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 March 27, 2007 / 8 Nissan, 5767

Are you smarter than a fifth grader who knows how to text message and rip mp3 files?

By Lenore Skenazy

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If schools had water coolers (which they don't — they have teeth-rotting, kid-blimping soda machines. Thank you, corporate America!), all the students would be gathered around them talking about the latest Fox hit, "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?"

And if those kids were anything like the fifth-graders I talked to yesterday, they'd be saying, "Of course we're smarter!" And they'd be right. No one is quite as smart as a fifth-grader anymore — especially not the morons Fox dug up for its show.

Fifth graders in 2007 have the advantage of having grown up with the very technology that made many of us middle-agers finally throw up our hands and say, "I am through trying to keep up. Get me a Jitterbug." A Jitterbug being the super simple cell phone for the non-fifth-graders among us. It has giant, easy-to-read numbers and asks simple yes/no questions. ("Do you want to make a call?" "Do you have any idea how to dial a phone?" "Who was the first president?") It doesn't bother trying to synch you up with e-mail or the Internet because this, it realizes, is a lost cause.

Just a generation ago, though, the household objects that were simplified were the toys: the Playskool phone with the big plastic numbers or the tiny, tinny piano. Kids were the ones who needed the dumbing down.

Now that's all reversed. I asked my third-grader if he knew how to text message, and it was like asking if he knew how to rip an MP3 file. ("Mom! Everyone does!")

This may perhaps explain why the Fox show is such a hit — the third most-watched show last week: Secretly most of us adults are worried that not only are we dumber than a fifth grader, we need one around for tech support.

A show dedicated to that premise — children actually trying to teach grown-ups how to, say, instant message — might be fun and even surprising. The only thing surprising about "Are You Smarter," alas, is that there are still plenty of people willing to look idiotic for the chance to be on national TV and win a million dollars. (Hmm. That's not sounding quite so unreasonable as I write it.)

Last week, for instance, host Jeff Foxworthy asked a contestant named Ebony, "If you cross the northern border of the United States, what country are you in?"

Ebony squeezed her eyes shut in utter concentration. "I think I know this," she said, clasping her hands together as if in prayer. Time passed. Theme music played. More clasping. Finally, offered the chance to "peek" at a real fifth-grader's answer — the fifth- graders don't actually play against the grown-ups, they're just there as assistants — Ebony chose to take the extra help.

"CANADA" the fifth-grader had written.

Extended whooping from the studio audience. Ebony shrieked with joy and clasped some more.

"Why do they take so long to answer?" my actual fifth-grader asked as we watched.

I wanted to explain about trying to build up false tension and the need to fill an hour slot in order to maximize the number of commercials. (This one had about 10 ads each commercial break.)

I also wanted to mention what Professor Ted Mandell of Notre Dame calls the "reality show feel-good effect": the stupider the people on the show, the smarter the people at home feel, and the more they keep watching.

It also seemed important to note that co-producers Mark Burnett, of "Survivor" fame, and Fox's Mike Darnell ("Temptation Island") are the godfathers of reality TV, and they don't want to get to the big prize too often, too quickly, or the show will peak.

On the other hand, all that takes a lot of time to explain and, after all, he's a fifth-grader.

He's got to download my photos before he goes to bed.

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