National Geographic has entered the reality TV arena. But in keeping with their reputation, they’ve entered with depth and intelligence. There are no million dollar prizes, no silly bugs to ingest, no dating games to be played. But that doesn’t make Worlds Apart any less interesting. In fact, it’s a fascinating concept in which the National Geographic Channel sends a family from the U.S. to live with a family in some remote part of the world for nine days. Who needs bugs and tricks when you have kids trying to cope without computers, phones, and TVs? You’ll definitely want to check out this show, but you can start right now by reading about the families’ experiences.

We also have a story on kids’ lives right here in the States — which are very hectic lives. Perhaps following in the footsteps of their multi-tasking parents (or perhaps because of said parents), today’s kids spend every waking hour moving from one activity to another, with very little downtime to just hang out. While some say that teaches them excellent social and organizational skills, others say we’re robbing them of their childhood, and actually could be stressing them out and causing all sorts of untold anguish. It’s a very interesting read that may make you rethink the next round of activities you’re about to sign your kid up for.

And in keeping with the kid theme, we introduce you to Joss Stone, a 16-year-old singing sensation who’s knocking the socks off audiences worldwide. This girl’s voice is beautiful beyond her years. If you’d like to put a few extra dollars in your pocket, I recommend buying the CD, then playing it for friends and betting them how old she is. You’ll be the winner every time and you get to enjoy some cool tunes as well.

Rumor has it you can also make money in the stock market. If you enjoy that playing field, you’ll want go behind the scenes at the New York Stock Exchange to show you the nitty-gritty of how stocks get bought and sold, and what makes the Big Board tick. It’s obviously a very well-oiled yet chaotic machine. Which is what most of us feel like these days as we head into the final weeks of the holiday season. In between all that dashing and prancing, you’ll hopefully make time to indulge in some extra goodies for yourself.


Above Right Photo: A new show that has families like the Palmers ditching their U.S. digs to live with clans like the Orgubas in Kenya puts the real in reality TV.