This New Tool Can Help Parents Find the Best Sport for Their Kids

Kids these days: they have so many options when it comes to sports. There are organized travel teams, it seems, for every game: soccer, lacrosse, hoops, the works. While a child’s decision about which sport to play might not be as formative as, say, picking a college, it can sure feel that way. And potentially cost as much: fees and travel expenses for some club teams skyrocket to $ 10,000 per year and beyond.

In trying to navigate today’s youth sports scene, any guidance helps. That’s why a new tool released Thursday by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, called the Healthy Sport Index, couldn’t be more timely. The handy website allows families to weigh three factors in deciding what sport makes the most sense: safety, physical activity, and the sport’s psychosocial benefits. The index then provides a customized ranking of ten sports, based on where a child lands on a sliding scale of “low emphasis” to “high emphasis” for each of the three factors.

So say, for example, your son wants to put maximum emphasis on psychosocial benefits: he wants a sport that will help him develop social skills, cognitive skills, and otherwise enhance his mental health. He cares about a sport’s safety, but is willing to take some injury risk; so here, he falls in the middle of the scale. But he’s ambivalent about physical activity: your son doesn’t care how much energy he expends in practice. He gives it the lowest possible emphasis on the Heathy Sport Index scale. Based on this mix, the Healthy Sport Index puts swimming on top, while lacrosse comes in tenth.

Meanwhile, your daredevil daughter can care less about getting hurt, but places the highest possible emphasis on working out hard while playing her sport and developing useful life skills, like setting goals. Healthy Sport Index says: sign her up for tennis! (Cheerleading falls to the bottom here. The ten girls’ sports ranked by the Healthy Sport Index are basketball, cheerleading, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. For the boys it’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.)

The Aspen Institute, in consultation with medical experts, compiled data for the index from a variety of sources. The National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, produced by the Colorado School of Public Health, provided injury rates for various sports. For the psychosocial component, the Aspen Institute surveyed almost 1,300 high school athletes from across the country, and asked students whether their sport helped them improve in areas like sharing responsibility and patience. Researchers from North Carolina State University observed almost 700 hours of varsity practices to document the physical activity levels of each high school sport. The architects of the index were keen to account for the positive benefits of different sports, to counterbalance the downside risks.

“We talk a lot about injuries in youth sports, for good reason,” says Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, director of sports medicine research at Emory University. “But it’s important to look at all aspects of the athletic experience. If you just focus on one, you’re missing the boat.”

For example, football, which has witnessed participation declines due to well-founded worries about head injuries, ranks second among boys’ sports for psychosocial benefits. (Soccer comes in first.) High school football players reported more improvements in social skills and cognitive skills than athletes in any of the nine other sports. The Aspen Institute’s research was less encouraging for, say, boy’s lacrosse, which ranked ninth in safety, ahead of just football, and tenth in psychosocial benefits. Lacrosse players were most likely to cut class, binge drink, use marijuana and smoke cigarettes. In girls’ sports, basketball provided the most psychosocial upside, whereas cheerleading ranked tenth on both the psychosocial and physical activity scales.

Not that cheerleading or lacrosse or any other sport are at all detrimental, say the creators of the Healthy Sport Index. Every activity can have a positive impact on a kid’s life. “It’s better to be playing a sport,” says Jon Solomon, editorial director for the Aspen’s Sports & Society Program, “than to be sitting on the couch all day doing nothing.”

Sports – TIME

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How Do You Find New Beauty Products?

how do you find new beauty productsSo here’s a fun question for today: how do you find new beauty products and decide which to buy? If you’re looking for a new mascara, for example, do you wade through tons of online reviews? Ask your makeup-wearing friends about their favorites? Pick up a mascara while you’re at the drugstore because you’ve heard good things about it? While we’ve previously talked about overrated beauty products, beauty empties (the products you finish and then buy again), and the best beauty store tips and tricks, we haven’t specifically talked about this before.how do you find new beauty products to buy

Here are some online resources to help you when you’re trying to find new beauty products:

Reviews on Ulta or SephoraThe most popular products on these sites have hundreds or even thousands of reviews, while others have zero. Customers occasionally include images, but I usually don’t find them helpful because people are often wearing multiple products and I can’t see the particular effect of the one I’m interested in. They also seem to frequently use filters or otherwise edit their images, which doesn’t help either. The two companies’ reviews offer various “extras”; Sephora tells you the number of “Loves” for each item and gives the option to highlight reviews from your “Beauty Matches” (those who share your eye color, hair color, skin tone, and skin type), while Ulta shows the most commonly stated pros and cons (e.g., “blends easily” or “creases”), ranks the best uses (everyday, work, etc.), and categorizes the styles of the reviewers themselves (trendy, natural, or classic).

Amazon reviews: I hesitate to buy beauty items at Amazon now because of the reports of counterfeit products (although it definitely isn’t the only site facing this issue) as well as the number of fake reviews, which seems to be growing. To determine the authenticity of reviews for a certain product, try Fakespot, which we recently recommended. (One of my favorite podcasts, Reply All, recently did an episode to answer “Why does it seem like Amazon has suddenly gotten a lot sketchier?”) Still, it often has the highest number of reviews — on everything from high-end to drugstore — so I check it even when I’m planning to buy from another site.

MakeupAlley: In “internet time,” MakeupAlley, which offers product reviews and discussion boards has been around for quite a while — since 1999. It currently claims to have 2,742,851 reviews of 170,436 products. I have rarely used the site myself, but a few years ago, Racked (R.I.P.) did a piece on the site, which it called “the most secretive community of beauty obsessives.”

