Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine

  • The opposite of a 'Tiger Mother': leaving your children behind

    Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, author of Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, author of Rahna Reiko Rizzuto says that she never wanted to be a mother.

    "I had this idea that motherhood was this really all-encompassing thing," she explained on the Today Show, where she was talking about her new memoir, "Hiroshima in the Morning." "I was afraid of being swallowed up by that."

    Ten years ago, when her sons were 5 and 3, Rizzuto received a fellowship to spend six months in Japan, researching a book about the survivors of Hiroshima. Four months in, when her children came to visit, she had an epiphany: She didn't want to be a full-time mother anymore. When she returned to New York, she ended her 20-year marriage and chose not to be her kids' custodial parent.

    Now, Rizzuto is an author and a faculty member at Goddard College in Vermont, where she teaches in creative writing. Her boys are teenagers-and, she says, they're fine. In fact, their relationship not only survived her leaving, but "has improved."

    "I had to leave my children to find them," she writes in an essay at

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  • Kim Kardashian's new song: What do you think? (video)

    Photo from kimkardashian.celebuzz.comPhoto from kimkardashian.celebuzz.comKim Kardashian debuted her new song, "Jam (Pump it Up)" on the Ryan Seacrest show yesterday and, so far, the critics aren't impressed.

    It starts with a high-pitched whine that sounds like her producer left a microphone a little too close to a speaker, and then fades into random night-club noise before launching into a loop of Kardashian droning "Turn me up, Turn me up, Turn me up" and "Yeah, yeah, yeah" 16 times in a row. Each. Then she starts singing-kind of. She sounds bored. Or like she's reading simple words off of a dim teleprompter after taking Ambien.

    On the floor I cant stand still
    And I'm goin to work like I'm paying my bills (bills)
    My whole clicks on the floor (the floor)
    We gon party, then party some more (some more)
    Rozay up in the air
    Feeling good, feeling great, just got paid.

    Though the lyrics are kind of autobiographical. So, keeping it real? Maybe. Still, "Its lyrics appear to have been penned by a third-grader who is writing a short story about what adults do

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  • Gotta go? You may make the best decisions when you have a full bladder

    Another benefit to drinking plenty of water every day: When you have a full bladder and really, really need to go to the bathroom, your critical and decision-making skills may be even better than usual.

    Apparently, when you're exercising your ability to, um, hold it all in, your brain's self-control mechanism is activated all over your body-including your brain, according to a new study by psychologists from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

    Dr. Mirjam Tuk came up with the idea for the study after she drank several cups of coffee while trying to stay awake during a long lecture. By the time the lecture was over, "All the coffee had reached my bladder," she said in the journal Psychological Science. "And that raised the question: What happens when people experience higher levels of bladder control?"

    In her experiment, Tuk-along with Debra Trampe of the University of Groningen and Luk Warlop of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven-tested whether self-control over one bodily

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  • What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

    Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday, and in honor of the creator of "The Cat in the Hat" and many other classics, we're taking a quick look at some of his most beloved works and wondering: What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

    Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel would have been 107 today. He used his middle name as his pen name (it's actually pronounced ZOI-ce, not SOO-ce) and was known to quip that he was saving his real last name for the Great American Novel he planned to write someday. Instead, he wrote and illustrated more than 60 books as Dr. Seuss, as well as a dozen or so more as "Theo LeSeig" and one as "Rosetta Stone"; there have been countless movie and television adaptations of his work.

    His first children's book, "And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street!," was published in 1937. An earlier book, an ABC primer of fanciful creatures, was written in 1931-the same year he and his wife, Helen, discovered that they couldn't have children.

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  • 8 college classes everyone should take—and why

    After much discussion, the verdict is in: Going to college makes you poorer, not smarter-unless you're really ready to go, and you take advantage of everything you can while you're there.

    "When I graduated high school, I was expected to go to college right away, so I gave into the pressure and went," Shine reader Owlish wrote. "I'm not really happy about it because I ended up at a school that's further away than necessary and now my GPAs too low to transfer. Moral of the story: don't go until you're ready. Get a job and figure out what you want to do first.

    "Education is what you make it," Tim commented. "I have a learning disability and I am doing very well."

    We asked several experts, professionals, and academics which courses every college student should take, regardless of their major. Their responses touched off quite a debate.

