Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Celebrate #WalmartWednesday With ONCEkids and Receive a Free Book Signed By the Author

Every week ONCEkids celebrates #WalmartWednesday with amazing deals on books and related products that make the perfect gifts for the holiday season. This Wednesday only, buy one book and receive a second book free! All you have to do is visit the website, send us your receipt and you’ll receive your second free book, even autographed by the author. 


Click on the link to view and purchase one of our 
family-friendly books at an unbeatable price:


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How These 3 Entrepreneurs Changed Their lives Through YouTube

Over the last few years, YouTube has changed the game for countless aspiring musicians, bloggers, entrepreneurs, actors, comedians and more. Providing a platform for advertising your products or skills for millions of people all around the world to view creates a powerful tool for young dreamers trying to get their names out there.

Although it started mostly with musicians, including Justin Bieber, it has since become popular for entrepreneurs just starting out- and many of them have found great success thanks to this social network. Ordinary people start by simply posting videos online of themselves doing what they love to do, such as Jenna Marbles, who now has over 13 million subscribers doing comedic skits and humorous rants. 

Thanks to YouTube, thousands of young people have gotten attention they never would have been able to get before. For three entrepreneurs in particular, YouTube has completely transformed their lives in a way they never thought possible.

The first, Rob Chapman, transformed his life from a struggling musician to a UK rock star through his YouTube channel. His channel has 198,000 subscribers and is growing at a rate of 10,000 a month and his videos receive millions of views. In addition to his online success, the once unheard of musician sings and plays his guitar for packed venues, endorses products, and owns his own guitar company. Often when enough YouTube success has been achieved, it is not longer just about the attention. Chapman says if he wanted to he could live off of what he earns from his YouTube career. When speaking about his success, Chapman says he considers himself just “a dude who plays guitar in his flat” and had no idea that it could be like this, but couldn’t be happier. On advice for aspiring YouTube stars he says the title, description, and tags are extremely important in getting people to notice you. 
The second, Leonardo Pereznieto, was also a struggling artists before creating his YouTube channel. In 2009 the full time artist was struggling to make ends meet. Despite receiving international awards and showing his work throughout Europe and the United States, times were tough for the 45 year old artist. So he created a YouTube channel in hopes of getting more views of his artwork. He found this method to be relatively unsuccessful so then Pereznieto decided to record himself demonstrating how to properly sketchy and see if that generated any responses- and it did. He then began giving art lessons via YouTube and the views were piling up. By 2013, his YouTube channel, called Fine Art-Tips, was enough to live off of. Now with 763,000 subscribers and 2 million monthly visits, Pereznieto lead a life free from financial worries, thanks to ad revenue. 


Betty Givan began her YouTube career with the mission of keeping traditional southern cooking alive. In January 2009 she created a channel, called Betty’s Kitchen, featuring recipe demonstrations and even trips to local grocery stores. Since then her videos have generated over 36 million views and more than 110,000 channel subscribers! Her online popularity even allowed her to create two mobile apps and publish two successful cookbooks. Givan said when she first started making the videos she did not think of it as a business endeavor, but rather a fun way to share her family recipes and keep her mother’s cooking alive. She says social media is the smartest way to grow viewers and it is always important to be consistent when trying to develop a following. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Researchers Create an Adorable Chick Rover to Observe Emperor Penguins in Their Natural Habitat

Emperor penguins are notoriously shy creatures, which poses a problem to the scientists trying to research the health and behavior of these birds. Whenever any of the researchers would come near the penguins they would become quite fearful and back away, causing rapid heart rates and other fear-induced responses. This makes it very difficult for any person trying to record resting heart rates and other “penguin parameters.” Another fear of many researchers is that penguins’ wariness of people causes them to change their behaviors when being observed, thus preventing researchers from being able to record normal penguin behaviors in their natural settings, affecting the accuracy of the studies. So how can researchers observe the penguin behaviors without being present?
Yyvon Le Maho of the University of Strasbourg in France came up with a solution to create a small rover disguised as a penguin.
 
 
The initial rover; made up of fiberglass, scared the penguins and proved to be unsuccessful. After five tries, researchers have come up with a rover that successfully interacts with and observes the penguins without scaring them or causing changes in their typical behavior. And I must say, resembling a real baby chick with gray fur, black arms and a little black beak, this rover is pretty cute!
 
Not only did the penguins not react fearfully to the little rover, they actually interacted with it like a real penguin, singing it special songs and including the rover in their huddles. After observing disappointment in the penguins when the rover did not sing back, Le Maho says they plan to create the next rover with the ability to sing songs.
 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Watch the Difference in Responses Between Children and Adults When Asked One Thing They Would Change About Their Body in this Eye Opening Video

When fifty adults and children were presented with the question, “If you could change one thing about your body what would it be?”, the responses from the adults were dramatically different than the ones from the children. 

Without fail, every adult had an answer within seconds regarding the “flaw” they wish they could change, many offering more than one. The children, on the other hand, either struggled to come up with an answer or they feature they would give themselves was a supernatural one, like a mermaid tail or super powers. 

