Under the sheets

first_img“If you could have beautiful, incredible sleep, what’s that worth?” said David Perry, bedding editor of the trade publication Furniture/Today. “The whole idea is pamper yourself, you’re worth it, go for it, live the dream, sleep on a cloud. That has some appeal.” Since 2000, the market value of the wholesale mattress industry has increased nearly 40 percent, climbing to $6.4 billion in 2005, according to the trade group International Sleep Products Association. But it’s the luxury market that’s behind much of the trend. Premium-price mattresses – those costing more than $1,000 – accounted for 21 percent of sales in the latest data available, from 2005, 14 percent higher than in 2000. Furniture/Today says the figure may be even higher. According to the magazine’s survey of shoppers, about 56 percent of dollars spent on bedding went for products that cost more than $1,000. That’s up from 37 percent in 2000, according to the magazine’s survey. Meanwhile, the average cost of a queen-size bed has increased by about $700, up from $600 five years earlier, analysts said. CHICAGO – Can you put a price on a good night’s rest? Betting that weary, wealthy baby boomers are willing to do just that, mattress companies are fluffing up their selections of “ultra-luxe” beds that retail for more than the cost of cars, college tuition and parcels of land. With a heart-stopping price tag approaching $50,000 – $49,500, to be exact, and the price will climb to $59,750 in April – the Vividus bed launched last year by the Swedish manufacturer Hastens is among the most expensive sold in the U.S. But the Vividus, which means “full of life” in Latin, is just the latest bed to target a growing consumer appetite for high-end beds made from materials such as latex, flax, memory foam, silk, cashmere, lamb’s wool and hand-tufted horsehair. But some people are willing to pay much, much more. Less than a dozen handmade Vividus mattresses have been sold worldwide since July, but customers are increasingly buying “cheaper” models that cost up to $20,000, said Mary Pat Wallace, owner of Hastens’ Chicago, which began selling the Vividus last month. The company opened U.S. stores five years ago and has had a 66 percent increase in sales annually the past four years. Hypnos, a rival British company that touts its lineage as the official bed supplier to the royal family, sells beds for $8,000 to $20,000. It expects U.S. sales to continue growing at a rate of about 20 percent a year. “We’ve been looking for an opportunity to get into this market, but up until five years ago, we didn’t see there was a desire or a need for the upper-end product,” said Adrian Jones, director of sales for Hypnos USA, which has its U.S. factory in Gallatin, Tenn. But does paying a small fortune for a bed ensure the perfect snooze? It depends on who’s snoozing. Chicago attorney Charlotte Wager, 42, has spent more than $13,000 in the past three years to buy Hastens mattresses for herself and two of her children. Wager said she likes the beds and their 25-year warranty so much that she’s considering buying two more for her older children. “You want to be able to go to bed at night and rejuvenate and rest and recuperate,” Wager said. “And to me, the mattress is an investment in that.” Michael King, a mattress buyer for the Macy’s department store chain, attributes the fivefold increase in the price of top-end beds sold by his company to consumers’ heightened awareness of the importance of rest. “They’re investing more in their home in general, and they’re thinking about sleep in a different way,” King said. “It’s connecting health and sleep in one, instead of just looking at sleep as something they do every night.” The luxury-bed sector is poised to become even more important for big-name mattress companies. They see a handsome profit on lower-price luxury alternatives that can still cost thousands. The trend has been in the works since the early 1990s when Lexington, Ky.-based Tempur-Pedic International Inc. introduced its memory-foam bed. “Once the mattress manufacturers realized that consumers would pay thousands of dollars for a mattress, we saw other companies rush to enter the market with their own versions of premium bedding,” said Morningstar analyst John Gabriel. Sealy Corp., the nation’s largest wholesale mattress maker, unveiled 36 new models earlier this year – nearly three-quarters of which sell for more than $750, the company’s standard for a premium product. Sealy beds, including the high-end Stearns & Foster line, can sell for $4,000. Sealy’s treasurer Mark Boehmer said the Trinity, N.C., company expects about one-third of its future growth to come from its higher-price offerings.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

The best 11 players from the Premier League weekend – agree?

