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Obama Colorado Gun Control

WASHINGTON — In danger of losing congressional momentum, President Barack Obama is drawing attention to Colorado’s newly passed gun control laws as he applies public pressure on Congress to pass similar federal measures.

Obama was traveling to the Denver suburbs Wednesday, stepping up his call for universal background checks for gun buyers as well as his demands for Congress to at least vote on an assault weapons ban and limits on large-capacity ammunition magazines.

The trip is heavy with political symbolism. Colorado expanded background checks and placed restrictions on magazines despite being a state with a deep-rooted hunting tradition, where gun ownership is a cherished right. Moreover, Obama will meet with law enforcement officials and community leaders at the Denver Police Academy, not far from the Aurora suburb where a gunman last summer killed 12 people in a movie theater. The president’s trip is occurring in the same week that prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty for James Holmes, accused of carrying out the Aurora rampage.

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Alexis Wright

Legal experts say Alexis Wright could sell the rights to her Zumba sex scandal story despite admitting guilt for prostitution.
Zumba instructor and single mom moonlights as hooker.From the start, the case against Alexis Wright read like the TV Guide synopsis for one of those steamy Lifetime made-for-television movies.

There was Wright, the raven-haired fitness instructor who taught Zumba to soccer moms in a picturesque New England town while leading a double life as a prostitute with a customer list that was said to include prominent people, all of whom were secretly videotaped in the act.

There was also the business partner who watched via Skype from 100 miles away. The pizza delivery guy who got an eyeful when Wright dropped her towel. And the tenants in Wright’s building who got suspicious about all the moaning and groaning.

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  • Authorities organized a massive manhunt Tuesday for two prisoners, including one awaiting trial on a capital murder charge, who escaped from an East Texas jail.

    The Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office says Brian Allen Tucker of Sulphur Springs and John Marlin King of Cumby escaped from the Hopkins County Jail on Tuesday morning. The two men are believed to be wearing white T-shirts and boxer shorts, Deputy Alvin Jordan said. Their black-and-white jail uniforms were found on rail tracks a short distance east of the jail.

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iPad overload? 77% of parents polled believed that using tablets was beneficial for their children

Screen time can be bad for young children, but it’s not all terrible news for parents who rely on tablets to occupy their offspring

“I recently watched my sister perform an act of magic,” says Nick Bilton at The New York Times. Bilton was sitting in a restaurant with his sister and her two children, ages 4 and 7, and the chattering, fighting kids were keeping the older siblings from conversing. “Like a magician quieting a group of children by pulling a rabbit out of a hat, my sister reached into her purse and produced two shiny Apple iPads,” handing one to each child. The kids fell “eerily” silent for the rest of the meal.

This is hardly a unique occurrence. In restaurants, churches, and other public places all over the U.S. (and probably the developed world), harried parents pull out their tablets or smartphones for a spell of peace and quiet for them and any other adults around them. And, like Bilton’s sister, many of these parents feel “slightly guilty.” Are iPads and other magical child-quieting tablets dangerous for a child’s development?

“I did not have an answer,” Bilton writes, “and although some people might have opinions, no one has a true scientific understanding of what the future might hold for a generation raised on portable screens.” Worse, says Mat Honan at Wired, “it seems like there is simply no way of knowing.”

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics is unambiguous about time spent with screens. It says any at all is bad for children under a certain age…. We made an effort to follow AAP guidelines and prevent her from getting any screen time at all before she was 2. But honestly? On long flights, we’ve loaded upSesame Street on the iPad before takeoff. Parenting is hard…. And, really, is there harm in an app? In the age of the educational app, those AAP guidelines seem, well, quaint. [Wired]

Tablet manufacturers are much less conflicted than parents, of course. You can buy everything from a tablet PC made especially for toddlers to a special iPhone case designed specifically so your infant child can play with your portable touchscreen device without breaking your expensive gadget or ordering thousands of dollars worth of apps. And even some early-childhood educators aresurprisingly sanguine about tablets for tots.

Three kindergarten classes in Australia are participating in study of “the educational benefits of iPad use for pre-school children,” says Matthew Dunn at Australia’s The Standard. Specifically, they want to know if using iPad apps to create art, study creative crafts like puppetry, and read e-books can help kids prepare for school. “There have been past studies examining young children’s use of iPads and smart phone technology but this is the first to link the use with literacy and numeracy through creative applications,” says Sandra Gattenhof at the Queensland University of Technology.