The differences in these answers should be a wake up call to people everywhere. It raises the question, when do we start learning to not love ourselves? When do body images portrayed in the media start affecting our children’s self esteem? Once we can answer these questions, we can all start working together towards teaching our children to grow up being comfortable in their own skin and happy with who they are on the inside out. 


Click below to watch the powerful video:


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Chinese Parents Plan Conception and Birth to Avoid Having A Child During the Year of the Sheep

Each of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac comes with its positives and negatives, strengths and weaknesses, but somehow over the years, the Year of the Sheep (also known as the year of the ram or goat) has developed a bad reputation. This bad rep is taken so seriously that couples are planning their conception or delivery of a child around avoiding the upcoming Year of the Sheep. 

People say that some children are born lucky, but many Chinese parents believe that luck comes from the year that their child was born. The luckiest year of all to be born is the Year of the Dragon, but no other years are frowned upon the way the Year of the Sheep is. But why? The sheep is thought to be passive, kind, and generous. All qualities that are thought highly of in a person. But in a cutthroat, competitive world those qualities can be a disadvantage. Chinese tradition believes that a baby born during the Year of the Sheep will be followers rather than leaders, are destined for heartbreak, and will not find success in the business world. There is even a folk tale that says only one in ten people born during the Year of the Sheep find true happiness. 


While many people are working hard to debunk these superstitions, it has proven to be difficult. Some parents have even inquired to medical professionals about having a Caesarean section to ensure their child is born during the Year of the Horse, and not after February 2015, when the Year of the Sheep begins. Health professionals have also reported that last spring, fertility consultations spiked and since the window for conception and delivery during the Year of the Horse closed, they have declined. Professionals in the medical field have expressed concern that as fertility consultations rose during the Year of the Horse, abortions will rise during the Year of the Sheep. 


Even as these assumptions present as unfair and outdated to many, it is a difficult mindset to alter. The traditional beliefs and superstitions of the Chinese Zodiac calendar are deeply ingrained in Chinese culture and provide an explanation for phenomena that is otherwise difficult to understand. But as of recent years, other factors (such as political and economic conditions) have greatly influenced birth rates and begun to overshadow the effects of the Zodiac calendar. But regardless, it will be interesting to see how the upcoming Year of the Sheep affects birth rates in comparison to this past year, the Year of the Horse, which is the third luckiest year in the calendar. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How Countries in Asia Celebrate Halloween

Halloween is the most popular holiday in the United States, but did you know that other countries celebrate it too? Countries around the world have ways of honoring and remembering the dead during this time of year. Even different countries in Asia like to celebrate Halloween, but not in the traditional costumes-and-pumpkins way we might think. 

Each October 31st, people across China celebrate Halloween, or Teng Chieh, by offering food and water to the dead. They also light lanterns with the belief that they will help to guide deceased loved ones as they make their visit to the "land of the living" in Halloween night. 

The Japanese also utilize lanterns for their Halloween customs. The lanterns are traditionally colored red and are hung in every house. These red lanterns are also placed on boats and float through rivers to guide the spirits of the dead back to the homes of their families for the night. It is also traditional for Japanese families to clean the gravestones of their ancestors and prepare special dishes to honor and remember them. These customs and traditions are all referred to in Japan as the Obon Festival. 

Halloween is not big in Korea, but offerings of food and flowers are still made to their ancestors to show respect. 

Hong Kong remembers their lost loved ones through a traditional festival known as the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. During this time, pictures of fruits or money are burned with the belief that these images will reach the spirits of the dead and provide comfort. 

Although many of the Halloween traditions in Asia are different from those in the United States, certain countries are beginning to pick up many Western Halloween traditions. For example, Halloween recently arrived in Japan. Now around this time of year, decorations such as jack-o'-lanterns can be seen around town of in shop windows and every year Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan puts on extravagant Halloween shows and events. Trick-or-Treating is still not a common practice in Japan, but costume house parties aren't that uncommon. 


Besides the traditional and culture-rich Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, Hong Kong also likes to celebrate the more commercialized side of Halloween. Each year bars all across Hong Kong are decked out in Halloween decorations in an attempt to increase local interest in the holiday. Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park also host a Halloween Bash each year to promote and celebrate the holiday. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Get Your Hands on the New Nintendo 3DS Along With New Scary Games Just in Time For Halloween

Designers have heard your requests and officially come out with a redesigned Nintendo 3DS, very cleverly named the New Nintendo 3DS. Although the name isn’t all that impressive, the new features it comes with are. The new 3DS is not just a simple redesign, but includes a larger screen and a variety of powerful hardware. Instead of having to hold your head in a certain way to get the 3-D effect, the new onboard camera tracks head movements and adjusts accordingly. 

And one of their best new features is something Nintendo players have been requesting for years- to improve the controls and include a second stick. Well, designers have answered requests and included two sticks to go with the directional pad on the New Nintendo. 


Along with the New Nintendo 3DS, you can purchase a variety of new games that have been released exclusively for this more powerful model- even a few spooky ones for Halloween!