first_imgAnother weekend, another three points for Leicester and ANOTHER starring role from Riyad Mahrez.The Foxes remain top of the league and thanks to Tottenham and Arsenal’s 2-2 draw, are five points ahead of Spurs.So Mahrez is in talkSPORT’s best 11 players from the weekend, but who else? Click the arrow above, right, to see the team and let us know who makes yours.SEE THE CURRENT PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE HERE 11 Attacking midfield centre: David Silva (Man City) 11 11 11 Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester) Defence: Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) Defence: Virgil van Dijk: (Southampton) 11 11 Attacking midfield centre: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) Attacking midfield left: Dimitri Payet (West Ham) Striker: Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) 11 11 11 Defence: Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) Attacking midfield right: Michail Antonio (West Ham) 11 11 Attacking midfield centre: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea) Striker: Salomon Rondon (West Brom)last_img read more

Woman gets counseling after escape

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PITTSBURGH – A woman who said she ran off with a school security guard when she was an eighth-grader and was held in his house for a decade is getting counseling following her escape. Tanya Nicole Kach, 24, “is being counseled and she is taking the time to reconnect with her family,” said family attorney, Lawrence H. Fisher, on Friday, declining to elaborate. Kach, missing from her home in the Pittsburgh suburb of McKeesport since February 1996, fled the guard’s home Tuesday and told a deli owner her true identity. On Wednesday, police charged Thomas John Hose, 48, with statutory sexual assault and three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Hose, who was in jail Friday, was suspended without pay from the middle school. The two had met at the school, where they kissed in a stairwell when he caught her skipping class, according to a criminal complaint. Kach and Hose devised a plan for her to leave home, and when she moved in, a sexual relationship began, she told police. Kach told police Hose kept her in a bedroom in a small two-story home in McKeesport he shared with his parents and son beginning in 1996. She said Hose had her record their sexual encounters in a calendar book so “he could brag to co-workers and friends,” the complaint said. Soon after she moved in, she told police, Hose threatened to kill her if she attempted to leave, according to a police affidavit. Hose’s attorney, Jim Ecker, has said Hose did not force Kach to live with him and that she was never held against her will.last_img read more

Schwarzenegger releases revised budget

first_img In January, the governor announced a revenue increase of $9.2 billion in tax receipts from the current fiscal year and projected new revenue in the coming budget year. Since then, administration officials have said they expected that revenue to rise by an additional $5 billion. Earlier in the week, Schwarzenegger announced a plan to spend the bulk of the windfall on education, in conjunction with a deal that also would settle a lawsuit and long-running feud with the state’s teachers union. Under that plan, Schwarzenegger proposed directing an additional $2.8 billion more to education than he initially proposed in January. The governor’s spending plan will lift overall education spending in California from $50 billion in the current year to $55.1 billion in the budget year beginning July 1. In addition, his settlement with the teachers union calls for repaying another $2.9 billion to schools over seven years that educators claimed he has owed since the two sides struck a budget-balancing deal in 2003. The governor’s finance director said the deal would be partially funded by “re-funding a tobacco securitization” deal from 2003 and would not add significantly to the state’s ongoing deficit. Schwarzenegger said that if his budget proposal is approved by the Legislature, education funding will have increase from $46 billion to more $55 billion since he took office.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday released a $131.1 billion state budget that benefits from a massive tax windfall this year, allowing him to spend more on public education and sock away money for reserves. The overall spending plan for the 2006-07 fiscal year is $13.8 billion higher than last year, reflecting the state’s rebounding economy and providing an expected boost to Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign. Billions in unanticipated tax revenue have enabled him to boost spending on programs popular with his critics, such as schools and children’s health care, while appeasing conservatives who have been critical of the state’s deficit spending. The governor’s plan increases general fund spending to $101 billion, from $90 billion in the current fiscal year. The balance of the spending goes to special funds and bond payments. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals Speaking at a press conference in Sacramento, Schwarzenegger vowed not to raise taxes and touted his spending plan as fiscally responsible. He said his proposed increases in education and health care spending reflect Californians’ priorities. The governor also proposes putting $2 billion into the state’s reserve fund and an additional $142.2 million into public safety programs. That money will more than double spending for law enforcement efforts targeting methamphetamine dealers, direct $50 million to reduce recidivism among mentally ill offenders and add about $21 million to programs aimed at reducing crime among at-risk youth. Schwarzenegger also wants to roll back a January proposal to block increases in welfare payments for the elderly and disabled, a plan Democrats had vowed to fight. The Legislature faces a June 15 deadline that it has failed to meet since 2000 to approve the budget, which takes effect July 1. The spending plan has benefited from unexpected tax revenue that has flowed into California’s coffers in recent months. The windfall primarily is a result of increased revenue from stock gains, home sales, business profits and taxes on rising gas prices.last_img read more

