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August in Virginia – Virginia Is For Kids!

28 Jul

Study: Cell phones don’t increase brain tumor risk in kids | Signal Strength – CNET News

28 Jul

Children who use cell phones are at no greater risk of developing brain tumors, the latest paper in a series of epidemiological studies suggests.

The study, which was conducted in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland, was recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It surveyed almost 1,000 children between ages 7 and 19. The group looked at children who had been diagnosed with brain tumors between 2004 and 2008, as well as a control group drawn randomly from the general population.

Subjects were asked about how often they used their cell phones for voice calls. Some information about usage was provided by wireless providers when it was available. Researchers concluded that children who regularly used their cell phones did not have a higher risk of developing brain tumors than children who didn’t use cell phones regularly. There was also no increased risk of brain tumors in the areas of the head that likely received the most exposure from cell phones.

As cell phone use among children and adolescents increases, experts have warned that they may be at greater risk for cancer and brain tumors. One reason for concern is the fact that children who start using cell phones at a young age will inevitably have more exposure over their entire lifetime to cell phone radiation. But researchers are also concerned because children’s nervous systems are not fully developed. Also, their brains contain more fluid than brains of adults, which allows for deeper penetration of radiation. And finally, children’s skulls are not as thick as those of adults. And again, studies indicate that children are likely to absorb more radiation from cell phones.

While radiation from cell phones may actually penetrate further into the brains of children, it’s not known whether that radiation causes damage to cells. Cell phones emit non-ionizing radiation that propagates at much lower frequency than ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, which are also known to damage DNA in cells.

Some animal research suggests there may be some cell damage done at low frequency radiation. And a recent study on humans found that cell phone radiation excited brain activity.

Related links
Cell phone radiation: Harmless or health risk?
Complete ratings: Cell phone radiation levels
WHO: Cell phones may cause cancer

But what is still unknown is what long-term health effects this may have on people who use cell phones regularly over a long period of time. Epidemiological studies, including the World Health Organization’s decade long Interphone study, have generally shown no relation between cell phone use and brain cancer. But the data from the Interphone study is still being examined, and more reports are expected using this data.

A series of reports have come out recently again showing no link between cancer or brain tumors and cell phone use.

Still, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in May categorized cell phone usage as a possible carcinogen, putting it in the same category as lead, gasoline engine exhaust, and chloroform. While recent studies show no link between cell phone use and brain tumors, the WHO and other scientists have said there is enough conflicting evidence to suggest that more research is needed.

This most recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is among the first to examine the effects of cell phone use on children. But even Martin Roosli, lead author of the study and an epidemiologist at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, told The Wall Street Journal that researchers should still keep an eye on how cell phone use affects children.

As with most epidemiological studies there can be an inherent bias when subjects who already have brain tumors are asked about their usage. What’s more, brain tumors typically take decades to manifest, which means that exposure in childhood to cell phones could lead to health effects later in life. Also, the length of time that most children in the study had been exposed to cell phones was relatively short.

Kids poetry camp at JMU

26 Jul


4th of July Festival at VMI

3 Jul


Free Museum Admission with Bank of America

8 May

Show your Bank of America card and get free admission to the following museums in Virginia:


Children’s Museumn of Richmond

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum – Williamsburg

DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum – Williamsburg


For more information, click here.

Go Pick Your Own in Virginia!

13 Jul
By Casey Williams

By Casey Williams

Have you had sticker shock lately at the produce prices in the grocery store?  Have you seen the prices of blueberries lately even though they are “in season”?

In the spirit of going green, spending more time with family and supporting the local farmers and economy, why not try picking your own?

My favorite site for finding pick your own produce is:  The site is filled with not only places to pick all over the world, but also tips for preserving and canning your harvest.  Thanks to this site, we have been able to enjoy family-time throughout Virginia picking our own fruits and vegetables.

