For anyone with an iPhone – check out the newest feature of the Google Search mobile app for your phone – Google Goggles!

What a great way to teach kids about the world around them. Not to mention getting help with finding a cool spot for date night!

I saw a segment on CNN yesterday morning about toxins in kids products, specifically bisphenol A and phthalates in baby bottles. At some point in his report Dr. Sanjay Gupta told the viewing audience that years ago we were told that 70 something-or-other-measurement of lead in our bodies was an acceptable amount and now we are being told that 70 is way too high and that 10 something-or-other-measurement is a much more acceptable level – which just goes to show you that sometimes it takes a bit of research before we know for sure what we are dealing with. At the end of the segment Kiran Chetry asked Dr. Gupta whether there was enough evidence of a problem with various toxins for people to switch to non-bisphenol bottles. The good Doctor got a deer in the headlights look and then…hedged, saying that people have to make whatever choice is right for them.

We have been struggling with this issue in our house, so we were watching the report with extra interest. We have made the decision to replace our old bottles with Born Free bottles (the glass ones are really cool.) We know the jury is still out on the whole issue, but we have this sneaking suspicion that years from now we will get information about bisphenol that is similar to the one we are now getting about lead. In the end, for us, why not just replace the bottles to be on the safe side? I fully expected a similar sentiment from Dr. Gupta when he was asked about it and was really disappointed that he seemed to take the I-can’t-risk-pissing-off-any-sponsors road.

Obviously bisphenol isn’t the only toxin parents have to deal with lately. Every week it seems like there is a new recall for some product that is covered in lead or puts kids into a coma or makes them act like George Bush.

So because we are coming up on the gift giving season I thought I would share some of my favorite links for non-toxic, natural and handmade products for kids.

And of course, check out Cool Mom Picks, where I found all of these links in the first place.

Slowly but surely if we all start putting our money towards products that are safer for kids there will be a higher standard universally. Then baby bottle makers and others will be compelled by pure economics to offer products that are healthier for all of us and Dr. Gupta won’t have to worry about pissing off his sponsors. Happy gift-giving!

Update: Via Ewokmama’s, recent great post about toxins and recalls, comes another site for handmade products – Etsy.

I have been tagged by Doodaddy – one of my new favorite blogs – with the “8 Things About You” meme. So here goes.

  1. I love being home with my daughter. It is work, don’t get me wrong, but oh-so-much-more-rewarding than any job I have ever had. I never in a million years would have thought that I would be a person who would like being home. I figured I would love her and all that, but that I would be bored and ready to go back to work within minutes after her birth. Instead I have found a peace and a quiet stability in being with her and making sure she is getting what she needs.
  2. I can’t stand Andie MacDowell. I would rather watch a piece of cardboard act than watch anything with her in it.
  3. My Grandpa Gus Gus was a POW in World War II. He was shot down, broke his leg badly during the crash and was held in a German camp for 18 months (Dad, please correct my details here!). I never really talked to him much about it when he was alive, but he kept a journal of his time in the camp complete with sketches that is amazing. So at least I can tell Gus’s great granddaughter about his life and experiences.
  4. I just figured out the guitar chords for Patti Griffin’s songs “Mary” and “Tony”. I think they could be the first songs I have learned that weren’t written over a decade ago.
  5. In general I think TV is a huge waste of time. Reality television even more so. Having said that, I have to admit that I am shamelessly addicted to “Hell’s Kitchen” and “So You Think You Can Dance”. I remember a few years ago, a good friend of mine, a social worker, admitted she had been completely addicted to “Beverly Hills 90210″ when it was on. It gave her the chance to escape from the reality of the tough job of being a social worker and she considered it crucial to her ability to do her job well. I was completely shocked, since “90210” was never something I watched. But now I get it. So, yeah, same with me. Go Sabra!
  6. My favorite city in the world is Edinburgh, Scotland. The castle, the pubs, the haggis.
  7. I want a minivan. There, I said it. I know it’s not very hip of me, but I love everything about the minivan, especially the sliding doors. I can’t imagine why they don’t put sliding doors on everything – SUVs, sedans, mini coopers. Our current mode of transport, a VW Jetta Wagon, has 112,572 miles on it, so we have started to think about what we might replace it with, if the need should arise. We have our eye on the Mazda 5 right now, but haven’t completely decided yet.
  8. I know all the words to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, a fact that causes my husband no end of embarassment. Someday I will teach them to Emma and put him right over the edge.

Now I have to tag five people to carry on the glorious “8 Things” meme. No doubt you guys have all done this, but just in case – Cristen, Emily, Terrance, Mandy and Katie.

I am looking for up-to-date, state specific, internet usage information. Any information like which regions of each state are most online, what percentage of the population is online, what is the make up of the online population etc would be great.

Anyone out there know where I can find this info?

from the Making New Media: Emerging Technologies for Social Change plenary session:

“There is something called R-S-S”

“Ohhhh…bit torrent”

“Blogging’s really great.”

“I don’t want Zack’s head to get too big”

“How many people here use aggregators?” “Hunnh?? Use what?”

“…the little visual that tickled us.”

“We have a website called Purple Ocean.”

Quick question – not for nothin’, but how do you have a plenary session about emerging technologies and not mention podcasting?

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