Man United v Man City: What time is kick off and where is it being played?

first_img1 Manchester United and Manchester City stars clash Huge Premier League derbies are now no longer confined to the regular season as the first meeting of Manchester United v Manchester City takes place on July 21, in the US.The clubs were meant to meet in a friendly last summer in China, before the weather conditions forced a cancellation of the match.Now the match will take place ahead of the 2017/18 season as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola prepare their teams for the new campaign, which sees both battling for the Premier League title and Champions League glory.So what’s the latest information surrounding the match? Find out below…Where is the match being played?Last year it was due to be held in the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, but now it will be played in America at the NRG Stadium, Houston.This is the home of NFL team the Houston Texans and has a 71,795 capacity. Red Devils fans with a good memory may remember it as the location of their 5-2 win over an MLS All-Stars side in 2010.What time will the match kick off?Manchester United v Manchester City will start at 2:30am on Friday, July 21 (UK time); that is an 20:30 kick off, local time, on Thursday, July 20 if you are in Texas.Who are in the squads?Manchester United:De Gea, Romero, J Pereira, Valencia, Darmian, Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Blind, Jones, Smalling, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Rojo, Shaw, Mitchell, Young, Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, McTominay, Pogba, Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Mata, A Pereira, Martial, Rashford.Manchester City:Not confirmed yet.Where can you watch it?You will be able to watch this derby clash on MUTV.last_img read more

Rear-end collision kills 80-year-old

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Lagrotta and her passenger, 20-year-old Jeremy Lagrotta, suffered minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene. No charges have been filed in the case, pending completion of an investigation, which was expected to take several weeks, Van Horn said. An 80-year-old woman was killed Sunday when a vehicle driven by a Canyon Country woman rear-ended her stopped car on Interstate 5. The victim, who was from Van Nuys, had stopped her Chrysler Town & Country in a northbound lane about 6 a.m. Sunday, according to the California Highway Patrol. Gail Lagrotta, 48, was traveling about 70 mph when her Ford Ranger pickup hit the Chrysler, causing both vehicles to spin out, said CHP Officer Brian Van Horn. The older woman, whose name has not been released, died at the scene. She was not wearing a seat belt, and authorities do not know why she had stopped her car on the interstate, Van Horn said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

LETTERKENNY ROTARY CLUB HONOUR DANIEL AND MAJELLA

first_imgIna Barrett, Letterkenny Rotary Club President, Gerry Burke, Letterkenny Rotary Club Vice President as they present Majella O’Donnell and Daniel O’Donnell with the Paul Harris Fellow at the Letterkenny Rotary Club’s Presidents Dinner in the Station House Hotel on Friday night last. Photo:- Clive WassonDaniel and Majella O’Donnell have been honoured by the Letterkenny Rotary Club.At the function, held in the Station House Hotel, the President of Letterkenny Rotary Club, Ena Barrett presented them both the coveted title, of Paul Harris Fellowship Awards.The award was made in recognition of their extraordinary services rendered to charities and communities in Donegal, throughout Ireland, abroad and indeed world wide. Organisers said their kindnesses and generosity has touched the hearts and lives of millions, and a truly selfless action………..service above self.A Paul Harris Award is one of the most prestigious awards in Rotary International and thereby named after the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris .Former recipients from the locality Paddy Carr, Aussie Bryson,Gerry McGinlty, Barney McDaid, Robert O’Connor and Danny McDaid. Representing Rotary Ireland last night, was District Governor Phillip Beggs (Comber), Assistant District Governor Jenny McCrea (Enniskillen) as well as many local and visiting Rotarians from the North West.Daniel and Majella were accompanied to the Presidents Ball by many family and friends from the Rosses, to share in this wonderful occasion, and indeed commented that they were truly humbled to receive this recognition and felt that they themselves were priviliged to be in a position to offer help to others less fortunate than themselves. The Rotary Club in Letterkenny was set up in 1982 and has 32 members, male and female. This is a service organisation of like minded people in business and professional leaders united world wide helping those in need. Rotarians encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and work towards world service and peace.Letterkenny Rotary Club members meet for lunch weekly on Tuesdays in the Stational House Hotel where they enjoy fun and fellowship. They work tirelessly in the community through youth work in schools, seniors in activity centres and nursing homes, as well as assisting in the Tidy Towns iniative, and fundraising for local and international charities, through the annual Christmas Tree of Remembrance and Winter Woollie walks, to name a few. The Nepal Disaster appeal is currently underway and thanks to all who have contributed to this so far. Contributions can still be left at the Bank of Ireland, Letterkenny.LETTERKENNY ROTARY CLUB HONOUR DANIEL AND MAJELLA was last modified: May 23rd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

