UK government promises a price tag for the work of the home

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The Home Renaissance Foundation has been given the best Christmas gift imaginable.

It sounds dull, but like all the best presents, it may prove surprisingly useful.

Unpaid housework is to be officially recognised by the British government as a measurable part of the nation’s wealth.

Childcare and eldercare, cleaning and laundry, ironing and cooking. All the things that make a home run well, but which have been slighted and ignored by officialdom for decades.

But not any more. As previously noted by the BeHome blog, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says that it will be able to put a figure on the value of unrecognised domestic toil and include it in the UK’s figures for Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The good news is that this may be as early as the summer of 2015.

The ONS has already made a stab at some preliminary projections. And, even for those of us who have long argued that the… click here to read whole article and make comments



The Sydney siege: the good news

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One week ago, the Sydney siege took Australia by surprise.  Everyone was still easing into their morning when the news of it began to spread like wildfire across the media and social networks. By the next day, the nation had watched with sadness and fear as Man Haron Monis took two innocent lives and traumatised many more, before being killed when the police went in.

The whole thing was, and is, horrible. I’m sure I speak for all Australians in saying that I wish it had never happened. Today, farewell services were held to honour the two people that lost their lives. But if anything can be comforting about it all, it’s the way that the country has reacted to the event.

A show of unity and support

The flowers that were left in Martin Place after the event have left me speechless. In aerial photos, there’s no pavement to be… click here to read whole article and make comments



Problems of the heart

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The News Story - Seven ways to start preventing heart disease in your 20s

Cosmopolitan and other women-friendly (or should we say unfriendly?) publications recently picked up on a new campaign. “Fight the Ladykiller,” created by C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D. at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, seeks to promote research into heart disease as a top killer of women.
“We've been slow to recognize heart disease as an epidemic in women,” Dr. Merz toldCosmopolitan. In response, that salacious publication gave attention to some prevention methods. “Don’t smoke,” Keep a healthy weight,” and “Eat the good stuff,” made the list of seemingly commonsense tips, as did “Sweat a little” and “Use your vacay days.”
What did the list leave off?
Given the source, it is no surprise that this list did not include “Get married!” But research reveals that as in men, marriage in women… click here to read whole article and make comments



Birth decisions: home or hospital?

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Speaking generally, the Home Renaissance Foundation inclines to the idea that the home should play a bigger role in the lives of people. If something – an event, a process – can take place in-house; then this is to be encouraged.

What then should we think of headlines this month proclaiming a big shift in the medical view of home births?

The rights and wrongs of giving birth at home have been one of the touchy subjects of ‘parenting’ in recent years; right up there with breast feeding and parental leave.

On one side of the debate have sat the clinicians – obstetricians mainly – who’ve argued that the safest place to bring a baby into the world is a maternity unit inside a well-equipped hospital. The risk of complications trump all other considerations, they say.

But their opponents – often midwives – maintain that a home-birth reduces stress and, therefore, the likelihood… click here to read whole article and make comments



No Gender December #firstworldproblem

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No Gender December – if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a month dedicated to raising awareness on and taking a stand against gendered marketing in kids’ toys. With the slogan, “stereotypes have no place under my Christmas tree,” you can add your voice to their Hero Wall, host a morning tea to spread awareness, or rally to get Parliament to legislate against the gendered marketing of toys.

If you ask me, it’s all a bit silly. No offence to the No Gender December board.

So I get it. It’s about more open marketing. Kids should be able to choose whatever tickles their fancy, not being limited to either the options in the boys’ aisle or the girls’ aisle. But is this really a cause on par with world poverty, the starvation of children, the abuse of women? I for one, would prefer to tackle these first before putting my money behind neutral… click here to read whole article and make comments



The Obama girls are bored

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It’s not often that President Obama’s daughters get a bad rap, but they were certainly targeted over the weekend by GOP Communications Director, Elizabeth Lauten. And it wasn’t long before the cyber world was up in arms about her comments on their uninterested behaviour during the Presidential turkey pardon ceremony (a Thanksgiving tradition).  

I watched the video, and to be honest, I laughed a little bit. These are teenage girls and so, naturally, standing still at a somewhat tedious event and looking thrilled about it might not be making the top of their to-do list. But I don’t know if they merited the following, rather harsh, comments:

"Dear Sasha and Malia, I get your [sic] both in those awful teen years but you're a part of the First Family. Try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again, your mother and father don't respect their positions very… click here to read whole article and make comments



Arguing in front of the kids – good or bad?

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Arguing in front of the kids. As long as I can remember, I’ve thought it was a bad thing. At least, I heard that it was a bad thing and accepted the fact: it made sense after all. But now there’s new research to say that it may be a good thing – a means of equipping kids to deal with the realities of life and giving them examples of how to manage conflict. And yet, I have to say that I’m not convinced.

First though, we should define the term “argument.” I’m not talking a civil, controlled rational discussion about the point of disagreement (this would be a great lesson in conflict resolution). I’m talking raised voices: a verbally aggressive, insult-throwing, and possibly object-throwing, screaming match or anything worse, that’s unlikely to end in a pleasant way.

This is a situation where a couple are acting anything but lovingly towards… click here to read whole article and make comments



CEOs and religion

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execPepsico CEO Indra Nooyi. NICHOLAS KAMM—AFP/Getty Images


CEOs and faith. They’re two things we don’t usually associate, probably because people are careful to keep their personal lives as separate as possible from their work lives.

But last week I read a Time article about seven religious CEOs and It made me think – it makes sense. So many of the good qualities of a good leader (or CEO) not only stem from some belief system, but are also super helpful to doing the job well. Looking at the CEOs featured in the article, here are some examples:

Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo - Hindu

 ‘…cited her Hindu faith as a source of solace from the storms of guilt and stress…”There are times when the stress is so incredible between office and home, trying to be a wife, mother, daughter-in-law and corporate… click here to read whole article and make comments



A daughter’s anniversary reminds us that contraceptives can kill

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erikaThere is one anniversary that Karen and Rick Langhart would prefer never to remember, but how could they forget? Three years ago today, their beloved daughter, at the age of 24, succumbed to a fatal double massive pulmonary embolism. Erika Langhart (pictured, right) was a successful and passionate young woman who had graduated magna cum laude from American University and was planning to go to Georgetown Law School. NuvaRing, a hormonal contraceptive manufactured by the giant pharmaceutical company Merck, was the cause of her death.

“If you knew Erika, it was her spirit that made the biggest impression,” as a friend of hers wrote posthumously. “Erika put her heart into her relationships with her friends and family.” Erika is not forgotten by her parents, who like any parents who have lost a child, try to cope best they can. “We don’t speak about Erika in the past,” Karen told us in a phone call.… click here to read whole article and make comments



Marriage vs. smoking

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The News Story - Massachusetts town could be first in the U.S. to ban all tobacco sales

Policymakers have long sought ways to reduce the incidence of tobacco use, but one town in Massachusetts is considering perhaps the most drastic measure of all.
Residents of Westminster are debating a proposed ban on all nicotine and tobacco products. “But,” reports The Associated Press, “while public health groups are lauding the proposal, smokers, their advocates and shopkeepers alike are fuming.” While some residents believe that private behavior should not be legislated, others worry about the economic effects that will certainly follow if smokers begin driving elsewhere to feed their addictions. Asks one shopkeeper, “If this passes, what could be next? Sugar? Bacon?”
But research indicates that until the residents of Westminster—and the rest of the country—reconsider beliefs on marriage and family, remedies such as… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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