Archive for Thursday, July 19, 2001

7-19 Short Stuff briefs

July 19, 2001

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A baby dolphin, left, swims with its mother in a pool as they are presented last month to the media at Hong Kong's Ocean Park. The dolphin is one of two calves born in May. The two are the world's first dolphins conceived by artificial insemination, aquarium officials said.

Summer is a break

from school, not learning

A vacation from school doesn't have to mean a vacation from learning. Robert Calfee, dean of the school of education at the University of California at Riverside and an adviser at the LeapFrog toy company, offers these tips for keeping sharp during the summer months and beyond.

l Visit the public library. Besides all the books and magazines, many public libraries offer story time and other activities.

l Find organizations that have educational programs during summer break. Many colleges offer programs that encourage educational -- and fun -- activities.

l Keep art supplies handy so you can explore your creative side.

l Keep current on your math skills by planning a budget for a family trip, following a recipe in the kitchen or being in charge of the grocery shopping for a week.

l Brush up on your penmanship by keeping a summer journal and writing postcards while on vacation.

w/AP photo "teethhealth"

How to keep a winning smile

Children should learn early how to keep their teeth healthy and clean -- especially because tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, according to U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher.

Here are some tips for caring for "growing" teeth:

l Use the right tools, including fluoride toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay, a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles and dental floss.

l Brush morning and night, holding the toothbrush at an angle against the gumline, and move the brush back and forth with short strokes. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Then brush the inner surfaces of each tooth, and hold the brush flat and brush the chewing surfaces of each tooth. Gently brush the tongue, too.

l Floss daily to help remove plaque from between teeth and under the gumline. Check with your dentist to learn when you should begin flossing.

l See the dentist regularly, usually twice a year or as the dentist recommends. Children should visit a dentist by their first birthday.

l Eat nutritious foods to help keep teeth and gums healthy.

Do teens belong in the NBA?

One minute they're talented teens, the next minute they're multimillionaire professional basketball players. This year was a prime example: Three of the first four picks in last month's NBA draft will skip college. With the first pick, the Washington Wizards selected 19-year-old high school star Kwame Brown.

"The draft was draped in diapers," one columnist complained.

Turning pro shortly after his senior prom may have seemed cool to Brown, but many educators and sports fans don't like this trend.

Some say young athletes miss out on a chance to get a college education, which could help them get a job and support themselves when their pro basketball career is over.

NBA officials also worry that 18- and 19-year-olds can't handle the grueling practice schedule and the 82 pro games a season -- not to mention the pressures and responsibilities of sudden wealth and fame.

NBA Commissioner David Stern wants an age requirement of 20. But players probably would challenge such a requirement in court.

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