If you want a “long-term double-blind study to prove an interactive smartphone app is different than a TV show,” which is probably bad for kids, well, too bad, says Wired‘s Honan. “The first generation of toddlers that played with iPhones is not even out of elementary school. A child born the day the iPhone shipped would be kindergarten age today. We are all fumbling through this new world, and nobody knows what the long-term implications are.”

Actually there has been some potentially relevant research, and it’s surprisingly hopeful for iPad-wielding parents, says the Times‘ Bilton. Assuming, of course, parents pick the right apps.

 

A report published last week by the Millennium Cohort Study, a long-term study group in Britain that has been following 19,000 children born in 2000 and 2001, found that those who watched more than three hours of television, videos, or DVDs a day had a higher chance of conduct problems, emotional symptoms and relationship problems by the time they were 7 than children who did not. The study, of a sample of 11,000 children, found that children who played video games — often age-appropriate games — for the same amount of time did not show any signs of negative behavioral changes by the same age. [New York Times]

But experts agree pretty unanimously that, at least at the dinner table, talking (or even drawing with crayons) is better than zoning out over an iDevice, both for developing social skills and even learning to cope with or grow from boredom.

 

“I have no fear that my child will only be able to form relationships with avatars,” says Wired‘s Honan. Nor, like some parents, “do I think that it’s imperative to dunk her in the digital stream from an early age” so she’ll be able to swim better as she grows. Like pretty much everything else, “there’s some sort of weird balance we have to fumble our way into finding.” But here’s a cautionary tale:

 

Last year, we took our daughter to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a free concert in Golden Gate Park. We met a few other parents, who had toddlers of their own. Before the band started playing, one began throwing a tantrum. He wanted his iPod Touch, and so he got it. Then the Preservation Hall Jazz Band began to play, and all the children began to dance and laugh and play in the grass. Except for the one who sat on the blanket, staring at a screen, oblivious to all else.

Should Your 2-Year-Old Be Using an iPad?

From “Baby Touch: Peekaboo” to “Moo, Baa, La La La!,” iPad apps for babies are flooding the market. Developers say the apps are educational, and busy parents know that a digital babysitter can buy them a few minutes of valuable time. But is the iPad a healthy thing for young kids?

Apple’s iTunes now stocks more than 700 apps for children, including ones that promise to “develop hand-eye coordination and focusing skills in young babies” or teach “fine motor skills” to infants “from 0 to 2.5 years old.”

As Healthland reported on Tuesday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has advised parents — again — to eliminate screen time for children under 2, citing concerns about language delays and disrupted sleep. The academy’s new report drew on studies showing that TV, whether it’s the parent or the child watching, interferes with “talk time” between parent and child, which is crucial to language development.

Does the TV effect apply to iPads too? That’s not clear. “We just don’t have the data yet,” says Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician and member of the AAP.

Perhaps it depends on how you’re using it. Tablets used like a TV should fall under the same guidelines, says Tanya Altmann, a Los Angeles-based pediatrician and author of the best-selling parenting book Mommy Calls. However, she doesn’t rule out the possibility that interactive apps may have some value for toddlers. “In some ways, applications are just newer versions of the game that we used to play when we were kids — you tap the cow and it says ‘moo,’” she says.

But even apps that simulate conventional toys don’t teach children the crucial skills that come from physically engaging the world in three dimensions, says Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He points to iPad apps that replicate building blocks and Legos. “Surely we would not want that to substitute for actually getting blocks and building something,” he says. “This is not how the real world works, and babies do need to learn how the real world works.”

So, the jury’s still out on tablets for toddlers, but research suggests that educational apps may enhance the learning experience of slightly older children. A recent study funded by the Department of Education showed that the PBS Kids iPhone app “Martha Speaks” boosted 3-to-7-year-olds vocabularies by as much as 31% over the course of two weeks.

Rose Luckin, a professor of learner-centered design at the University of London, has found that tablet-type devices can actually spark the sort of social interaction central to the learning process. She found that 5- and 6-year-olds who recorded school activities on tablets and replayed them for their parents tended to learn better. “One of the key benefits of technologies such as the iPad is that they can become a focus for conversations between parents and children,” she says. “If the device is right in the middle of the family, in the kitchen, in the lap, then as a parent, you’re much more able to have those kinds of shared experiences.”

