In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 6, 2007 / 18 Shevat, 5767

Atomic scientists need to stop the clock

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Mom," Amy asks seriously, "Can I talk to you about something?"

This usually is the opening line to a true confession. I expect the next thing out of her mouth will be a story about visiting the vice principal's office or a warning to expect a call from someone's mother.

Either she's going to 'fess up to something embarrassing (for her — not me) or else she's going to ask a question that's embarrassing (for me — not her).

"Sure," I say. I brace myself for something ugly.

"Today some kids were talking about a story in the newspaper. Something about a clock in London and how there are only five minutes until Doomsday. Do you know what that's about?"

Doomsday? Is that all? This is such a relief.

Amy's topic for the ride home from school could have been something sticky such as, "Did you ever smoke cigarettes?" or, "How many times have you been stopped by the police?" Comparatively, Doomsday is easy.

I explain the Doomsday Clock, a public relations gimmick of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that denotes the world's risks because of nuclear proliferation. I tell her about the news story that says that for the first time, the Atomic Scientists last month included climate changes in their assessment of risk to the planet, ranking global warming as potentially as dire as the dangers posed by nuclear war.

Finally, I emphasize that there's really no such thing as a clock that marks the minutes until the world comes to an end.

"It's just a way to draw attention to issues that these scientists believe are important," I say. "In fact, they change the time backward and forward to show when they think things are getting more or less safe in the world.

"People are always predicting the end of the world, despite the Bible's clear emphasis on the element of surprise as a key feature of this undisclosed day," I say.

To allay her fears, I even recount the silliness of the Y2K hype seven years ago when folks stockpiled bottled water, cans of baked beans and portable generators. "They did this just in case changing the date on the calendar caused certain destruction of the world as we knew it."

Eventually I get Amy to giggle, which is no small feat. "I'm so relieved," she finally admits, "because if Doomsday is happening in London, that's bad. The whole cast of 'High School Musical' is there right now."

At last, her real fear is revealed. "Not to worry," I say. "The cast is fine."

Small wonder our children aren't in a perpetual state of panic, given the headlines to which they're subjected simply by grabbing the paper off the front porch to check the weather report.

Case in point: the quote attributed to Stephen Hawking, cosmologist, mathematician and member of the Atomic Scientists: "Terror only kills hundreds or thousands of people. Global warming could kill millions."

Well there's a cheerful thought to feed the optimism and confidence of a new generation.

I happen to think the Atomic Scientists (am I the only one who thinks this sounds like the name of a rock band?) may have put their credibility at risk by departing from the message of nuclear safety, but I digress.

My real point is: I think as a culture we're weirdly prone to scaring our children by infusing them with an overwhelming sense of dread about the future.

The headline in my paper that read "11:55 p.m. — 'Doomsday Clock' moved amid fears of disaster" does nothing to promote action or advocacy, at least not for me. Rather than impel me to rise up against the forces of abomination, I pretty much dismiss all of it and suggest to my family that we go out to eat.

Let's see... unchecked destruction of the Earth's atmosphere or burgers at our favorite neighborhood pub? I pick burgers. At least we can control the outcome (medium, with fries, side of slaw) and concentrate on the here and now.

Not surprisingly, my children think the world today is more dangerous and unstable than it ever has been. Thanks to media messages charged with urgency and emotion (read: trying to achieve ratings and readership), they're convinced the problems we face are more threatening and horrific than at any time in our history.

Of course, this isn't true.

What is true is that America's children enjoy more comfort and security than any generation of human beings ever has; they live in more relative wealth than anyone on Earth.

It's crucial that our children understand this, because the extent to which they will respond to the issues we hand to them (when at last we pick up our shuffleboard sticks and pass them the torch of leadership) depends largely on their sense that the world is worth saving and that they are the ones who can do it.

The world does not need a generation of hopeless, helpless people, raised in the belief that everything is going to hell in a handbasket (duh and whatever).

Just how do we ensure that our children avoid the pessimism implied in the "Doomsday" headline? For starters, let's nix the fanfare around the Atomic Scientists' clock.

If there's a clock ticking, it ought to be counting the moments of optimism and hope that are the birthright of every generation.

Even scientists can use some perspective. After all, the cast of "High School Musical" is safe in London, and tomorrow is another day.

Burgers anyone?

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"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 19 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2006, Marybeth Hicks