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Don't fall for white-hot white van hysteria

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

White van hysteria has hit a new high with the mayor of Baltimore warning his citizens to not even park near a white van. People in at least one of these vehicles, he said, are coming to sex-traffic young women and sell their body parts.

Neither of these things is true, and when you examine them for half of a second, you can see they are...Read more

When tragedy strikes, blame the mom

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

What a horrible, horrible tragedy -- times two.

Jiterria Lightner and her three kids, ages 4, 3 and 2, were at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport on their way home from a trip to Florida on Sept. 25. While Jiterria sat less than 15 feet away, trying to arrange a ride home, her kids were in a little space between the escalator and the ...Read more

Don't trust anyone under (or over) 30

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

Maybe it was always thus: The older you get, the more trust you develop.

That's the most positive spin we can put on a new Pew Research Center study that shows young people are massively more cynical and distrusting than their elders are. For instance, nearly 3 out of 4 Americans under age 30 believe people "just look out for themselves" most ...Read more

Releasing Kids Into the Wild

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

School is in full swing, which means that some lucky students are about to undergo an enormous, transformative experience. It does not involve a test.

At least, not on paper.

It involves doing a Let Grow Project -- a radical new homework assignment where the kid's task is to go home and do one thing on their own that they haven't ...Read more

The other Halloween myth that won't die

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

Three people on the sex offense registry in Georgia are suing the Butts County Sheriff's Office for having deputies come to their homes and plant signs reading, "No trick-or-treat at this address! A community safety message from Butts County Sheriff Gary Long," on their lawns. This was not only trespassing, say the plaintiffs, but also a form of...Read more

Get your fear here! Fresh, hot fear!

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

When an 8-year-old girl in Atlanta said she had been almost abducted at school by a man who grabbed her off the slide at recess -- and his gun fell out of his pocket, and he aimed it at her and touched it to her nose, and he choked her, too, but ran off the minute the teacher blew the whistle to indicate recess was over -- at least one veteran ...Read more

When is a public touch on the arm or waist a sex crime?

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

Last fall, in Manchester, England, an awkward 19-year-old male student touched a 17-year-old female classmate's arm on the street during the daytime. He later said he had wanted to make a friend.

This rattled the young woman so much that she went to the police. Now the young man is facing possible jail time and could be placed on the sex ...Read more

Life Lessons From Lanyard

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

I'm finally putting away the junk from the summer, and of course that includes an unfinished lanyard ... something or other. Is it a slightly too long keychain? Slightly too short necklace?

Let's call it a memory aid. Because looking at it, I realize that everything I needed to know I learned in summer camp.

Or at least everything I needed ...Read more

Lost and Found: Kid Edition

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

Oh, dear, what can the matter be

Oh, dear, what can the matter be?

Oh, dear, what can the matter be?

Johnny's so long at the fair.

That fear is so common and persistent that that song dates back at least to the 1700s, according to ye olde Wikipedia. Thus it has been for generations: Kids get lost at the fair.

Or at least they ...Read more

Nifty Products at a Price You Can Afford

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

With all the talk of a possible economic downturn, some companies are seeing a silver -- even bitcoin -- lining. Boldly, they are barreling ahead with a roster of recession-positive products including:

The Samsonite Stick-Tote: Maybe you thought that once the luggage industry finally devised a rolling suitcase that doesn't tip over, its work ...Read more

I'm Hummin' It

Home & Leisure / Lenore Skanazy /

How long has it been since McDonald's had a truly great jingle? Longer than it takes a nugget to turn into a rock.

Allow me, then, to pen some potential McHits:

To "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)"

Filet-o, Filet-o / Lunchtime come and I gotta one wish./ Filet-o, filet-o / Lunchtime come and I wanna square fish.

To The Beatles' ...Read more


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