Affluenza, book recommendations for kids, puppies, cigarettes, The Big History Project, IF … and ambitious students

Have you heard about the teen who will serve no jail time despite killing four people in a recent drunk driving accident because his lawyers claimed he is a victim of “affluenza”? His attorneys argued that he was so coddled and spoiled that his parents never taught him right from wrong. He had a blood alcohol level of .24 – triple the legal driving limit for an adult – and was on Valium when he crashed his truck, injuring 11 people and killing four. While intelligent, he was estimated to have the emotional age of a 12-year-old.


I was surprised to learn that even the most rigorous computer science courses do not currently count toward core high school graduation requirements in California and neither the UCs nor CSUs count computer science as fulfilling a mathematics or science requirement. As of right now, 14 states do count computer science as a math or a science, and hopefully California will soon follow. http://tinyurl.com/lr6o94p...

Need book ideas for kids of all ages? Check out Amazon’s list of the top 20 most popular books in each category for readers of all ages: baby-age 2 | ages 3-5 | ages 6-8 | ages 9-12. You can see the full list in best-selling order at http://tinyurl.com/k3uw8cb...

Along the same lines, greatschools.org released its list of the all-time best book series for kids, by grade level. Some of its top picks: “Maya & Ruby,” “The Elephant & Piggie,” “Peter & The Starcatchers,” “The Babysitters Club” and “Artemis Fowl.” Read the complete list here: http://tinyurl.com/n46nu4q...

Students at Marin Academy had a new way to combat the stress of exam week this year. Last week, puppies from the Milo Foundation came to MA during lunch. I heard from a Sonoma student that the school’s student body president, Ari Goldstein, promised in his election speech that he would bring puppies during finals week. I’m not sure anyone believed him but after he was elected, he made some calls and the foundation agreed to bring the puppies as part of its adoption outreach efforts.


If you are worried that your teen is smoking cigarettes, I recommend you show him or her the images at http://tobaccobody.fi/n_en.php. It is an absolutely horrifying high-tech, high-def look at how each part of your body is affected by cigarette smoking. I am still cringing.


Santa Rosa Junior College has announced $52,500 in new scholarships for full-time students. The $350 scholarships will cover costs of attending SRJC other than tuition (health fees, parking, etc.) In order to be eligible, new or returning students must be enrolled full-time between Dec. 16, 2013, and Jan. 11, 2014. Students can enroll for classes at santarosa.edu/app/admissions/apply-online/. To apply for the scholarship, visit santarosa.edu/newscholarship Jan. 13 through 17.

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