October 22, 2021


3-year-old: Can I be Cinderella?

Me: Sure, you can help me mop the floor, scrub the toilet and the dishes need to be put away.


Me: Well?

3: Can I be Sleeping Beauty?


weekly survival tip

The common refrain in this country has been if you’re not skinny, you’re not fit. But new research begs to differ. Findings from a new scientific review published last month suggests that physical fitness, not weight, is the best marker for overall health and a long life. As one researcher said, “we would like people to know that fat can be fit, and that fit and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.” AMEN. And just in case you needed a little reminder…

trail talk

The news a few weeks ago from the Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen about Instagram’s impact on teen girls was, for parents of girls especially, pretty awful. However, this piece in the New York Timesasks an important question: “How do we know for sure that social media is worse for teen girls than traditional media was for previous generations?” Because, sadly, feeling self-conscious and critical of one’s own body—and even more severe conditions like eating disorders—are not problems unique to Gen Z. As it turns out, the answer isn’t so clear-cut. Yet, one thing is certain: parents can arm their children with the skills to be savvier, more critical, users of social media and that training should start early.

Another article, this one from Vox, asks a similar question. Are young people today destined to struggle just as much as previous generations with body image and the crushing weight of a cultural cult of thinness? To answer that question, the story delves deep into the history of fat-shaming (dating all the way back to the 18th-century), the emergence of body positivity movements, their connections to racism and sexism, how these forces play out now and what advocates believe will really help children and adolescents learn to love and accept themselves just as they are.

So, as many of you know, over here at iksplor we’ve really been feeling the pain of the global supply chain disruptions that have resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic. (By the way, our restock is coming! And you can pre-oder now!) And, of course, we’re not the only ones. It’s a headache nearly every retailer—and every consumer—has experienced. But, just how did it start? What’s it all about? And why can’t the world get goods moving around more efficiently and reliably yet? For some answers to those questions, as well as a few more, check out this recent episode from The Daily podcast entitled, “The Great Supply Chain Disruption.” Recode, produced by Vox, has another helpful article that clearly runs-down how the supply chain became so jammed and why it’s so complicated to sort out.

For his part, President Biden is trying to make a dent, which is why he announced last week that the Port of Los Angeles would move to 24/7 operations. It will join the Port of Long Beach, which is already working around the clock. Together, the two ports handle 40 percent of this country’s incoming containers. It’s all part of what the White House is calling a “90-day sprint” to help “alleviate bottlenecks” and backlogs. Unfortunately, some observers say the problem will get worse before it gets better. Jaime Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, however, is not one of them. By next year, he said these supply chain woes will be a thing of the past. Clearly hoping his more optimistic view wins out…

Oh yeah, and not to bury the lede or anything, but the White House is in high gear planning for the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out for children aged 5-11. The goal is to hit the ground running and get shots in arms as soon as the FDA and CDC approve the vaccine for children, which could come in the next few weeks.

trail matters

Last Sunday, Prince William handed out his Earthshot Prize to five environmental champions around the world. The winners, who each received £1 million (nearly $1.4 million), included The Republic of Costa Rica, the city of Milan, Italy, and innovators from India, The Bahamas and Thailand. In keeping with the values of the award, which Prince William created to honor people working on solutions to some of the biggest environmental problems, “no celebrities flew to London for the ceremony, no plastic was used to build the stage and guests were asked to ‘consider the environment’ when choosing an outfit.” That meant the Prince arrived on the green carpet in a green velvet suit jacket he previously wore in 2019 and 20-year-old pants. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wore a lilac gown that she was last in about 10 years earlier. They came to the event in a fully electric vehicle as well. The actress Emma Watson also turned heads in a custom design using second-hand wedding gownsthat had been donated to the British Charity Oxfam. Knowing how much textile waste (mostly clothing) ends up in landfills—about 11.3 million tons in the US in 2018—we especially love to see fashion used to promote conservation and environmental stewardship.

trail mix

Halloween is almost here! Hopefully, you’ve got some fun trick or treating plans to get you and your costume-clad family out the door on the 31st. And because, yes, we are still living through a global pandemic (sigh), you may want to keep some special safety precautions in mind as you hit the candy trail. This guide should do the trick. Or treat!

If you’re looking for other Halloween activities, especially those that will get your kids outside even if it’s not for chocolates galore, we’re loving the idea of this Halloween scavenger hunt. With printable lists of items to find along the way—one suitable for preschoolers and another for older children—there’s a lot here to keep your iksplorers busy scoping the neighborhood. It’s a great outing for the entire clan or for older kids to do alone as a lighthearted competition amongst themselves. If you wanted to double down on the Halloween scaries theme, a night time hunt with headlamps or flashlights in hand seems like just the ticket.

yard sale