in an Earthy Crowd -

"For the French Fauvist painter and color gourmand Raoul Dufy, blue was the only color with enough strength of character to remain blue “in all its tones.” Darkened red looks brown and whitened red turns pink, Dufy said, while yellow blackens with shading and fades away in the light. But blue can be brightened or dimmed, the artist said, and “it will always stay blue.”"

'via Blog this'

Solving Crime With Social Media

Embedded Solving Crime with Social Media infographic

Taken From Background Check

Popular Educational Twitter Hashtags

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Taken From Online College Courses

Russell Means, American Indian Activist, Dies at 72 -

Russell Means, American Indian Activist, Dies at 72 -

 "Russell C. Means, the charismatic Oglala Sioux who helped revive the warrior image of the American Indian in the 1970s with guerrilla-tactic protests that called attention to the nation’s history of injustices against its indigenous peoples, died on Monday at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was 72."

'via Blog this'

Information is Physical

Rolf Landauer working at IBM in the US, found the fact used in this post's title.

In Economics and Politics, sometimes information is willfully false. The three words in the title, mean that even in that case, there is an energy content to Information; it does not have to be truthful. Information here is understood as marks in spacetime, which make other marks, through Agents. We call some of these agents Intelligent, when they are above a threshold set by humans, but Information exists even without humans.

In Physics we distinguish between Matter-Energy, and Probability. Both in Statistical Mechanics and Quantum Theory, OUR Laws, express two different aspects of Information's physicality. In Thermodynamics we use probability as a measure of human ignorance, in Quantum Computation, we use probability as an objective property of a physical object: Quantum Information. The quantum wavefunction, as surmised by Louis de Broglie, and Albert Einstein, is a Physical Field, as Lucien Hardy has  recently advocated.

I am reading in Amazon, Vlatko Vedral's book: Decoding Reality.

I am also studying Artificial Intelligence at edX.

The Secret of Our Non-Success

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The U.S. economy finally seems to be recovering in earnest, with housing on the rebound and job creation outpacing growth in the working-age population. But the news is good, not great — it will still take years to restore full employment — and it has been a very long time coming. Why has the slump been so protracted?
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Paul Krugman

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The answer — backed by overwhelming evidence — is that this is what normally happens after a severe financial crisis. But Mitt Romney’s economic team rejects that evidence. And this denialism bodes ill for policy if Mr. Romney wins next month.
About the evidence: The most famous study is by Harvard’s Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, who looked at past financial crises and found that such crises are typically followed by years of high unemployment and weak growth. Later work by economists at the International Monetary Fund and elsewhere confirmed this analysis: crises that followed a sharp run-up in private-sector debt, from the U.S. Panic of 1893 to the Swedish banking crisis of the early 1990s, cast long shadows over the economy’s future. There was no reason to believe that this time would be different.
This isn’t an after-the-fact rationalization. The Reinhart-Rogoff “aftermath” paper was released almost four years ago. And a number of other economists, including, well, me, issued similar warnings. In early 2008 I was already pointing out the distinction between recessions like 1973-5 or 1981-2, brought on by high interest rates, and“postmodern” recessions brought on by private-sector overreach. And I suggested that the recession we were then entering would be followed by a prolonged “jobless recovery” that would feel like a continuing recession.
Why is recovery from a financial crisis slow? Financial crises are preceded by credit bubbles; when those bubbles burst, many families and/or companies are left with high levels of debt, which force them to slash their spending. This slashed spending, in turn, depresses the economy as a whole.
And the usual response to recession, cutting interest rates to encourage spending, isn’t adequate. Many families simply can’t spend more, and interest rates can be cut only so far — namely, to zero but not below.
Does this mean that nothing can be done to avoid a protracted slump after a financial crisis? No, it just means that you have to do more than just cut interest rates. In particular, what the economy really needs after a financial crisis is a temporary increase in government spending, to sustain employment while the private sector repairs its balance sheet. And the Obama administration did some of that, blunting the severity of the financial crisis. Unfortunately, the stimulus was both too small and too short-lived, partly because of administration errors but mainly because of scorched-earth Republican obstruction.
Which brings us to the politics.
Over the past few months advisers to the Romney campaign have mounted a furious assault on the notion that financial-crisis recessions are different. For example, in July former Senator Phil Gramm and Columbia’s R. Glenn Hubbard published an op-ed article claiming that we should be having a recovery comparable to the bounceback from the 1981-2 recession, while a white paper from Romney advisers argues that the only thing preventing a rip-roaring boom is the uncertainty created by President Obama.
Obviously, Republicans like claiming that it’s all Mr. Obama’s fault, and that electing Mr. Romney would magically make everything better. But nobody should believe them.
For one thing, these people have a track record: back in 2008, when serious students of history were already predicting a prolonged slump, Mr. Gramm was dismissing America as a “nation of whiners” experiencing a mere “mental recession.” For another, if Mr. Obama is the problem, why is the United States actually doing better than most other advanced countries?
The main point, however, is that the Romney team is willfully, nakedly, distorting the record, leading Ms. Reinhart and Mr. Rogoff — who aren’t affiliated with either campaign — to protest against “gross misinterpretations of the facts.” And this should worry you.
Look, economics isn’t as much of a science as we’d like. But when there’s overwhelming evidence for an economic proposition — as there is for the proposition that financial-crisis recessions are different — we have the right to expect politicians and their advisers to respect that evidence. Otherwise, they’ll end up making policy based on fantasies rather than grappling with reality.
And once politicians start refusing to acknowledge inconvenient facts, where does it stop? Why, the next thing you know Republicans will start rejecting the overwhelming evidence for man-made climate change. Oh, wait.