Archive for 03/12/2014


Free Spirit Publishing Blog

As we all spend more time using smartphones and tablets, Zero to Three (National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families) has released a series of guidelines and tip sheets for caregivers about screen time—the amount of time a person spends viewing a television, computer, tablet, smartphone, or other screen—and how it affects children from birth to age three. Smartphone_as_Child_Toy by RogDel wikimedia commonsThe report, “Screen Sense: Setting the Record Straight,” by Claire Lerner, L.C.S.W., and Rachel Barr, Ph.D., offers guidelines that reinforce the need for personal “3-D” interaction in the real world, but also finds that limited “2-D” experiences can be beneficial when combined with adult interaction.

The writers clearly understand that most parents live with these technologies as constant companions in daily life, and their children are watching their parents use them. Learning when to limit and redirect a young child is a great starting point for concerned parents, but finding…

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Architecture, Design & Innovation

Many cities throughout the world are looking for ways in which to cope with population growth, whilst curbing energy consumption and environmental impact.  And the unlikely focus of international interest currently is the historic city of Heidelberg, in south-west Germany.   Residentially it is very popular and commercially it is very successful, but Heidelberg has an expansion problem.  There is barely any property to be had in the city’s picturesque old town, or along the banks of the River Neckar, and if anything does become available, the prices are on a par with those of Munich, in the region of €5,000 or more per square metre.

The spectacular solution is to build a completely new district – the Bahnstadt – on a 286 acre area that was once home to Heidelberg’s now defunct rail freight and marshalling yards.  The €2 billion initiative is claimed to be the largest single passivhaus development…

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