Philly Parents’ Survey Shows Huge Percentage of Kids Under 5 Have Their Own Mobile Devices

I worked at a restaurant throughout college, and the last year I worked there, this family started coming in with their kid — he was probably about two-years-old — and I was always shocked at how well-behaved he was throughout their non-rushed, margarita-filled, seemingly relaxed dinners. They had an iPad to thank for his good behavior.

Ever since then, I’ve wondered if I, for the sake of my own sanity, would get my nonexistent toddler an iPad. Because margaritas, and tacos, and mental health. And it looks like many parents in Philadelphia say yes. As the New York Times reports, a recent survey of 350 Philadelphia parents, done at Einstein Medical Center, found that three-quarters of the parents’ children had been given their own tablet, smartphone or iPod by age four.  Read more »

Will Smart Homes Soon Be the Norm?

A smart home in Bella Vista | TREND image via Redfin

A smart home in South Philadelphia | TREND image via Redfin

We may not be at The Jetsons level yet, but it definitely seems like we’re headed in that direction. According to a survey conducted by Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET, the consumer technology news and reviews website, 28 percent of Americans own a smart home device. The report says the trend will only grow as millennials, half of whom are adopting this technology already, start to become homeowners.

Moreover, of the 4,000-some people who responded to the survey, 91 percent of those who currently use smart home technology (i.e. things like remote-access security, smart locks, connected lighting and thermostats, and energy efficiency) said they would recommend it to others; while 81 percent said they would buy a home with smart home technology already installed.

And for those of you who think all this futuristic mumbo jumbo is just that, have we got news for you: it can favor both your wallet and time. Additional survey findings revealed 45 percent of respondents said that, on average, having it saved them $1,100/year; 87 percent said it made their lives easier; and 57 percent said it afforded them “an average of almost 30 minutes per day.” Furthermore,  72 percent of people claimed to have “peace of mind” when it came to their home security.

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What do Renters Want? Survey Says: Outdoor Space and Pet Amenities

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo of rooftop pool at 2116 Chestnut by Laura Kicey.

It might not be surprising that a survey conducted in early spring yielded “outdoor amenities” as the number-one goal for people on the market for a new place. In May, we all want gardens and pools and greenery. By September we could do without the weed killers and the leaf skimmers. By February we don’t ever want to go outside again. But even if the pole position isn’t surprising, the rest of the list is worth some parsing.

Urban Igloo, a real estate resource that pairs renters with landlords in D.C., Marlyand, Virginia and Philly, surveyed 1,010 people last month and asked them to rank amenities they considered important when searching for new homes. Outdoor amenities came away the clear winner with 47 percent of respondents ranking them first. The feature that came in second? “Pet amenities.” Leaving aside the ambiguity of the term for a moment, we have to admit to being surprised that more people want pet services than want fitness amenities, which came in a lowly third. Though if you aren’t interested in walking your dog, you might not be interested in the gym.
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The Surprising Top Fitness Trend for 2014



When you think of what’s trending in the fitness world, crazed SoulCycle junkies and green-juice guzzling yogis probably come to mind. So the findings of the American College of Sports Medicine’s survey predicting the Top 20 Fitness Trends For 2014 might surprise you. Not only does Spinning not make the cut (sorry, FlyWheel fanatics!), yoga comes in pretty far down the list at lowly number ten.

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Homophobia Drives Kids From Sports

Photo by Think Stock

It turns out bullying in sports not only creates problems for students on the high school level – but also in colleges and universities. A new report sheds light on what it means to be LGBT in athletics – and why being discriminated against on the court, field, track or rink makes many young people give up sports entirely.

The National Union of Students says that only a third of LGBT students at the university level participate in a team sport. And almost 40 percent of these athletes say they are not out to their teammates for fear of homophobia, transphobia and outright bullying.

And for those LGBT students who don’t join teams, almost half admit that they find the sports world to be “unwelcoming,” with just as many saying they’ve suffered negative experiences that have made them want to give up sports entirely.

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SURVEY: Sex is the Question

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want to know even more about men who have sex with men. Whether you’re gay, bi or questioning, a new online survey has been launched – the largest of its kind – asking questions that will help researchers seeking new ways to fight HIV, AIDS and other STDs, and to better understand men’s sexual health.

It’s called Sex is the Question. It’s private. It only takes a few minutes to answer. And it even makes a donation to the It Gets Better campaign.

The survey also provides feedback. Once it’s completed, you’ll be able to compare answers with others, and you’ll even receive educational material to help inform you about sexual health – completely anonymously.

Gay and bisexual men account for more than half of all new HIV infections in the U.S. alone, according to the CDC.

What are you waiting for?

Click here to take the survey.

APA: Gay Parents are A-Okay

Photo by Think Stock

As LGBT rights opponents continue to try and discredit same-sex parents (a recent “study” questions gay and lesbian parenting skills, saying that kids of gay and lesbian parents fare worse than those raised in heterosexual families), major scientific and medical associations have spoken up.

The report has already been widely discredited. To start, it was funded by the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation, groups that are well-known for their support of conservative causes. As a result, even the American Psychological Association (APA) released a statement this week defending its belief that sexual orientation has no bearing on being a good parent:

“On the basis of a remarkably consistent body of research on lesbian and gay parents and their children, the American Psychological Association (APA) and other health professional and scientific organizations have concluded that there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation. That is, lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children. This body of research has shown that the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children are unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish.”

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Most Americans Know Gay People

Photo by Think Stock

A new poll released today reveals that the majority of Americans have a close friend or family member who’s gay. According to the CNN/ORC International survey, more than 60 percent of people say that someone close to them is gay. This is compared to less than 50 percent two years ago.

For the LGBT community, having straight allies usually means a change in the way gay life is accepted. That might help explain the changing attitudes about everything from same-sex marriage to adoption and child rearing.

The poll also shows that 54 percent of Americans believe that same-sex marriage should be legal. This is especially true among Democrats and people younger than 50, while almost 75 percent of Republicans oppose recognizing same-sex marriage. Support for gay marriage is up from 44 percent just four years ago.

Click here to view the full survey.

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