Devon Carrow can work with his first grade classmates thanks to the VGo robot. (Photo: Derek Gee/Buffalo News)When Devon Carrow was a baby, a cookie-coated kiss from his mom made him break out in hives. An accidental encounter with peanuts at his godparents' home three months later landed him in the hospital, under an oxygen tent. His food allergies are so severe that he doesn't even have to eat something in order to have a life-threatening reaction -- just breathing in trace amounts of an allergen is enough to send him into anaphylactic shock.
"He's almost like the boy in a bubble," his mother, Rene Carrow, told the Buffalo News. "I try to let him do some things. I want him to have the best life he could have."
Related: Is a PB&J the worst weapon a kid can bring to school?
Now seven years old, Devon's severe allergies mean that he can't leave the house for long. If he goes to the movies, his mom has to cover the seats with their own sheets and bring popcorn from home in order to avoid an allergic reaction. Perfumes and fabric softeners cause his throat to swell closed; friends have to take
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Team Mom – Mon, Sep 24, 2012 2:27 PM EDT
Devon Carrow can work with his first grade classmates thanks to the VGo robot. (Photo: Derek Gee/Buffalo News)When Devon Carrow was a baby, a cookie-coated kiss from his mom made him break out in hives. An accidental encounter with peanuts at his godparents' home three months later landed him in the hospital, under an oxygen tent. His food allergies are so severe that he doesn't even have to eat something in order to have a life-threatening reaction -- just breathing in trace amounts of an allergen is enough to send him into anaphylactic shock.Read More »from Boy with Severe Allergies Using Robot to Attend First Grade
A recent study has found high levels of toxic chemicals in children's school supplies -- levels so high that, if they were toys instead of backpacks, lunchboxes, and raincoats, they'd be banned by the U.S. government. And one Massachusetts mom is fighting back with a petition to make these products safer.
The chemicals, called phthalates, are commonly used to soften plastic and make vinyl. They're in everything from food packaging to plastic bottles, and are also used to make household cleaners and soaps smell good longer. According to a 2012 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, exposure to phthalates can change how the muscle cells in your heart function; exposure has also been linked to increased rates of asthma, early puberty, ADHD, diabetes, cancer, birth defects, and obesity. Children and pregnant women are especially at risk.Read More »from Mom fights to ban toxins in school supplies
Do you use emoticons?The young folks may not believe it, but emoticons -- those silly strings of symbols that are supposed to illustrate emotions -- have been around for 30 years.Read More »from Do You Think Emoticons Are :) or :( ?
Experts attribute their creation to a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who, in 1982, told his students that the class needed a way to label jokes online.
"I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: :-) Read it sideways," Scott Fahlman wrote on an online bulletin board (the precursor to what we call forums today).
PHOTOS: Pets pretending to be emoticons
But some point to a New York Times transcript of an 1862 speech by Abraham Lincoln, in which "applause and laughter" is followed by a winky smile ";)".
("It looks to me like a typo," Fahlman told New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee in 2009. "I can't imagine an editor putting that in and meaning, 'Ha ha,' trying to emphasize what Lincoln had said. That goes beyond the bounds of editorial comment in a piece of reporting
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Women Who Shine – Thu, Sep 20, 2012 2:04 PM EDT
Would the real Duchess of Cambridge please stand up? Heidi Agan, 32, looks so much like Kate Middleton that the mom of two decided to quit her waitressing job at Frankie and Bennie's, a TGIF-like '50s style restaurant chain in England, to work full-time as a Royal look-alike. The move made for a significant bump in pay: From $9.75 an hour to about $1,050 per appearance. Take a look at some side-by-side images of Agan and her Royal doppelganger. -- Lylah M. Alphonse, Y! Shine Senior Editor
Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.Read More »from Waitress Quits Her Job to Become a Kate Middleton Lookalike
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Wed, Sep 19, 2012 8:15 PM EDT
Ann and Mitt Romney campaign in Nashua, N.H., earlier in September.After she's embraced the political spotlight and talked at length about what a warm and loving person her husband really is, Mitt Romney's latest comments from the secretly taped fundraising dinner in Florida seem like a bit of a slap in the face: "We use Ann sparingly right now," he said, "so that people don't get tired of her."Read More »from Romney: Voters May "Get Tired" of Ann. Maybe Because Most of the 47 Percent Are Women?
In his defense, Romeny -- who also derided 47 percent of the country for being dependent on the government and told the crowd that "my job is not to worry about those people -- said his remarks were "not elegantly stated" and "off-the-cuff." But in the recording, he sounds like he thinks it's inevitable that voters would get tired of hearing his wife talk.