Best of all….KIDS LOVE IT!  Here are a few tips to make your pick-your-own trip a success with the kids:

  1. Try to pick early in the morning.  It’s not too hot nor too crowded.
  2. Cover the kids with bug spray and sunscreen before going.
  3. Some pick-your-own farms offer containers, some don’t.  Bring a sturdy plastic bucket for the kids to use and hopefully, that will avoid any spills and tears.
  4. Let them eat as they pick!  Ask if the farm uses pesticides and if not, let the kids indulge.
  5. Plan ahead what to do with the harvest and let the kids help.  Some items, such as blueberries, can be put in plastic bags and frozen for later.  Something as simple as a scoop of vanilla ice cream with “their berries” on it can make a child light up with excitement.
  6. Teach the kids what vitamins are in which foods.  They love this stuff!  Before you know it, they will be telling you how they can see better because they ate 3 carrots or that they grew because they ate an apple.

Here is a list from the site of the farms in Virginia:

FREE Family Film Festival

7 May

Free Family Film Festival

The Regal Cinema’s Free Family Film Festival begins June 2009!

When school’s out, kids around the country visit selected Regal theaters for the Free Family Film Festival.  It’s a fun-filled nine weeks of movies for kids and parents.  Since 1991, Regal has provided this service to the community, and best of all it’s FREE!  Selected G & PG movies start at 10AM each Tuesday and Wednesday during the festival.

First-come, first-served seating is limited to theater capacity.  The Free Family Film Festival is safe, lots of fun and a great way for kids to spend a weekday morning in the summer.

Tickets are available the day of the show at the theater box office.  Click here to go to the site and search for theaters near you.

I’m Dreaming of a Cheap Christmas!

11 Dec


Yes, we are all feeling a pinch this year.  The good news is, the people I talk with seem to be concentrating more on spending time with family in celebration of the upcoming holiday rather than buying and getting “stuff”.

If you are looking for some great deals on holiday gifts, please check out my friends over at CheapCheapCheap.  These guys KNOW how to find deals and they share them freely.  They are constantly combing the web for fantastic buys and posting them to their site.

Today, I purchased a Disney DVD game for $4.00 (that’s about 90% off retail price) and a Matchbox Car Hauler for $8 (regularly $25).  Most of the time, they find free shipping for the deals too.

If you are looking for a particular something, be sure to do a search of the forums, there are a ton of great deals to be had there!


Berkeley Plantation

22 Sep
Main house, Berkeley Plantation

Main house, Berkeley Plantation

The Berkeley Plantation is the most historic plantation on the James River and is located off of Rte. 5 in Charles City (between Williamsburg and Richmond).

The Plantation consists of 3 historic homes, gardens and sites of the applicable historic events all in a beautiful setting overlooking the James River.  There are guides in period costumes to escort you through the home, which consists of period pieces and civil war artifacts.

Berkeley Plantation is the birthplace of President William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison, V(a signer of the Declaration of Independence), the site of the first official Thanksgiving Dinner (in 1619) and also where the tune “Taps” was originally written.  It is the ancestral home of President Benjamin Harrison.

Admission is $11.00 per adult, Ages 6-12 $6.00, Ages 13-17 $7.50, children under 6 are free.  10% discounts for AAA, Senior Citizens and Military.  You can also get a coupon for $1.00 each admission in the Williamsburg tourism guide (which can be picked up for free throughout

Berkeley Plantation Grounds Map

Berkeley Plantation Grounds Map

Williamsburg).  Open daily from 9am to 5pm with the last guided tour at 4:30pm.

Tina’s take on it: I think the price is a little hefty for a visit that even the website claims to take only 1.5 hours.  But, it’s a great place to stop with antsy kids who need to run (there’s plenty of room on the grounds) and/or for a picnic (tables are there).  Drinks can be purchased for $1.00 in the gift shop; however, that’s about it for refreshments.  The gift shop is minimal so the kids should be able to breeze right through it without being enticed.  The history is so incredibly rich here – it definitely should be on the list of places to visit.  If the pre-recorded information speakers had been working at the various sites on the grounds, I think my son would have enjoyed it more.  Also, the grounds map says there is a ship’s replica down at the water and it was not there which was disappointing.  To get the most out of your visit, I would pick up a book at the library about the First Thanksgiving and the Harrison’s and read those to the children prior to visiting.

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