Category Archives: Websites

The Lunch Love Community Project Looks Delicious

We talk a lot here about the pop culture we feed our kids.

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But what about, you know, food? It seems like a pretty basic thing to consider, but take a look at any random schoolyard in the country, and you’ll see that a lot of parents aren’t considering it enough.

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To be fair, it can be tough to maintain a healthy diet for ourselves, let alone our finicky little people — we’re surrounded by sodium, sugar, and preservatives, and any thirtysomething parent who still feels the residual tingle of childhood when walking past those brightly colored boxes of Trix and Cap’n Crunch in the cereal aisle should be able to sympathize with the junior set’s hunger for junk food.

The Lunch Love Community Project is here to help.

Will they make it so Pop Tarts aren’t so sinfully delicious, and beets taste like something besides dirt?

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No. But they are offering support and guidance to parents who want to help their kids eat healthy food, starting with — you guessed it — school lunches. Observe:

To learn more about the project — and see more videos — visit their site here.

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Blu-ray Review: “Earth”

Remember when DVD players were mostly a luxury for the home theater crowd, and pretty much anyone who bought one also picked up a copy of Twister to test his system’s limits? Well, it certainly isn’t an audio/CGI workout on that level, but Disney’s Earth is so stunningly gorgeous that it might be the first true “gotta have it” purchase for Blu-ray owners. Yes, it’s just another nature documentary — and in an age when you can switch on Discovery Channel HD at almost any hour and see something that takes your breath away — but…wow. Just wow.

Disney took some heat for the way Earth was assembled, and perhaps rightly so; it’s basically a boiled-down version of the BBC’s mammoth Planet Earth series, and though it uses some footage that wasn’t aired on the show, it’s still mostly reheated goods. But nobody wants to watch seven and a half hours of anything in a theater, and this is Disney — they’re aiming Earth at kids, whose attention spans are built for the film’s 90-minute length. This is actually one of the first projects from the studio’s new Disneynature banner, intended to expose the Disney demographic to the sights and sounds of the world around us, which is awfully hard to complain about. Even if you were enthralled by Planet Earth during its TV run, in other words, don’t be so quick to write off Earth as its shrimpier cousin; in any house with kids, it’s got a charm all its own. Continue reading

CD Review: Brady Rymer, “Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could”

Brady Rymer – Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could (2008, Bumblin’ Bee)
purchase this album (Amazon)

Kids’ music has come a long way from the says when its creators were expected to treat their listeners like tiny little mental patients, but even in this golden age of non-nauseating listening choices for parents, some of the old rules still apply. For instance, most kids’ album artwork is still done in bright colors, and filled with pictures of performers proudly displaying open-mouthed grins — and the songs themselves often tend to be overly sweet or self-consciously wacky. As adults, we often count ourselves lucky if we can remember our younger, sillier selves, but what we forget is that kids don’t always feel like acting goofy, and even though they think fart jokes are funnier than the average adult, they’re also capable of serious thought and occasionally startling insight.

Brady Rymer‘s latest release, Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could, shouldn’t exactly be your first stop for serious thought or insight, startling or otherwise — but it doesn’t pander to its audience, either. This is relatively smart pop music that just happens to be aimed at kids, and although it lacks the sort of crossover non-breeder appeal enjoyed by, say, They Might Be Giants, it’s still a deeper, more relaxed, more thoughtful collection than you might think after looking at the cover.

This is no accident; as a member of From Good Homes, Rymer released a handful of rock records in the ’90s, and toured with big names like Davids Byrne, Crosby, and Matthews.

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He calls his songs “music for kids with a rock ‘n’ roll heart,” and even if that overestimates the material’s actual rock quotient, it’s close enough to the truth to explain how he’s managed to make five kids’ albums (and counting).

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He’s a likable frontman with an honest voice, and the songs have some wonderfully positive energy; Rymer even has the good taste to end the disc with a cover of Pete Seeger’s “Well May the World Go.” Your kids probably won’t care about that last item — at least, not unless they’re like my three-year-old Seeger groupie of a daughter — but they’ll still enjoy Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could, and so will you.