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Nuts on a school trip: Cause for parental outrage?

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Morning radar: Three things we're talking about this morning

Field trip outrage: Where to start with Globe reporter Kate Hammer's piece today about an outraged Halton-region mother who was 'shocked' by teachers' behaviour on an overnight field trip?

Maria Damaso's 13-year-old son Anthony has a severe allergy to peanuts, so his mom wanted to accompany him on his first overnight field trip. But when the teachers invited her to join them after the kids were asleep, they were drinking alcohol and eating from a can of almonds. "Cross-contamination" due to the almonds appears to be her biggest concern.

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This - as well as a call for Air Canada to create nut-free 'buffer zones' for passengers - has reignited the sensitive allergy issue.

Parents and teachers out there, what do you think? Was their almond-eating really dangerous?

End of an era: We said goodbye to two TV family icons this week. First, Barbara Billingsley, who debuted as June Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver in 1957. And now Tom Bosley, of Howard Cunningham 1970s Happy Days fame is gone.

Let the nostalgia begin, not for the idealized 50s worlds that both shows portrayed, but for a quaint, pre-irony era in which viewers saw a version of what the average parent was supposed to be. Maybe Seinfeld was the turning point, but now, we have ironic, arch and dysfunctional Modern Familys or Arrested Developments leading the way.

We can't go back, but let's raise a coffee cup to the passing of an era.

Booze and the brain: A new study gets at the gene for alcoholism - and it has something to do with how fast you feel drunk.

About 10 to 20 per cent of the population carry a version of the gene that makes their brains especially sensitive to alcohol. Scientists have identified a gene that has a "big, big effect" on how people respond to alcohol, Kirk Wilhelmsen told USA Today. He's the senior author of a paper posted Tuesday by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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The finding, Wilhelmsen says, "potentially changes the paradigm about how we think about how alcohol affects the brain." While the finding doesn't yet have any treatment application, he says, "my expectation is this is actually going to lead somewhere."



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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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