Nov 152012
 

By Claudia Meléndez Salinas (Herald) A former teacher at the Carmelo School has filed a lawsuit against the school and the Carmel Unified School District for discrimination and wrongful termination for the school’s failure to accommodate her needs as a new mother.

In the lawsuit filed Oct. 30, Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle of Pacific Grove said her troubles with the Child Development Center began in September 2011. Boyle was due to come back to work on Oct. 3, 2011, and she told manager Laura Dunn she would need about 15 minutes between 9 and 11 a.m. every day to pump her breasts. Dunn reportedly told Boyle to start “training my breast not to make milk between the hours of 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.” so that she would not need to pump.

via Ex-Carmel teacher claims discrimination over breast feeding in lawsuit – MontereyHerald.com :.

 November 15, 2012  Posted by at 5:23 am Comments Off
Nov 072012
 

By John Timmer (Ars Technica) Tool use was once thought to be one of the defining features of humans, but examples of tool use were eventually observed in primates and other mammals. But the biggest surprise came when birds were observing tools in the wild. After all, birds are the only surviving dinosaurs, and mammals and dinosaurs hadn’t shared a common ancestor for hundreds of millions of years. In the wild, tool use has been limited to the corvids (crows and jays), which show a variety of other complex behaviors—they’ll remember your face and recognize the passing of their dead.

Parrots, in contrast, have mostly been noted for their linguistic skills, and there has only been very limited evidence that they use anything resembling a tool in the wild (primarily, they seem to use external objects to position nuts while feeding). But a captive cockatoo has now been observed using multiple steps to process a tool, behavior that appears to be completely spontaneous. And it has never been seen in this species in the wild.

via Parrot in captivity manufactures tools, something not seen in the wild | Ars Technica.

 November 7, 2012  Posted by at 8:38 am Comments Off
Sep 212012
 

(Spiegel) Encouraging free sharing of files on the Internet, including copyrighted material, is an official platform of Germany’s Pirate Party. This week, however, a senior member of the party has been policing illegal downloads of a book she published through a subsidiary of Random House. Will the party continue to promote its “information must be free” line?

via Information Mustn’t Be Free: Pirate Party Member Insists on Copyright for Book – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

 September 21, 2012  Posted by at 8:48 am Comments Off
May 102012
 

By Sarah Kliff  (Washington Post) California’s strict school nutrition standards — soda bans, low calorie foods in cafeterias and limits on fat content — appear to have had a significant impact on what teens there eat.

A study of about 700 teenagers, published this week in the Archives of Pediatric Medicine, found California teens to be consuming 158 fewer, daily calories than comparable high school students in other states. Keep in mind, that counts all the food eaten outside of school, indicating that California teens aren’t loading up on junk food after heading home.

via Have California schools cracked the code on obesity? – The Washington Post.

 May 10, 2012  Posted by at 6:50 am Comments Off
Mar 182012
 

By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee (NY Times) Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.

This view of bilingualism is remarkably different from the understanding of bilingualism through much of the 20th century. Researchers, educators and policy makers long considered a second language to be an interference, cognitively speaking, that hindered a child’s academic and intellectual development.

They were not wrong about the interference: there is ample evidence that in a bilingual’s brain both language systems are active even when he is using only one language, thus creating situations in which one system obstructs the other. But this interference, researchers are finding out, isn’t so much a handicap as a blessing in disguise. It forces the brain to resolve internal conflict, giving the mind a workout that strengthens its cognitive muscles.

via The Benefits of Bilingualism – NYTimes.com.

 March 18, 2012  Posted by at 11:24 am Comments Off