Support, Spies and Strange moments!

August 4, 2010

Finally, the sun is out! Seems whatever coast I am on, the heat is on the other. Was at a writer’s conference over the weekend with authors of children and teen books. It reminded me how important support is, whatever the activity you’re doing!

Book of the Day: “I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You” by Ally Carter….about girls in spy school….:)

Movie of the Day: “The Kids Are All Right.” Refreshingly different take on family – especially timely as a California federal court judge overturns the state’s ban on gay marriage. Did you think the teenagers were realistic? I found myself in tears in the last scene…don’t want to give it away but it made me miss my mom. Strange when grief creeps up on you in the weirdest moments.

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Powerful book gets into the mind of anorexic teen

May 29, 2010

Two girls make a pact in 8th grade to be the skinniest girls in school…and by senior year one of them is dead. That’s how acclaimed YA author Laurie Halse Anderson’s latest novel begins, getting into the mind of a teen with a very misunderstood illness. The result is a page-turner that’s also educational. According to statistics on the National Institute of Mental Health website, an estimated 0.6 percent of the adult population in the U.S. will suffer from anorexia, 1.0 percent from bulimia, and 2.8 percent from a binge eating disorder in their lifetime. Though the news stories are usually about adolescent girls, anorexia can affect men and women of all ages, races, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, and it’s one of the hardest disorders to recover from. In fact, the NIMH reports that 0.56 percent of people with anorexia die each year (approximately 5.6 percent per decade), which is 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females ages 15-24 in the general population. Now that summer’s begun, cool off with wintergirls – it may help you save a life.

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Vote for new song about healthy relationships and saying no to dating violence!

May 26, 2010

Vote for “Stay Strong,” the new song sung by an amazing 14-year-old, Chessie Chaney, who stars in Start Strong Bronx’s new film “Broken Harmonies” co-written by Start Strong Bronx’s Teen Advisory Board. You can vote up to 5 times per day per IP address, and see where we are on Monday morning when they post the Top 40 chart and open the polls. Scroll down ’til you find Chessie!

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How to find lasting love…

April 22, 2010

Saw Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, give a lecture today in Manhattan about why we fall in love with one person rather than another…much of these decisions are determined by biology and brain chemicals. The good news is that both men and women can fall in love for a lifetime, and that longtime romance has a calming effect. She talks about different types of personalities: Explorers, Builders, Directors and Negotiators and shows how people tend to pair up based on these characteristics. Definitely something to learn sooner rather than later. Her new book is “Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love.”

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Bullying ends in tragedy

March 31, 2010

Nine Massachusetts teens are being charged for bullying a 15-year-old girl recently immigrated from Ireland so badly that she hung herself. What do you think of this punishment? Is it a good precedent? Too harsh? Should principals, teachers and students be held responsible?

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Why teen boys are so moody

March 28, 2010

Finished ANOTHER amazing – and enlightening book – The Male Brain by Dr. Louann Brizendine. It just hit the shelves. Very interesting how male and female brains often reach the same result, but get there in different ways. Teen boys’ brains are flooded with the hormone vasopressin which makes neutral faces look dangerous and unfriendly, which primes them to quickly decide if they should fight or flee. Their massive surge of the hormone testosterone helps them look angry since angry faces signal power. Another fascinating fact is that teen boys’ brains actually tune out white noise…any repetitive sounds – hello, nagging moms – moreso than girls’ brains do. So if your best guy friend has no clue what you and your girlfriends are talking a mile a minute about, he ain’t lyin’. Check out this book for more on how the teen boy brain changes into the mating brain (yes, guys DO fall in love, too) and the daddy brain (and why girls WRONGLY think guys have no feelings).

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Win $1,000 for life-saving HIV prevention work

March 16, 2010

Are you a New York City high school senior who will be enrolled as a full-time college student this fall? Are you involved in preventing HIV/AIDS in your community? Are you committed to community service? You could win at least $1,000 in college educational grants and be recognized by your fellow students for your life-saving work. Apply for the Butterfly Grant online or mail your entry in by March 19th. This grant honors the first NYC teacher to go public with his HIV-positive status – Wayne Fischer, who taught at Martin Luther King High School from 1988-1993. He bravely educated youth about HIV/AIDS through student workshops and media presentations, most notably in articles in New York Newsday and on his weekly NY1 cable segment AIDS: A Journal of Hope.

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The best dating guide ever!

March 11, 2010

I just finished an amazing book (published in 2006 -yes, I’m a little behind!) that every girl -and boy who has to deal with girls! – will find helpful! “The Female Brain” is by Dr. Louann Brizendine, a psychiatrist who specializes in neurobiology – or how the brain works. You can check out her her teen website and ask her a question! The book talks about everyone has a female brain until eight weeks after conception and then boy brains are flooded with testosterone which destroys many of the communication circuits and explains why women use 20,000 words a day on average and a man 7,000. It talks about why two different daughters can have completely different perceptions of the world – based on their mom’s nervous system and emotional state when they were born. A whole chapter is devoted to teen girls, and why they are nice one minute and enraged the next. She explains the Mommy brain – and how our brains control our hormones, mood, memory and sexual function. Dr. Brizendine tells a lot of fun anedcotes from her work at the UCSF Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic that she started and directs. This clinic treats women of all ages experiencing problems with mood, energy, anxiety, sexual function and well-being due to hormonal influences on the brain. Even better news is that her new book “The Male Brain” comes out March 23rd!!

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Stop teen dating violence by voting for a videogame!

March 4, 2010

Vote for the first video game that helps teach positive, protective relationship skills! Our friends at the Start Strong Rhode Island program have held 30 play testing sessions with over 300 students and want to expand it to YOUR SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY! Tell your friends to vote every day this month so that Start Strong Rhode Island can beat out hundreds of other programs for a $250,000 grant from Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Competition. When you arrive at the Start Strong Rhode Island Game Changers page, wait a few seconds and scroll down the page to the the white “Vote for This Idea” button. You’ll be able to cast your vote for the Game Changers by email or Facebook.
Note: Pepsi will not use your information for marketing purposes! After you vote, PEPSI will give you the option to share your vote on Facebook or Twitter! Sharing your vote on Facebook and Twitter is the best way to get out the vote!

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Help support a new video game!

February 28, 2010

Support the first video game that helps teach positive, protective relationship skills. Our friends at the Start Strong Rhode Island program have held 30 play testing sessions with over 300 students and want to expand it to YOUR SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY! Vote on March 1 and EVERY DAY IN MARCH so that Start Strong Rhode Island can beat out hundreds of other programs for a $250,000 grant from Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Competition. When you arrive at the Start Strong Rhode Island Game Changers page, click the white “Vote for This Idea” button. You’ll be able to cast your vote for the Game Changers by email or Facebook.
Note: Pepsi will not use your information for marketing purposes! After you vote, PEPSI will give you the option to share your vote on Facebook or Twitter! Sharing your vote on Facebook and Twitter is the best way to get out the vote!

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