Please don’t use screens for classroom management

As I mentioned in a recent post, I have a lot of conversations with teachers and parents about screen use.  My wife is an elementary school teacher, so we have a lot of these conversations around the dinner table as well. One practice that comes up a lot is that screens are used frequently to help with classroom management.  This can be done in a few different ways – by showing videos at lunch time,…

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Women and Pets in Art

Four representations of women and dogs or cats in art from 1820 to 2004.Woman with Shamisen and Cat by Yashima Gakutei, c. 1820s. Art Institute of Chicago.I have been very busy putting the final touches to the second round of substantive edits on my book.So in lieu of a science post, I thought I would share with you these representations of women and dogs or cats in art that I found when browsing the online…

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Right Turn: A top 10 list for 2018 blogs

It’s the time of year when media either look forward, with predictions, or backwards to highlight what resonated with readers. (In 2016, I provided a list of my top five favourite posts, not yours, in case you’d like to check it out.) Since you are a quiet bunch in terms of leaving comments, this list of top blogs is a reflection of what you were reading, but also sharing and liking on social media (as…

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Looking back on 2018: Top-five most-read stories from the RED blog

Looking back on 2018: Top-five most-read stories from the RED blog Transplantation Organs and Tissues Plasma Stem Cells Transfusion Blood Tuesday, January 01, 2019 Jenny Ryan As the year comes to a close and 2019 is set to begin, we take a moment to reflect on the 2018 articles that were among the most popular. Image #5: Raising awareness for living organ donation In April each year, we honour organ donors and their families during National…

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Fellow Creatures: A New Post

A new post over at my Fellow Creatures blog looks at the responsible use of pets in advertising, and some new guidelines from the British Veterinary Association on what advertisers should (and shouldn't) do. The report calls for advertisers to consider the five welfare needs in what they are depicting.My post is called, Using pets to sell: Responsible use of animals in adverts.(Photo: Daniel Frank/Stocksnap).

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Here’s why you crave tomato juice on a plane

I’m writing this seated on a plane heading to San Francisco. We’ve been in the air for under an hour, and the drink cart is just starting to make its way down the aisle. As the cart rolls nearer I’m forced to decide what drink I’ll be having. Since the cups are minuscule, and the liquid is largely displaced by ice cubes if one’s not quick enough to add “no ice, please” to the order,…

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Right Turn: Changing people’s lives, one stem cell “Christmas tree” at a time

I’m on vacation and hope you are too! But catching up on one’s sleep and spending time with family is no excuse for putting learning on hold. If you like “sciart,” then these award-winning images should enhance your festive mood. Catarina Moura, University of Southampton, produced these laser-based stem cell beauties. You can read the full story and learn about her research here. Happy Holidays!  

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Should kids be required to do their homework on a computer?

Given the focus of my research, I have a lot of conversations with teachers and parents about screen use, and its impact of kids’ health.  We talk about the variety of reasons why screens are bad for kids – negatively impacting sleep, increasing food intake, etc.  And they inevitably ask whether computer-based school work is “better” than other forms of screen use.  As far as I can tell, there is no reason why educational screen use…

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The Posts of the Year 2018

The posts about dogs and cats you liked best in 2018.Photo: Szofia Zsemberi / Shutterstock.comIt’s been another busy year here at Companion Animal Psychology. Highlights including being featured in the Washington Post ('Your dog and cat wish they could tell you this'), being interviewed by Radio New Zealand, and speaking at the BC SPCA’s Animal Behaviour Science Symposium (where it was lovely to meet some readers of this blog).I had the pleasure of interviewing some…

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Is the falling popularity of smoking contributing to increasing obesity prevalence?

This summer, my wife and I visited the country of my birth, Poland. Two things I always notice when visiting Europe (that differ from North America) are how many people smoke, but how few are overweight or obese. This was again true in Poland, despite that country’s preference for big portions, dessert with every meal, and lots of simple carbohydrates. Although I was aware of this association for years, I wanted to see what the…

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