Are you having trouble getting your kids to take out the trash or clean their rooms? The answer may be just a download away.
Available for free on a limited time from the Apple App Store, the "Neat Bed" app is the brainchild of KnackMaster, Inc., who released it as the first in their Enzo & Friends series. The series itself is an interactive storybook about a boy who learns new skills around the home. Intended for kids aged 3 to 7, the series teaches children how to take on common household chores, using a handful of fun, animated games as the medium.
Although it's a bit sad that we need apps to teach our kids the value of completed chores they've been tasked with, at least this is a better use of their time on an iPhone or iPad than, say, Angry Birds Space.
The irony of the app? Kids will probably say they are too busy playing it to be bothered taking out the trash.
We understand target marketing, but even this seems a little extreme.
Clorox -- that well-known cleaning company who's name calls to mind the word "bleach" -- has just released a suite of cleaning products designed for Hispanics. "Clorox Fraganzia," as it is called, addresses what the company found to be the three-stage cleaning process practiced by Hispanics: cleaning, disinfecting and aromatizing.
Interesting. Don't most scented cleaning products already do that?
At any rate, the suite of products includes a multi-purpose dilutable cleaner, a toilet bowl rim hanger and an aerosol air freshener.
Through their research, Clorox was also able to determine the scents that appeal to Hispanics, and so the available scents in this new line are Lavendar with Eucalyptus and Mint, Spring, and Forest Dew.
It will be interesting to see if this approach works out.
This week my town started to pick up yard refuse again. (Bless them.) All winter big broken branches from last fall's snowstorm and our winter windstorms have been cluttering up the yard. Add to that the usual spring cleanup stuff.
Barrels and big paper bags full of this junk have been hanging around, half hidden and messy. Just waiting for the huge, squeaky refuse truck with the small man hanging on the back, who throws the stuff into the truck. (Bless him too.)
Even though I compost all I can and try to give away what's useful as firewood, there is still a lot that's got to go.
In many self-pretentious towns people have to drag this heavy refuse, all by themselves, to the dump. On a lovely spring day like today, Belmont seems far more civilized.
Ruth S. Foster is a landscape consultant and arborist. More gardening information can be found on her website, www.mothersgarden.net.
At CES last week LG debuted its new HOM-BOT, the latest in robotic vacuuming.
The HOM-BOT features enhanced navigation technology that relies on cameras and sensors to effectively map a room and avoid potential obstacles. An upper camera focuses on the ceiling, taking up to 30 images per second for mapping data. IR sensors and an optical flow sensor work to detect obstacles for "collision-free operation."
If you're one who hates to clean, it might be worth taking a closer look at the 3.5-inch high HOM-BOT, can go quietly about its business while you tend to the home's other important chores. Just listen for the HOM-BOT's voice alert system when the cleaning job is done or the batteries are dying.
Have you ever used a robotic vacuum? What was your experience like?
It's been about 50 years since the introduction of the "self-cleaning" oven, according to a recent press release by Maytag. The same company has declared it time for an update to that technology and has introduced its AquaLift self-cleaning feature that enables consumers to clean their oven with nothing more than low heat and water.
An exclusive enamel oven coating activates with water and low heat, which allows the moisture to release tough baked-on messes. Within an hour's time the oven is ready for a wipe-down.
The AquaLift is a departure from the routine required by current self-clean models, which involves high heat and results in a house full of odors.
Most folks would agree that oven cleaning is a tedious and grimy job, even with effective self-cleaning ovens. Let's hope this new technology catches on in other brands.
According to the short video on their website, scientists are beginning to find a link between household toxins -- like those found in cleaning products -- and a number of illnesses, including breast cancer.
The video features Maid Brigade's Consumer Health Advocate Marie Stegner exploring the health risks associated with common household cleaning chemicals as well as ways to keep the family safe.
Unfortunately for me, Vermont does not have any local Maid Brigade maids, so I can't hire any. I guess it's up to me to buy only safe cleaning products. And keep my house clean.
The Burlington Free Press -- Vermont's biggest paper -- ran a story today about the residents of Wilmington, Vermont, arguably the hardest hit town during Tropical Storm Irene. During the storm the Deerfield River, which runs through town, swelled and overflowed, washing out sidewalks, whole streets, poured through buildings and ripped apart foundations. Complete and utter devastation.
It's a testament to the solidarity of the residents of Wilmington that the community hasn't given up during the tedious and seemingly never-ending rebuilding process. It would be far easier to walk away completely, but small town folk tend to be old families with deep roots that no hurricane can displace.
The article has me thinking about the strength of my own community bonds. If Burlington had been as hard hit, would I be inclined to stick out the rebuilding process or would I pull up stakes and head for greener pastures? How about you? Would you do whatever it took to remain in your community even after a devastating natural disaster?