Right Mum's and Dad's - are you sitting comfortably?
Today we're going to look at the best apps for young girls - say 9 years and upwards.
OK so we have 'Scarlett and the Spark of Life', an exciting adventure in which a princess rescues herself.
Or how about 'Style Studio: Fashion Designer' which speaks for itself.
Similar is 'Maya's Dress Up' which reminds me of those paper dolls which I secretly changed the clothes on when I was knee high to a grasshopper.
If these aren't exciting enough why not let your daughter try 'Plastic surgery for Barbie'? What could be more fun than taking a fat Barbie and giving her a surgical tummy tuck or DIY liposuction.
Incredible isn't it? Think about it. Someone actually had the idea to create such a horrendous app for young girls. Next, even more incredibly, they persuaded others to promote and market it and it got to be available on the app store.
There has been such an outcry that it is no longer available but why was it ever there in the first place?
How could it be that there ever existed, as Laura Bates puts it so eloquently "apps that suggested to little girls that their bodies might not be good enough, that being thin was all that mattered, and that being fat would make you unhappy and disgusting.
The apps that sent the message to little girls as young as nine that women are primarily judged on what they look like. That seemed to tell them the way to make themselves happy and beautiful again was simple – they just needed to let somebody cut away at them with a knife until all the parts that were unacceptable to society had been sucked out or lopped clean off."
Our society is sick and in urgent need of repair. Is there an app for that?
When I want to say 'absolutely everything', an alternative is to say 'the whole kit and caboodle'. It's a common phrase and I hear it used a lot.
What puzzles me slightly is what it was about this particular phrase which so caught the imagination that it is still in popular use well over a hundred years after it was coined.
First things first - what does it literally mean?
Well 'the whole kit' means a set of items, like a toolkit, or what a soldier would keep in his kit-bag. A 'caboodle' (or just 'boodle') - is an archaic term meaning a group or collection, normally of people.
Origins are certainly American and certainly from the early 19th century but the first use of the phrase in the way we use it was this:
From the Syracuse Sunday Standard, New York, Nov, 1884:
"More audiences have been disappointed by him and by the whole kit-and-caboodle of his rivals."
The reasons why the phrase came to be used in this way are rather sketchy so if anyone knows the full details please let me know - then I shall have the whole kit and caboodle.
No doubt some of you have made New Year resolutions.
I just have the one - not to make any. I just can't bear the sense of failure when - well when you fail.
If you must make one I hope it's to give up smoking. I'm one of those pious ex-smokers who now feel that it's an obnoxious habit but if you are addicted, I feel your pain. Here are my tips for how to give it up. 1. Plan ahead. In my case I allowed 14 years for this. I was a cigarette smoker and knew that one day I would want to give up. I also knew that I would find it impossible to do so given my absolute dependence on my fags. Then I devised my cunning plan. It occurred to me that giving up a pipe should be easier because pipe-smokers are already used to going for a few hours without smoking. So I switched to a pipe. Then 14 years later I gave it up. 2. Give up pipe-smoking. This is explained here. What's that you say? You're female and women don't smoke pipes? Think again.
I suppose we all have relatives who are, shall we say, less welcome guests than others.
My Grandmother used to say of my uncle, 'he always turns up like a bad penny'. Most people know the phrase but what does it mean and what are its origins?
One wrong suggestion which I've encountered is that it is to do with tossing a coin. Because there is a version of the phrase which goes 'a bad penny always turns up' some think it means that a bad penny keeps being heads or tails instead of giving a 50-50 chance.
The actual origin is at least from the 18th century when pennies were valuable coins. This made them juicy targets for counterfeiters, and discovering that you had such a counterfeit coin, a “bad” penny, was very annoying.
The best solution if you got a “bad penny” was to try to spend it quickly and hope that the shopkeeper wouldn't notice it. Unfortunately though, because so many people were trying to use their “bad pennies” this way, the odds of encountering one, or even the very same one you had got rid of a week earlier, were quite high. Thus “bad penny” became an idiom meaning “an unwanted thing that keeps showing up.”
Batty Brit who won life's lottery when I retired. Now I can do what I want when I want with chocolate, cream and a cherry on the top.
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