South Africa’s top female Olympians – part 2

first_img12 August 2016Team South Africa began its Rio Olympics campaign this week, and among the 137athletes competing this year are some of the country’s outstanding female athletes,representing a wide range of sporting disciplines. To celebrate Women’s Month, hereis a look at another five of the best.Linda Motlhalo – footballlinda motlhalo Aiming For RIO 2016 Big For More Go To For More- https://t.co/bXbHLCHtxv pic.twitter.com/uCt2ZtU9Vo—game-on-mag (@MySportMyLife) April 22,2016At 18, Linda Motlhalo is one of Banyana Banyana’s youngest scoring sensationsand while Rio might be her biggest career moment so far, it definitely won’t be thelast. Hailing from Brandvlei, Randfontein’s hotbed of football talent, Motlhalodreams big yet is comfortable at her own pace.The South African Football Association’s Fran Hilton-Smith calls her the futureof women’s football in South Africa. “What stands out about her is her big-matchtemperament,” she told City Press. “From the first time I saw her, Iknew she was going places… Her tactical awareness at her age is very good and Ibelieve she is in good hands with (Banyana coach) Vera Pauw.”Motlhalo has scored three goals in four games in South African colours, and isnot planning on stopping.Janine van Wyk – football#RSA‘ KapitäninJanine van Wyk ist trotz Auftaktpleite gegen #SWE stolz: https://t.co/2Mw4Q1j8Xa pic.twitter.com/jm2NK5n9Ky—FIFA.com auf deutsch (@fifacom_de) August 4,2016Cool-headed veteran Janine van Wyk is leading Banyana at the Rio Olympicsthis year, her second Olympics. As South African football’s most capped footballplayer (male and female), scoring 10 goals as defender in 160 games, she bringsconfident leadership and creative talent to the Rio team.While the prospect of Banyana making it to the next stage of the tournamenthangs in the balance – with losses to Sweden and China, and a gutsy draw againsthosts Brazil – Van Wyk is determined to make sure her teammates enjoy theexperience and, above all, use it to learn for the future.Dominique Scott – athleticsI’m actually here… Dreams DO come true!!! #Olympics #Rio2016 #TeamSA #RSA pic.twitter.com/FOvcgEwc5E—DOM • SCOTT-EFURD (@domscottrunSA) August 5,2016When Dominique Scott begins the 10 000m race on Friday, 12 August, she’ll no doubt be thinking of South African runners who have tackled one of athletics’ more gruelling events before her: most notably Elena Meyer. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Meyer won South Africa’s first post-isolation medal. Scott was born in 1992.The determined Capetonian has already built a formidable junior career,winning two golds in the 2010 South African junior championships and going on toshow impressive progress as part of her American college team at the University ofArkansas. Before leaving for Rio, she won both the 10 000m and 5 000m finals at the National College Athletics Association Outdoor championships.Michelle Weber – open water marathon swimmingSee theother photos from my Women’sHealth shoot on my site @WomensHealthSA @ArenaSAfrica https://t.co/3bCQs7zv4J pic.twitter.com/GMfIrccumd—Michelle Weber (@michelleweber71) July 26,2016Michelle Weber is the only female swimmer representing South Africa in Riothis year. Her marathon is on Monday, 15 August.Weber, who underwent serious heart surgery three years ago, decided tospecialise in the more paced marathon events in lieu of shorter swims. The changeseems to have worked for her – Weber has won the 5km and 10km events at theSouth African Senior Championships for three consecutive years.Ashleigh Simon – golfSA’s @ash_simoncloses with a 73 @RICOHWomensBrit to grab ashare of 47th on one-over-par 289 pic.twitter.com/a8jcLdh7mr—Sunshine Ladies Tour (@SLadiesTour) July 31,2016Ashleigh Simon shot to fame as one of South Africa’s prodigious young golfingtalents, becoming the youngest player to win the ladies’ South African Amateurtournament, and the first player in over a century to win the ladies’ South AfricanOpen title three times.Since turning professional at the age of 18, Simon has participated in the US and British Opens, and is a regular on the European and American PGA tours, on which she has won six individual tournaments. Simon has also won numerous South Africa tournaments, and represented South Africa at the women’s golf World Cup for four consecutive years.“Rio,” Simon told the Bedfordview and Edenvale community newspaper, “is going to be something different (from the normal professional circuit). Golf is an individual sport and (our doubles) team (with Paula Reto) will have to work together… It is important for golfers on the South African team to have a good short game.”Source: South African Sports Confederation and Olympic CommitteeSouthafrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