In other words, tablets might not be all bad if they generate “talk time,” rather than replace it. As with anything else, says Luckin, moderation and common sense are key. “If a child just sits all day playing on the iPad on her own, then I’m not sure she’s getting the benefits,” she says. “My argument about the value of these devices is that they can add to parental time, not take away from it.”

When parents are busy, though, the best option may simply be to turn the gadgets off, rather than letting kids use them unattended, says Altmann. “We know parents can’t be with their children 24/7,” she says. “But don’t forget that when we were kids, our moms would just give us toys to play with on the ground and say, ‘Play.’ Just give them some time to explore occasionally on their own. They don’t have to have external stimulation every second of the day.”

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/10/20/no-screen-time-for-2-year-olds-do-ipad-apps-count/#ixzz2PFlZx5M

http://news.yahoo.com/ipad-bad-children-103000808.html

Dead-End Degrees

If you want a good shot at a job after graduation, don’t follow these degree paths.

Dead ends suck. They usually result in a lot of frustration, extra time, and back-tracking to get on the proper path. Education can be like that. Choose the wrong degree and finding a job after employment can seem more difficult than navigating the streets of a foreign city without a map.

This is especially true if you’re an “older” student (25 and up) who’s going back to school to improve or change your career. Sure, your heart may be saying, “Finish that 19th century literature degree,” but your head – and a lot of research – is saying, “Find a practical degree that will pay the mortgage.”

With that in mind, we checked out a 2012 study on the unemployment rates for recent (ages 22 to 26) college graduates in various majors by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. The report is appropriately named “Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal.”

The report offers many encouraging words for prospective students: “A bachelor’s degree is one of the best weapons a job seeker can wield in the fight for employment and earnings.”

Sounds great, but a little further comes the real kernel of wisdom: “The risk of unemployment among recent college graduates depends on their major.” In other words, not all educational streets lead to Employment City. And yes, that’s their bolding, not ours.

So if you’re thinking of going back to school but are unsure about what to study, read on for some degrees that are a dark alley to nowhere and a few more that look like a well-lighted expressway to the career world.

Dead-End Degree #1: Architecture

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 13.9 percent

Here’s a degree that probably was the equivalent of a superhighway – right up until the entire housing and commercial real estate markets crashed.

In fact, the Hard Times report blames the high unemployment rate of architecture degree holders squarely on the recession: “Unemployment rates for recent college graduates who majored in architecture start high at 13.9 percent and, due to its strong alignment with the collapse in construction and housing, unemployment remains high even for experienced college graduates at 9.2 percent.”

Let’s hope that turns around soon. Until then, architecture grads may not be seeing a lot of their dreams become reality.

Of course, if you’re set on pursuing that dream, a few typical courses offered in an architecture program are architectural design, building methods and materials, architectural history, and structural design, according to the College Board, a nonprofit research organization that promotes higher education.

Expressway Degree #1: Engineering

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 7.5 percent

If you’re the type who loves to figure out how things work or devise ways to make them work better, engineering could be a good direction.

The Hard Times report found that not only did engineering grads have a good shot at employment, but “[e]ngineering majors lead both in earnings for recent and experienced college graduates followed by computer and mathematics majors, and business majors.”

Curious how experienced engineering grads fare with jobs? The report found an unemployment rate of just 4.9 percent. Not bad.

Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.

Before you rush into engineering classes, know that there are many different areas of engineering. Civil engineering programs, as one example, offer courses like engineering economics, strength of materials, dynamics, and fluid mechanics, says the College Board.

Dead-End Degree #2: Fine Arts

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 12.6 percent

No one expects you to be dining out regularly on filet mignon right after graduation, but this major’s high unemployment rate suggests that you may not be dining out at all.

In fact, the Hard Times study found that unemployment rates are generally higher in non-technical majors, such as the arts, humanities and liberal arts, and social sciences. It should be noted that fine arts majors with experience or a graduate degree in the subject did better, both with an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.

Expressway Degree #2: Elementary Education

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 4.8 percent

If you want to help mentor the next generation, and enjoy being around kids, a bachelor’s in elementary education could be the first step toward a smart career choice.

According to the Hard Times report, education majors had a low unemployment rate because the degree was tied to a stable or growing industry sector.

The U.S. Department of Labor also has some ideas as to why the field might be growing: “A significant number of older teachers is expected to reach retirement age from 2010 to 2020. Their retirement will create job openings for new teachers.” Just keep in mind that, per the Department of Labor,  this growth will vary by region, as some areas of the country have a surplus of teachers.

Click to Find the Right Education Program.

