How do you teach kids how to put on a condom without actually using or even mentioning the word condom? That was the conundrum faced by Sanford Johnson, who was tasked with providing sex ed in Mississippi.
The state comes second a lot (sorry) in the U.S. - Second in terms of the number of teen births, second for STDs like Chlamydia and gonorrhea, second for the percentage of kids who've had sex before the end of 12th grade.
Important Lessons We Forget To Teach Our Kids About Sex
In 2011, a law was passed banning the use of condoms in teaching demonstrations and insisting on "abstinence-based" sex education. Because clearly all this talk of abstinence is working wonders for Mississippi...
Ever looked longingly at your tots frolicking in a ball pit and wished you could just dive in and join them? Admit it; of course you have. Well, a UK gallery has heard—and answered—your prayers. A ball pit, strictly for grown ups, is up and running in London.
Now you too can experience the euphoria that comes with splashing in a sea of rainbow-coloured plastic balls. (Being that we're all mature adults, said 81,000 balls come in a tasteful white.) Skip the gym, and pop by with some colleagues for some ball pit fun on your lunch break. Or book the entire pit and make it a date for 30 of your besties because it beats the hell out of 10-pin bowling.
Prank Gone Bad: This Toddler Found a 'Used' Condom In A McDonalds Play Area
For those who aren't germ averse, the pit offers a novel way to blow off some steam that, one would hope, wouldn't be the pee and drool breeding ground it is for the younger set.
For those who would sooner douse themselves in Purell, think of the greater good. With every visitor to the pit, creative agency Pearlfisher will donate £1 to Right To Play, the international charity that provides sporting activities to disadvantaged kids.
Sadly the pit is not a permanent fixture, and will close shop at the end of January.
Play Area Etiquette: Common Sense Isn't That Common
Personally I'm hoping the idea catches on in North America. When I put it to our team, several of our bloggers couldn't see past the potential for perversion, while, conversely, this was a selling point for others.
What do you say? Could you be persuaded to dive in head first if, say, a certain celebrity hottie was present? Maybe "The Brad Ball Pitt." You have to admit, it has a ring to it.
Image Source: YouTube
Smoking during pregnancy, I think we can all agree, is a bad idea. But quitting isn't easy, and the British government knows it, so in addition to offering support it is contemplating doling out a £400 ($758) sweetener to expectant moms who nix the cigs. (Presently a reported 11% of women smoke right up to the time of delivery.)
Quit Smoking: Four Ways To Help You Butt Out For Good
The rationale being that the National Healthcare System (NHS) would ultimately be forking out that money anyway (dealing with smoking-related health problems and some 5,000 deaths of fetuses and babies in the UK every year). So if the NHS can persuade moms-to-be to stomp out the dirty habit at the onset, it's for the greater social good.
The idea came from a Scottish study in which 15% of women given shopping vouchers managed to kick the habit compared to the 4% in the control group.
The trouble with incentive schemes, as most parents know full well, is yes, women may be persuaded to give up smoking in the short term, but they won't be doing so for the right reasons. They won't be kicking the habit for the health of themselves or of their babies, which is the ultimate pay-off.
Man Points A Gun At Smoking Pregnant Woman
Human motivation is a complicated, fickle thing. If we are only programmed to run when there's a carrot dangling in front of us, what happens when there is no longer carrot in sight? What happens once a woman gives birth, once her vouchers have all been spent?
If the government still insists on getting involved, why not issue positive incentives like tax rebates without resorting to outright bribery? An even better financial incentive would be for expecting moms to set aside all the money *not* squandered on packs of smokes over the course of a year. One look at their bank balance should cinch the deal. With the money saved, take a holiday or splurge on something beautiful.