PRETTYSHOP 100% Human Hair UP DO Ballerina Knoten Donut Bun Topknot Scrunchie Hairpiece Ponytail H311a, really excited when this arrived & hair colour was great match but now its started to unravel & I

first_imgExcellent hair hun, required one particular for a marriage and struggled to locate one particular like this. The colous failed to match accurately so i utilised purple shampoo on it to match it to my hair and it labored flawlessly :).Superb product, great colour, thank you.Excellent hair hun, required one particular for a marriage and struggled to locate one particular like this. The colous failed to match accurately so i utilised purple shampoo on it to match it to my hair and it labored flawlessly :).Key specs for PRETTYSHOP 100% Human Hair UP DO Ballerina Knoten Donut Bun Topknot Scrunchie Hairpiece Ponytail H311a:100% REAL HAIR – human hair. The Real Hair Product is in contrast to a synthetic hair product more resistant, so it has a longer life!Diameter 13cm (5″);Very easy to fixed with an elastic hair ribbon and two small clips to your own pigtailIt can be treated with almost all hair styling appliances and also colored.Please note that the product should not be dyed to lighter shades, but only on dunkelere colors!Washable and easy to comb, natural, soft and comfortable to wear. Shake gently after unpacking and brush to the form and get shut the volume again. The hair residues can be easily brushed out of the hair part.Comments from buyers“Perfect hair bun, Bought 2, they’re so good, excellent product, exactly as advertised”Superb product, great colour, thank you.Genuinely enthusiastic when this arrived & hair color was excellent match but now its started out to unravel & i. Was seriously enthusiastic when this arrived & hair color was excellent match but now its started to unravel & i havent even worn it however?.I acquired one particular and was a little bit doubtful how it would look – as perfectly as apprehensive about the cost. Turns out they are excellent – so good i purchased an additional so i could dress in two. This colour matches my hair correctly as well.Outstanding product or service, particularly as marketed. Exceptional item, specifically as advertised. Unfortunately, i selected a colour that was too light-weight. My fault – so no problems at all.Feels and seems like portion of your have hair and so quick to do.I acquired one particular and was a little bit doubtful how it would look – as perfectly as apprehensive about the cost. Turns out they are excellent – so good i purchased an additional so i could dress in two. This colour matches my hair correctly as well.Feels and seems like portion of your have hair and so quick to do. Genuinely enthusiastic when this arrived & hair color was excellent match but now its started out to unravel & i. Was seriously enthusiastic when this arrived & hair color was excellent match but now its started to unravel & i havent even worn it however?.Outstanding product or service, particularly as marketed. Exceptional item, specifically as advertised. Unfortunately, i selected a colour that was too light-weight. My fault – so no problems at all.last_img read more

