We all lead such busy lives that it can be hard to round up families, even once a year. It's a fact that German supermarket laments in its holiday commercial, which has not surprisingly gone viral.
The Edeka ad starts with a retiree's daughter making excuses for why her family can't join him on 25 December. After a heartrenchingly lonely Christmas dinner, the grandfather comes up with a rather cunning plan to get his family together in one room.
Fast forward a few months and... Well, I won't reveal much more. You'll have to watch for yourself (with captions on).
Suffice to say, as a reflection of the times, the ad takes an awfully morbid turn.
Holiday commercials are supposed to gently tug on the heartstrings. Be warned, this one by Edeka yanks the hell out of them.
People, let's never get so busy that we lose sight of what's important. Never.
Though it may seem antithetical, playing video games may help kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Before you crack out the Xbox, be warned, it's not just any video game but specialized computer programs like Project: EVO, which has been found to improve concentration and decrease impulsiveness in children with ADHD.
“We want this to be a mainstream option in any doctor’s office, right next to Adderall,” said chief exec of Akili Interactive Labs, which makes EVO, Eddie Martucci.
Pending FDA approval, the game could be 'prescribed' by doctors as they would medications. For parents, this is welcome news, especially as it coincides with news about the side effects of the popular ADHD drugs, methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamines (Adderall).
While many of us feel that too much screen time actually worsens attention problems, limited 'doses' of special brain-training programs such as Cogmed, Activate and others, could actually improve symptoms in kids with ADHD. The games work the brain much like repetitive strength training boosts muscle tone over time.
Such were the findings of a pilot study of kids who played Project: EVO five times a week for half an hour at a time. While kids without ADHD didn't show significant changes, those with ADHD displayed improvements in attention. Then again, they were also doing around the same amount of physical exercise, so who's to say the game alone was responsible for the improvement?
Skeptics warn that there is not enough research to prove that such games translate to academic performance, yet already parents are purchasing brain-training software - some charging as much as $195 for a three-month subscription - hoping for results.
And teachers are getting on board, too. Some 200 schools in the US regularly employ the Activate program with students. And parents reported seeing definite improvement in symptoms in participating kids with ADHD.
Still, cognitive programs like EVO offer a promising alternative to medications, which is entirely worth exploring.
Ah, get a load of these young people. Always trying to come up with new and ever more idiotic ways to amuse themselves. Take this latest, Condom Challenge, in which teens pop a water-filled condom over each other's heads then burst into laughter as it explodes and suctions their faces. Think Ice Bucket challenge without the brain cells or the charity slant.
All it took was a pair of bored guys and a video that was retweeted more than 9,000 times to launch the latest online fad, which comes complete with its own 'official' Twitter account. Because Twitter is where the twits hang.
It goes without saying that the Condom Challenge isn't advisable or even remotely safe which, come to think of it, is a prerequisite when it comes to teen fun. And the Condom Challenge is only marginally better than its 2013 predecessor, which I'm told involved snorting a condom up your nose...
In my day we were happy to drive around aimlessly or buy Slurpies from 7-Eleven. But then again, we didn't have the Internet.
Kids in Japan do even weirder things for kicks, so I must conclude they must be truly bored over there.
All I could think watching these videos was that these kids don't yet know the value of a dollar. Have you been to the local drugstore lately? Condoms don't come cheap, folks, and really they could be put to much, much better use.