    "I think the list is geared towards skills needed to be an entrepreneur," Raven 117 pointed out. "If you want to be an engineer or a lawyer or a brain

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  • "Women in America": We've come a long way, but there's still a long way to go

    Today, the first day of the newly proclaimed Women's History Month, the White House released "Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being," the first comprehensive federal report on women in decades.

    "The issues facing women today are not just women's issues," said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president and co-chair of the White House Council for Women and Girls. "When women make less than men for the same work, it impacts the families. When a job doesn't offer family leave, it impacts both parents, and often the entire family and extended family. When there's no childcare, children end up in second-rate care or spending afternoons alone in front of a television set."

    The last major U.S. report on women's welfare was produced by President Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt. It came out in 1963.

    In proclaiming March to be Women's History Month, President Obama wrote: "Today, women have reached heights their mothers

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  • Should Nevada ban brothels? Or would legalizing prostitution in other states boost our economy?

    In a speech to the Nevada state legislature, during which he talked about the need to create jobs and boost commerce in the state, Senator Harry Reid floated a radical idea: Ban the brothels.

    "When the nation thinks about Nevada, it should think about the world's newest ideas and newest careers, not about its oldest profession," Mr. Reid said during Nevada's bi-annual legislative session in late February. "If we want to attract business to Nevada that puts people back to work, the time has come to outlaw prostitution."

    In Nevada, prostitution is legal in counties with fewer than 400,000 citizens, which does not include Las Vegas (a.k.a. "Sin City") or Clark County (which is where nearly 75 percent of the state's population lives, according to 2010 U.S. Census data). There are currently about two dozen legal brothels in the state, which has allowed legal prostitution since the early 1970s. Approximately 1,000 women work in the state legally as prostitutes; brothels range from small

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  • Hello, hypocrisy: Railing against unions while benefiting from being in one

    Rich Yaeger protests outside of the capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty ImagesRich Yaeger protests outside of the capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty ImagesOver the weekend, fresh off of Friday's 11th-hour Wisconsin House vote to strip certain public service unions of their right to negotiate and after days of debate and vitriol, the internet was abuzz with the news that some of the conservative talk-show hosts who have been most vocal about their anti-union sentiments are actually union members themselves.

    According to the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), which is part of the AFL-CIO, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are all card-carrying members of that union.

    O'Reilly viewers may have already known this, given that the Fox News personality mentioned his membership during his Feb. 18 show. "On a personal note, I'm a member of a union, AFTRA, and when I was working at 'Inside Edition' some years ago, the King World company tried to renege on pension benefits," he said. "AFTRA took them to court and the case was settled. If the shop had been non-union, we might have been stiffed."

    During the

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  • Pediatricians' group backs ban on tanning for teens

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockFor the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics is backing a ban that would keep kids younger than 18 out of tanning salons and away from artificial tanning devices.

    The new policy statement, Ultraviolet Radiation: A Hazard to Children and Adolescents, and new guidelines were issued today and will be published in the March 2011 issue of the journal Pediatrics. Though the AAP has long maintained that tanning beds are harmful to children and teenagers-the ultraviolet radiation produced by some tanning beds can be 10 to 15 times higher than those from the sun during the hottest part of the day, the association says-this is the first time they've come out in support of a ban for kids and teenagers.

    "In previous guidelines, we really haven't gotten as specific about the tanning salon issue," the AAP policy's author, Sophie Balk of the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York, told Med Page Today. "That's a very new strong recommendation."

    The World Health Organization, the

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  • History in the making: The last launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery (video)

    Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the area around the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, last week, to witness the final lift-off of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Here's The Associated Press's video of the event from the ground:

    Ever wonder what a shuttle launch looked like from the air? This breathtaking bird's-eye view of the lift-off for mission STS-133 was shot by "NeilMonday," a passenger on an airplane flying near Orlando that day. Keep your eye on the small white spot in the center of the screen (we assume it was safe to turn on approved electronics by that point!):

    Discovery is the most-flown shuttle in history, having traveled 143 million miles in 39 missions since it's first launch in 1984. This final trip is to the International Space Station, to deliver supplies, spare parts, and a robotic assistant named Robonaut 2. The entire Space Shuttle program is scheduled for closure this year.

    Like this story? Follow us on Twitter for more.

    Also on Shine:

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