What should parents know about Instagram?

Kids and teens love using the photo-sharing app Instagram because it lets you apply cool effects and captions to your photos and videos and easily share them across a number of social media platforms. The ability to quickly change the look of your pics by adding anything from borders to blurring to brightness not only unleashes kids’ creativity, it kinda makes their lives look a little more awesome.

Source: What should parents know about Instagram?

3 Kinds of Apps That Stir Up Drama in Schools | Common Sense Media

If your kid is among the 73% of teens who have access to a smartphone, you’re well aware of the app obsession that can take over a brain and body in seconds. Multiply that by the average student population at your middle or high school, and you see the problem many schools are facing this back-to-school season. For teens, smartphones + apps = social networking. And where there’s social networking, there’s sure to be drama.

Source: 3 Kinds of Apps That Stir Up Drama in Schools | Common Sense Media

Where is your kid’s digital reputation headed? (Common Sense Media)

It’s a great big digital world out there filled with texts, chats, apps, tweets, blogs, likes, videos, photos, games, memes, links to this, links to that, and links to who knows what. As a parent, you want to empower your kids to navigate the twists and turns of their digital lives responsibly. So where do you start? And more importantly, how  do you empower them without lecturing?

Source: Introducing Digital Compass: Where is your tween headed? | Common Sense Media

Daniel Tiger Becomes a Boy With Autism’s Guide to Social Life – The New York Times

We’ve spent thousands of dollars on therapies, countless hours at trial-and-error play dates. In spite of all that, I know just where the credit lies for my high-functioning autistic son’s new-found ability to connect with others: Daniel Tiger.“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” from PBS, channels the wise, kind and nourishing lessons of Mister Rogers through Daniel Tiger, an ultra-relatable preschooler who dons a red cardigan and has memorable ditties for handling things like disappointment, frustration, anger or fear of the unknown. He is also big on skills like turn-taking, cooperation, problem-solving and empathy.

Source: Daniel Tiger Becomes a Boy With Autism’s Guide to Social Life – The New York Times

Easy Minecraft Cake

For my son’s 10th birthday party, I “made” a Minecraft cake (decorating a store bought cake):Minecraft Cake

I ordered a sheet cake from Safeway with green frosting on top and edges. I made brownies, which I then frosted myself with green frosting, using a frosting tip, to simulate grass blocks, which I stacked on the left. The “lava” is orange frosting dusted with red decorating sugar.

I dug out a rectangle on the cake and filled it with blue jello to make a pool/pond. I used crushed chocolate cookies around the edge of the water, although I don’t think that was terribly successful. It might look better without it.

I lightly toasted shredded coconut and colored it with green food coloring. The paper figures are from The Ultimate Guide to Minecraft Papercraft. They were kind of tedious to make. Figure at least 20 minutes for each, and have toothpicks handy.

Dogged Persistence Pays Off, With Interest – NYTimes.com

In this episode, the story of an epic, four-year battle between a man and a health insurer. Typically, these stories end with the same score: Health Insurer 1, Patient 0.This story is different.It started in 2006, when at the age of 37, Dave Bexfield of Albuquerque learned that he had multiple sclerosis, or M.S. Three years later, the disease ramped up and he was forced to quit his job as managing editor of a car magazine, in part because he could not type. He qualified for a clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He spent three months there getting a stem cell transplant. His total bill was just under $200,000. Yes, though sponsored by the N.I.H., the treatment came with a price tag.

via Dogged Persistence Pays Off, With Interest – NYTimes.com.

Pregnancy Hormone May Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms : Shots – Health News : NPR

For decades, women with multiple sclerosis have noticed that they tend to do better while they are pregnant. That has led to an experimental drug for the disease that’s based on a hormone associated with pregnancy.The hormone is a form of estrogen called estriol. It’s abundant in a woman’s body only when she is pregnant. Adding estriol to treatment with an existing MS drug cut relapses by 47 percent in a of 158 women presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April.

via Pregnancy Hormone May Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms : Shots – Health News : NPR.

Calling Young Girls ‘Fat’ May Increase Their Teen-Obesity Risk

HealthDay News — When people tell a young girl that she’s fat, that in itself increases her risk of eventually becoming obese, according to a new study.The study included more than 2,300 young girls in California, Cincinnati and Washington, D.C., who had their height and weight checked when they age 10 and again at age 19.At the start of the study, 58 percent of the girls had been told by a parent, sibling, friend, classmate or teacher that they were too fat. Those girls were 1.66 times more likely to be obese at age 19 than other girls, the University of California, Los Angeles UCLA researchers found.

via Calling Young Girls ‘Fat’ May Increase Their Teen-Obesity Risk.

New Clues to Link Between MS Drug Tysabri and Rare Brain Disease

HealthDay News — Researchers report that they think they have figured out why patients who take the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri face a high risk of developing a rare, and sometimes fatal, brain infection.A common virus that can cause the brain disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML likes to infect and hide in certain blood cells that are triggered to mobilize by Tysabri, the study authors explained. Even more troubling, the researchers discovered that current tests may be missing some who harbor the virus.

via New Clues to Link Between MS Drug Tysabri and Rare Brain Disease.