Parents vie for quality time with kids

Did you ever wonder how much time American children spend watching television every week - and how that compares to the amount of time they spend talking with their parents?

In "What Young Children Need to Succeed," Jolene Roehlkepartain and Nancy Leffert pass along some statistics from the group TV-Free America (www.tvfa.org):

*Number of minutes each week the average two- to 11-year-old watches television: 1,197.

*Number of minutes per week parents spend in meaningful conversation with their offspring: 38.5.

*Number of videos rented daily in the US: 6 million.

*Number of items checked out of US public libraries each day: 3 million.

Ripe watermelon has telltale signs

When you want a great-tasting watermelon, Daniel Egel of Purdue University says here's what to look for: The top should be faded, the area between the stripes should be light green, and the bottom should have a completely yellow or white spot. A smooth rind is good; lumpy ones aren't.

Pokmon still going strong

If you thought Pokmon was a fad that would fizzle out like Cabbage Patch Dolls or even Beanie Babies, think again.

Those diminutive round warriors, which were first introduced as a Game Boy game and rocketed to international stardom in a major motion picture, are likely to defend their title as the No. 1 entertainment franchise for the 2000 holiday season. Nintendo of America Inc. announced that total sales for the Pokmon franchise are expected to reach $3 billion this year.

Upscale toy company FAO Schwartz has opened a Pokmon Boutique in its prestigious Fifth Avenue New York store - an honor that's the equivalent of a Hall of Fame induction. And Pokmon is in its 47th week as the champion of Lycos 50, a list of the most popular Internet search terms, outranking Britney Spears and 'N Sync.

Apples by the slice

What's the best thing since sliced bread? Sliced apples, according to two apple companies in the Northwest. Price Cold Storage & Packing Co. of Yakima, Wash., and Fresh Products Northwest are selling bagged apple slices nationwide and predicting they'll soon be as trendy as bagged salads. Shoppers will join the bandwagon as long as the price is less than $2 a pound, consumer surveys indicate.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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