Kids More Likely to Own a Cellphone Than a Book, Study Finds

first_imgchris cameron Tags:#mobile#web Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces As technology becomes more a part of our day-to-day lives, some are worried that it is stunting the education of children by taking away time from activities like reading. A startling discovery from the London-based National Literacy Trust finds that children are more likely these days to own a cell phone than they are a book. The study, which NLT will publish next week, ties cell phone penetration to the presence of books in a child’s home, but are these conclusions fair to draw?A survey of 17,000 U.K. children between the ages of 7 and 16 found that while 86% owned a cell phone, only 73% said they owned a book. The NLT believes a child’s access to books has a direct effect on their reading ability, finding that 80% of children reading at their expect levels have their own books. Conversely, the same can only be said for just 58% of children not reading up to par with their age group.“Our research illustrates the clear link with literacy resources at home and a child’s reading ability,” said Jonathan Douglas, Director of the NLT. “By ensuring children have access to reading materials in the home and by encouraging children to love reading, families can help them to do well at school and to enjoy opportunities throughout their life.” The connection between books and cell phones in the hands of children is a strange one for the NLT to make. In the press release announcing the study, NLT does not define what they consider to constitute “owning a book,” – a significant factor that could change the way readers interpret the study. There are, however, ways to help the literacy problems by taking advantage of the popularity of mobile devices.While children certainly seem more interested in chatting with friends on their phones than sitting quietly and reading a book, some argue that this debate shouldn’t become about the media which children consume. Teacher and education blogger Vicki Davis told ReadWriteWeb that she believes kids benefit from reading on phones or computers as much as they do from paper.“Whether on a mobile phone, iPod, Kindle, or handheld device or paper – the medium should be irrelevant. The important thing is that students can read and write, or in this case read and text,” said Davis. “If ancient man had demanded that their children continue to use their tools – we would still be looking for cave walls to draw upon – paper has been an essential tool of the mass-produced industrial age and electronics are the essential produce of the interconnected information age. Education needs to wake up and harness these tools for learning!”Redefining “Reading”Michelle Manafy, editorial director at Information Today, says older generations need to open up their definitions of what “books” actually are. “The very notion of literacy and reading itself has evolved beyond the capacity of many who grew up with linear reading experiences to understand,” she says.“If every kid has a phone, then maybe we need to be looking much harder at creating content optimized for this reading environment, to creating a reading experience that coincides with their voracious appetite and shorter attention spans, with their tangentially and serendipitously connected non-linear reading style and socially mediated tastes,” said ManafyMobile technology blogger Jason Harris agrees with Davis and Manafy, and adds that the drop in reading skills are likely due to a combination of factors.“The world is changing in that mobile phones are falling into the hands of new populations, including young children,” said Harris. “Of course, there’s a competition for time in this age group, so if they’re on their mobile phones then all leisure activities, including reading, will take a hit. But are reading scores falling because of this one factor? I doubt it.”Are Parents to Blame?Marnie Webb, co-CEO of TechSoup Global says the technology is not to blame for the decline in reading skills. As she puts it, the onus is on the parents to make sure the kids have the same access to books as they do phones.“It doesn’t have to be an either or. We can’t make it an either or,” says Webb. “But that seems to me to be up to grownups […] I have to put the books in the kid’s pocket. Just like we put the phone in the kids’ pockets.”Agreeing with Webb is Peggy Anne Salz, founder of MSearchGroove.com, a leading blog on mobile search. Salz says the report is “a call to parents to participate in their children’s education, a process they can only improve and enhance with anytime, anywhere mobile access to educational materials.”“Read between the lines, and this is not about a connection between children having a mobile device and any drop in grade school literacy skills,” adds Salz. “The report argues there is a link between having literacy resources at home and a child’s reading ability. That’s an access issue that mobile devices can solve for children in the U.K. and around the world.”It is certainly true that mobile handset penetration is reaching a younger and younger audience, but that is not necessarily a direct catalyst to lowering reading scores. Whether the presence of books in a home affects a child’s ability to read is another argument, but it seems strange to try and hook that on mobile phone usage. As technology evolves, so too will the way kids “read” and consume information, so basing studies on the presence of older forms of information digestion may become less and less appropriate.UPDATE: I received a response after reaching out on Twitter to LeVar Burton, known famously for his love of reading and as the host of the children’s show Reading Rainbow. What did the book lover think of the fact that more children own phones than books? “I believe kids need both,” he said.Photo by Flickr user eyeliam. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more