Should schools offer students cash and prizes in addition to an education? One Las Vegas high school raffled off a new car and scholarship money to seniors who maintained a 3.7 GPA and a spotless attendance record. 18-year-old Kenneth Gonzalez was rewarded for his hard work with a new Honda Fit, worth about $17,500, while six other students walked away with $8,000 each in scholarship money. School officials say the prizes are a good way to keep kids from slacking off during their final semester. The measures have some wondering whether it's incentivizing education, flat-out bribery, or just plain effective.
Nine months after the housing bubble burst, the baby boom went bust. Several years later and the economy's still troubled and the birth rate's still low. The U.S. birth rate had been on the rise, reaching an all-time high in 2007. In 2010, for the third year in a row, the number of births has dropped as people presumably are putting off starting or expanding families due to financial concerns.
Poor, old (well, perpetually young) Barbie's had a rough go of it lately. She and Ken have entered into a rocky, on-again, off-again relationship, people are always blaming her for girls' body issues, and now Greenpeace is blaming her for deforestation in Indonesia. Greenpeace is after the blonde bombshell because Mattel, her manufacturer, uses paper packaging products from Asia Pulp and Paper, a company that has been called “Indonesia's most notorious rain forest destroyer.”
Hello baby, Hello Kitty! One maternity hospital in Taiwan offers expectant moms the chance to deliver their bundle of joy in a Hello Kitty-themed wonderland. From the enormous, Hello Kitty statue wearing scrubs that greets people as they enter the hospital, to the logoed sheets they labor in, it is a happy, grinning kitty birthing experience for all who want to say, Hello!
Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. She is currently developing an alarm clock that will start an IV coffee drip 10 minutes prior to wake-up time. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.