While fans around the world continue to mourn the loss of actor Robin Williams, not everyone has been sensitive about the circumstances surrounding the comedian's death. A Fox news presenter as well as a UK radio presenter were driven to public apologies comments about Williams' suicide.
What started as a typical day at Cool Springs turned strange for the Covlins when Health and safety officials showed up unexpectedly and announced that eight-year-old Emma and her 10-year-old sister, Kate, were breaking the law. By helping out on the family's farm.
According to an article in the National Post, the Covlin daughters were trained farm hands who had grown up working in the family business—a chicken processing plant.
Provincial laws dictate the age at which children can start work. Typically, in Canada, that's around 14, yet the law is a bit looser in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, where the hours and type of work are limited. Farm work isn't considered hazardous, per se, but that's not to say it's appropriate either.
“Child labour in general, particularly for children under 12 is deemed to be a bad thing because children are not physically or cognitively or emotionally mature enough, generally, to undertake work in a safe manner—there are threats to their physical health, their mental and emotional development,” said Professor for Work and Community Studies at Athabasca University, Bob Barnetson.
Farming in this country has traditionally been a family business, yet perhaps the times have changed, as Cool Springs recently found out.
Is the government being "overbearing" in this case or simply protecting the rights of children?
Is this mom's means for getting her kids to do chores misguided or genius?
How do girls impress boys? Well, duh. They fake being, if not stupid, then at least less intelligent than they actually are. So claims a new study from the University of Warwick in England.
According to an article in Science Daily, around the time when puberty sets in, girls learn to downplay their smarts in order to win over boys. Yes, even now, in the year 2014.
"There are very strong pressures in society that dictate what is a proper man and a proper woman," argues sociologist Dr Maria do Mar Pereira, who observed a class of kids at a Lisbon school for a three-month period.
"Young people try to adapt their behaviour according to these pressures to fit into society," says Dr Pereira. "One of the pressures is that young men must be more dominant—cleverer, stronger, taller, funnier—than young women, and that being in a relationship with a woman who is more intelligent will undermine their masculinity."
In addition to downplaying their intelligence, girls disengaged from hobbies and sports that seem "unfeminine" and resisted the urge to speak out against harassment.
A worrying and deeply problematic social pattern, says Dr Pereira, who urges parents and educators to "promote ideas about gender which are less rigid, and recognize there are many ways of being a man and a woman."
Dr Pereira's research has been published in a book entitled, Doing Gender in the Playground: The Negotiation of Gender and Sexuality in Schools.
This surprising study concluded that children of these parents are happier than most.