Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Three for Thursday: King Gets the Boot, Soccer Mom Syndrome and Mysterious Stillbirths

The King of TV Talk Given the Boot?

I’m still on the fence about whether this story – which I found on The Huffington Post and then in the New York Observer – was an April Fools Day joke or not. According to the Observer, the 79-year-old Larry King was asked to leave his 9-year-old son’s baseball game after he became too, shall we say, boisterous with an umpire. File this under: Sports Parents Gone Wild.

Soccer Mom Syndrome

Yep. If you’re a soccer mom, it’s likely, you’re a victim of a syndrome. At least according to an “eminent biologist/naturalist” quoted by a blogger for Discover Magazine:

“In a candid conversation with an audience here at the Aspen Environment Forum, eminent biologist/naturalist E.O. Wilson said soccer moms are killing off bio-education because they don’t let their children experience nature.

In what he calls the ‘soccer mom syndrome,’ Wilson said the worst thing a parent can do for a child is to take him or her to a botanical garden where all the trees are marked and labeled.”

Wilson says we should let our kids experience nature first-hand, instead of making everything in their lives be activity-centered. While I don’t like the sideswipe at soccer moms – given that my kids play soccer and I’m their mom must mean I'm a member of the group – I do appreciate the message: Let the kids go outside and explore. And don’t hover over them.

Tragic, Mysterious Stillbirths

The New York Times recently ran a story in its Science section which, while lamenting the fact that little research has been done on why some pregnancies end in a stillbirth, suggested that if more autopsies were performed, perhaps parents would get some answers, or at least a clue, as to what went wrong.

“The single most important step in trying to determine the cause of a stillbirth and the likelihood that it may recur is a fetal autopsy. Yet, beset by grief and lacking a clear understanding of what an autopsy entails and how it can help, many couples fail to authorize one. An additional obstacle is the fact that the cost of an autopsy — about $1,000 or more — is usually borne by the couple.

“’If autopsies were done routinely, we’d know a lot more about the causes of stillbirth and, probably, more about how to prevent them,’ Dr. Hamisu Salihu, a leading researcher in the field, said in an interview. Dr. Salihu cautioned against reassuring couples that stillbirth was unlikely to recur, even if there was no explanation for the first one.”

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Meredith -

I'd love to touch base to chat about reprinting some of your articles. I cannot find contact info for you anywhere so I'm doing it this way! (very private, yes?)

If you have a moment, would you email me?

Thank you!
Elizabeth Lyons