If this route sounds good to you, here’s what the College Board says your class list might look like in a general education program: educational psychology, instructional technology, teaching methods, and philosophy of education.

Dead-End Degree #3: Information Systems

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 11.7 percent

This major was the anomaly among the computers and mathematics field, being the only one in double digits. Why? The report didn’t say.

But the report did offer these hopeful words: “Computer majors are likely to bounce back strongly as the recovery proceeds. For example, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates who major in information systems is a hefty 11.7 percent, but only 5.4 percent for experienced workers who major in information systems.”

Here’s an assortment of classes the College Board says you might take for a management information systems major: database design, ecommerce, managing information systems, systems analysis and design.

Expressway Degree #3: Computer Science

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 7.8 percent

In this tech-crazed world there’s a lot for employers to like right in the title of this bachelor’s degree.

Maybe that’s why the Hard Times report found a pretty low unemployment rate for these grads. How low? How does 7.8 percent sound for odds?

Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.

If those numbers compute for you, here’s a printout of some typical classes the College Board lists for this major: artificial intelligence, digital system design, software engineering, or computer system organization.

Dead-End Degree #4: Anthropology and Archaeology

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 10.5 percent

Important? Yes. Interesting? Definitely. Practical? Um, two out of three ain’t bad?

The relatively high unemployment rate for this major definitely caught our eye. At a 10.5 percent unemployment rate, the job prospects for recent anthropology and archeology grads just don’t look that good. The one silver lining is that graduate degree holders in this field experience a much less daunting unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, according to the report.

Still, if you must go down this dirt road, here’s the lineup of possible classes for anthropology majors, according to the College Board: forensic anthropology, human origins and evolution, language and culture, and primate behavior.

Expressway Degree #4: Nursing

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 4.0 percent

We have a winner, folks. At least, according to the Hard Times study, which found the group with the lowest unemployment rate among recent college graduates to be those holding a bachelor’s in nursing.

And assuming that most nursing students who are employed are indeed nurses, this makes sense. Consider the fact that registered nurses also top the U.S. Department of Labor’s list of “Occupations with the largest numeric growth,” with 711,900 jobs projected to be added between 2010 and 2020. All that and you get to help people, too.

Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.

Study this degree and the College Board says typical coursework could include anatomy and physiology, adult nursing, health assessment, nutrition, or pharmacology.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Police say they suspect a man had been using drugs when he rammed his car through the front of a Wal-Mart and began assaulting customers, injuring four people in California.

San Jose police Officer Albert Morales said Monday that Haamid Ade Zaid of Seaside is being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Jail for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run, being under the influence of drugs, and resisting arrest.

The 33-year-old Zaid was arrested after an Oldsmobile Cutlass crashed through the San Jose storefront on Sunday and hit a beer display before stopping.

Police say the driver then got out of the car with a blunt object and began attacking people.

Police said no motive has been determined.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A man in a large red sedan hit two cars in the parking lot of a San Jose Wal-Mart before ramming the car through the front of the store then assaulting customers inside, officials said. The attack injured four people, one of them seriously.

The man crashed the Oldsmobile Cutlass through the storefront near the pharmacy Sunday and collided with a beer display before stopping, police and witnesses said.

The unidentified driver then got out of his car and used a blunt object to attack people, San Jose police Officer Albert Morales said. The driver was arrested when officers arrived.

Investigators have not determined how fast the driver – described as a man in his 30s – was going at the time of the crash but the car went about 20 feet into the Wal-Mart Supercenter that had about 70 people inside in San Jose, Morales said.

One person suffered what Morales described as serious injuries. He did not know the extent of the injuries to the three other people but said they were not life-threatening. The injured included a store employee.

There was no immediate word about what motivated the suspect.

Customer Sharon Kaye told the San Jose Mercury News the driver sideswiped her car as he made several runs around the parking lot before driving between poles at the entrance and crashing into the store.

“At first, I thought I may have done something to anger him while driving,” she said. “But then I realized he was out to get into the store.”

After the crash, the entrance to the Wal-Mart was roped off with yellow police tape, and workers put up large boards covering the automatic doors where the car had entered.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman told the Mercury News that the store remained shut down for several hours, and an employee was among those hurt.

“We’re obviously very concerned about the associate who was injured,” spokeswoman Kory Lundberg said.

Shopper and witness Tianna Doan told the newspaper the employee was a cashier who was hit with the object and had a head injury.

Calls to the store by The Associated Press went unanswered Sunday.