Reviews on a brand’s website: I don’t know if my instincts are correct here — let me know your thoughts — but I tend to give less weight to reviews I read on a beauty brand’s own site than the ones at general beauty retailers like Sephora. I do this because specific-brand reviewers are an even more self-selected group than those who use sites like Sephora (or especially Amazon). I may be overanalyzing here — but unfortunately there’s no Fakespot tool for, say, Clinique.com.

r/MakeupAddiction (Reddit): I haven’t spent a lot of time in this subreddit (definitely less than I’ve spent in, um, r/catpranks), but along the lines of r/ABraThatFits, which we mentioned in our recent post on how to buy a bra, I’ve heard that it can be very helpful. It seems like a good place to find honest, unbiased, unfiltered opinions on beauty products. You don’t have to sign up for a Reddit account to browse r/MakeupAddiction, but you do need one to post. Be sure to read the guidelines for successful posts and the Newbie Guide. Also check out r/Skincare Addiction — and just for fun, r/UnconventionalMakeup.

YouTube video reviews/tutorials: You probably know that there are many, many beauty videos on YouTube, including reviews, tutorials, and hauls. (If you are better about limiting your internet time than I am, you may not know that “Beauty YouTube” is a thriving subculture that even has its own scandals. Again, see Reply All.) Watching YouTube videos is a great way to see the products that you’re considering in action — depending on the lighting quality and the YouTuber’s camera skills, knowledge/technique, and ability to get to the point. I recommend checking out videos by British makeup artist Wayne Goss, for one. Readers, do tell: Which beauty YouTubers do you watch?

(Kat’s quick add: I find new beauty products by subscribing to different subscription services (here’s my review of Play! by Sephora vs Ipsy vs. Birchbox) and if I’ve been drawn to a new lipstick, eyeliner or lipstick for some various reason (read about it somewhere, liked the packaging or online copy, or saw a good sale) I love Googling “product name + swatches” and reviewing all the different swatches. There is something very zen about swatches!)

How do you decide which new beauty products to buy? Which of the above resources have you used? Which sites’ online reviews do you trust? (Or do you skip reviews entirely?) Do you prefer to try before you buy, either with free samples or in-store testers? Which beauty purchases have you later regretted, whether they were impulse buys or researched?

Corporette.com

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Help These Adorable Hurricane Florence Puppies Find Their New Homes

Could one of these pups be your new furever friend? Meet Janet, Jack and Chrissy, three adorable and playful puppies rescued from Hurricane Florence. All three of the four-legged friends are 13-week-old hound mixes rescued from the Carolinas by the North Shore Animal League America.

hurricane florence puppies
A dog stands in floodwaters from the Waccamaw River caused by Hurricane Florence Sean Rayford/Getty Images

These canines weathered the storm and have been given a second chance at love, so watch the video above and consider opening your heart — and home — to one of these little bundles of joy. (However, don’t fall too hard for Chrissy as she’s already found her dog mom thanks to Us Weekly editor Kelly Marages!)

hurricane florence puppies
Dog rescued after Hurricane Florence Joe Raedle/Getty Images

To find out how you can get involved, adopt a new best friend, or to support hurricane relief efforts, visit animalleague.org for more information.

Us Weekly

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Democrats Eager to Find Candidate to Challenge Susan Collins in Maine

Alex Wong/Getty

Moments after Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced her decision Friday to vote in favor of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, the race to challenge her in 2020 began.

No Democrat declaratively said that they would take on Collins, who has served since 1997, but a host of names were almost immediately on the lips of operatives in the state and nationally, now eager to find a serious challenger in a state where partisan alignments vary wildly from district to district.

Sara Gideon, the current speaker of Maine’s House of Representatives, intimated in a Facebook statement that she will consider taking on Collins.

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Athletics find fan doused by beer, to send him care package

The 7-2 loss Oakland suffered in the AL wild-card game against the Yankees might sting for some time, but for one Athletics fan, the stink will soon go away. After loyal Oakland fan John Spencer was caught on video being doused with beer and pelted with a cup at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night, the A’s wanted to make it right by sending him a care package "that doesn’t smell like beer." Despite the intentions of the Yankees fan, Spencer kept his cool and took it in stride. But the A’s didn’t know who the fan was or how to find him, so they did what you do these days — they started a manhunt Thursday on Twitter. Less than an hour later, they had found their man — Spencer, an Oakland native and current New York resident who was wearing an Eric Chavez jersey at the game. Spencer, who had tweeted Thursday that he had "met plenty of awesome yankee fans too," will be getting new A’s gear from the team,…
ABC News: Sports

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More Men Are Wearing Stilettos—if They Can Find Their Size

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

Shaobo Han put on his first pair of heels at age 11. The pair wasn’t Han’s, exactly—he’d stolen them from his mother, to practice “prancing around the house when no one was around.” Han thought that boys weren’t supposed to wear heels, so he made sure to play with them in private.

“I have other male-presenting friends who have the same memory of trying on their mother’s clothes,” Han told The Daily Beast. “It’s fascinating that a collective memory exists. Even though nobody taught us how to wear heels, we all tried on our own.”

Years later, Han went to Forever21 to buy his first real pair of heels for $ 40. “I was lucky that my shoe size is a men’s eight, which is a women’s 10,” said Han. “Other people aren’t as fortunate. If they have larger feet than mine, it’s almost impossible to find something that fits.”

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