The Checkout

Archive: March 2008

What if Barbie Took Some Bad Heparin?

For those of you wondering whether I've contracted a bad case of baby brains, I am here to tell you that while work on Parenting Inc. continues, I have been keeping up with the news. There's a lot to catch up on. What with another government laptop gone missing with tons of personal info on it, and health care costs bringing down wages, even as we work harder and produce more. But today, I thought I'd talk about the FDA. A couple of stories over the past week have brought attention, yet again, to gaps in the food and product...

By Annys Shin | March 24, 2008; 9:23 AM ET | Comments (4)

What's the name of that agency again?

Ever heard of the Department of Maryland Notifications? Neither have we! But that is the name that appeared on the envelope of a mortgage refinance solicitation received by my poor colleague Dan Beyers, whose mailbox has lately been filled with refi-related junk mail. Making these solicitations look officials is an old trick. This one is just a little extra creative. Once you open the envelope you discover that it is not from the government. Instead it's a "Notice of Instant Fixed Rate Approval" signed "sincerely" by one Richard Foley of the Potomac Funding Group. His pitch reads: "You have been...

By Annys Shin | March 17, 2008; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (3)

Parenting Inc. Part Deux

In case you missed it, the second installment of Parenting Inc., the business of parenting ran on Saturday. The story is about the rise of specialized services for parents of infants and young children. There appears to be a coach for almost everything. Potty training. Sleep. I just heard there's a local lice lady who comes to you house and tells you what to do when you kid comes home with the critters in her hair. I hope I never have to call her. For the next installment, I'm thinking of writing about companies or consultants who specialize in finding...

By Annys Shin | March 11, 2008; 12:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Business of Parenting

Last Saturday, we launched an occasional series on the business of parenting. The first installment was about how entrepreneurs and retailers are trying to serve the growing number of parents who are spooked by the potentially negative health effects of chemicals in everyday household items. Last year's recalls of lead-laced toys, not to mention Aqua Dots--the craft toy that when swallowed put several kids in comas--has heightened awareness and concern over the chemical components of everything, not just toys. One thing that came up in reporting was the high price that parents are paying for "peace of mind" of buying...

By Annys Shin | March 4, 2008; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (0)


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