Sep 05 2012

Elmo Calls

Elmo recruited for app that helps potty train kids. TODAY (Purchase App)

 

Remember way back when you didn’t yet know how to use a toilet?

No?

It’s (probably) been a while since you mastered the art, but ask any new parent and they’ll tell you it can be arduous trying to teach their toddler bathroom skills. A few years ago, the Toy Lab team at Ideo began exploring ways to ease the experience, and found that guidance from older siblings was hugely beneficial. Leveraging a three-year relationship with the Sesame Workshop, Ideo developed a prototype where Elmo — who is often seen by tots as an older sibling figure — would offer encouragement over the phone. (As a 30 Rock aficionado, I have to point out that Pete Hornberger used this technique — iPhone, Elmo voice, potty training, and all — in an episode from 2007.)

The concept tested incredibly well, and it was apparent that extending the character’s furry reach would be beneficial in aiding other elements of growing up. Elmo Calls is the result; the interactive app allows kids to share moments with, and learn from, the iconic bright red resident of Sesame Street, who can be enlisted (by parents) to make contact for video and audio calls and voicemails that cover everything from "it’s time to exercise" to "it’s time for bed."

(Read full story)

(Download App)

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Sep 05 2012

Costa Rica Earthquake

Two dead, 20 injured as major earthquake damages Costa Rica coast, Red Cross says. NBC News

Please join us in prayer for everyone impacted by this earthquake and everyone giving aid.

 

New in this update: Third death reported

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET: Three people died, two them from heart attacks, when a major earthquake hit northwestern Costa Rica on Wednesday, authorities said. At least 20 people were injured and two others were missing, but the Red Cross said those numbers could rise as damage assessment teams reached more areas.

The quake — initially rated at magnitude 7.9 but then revised by the the U.S. Geological Survey to 7.6 — struck at 10:42 a.m. ET at a depth of about 25 miles about 7 miles southeast of Nicoya. The town of 15,000 people is near the Pacific coast, about 90 miles from the capital, San Jose.

(Updated story)

 

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Sep 05 2012