It doesn't help that she's been tasked with humanizing her husband and reaching out to women voters but forbidden from actually addressing any big issues. In an interview with KWQC news in Iowa on September 7, she answered questions about gay marriage, birth control, and employer-provided health insurance
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Wed, Sep 19, 2012 1:45 PM EDT
A Rhode Island school district has banned father-daughter dances. Was it the right move, or just political correctness gone wrong?In an effort to comply with state laws about gender discrimination, a Rhode Island school district has banned father-daughter dances and mother-son baseball games after a single mom complained that her daughter wasn't able to attend a dance.Read More »from School District Bans Father-Daughter Dances After Single Mom Complains
Related: WATCH: Awesome Father-Daughter Wedding Dance Goes Viral
The mother filed a complaint with the Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union last May, saying that her child felt excluded from the dance because she did not have a father figure to take her. The dance was a longstanding event run by a parent-teacher organization.
"I think when schools tell girls 'You love dances' and boys 'You love baseball games,' I think that is going too far," Rhode Island ACLU executive director Steven Brown told talk-radio station WPRO-FM. "That is the whole point of having laws and policies to say public schools should not be the business of really encouraging such blatant stereotypes about what girls like and what boys like."
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Shine Food – Tue, Sep 18, 2012 11:47 PM EDT
McRib sandwich are going to have to wait a lot longer to satisfy their cravings. Though they're usually on the menu sometime in October, according to AdAge, this year's McRib won't make an appearance until late December.It has gained a cult following since it was first introduced in 1981, but fans of McDonald's
Inspired by the pulled pork sandwiches he ate in Charleston, South Carolina, McDonald's first executive chef Rene Arend created the sauce-slathered boneless pork patty in 1981, just two years after the debut of his other big invention, the Chicken McNugget.
"The McNuggets were so well received that every franchise wanted them," Arend told Maxim magazine in 2009. "There wasn't a system to supply enough chicken. We had to come up with something to give the other franchises as a new product So the McRib came about because of the shortage of chickens."
Though it tested well in the Midwest, the McRib -- which isRead More »from McRib Delayed for 2012, Fans Freak Out. Here's How to Make Your Own at Home
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Book Club – Tue, Sep 18, 2012 4:57 PM EDT
Kate White spills her career secrets.After 14 years of running one of the biggest women's magazines in the world, Cosmopolitan's editor-in-chief Kate White was ready for a change.Read More »from Kate White on Leaving Cosmo, Bitch Envy, and Her Favorite Sex Tips
"I already had a contract to write another psychological thriller -- that's due next year. And I'm promoting this book," she told Yahoo! Shine (her latest book, "I Shouldn't Be Telling You This," came out on Tuesday). "I realized I was all in at my job at Cosmo, but I was not all in as a writer. And I could not take on another book if I wasn't going to be all in."
In January, she told David Carey, the president of Hearst Magazines, that she was thinking of leaving Cosmo, The New York Times reported. She officially stepped down on September 10, but will act as a consultant for Carey through the end of the year. "When you get to leave of your own accord, it has a halo effect for you," she says. Though she still has an office in the Hearst building -- it's on the "Popular Mechanics" floor -- she plans to concentrate on a few digital projects,
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.During an election cycle that's as heated as this one, it's nearly impossible for kids to avoid hearing about politics in some way or another. Political ads. Signs on a neighbor's lawn. Current events class. The news in general. How do you talk to your kids about what it all means, without spoon-feeding them your own opinions?
- Start by explaining how the political process works. Stick to the basics: The United States is a federal constitutional republic, where power is shared by the President, Congress, and the judiciary. Though other political parties exist, either the Democrats and the Republicans have held the White House since the American Civil War. Talk about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. Break out those old "School House Rock" videos if you have to -- they do a pretty good job.
- Explain commonly used political terms. It's difficult to explain what the pundits are saying if you can't explain what a pundit actually is. Scholastic
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Women Who Shine – Mon, Sep 17, 2012 2:16 PM EDT
Tisha UnArmed (with her dog, Jack) took to YouTube to show people how she navigates life without her arms.She calls herself "Tisha UnArmed," but once you meet her it's difficult to think of her as disabled. All of the things we do with our hands every day -- from putting on makeup to driving a car -- this 25-year-old woman does with her feet. And even though she starts every one of her videos by pointing out "And I have no arms!," her cheer, determination, and sense of humor are what takes center stage.Read More »from Tisha UnArmed's Inspiring Everyday Life: No Arms? No Problem
"If you're always taking the easy way out, then you'll never learn how to do anything difficult," she told Yahoo! Shine in an interview.
Related: 12-year-old's heart-breaking, life-affirming videos
The oldest of five kids -- and the only one with a physical disability -- Tisha was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up "a little bit everywhere," she says. Her father's family is from Jordan, and she spent a few years in the Middle East before moving back to the United States by herself when she was barely a teenager.
In Jordan, "Everyone was fine but me," she says. "There are no