Today is May 22, 2021

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Buy a musical instrument day

The connection between music and learning

Parents often go to great lengths to help youngsters do their best in school. Though there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to help kids realize their academic potential, incorporating music education into school curriculums can benefit students in myriad ways. According to the New England Board of Higher Education, music can benefit students of all ages. Young children who listen to music may have an improved ability to learn words and speak them correctly, helping them to develop larger vocabularies that can pay significant dividends when kids enter the classroom. In addition, a 2011 study published in the journal Neuropsychologia found that musicians performed better in auditory, visual and memory tests than non-musicians. Students may even benefit in ways that surprise the most devoted music fans. For example, the NEBHE notes that playing a musical instrument, even one as simple as the triangle, has been proven to enhance dexterity and hand-eye coordination. That can help young children develop their motor skills more quickly than they otherwise might if they are not encouraged to play a musical instrument.

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Let go my Lego
Ask a cop and he or she will tell you that theft is a top crime of choice among the world’s criminals. There are jewel thieves, auto thieves and, of course, bank robbers. And now, French police are focusing their attention on an international gang of, what England’s Guardian newspaper, calls Lego Looters, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens. They recently arrested a woman and two men in the act of lifting Legos in a toy store near Paris and when questioned they revealed that they were part of a gang specializing in robbing special editions of the popular building block toys. Similar thefts have been reported throughout Europe and in the U.S. There’s big money to be made selling stolen Legos, says professional online auctioneer Van IJken. He explains that the company keeps changing out its offerings and so a special 2007 $150 Lego set can fetch as much as $3,000 today, if kept in its original condition.
Dracula calls
Tourists visiting Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania are coming out with distinctive puncture marks. Not to worry, says the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], the marks are being inflicted on them by qualified medical personnel– not by the fangs of Bram Stoker’s fictional, neck biting Count. It seems that the pandemic has been bad for business at the castle, which is located in Romania’s Carpathian mountains, and so they decided to offer free COVID shots to lure more tourists.
Duck, the condors are coming
“The Birds” in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie with the same name were pretty scary when they flocked and attacked the hapless heroine. So, you can imagine how scared Cinda Mickols, who lives in Tehachapi, CA, was when a flock of Giant California condors targeted her home recently. These were no scrawny crows; these condors can have a wingspan of almost ten feet and weigh as much as 23 pounds, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. And, Cinda can tell you it’s a very, very scary — and messy — affair to be under attack by them; her home was their target recently and nearly trashed the place. Her daughter Tweeted photos of the assault and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service responded suggesting fighting back by shouting, loud clapping and spraying them with water.

Graduation guest etiquette

Graduation ceremonies celebrate the accomplishments of students who worked hard to earn their diplomas and degrees. As significant as these ceremonies can be, they also tend to be lengthy, which can make guests uncomfortable and antsy.

Etiquette is important at graduation ceremonies, and that goes for graduates as well as their guests. Everyone receiving a degree during a graduation ceremony worked hard to do so, and it’s important that guests adhere to proper etiquette so every graduate can enjoy their well-deserved moment in the sun.

· RSVP as soon as possible. Graduates are typically alloted a predetermined number of tickets to their graduation ceremonies. Some may wish to invite more people than their allotment allows, so RSVP as soon as possible after receiving an invitation. If you can’t make it, this will open up a spot for grads to invite another loved one in your place.

· Arrive early. Guests should aim to arrive to the ceremony early, as traffic tends to increase the closer it gets to the start of the ceremony. Arriving early ensures guests will find parking, and it saves them the trouble of asking guests who have already arrived to stand up so they can get to their seats. In addition, late arrivals may make it difficult for fellow guests to hear their loved one’s named called.

· Don’t celebrate too loudly. Graduates’ names tend to be read aloud rather quickly, so guests should not celebrate too loudly when their loved one’s name is called. Doing so decreases the likelihood that families whose loved one’s named is being called immediately after your loved one will hear that name called. Save the loud, lengthy celebrations for after the ceremony.

· Remain seated during the ceremony. Guests want to see the stage where the graduates are given their degrees, so they should avoid standing during the ceremony. Doing so blocks the views of those behind you. If you want to take photos during the ceremony, find a spot where you can do so without blocking anyone else’s view.

· Speak quietly during the ceremony. Graduation ceremonies can last several hours, so it’s alright to speak with fellow guests during the ceremony. But do so quietly and in a way that respects other guests.

Guests who adhere to certain etiquette during graduation ceremonies can make sure everyone enjoys the festivities and shows respect for the graduates and their families.