On August 9 2017, Singapore celebrated its 52nd Birthday. One of the highlights was Grandma Mary's Guitar Solo at the National Day Parade – Singapore’s grandest annual event. 81-year-old Grandma Mary, as she is popularly known, is an internet sensation, having cut her own Latin Rock album. She started playing the guitar at 60, fulﬁlling a lifelong dream to learn the instrument.
Grandma Mary is one of the many golden grannies who made news this quarter.
These women illustrate that age is just a number, that old age can be looked at as teenage – when you can dare to dream and work to achieving those and that you never retire from your passion.
82-year-old Masako Wakamiya, from Japan was introduced as the oldest app developer at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Wakamiya's app, called Hinadan, is based on Doll Festival which celebrates the well-being of girls. The app is widely embraced by elderly women, who enjoy playing it with their daughters, nieces & grandchildren.
Punching the air and battling with large wooden sticks, this great-great grandmother from china is a martial arts pro. Zhang Hexian, 94, has been practicing her combat moves for nine decades. She can joust with men half her age, using a large stick-like weapon.
91-year old, Kimlan Jinakul, in Thailand has earned a college degree after spending more than 10 years studying for it and has received her diploma from the country’s king. “If we do not study, do not read, do not know, then we won’t be able to speak and make sense,” she says.
98-year-old V Nanammal of India, is recognized as the oldest yoga instructor in India, and the second oldest in the world. Around 600 students that learned yoga from her have become yoga instructors themselves.
Catchy headline, famous, powerful people, popular themes, sensational story – excited to read further? Cashing in on exactly this interest from readers to read and want to share a story, a lot of anonymously-hosted websites have emerged around the world. Fake news websites, as they have come to be known, are spreading more than rumours and misleading people and press. Facebook announced stricter measures this August, to identify a fake news to control its sharing and spread through social media. It has created a software algorithm to ﬂag stories that may be suspicious and send them to fact checkers.
An alarming message came out loud in July from scientists, warning us of something as dire as a mass extinction. From the common barn swallow to the exotic giraffe, thousands of animal species are declining, a sign that an irreversible era of mass extinction is underway.
The previous ﬁve extinctions were caused by natural phenomena. Conservatively, scientists estimate that 200 species have become extinct in the past 100 years, while the normal rate of extinction over past two million years has been of 2 species going extinct, due to evolutionary or other natural reasons.
This, the sixth mass extinction, is caused in large measure by human destruction of animal habitats - like habitat degradation, pollution and climate change. Poachers are driving numbers of elephants, pangolins, rhinos, giraffes and other creatures with body parts valuable on the black market to worryingly low levels. The global population of people continues to rise, along with our thirst for land and consumption. All of this is contributing to a rapid decline in wild creatures, both on land and in the ocean. Dr. Ehrlich, author of ‘The Population Bomb’ in 1960s that predicted collapse of humanity due to overpopulation, said, ‘there is only one overall solution, and that is to reduce the human enterprise. Population growth and increasing consumption among the rich is driving it.’ Dr. Ceballos who researched this alarming paper highlights the urgency of this crisis -- and the need for change. "The good news is, we still have time," he said. "These results show it is time to act. The window of opportunity is small, but we can still do something to save species and populations."
Whether the spinners are here to stay or just a passing fad, only time will tell. For now, if you have a crazy fan of the toy at home, direct the interest into making - creating their own toys, and their curiosity into understanding the technique - physics behind it. Check our website for leads and links.
Technology Use Guidelines for children and youth
Developed by Cris Rowan paediatric occupational therapist and author of Virtual Child, Dr. Andrew Doan neuroscientist and author of Hooked on Games and Dr. Hilarie Cash, Director of reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program and author of Video Games and Your Kids, with contribution from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society.
Check how much your 15-year-old knows about bank accounts and debit cards, planning and managing money, taxes, savings, risk & rewards, consumer rights and responsibilities in financial marketplace.
A fascinating study on financial literacy assessed about half a million 15-year-olds from 15 countries on their knowledge of personal finances and ability to apply it to financial problems. PISA 2015: Students’ Financial Literacy issued by the OECD in May 2017, using the same Pisa scoring system that ranks abilities in reading and maths.
PISA results show that parents and families play an important role; when students discuss money matters with their parents, they have significantly higher financial literacy skills, even after accounting for differences in socio-economic background.
New Discovery: A treasure trove of earth sized planets discovered
Mom: so if we keeping making so much trash, earth will be full of it. Then where will we go?
Kid (4-year-old): Mars or some other planet?
Discussions (without being judgemental) with kids have dual advantages;
Bonus: Us adults get a fresh set of creative eyes.
Many ordinary and extraordinary things are happening around us continuously. It is good to pick up some you think your child may get interested in and reflect together. Like this one;
Zohra, an Afghan all-girl orchestra is Making Music (& news), against all odds.
What does one (30, in this case) do when one receives an invitation to perform at the World Economic Forum, in front of some top world leaders, corporate titans and the world media? Practice.
And what if one also receives advise for not practicing music and abuses even death threats for learning, continuing or performing music? Practice harder.
Young Afghan girls between 13-20 years, performed a concert at the closing of the World Economic Forum, Davos on 20 January 2017. Their story is one of courage, determination and inspiration. Share it with your tweens and teens.
Cyber bullying, particularly in children, is making headlines all over the world.
While netizens recently witnessed cyber bulling of the new kid in the White
House, the disturbing trend made headlines elsewhere too. Here are a few;
Just 8 richest men own the same wealth as 50% of the world’s poor
Our ﬁrst reaction to this, at Kaleidoscope, - ‘that is incredible’, especially considering that the number that was 62 in 2015 and 388 in 2010 has come down to just 8. Either the rich are getting richer or the poor are getting poorer or both. Many call this as an extreme inequality, a crisis that needs to be tackled urgently. Some say this is an example of what human enterprise can aspire for and achieve. What do you think?
We live in a busy, happening world in which News 24X7 is a norm, whether they matter to us or not. In this section, we reflect on 3 news pieces on money, mind and media, from last quarter that are of relevance to parents .
Be our guest contributor
If there is any news that inspired, disturbed or perplexed you/ your family, share with us. The news could be inspiring, incredible, wonderful or to alert parents, families. Email your perspective on the news (up to 300 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org with links to the sources.