From the Editor’s Desk


Internet creeps and a stolen photo, a landmark vaxx ruling, a ‘mature’ mum, KD’s big change and a hilarious blog. That’s what got us talking this week.
1. One Savvy Storyteller’s fight against the internet creeps who stole an image of her daughter
We were delighted to see that blogger Krista Rowland-Collin’s successful fight with a Facebook group who unlawfully used an image of her daughter made it to CTV’s PrimeTime Alberta this week. Krista’s daughter, Adele, has Down syndrome, and Krista writes about their family life in her blog A Perfect Extra Chromosome. Not long ago Adele was in a photo shoot for a children’s clothing company, a positive experience for both mother and daughter. In extreme contrast, an ignorant anti-vaccination group took one of the images of Adele from the shoot and turned it into a vile, sensational poster that says ‘Warning: Vaccines cause autism!’ The poster was shared on the group’s Facebook page, essentially holding Adele up as an example of what could go wrong if you get your children vaccinated, a suggestion rooted in crackpot science that’s especially random given Adele does not have autism. Krista contacted the group but they refused to take down the post. Infuriatingly, Facebook did not initially agree that the post violated community standards (!), despite Krista’s pleas with the social network to take it down. But when Krista’s friends, family and online community began to flood Facebook with complaints, the post was eventually removed. We’re proud of Krista’s perseverance and glad she took this stand both for children with special needs, and the rights of all of us to protect our children’s images online. Nice work, Krista.

a landmark ruling

2. A landmark vaccination ruling
Speaking of the anti-vaccine movement, a judge ordered a 10-year-old girl to receive a measles vaccine against her mother’s wishes earlier this month. Finding in favour of a motion put forward by the girl’s father, who is separated from the mother, the Brantford Superior Court Justice R. John Harper ruled that the girl must receive her measles-mumps-rubella vaccine before a trip to visit family in Germany later this month. His ruling described the mother as ‘an adherent to the homeopathic approach to health and treatment,’ and dismissed the witnesses she brought forward to support her position as ‘alleged experts.’ Amir Attaran, a law and medicine professor at the University of Ottawa, told the Toronto Star that ‘this case shows the courts sensibly disdain those with a blind spot for science, whether it be denying that vaccines work, or denying that the earth is round.’

Annegret Raunigk

3. The 65-year-old expecting quadruplets
A German mom of 13 is now the oldest person to become pregnant with quadruplets. Annegret Raunigk, 65, used a fertility clinic in the Ukraine to have four embryos implanted using IVF. Raunigk, whose eldest child is 43, says the decision to expand her enormous family was based on her youngest child’s desire to have a little brother or sister. But this child is already rich in siblings (and nieces and nephews, in fact, given her mom is already a grandmother of seven). And doesn’t somebody have to be the youngest? Of course we’re thankful for all the families that have come into being through the miracle of IVF. But is there a point at which it’s irresponsible for clinics to makes these pregnancies happen? And do we base a cut-off on maternal age, number of children already in the family, or some combination of both? Interesting to note: the chances of anyone conceiving quadruplets naturally is one in 13 million.


4. Kraft Dinner’s new look
Kraft announced this week that it will remove the synthetic colouring from its iconic Kraft Dinner. By 2016 all boxes of the popular instant macaroni and cheese sold in Canada will be coloured only with the spices paprika, annatto and turmeric. While processed foods are still far too prominent in our diets, the change reflects a shift away from these convenience foods and the artificial colours and flavours that usually come with them; a petition with 360,000 signatures asked Kraft to make KD dye-free. This seems like a great move, but we’re betting that some Canadians will stockpile the original nuclear orange version, either to placate picky children or to indulge their favourite junk food habit. What do you think?

Spaghetti Toes

5. This hilarious illustrated blog
On one final light note, we came across a Tumblr blog we just know you’re going to love. Spaghetti Toes is one dad’s record of the craziest things said by and to his two-year-old daughter, Harper Grace. Each adorable quote is turned into an irreverent poster-style graphic, bringing the absurdity to life. Some of our faves include ‘My stomach feels like bad guys’ and ‘Mom, this food doesn’t taste gross in my mouth tonight.’


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