Boston: Hiring QA Automation Engineer for Back Bay Start Up litl

start up back bay boston litl consumer electronics apps ILoveNewton backend back end engineer sys admin position hiring
QA Automation Engineer
litl is looking for a QA Automation Engineer to join our growing Copley Square-based software team. litl is the company that brought you the litl webbook, a computer that lets you enjoy the web without worrying about anything else and winner of numerous national and international awards. litl is now looking to bring multiple consumer photography applications to market.litl is looking for a motivated developer with testing experience to help the QA team identify automation opportunities in our existing test suites and build automated test cases. As a Quality Assurance Engineer you will work as part of the larger software team that’s building exciting mobile applications for iOS, Android and Windows mobile.
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Bridges. Not Walls. Anti-Bullying Dance Show by Cambridge Youth Dance Program

April 28 & 29 at Boston University. Anti-Bullying Dance Show by Cambridge Youth Dance Program. Buy tickets here.


2012 Spring Production, “Bridges. Not Walls.” 1 in 3 students is bullied in school. This is our story.

The Cambridge Youth Dance Program is a pre-professional dance training program developed and designed for dedicated dance students. Students are placed in one of five dance programs, each with its own set of core classes and minimum class requirements. The diverse curriculum offers intense training for the aspiring ballet dancer, as well as for dancers committed to musical theater studies.

Placement is based on the level of ability and dance focus. New and returning students are required to audition each year. During the first few weeks of classes, teachers may suggest a different level.

Performance opportunities include the annual year-end showcase at Boston University’s Dance Theater, as well as community concerts throughout the Cambridge and Boston areas. All of our company members receive tuition subsidies.

Calling All Vendors: Waban Village Day!

Do you have something to sell; jewelry, crafts, specialty items, artisan breads or foods, cosmetics, clothes, to name a few.

Come share your creations with a booth at Waban Village Day, Sunday, May 20th 11am-3pm.

This is the 9th Waban Village Day, it takes place in Waban Square on Woodward Street, right off of Beacon Street.

This is a very popular event, fun for the whole family, with over 2000 people participating in rides, food and crafts.


If you are interested in a booth at Waban Village Day, please contact us at .


Established in 1889, the Waban Improvement Society is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization whose membership comprises all people who live and/or work in Waban, Massachusetts. The Society promotes any activity intended to improve Waban and fosters a sense of community for those who live and work here.

Free Running Clinic, Run Leo Run! March 31st NNHS

Leo Westebbe

Inspirational marathoner, Leo Westebbe, Newton South graduate 2011 and Charles d’Hemecourt from the Division of Sports Medicine Children’s Hospital Boston will lead a FREE running clinic for kids ages 8 and up. The clinic is prime preparation for runners of all ages and abilities in the April 15 Heartbreak Hill Road Race. Participants will learn running stretches, drills and techniques, discuss nutrition and take a practice run around the Newton North Track facility.

Saturday, March 31 at 1–3pm

Newton North High School Track



Leo is running the 2012 Boston Marathon to raise money for the Newton Schools Foundation, whose mission is to support the Newton Public Schools. Support Leo’s effort and learn about how training for marathons helped Leo turn his life around at

Register for this clinic at

* Families are welcome. Runners should wear proper clothing and footwear for athletic activity. Weather permitting.


Leo’s Story

When Leo Westebbe was a sophomore at Newton South High School, he was failing classes, lacking self-confidence and feeling bad about his future prospects. But his participation in the Dreamfar High School Marathon program, along with the help and support of staff and programs at Newton South High School, helped put him on track for success.

Now the Clark University freshman wants to give back to the community that helped him.  On April 16, he’ll run the Boston Marathon for the Newton Schools Foundation with a goal of raising $6,000 to support the NSF’s effort to raise $5 million over three years.  These funds will provide the tools, technology and teacher training to foster innovative teaching and learning across all of Newton’s public schools.

“I’m happy to be running for the Newton schools,” said Westebbe. “For a kid like me who really struggled emotionally and academically, not every school system would have been so supportive. Newton schools really don’t give up on people.”

An Uphill Climb
Meeting the confident mild-mannered 18-year-old, one would never suspect the challenges he had to overcome .  But according to Westebbe—after a rough middle school experience and a rocky start to high school coupled with trouble at home—by sophomore year, “I was feeling depressed and failing some classes. I got to the point where I basically did no schoolwork because I just didn’t think I could.”

Westebbe was referred to the Springboard Program at the Newton Education Center, where he learned strategies to tackle his academic challenges.

“They helped me see how to break things down and get work done.  I grew personally during that time,” says Westebbe.

With his schoolwork improving, he returned to South and entered Southside, a program for students with behavioral, social, emotional and/or academic challenges that have prevented them from succeeding in a mainstream environment.

“The best thing about Southside for me was having that community of people—knowing there were 20 other kids struggling and there for the same reason, and that teachers were there to support me,” he says. “The teachers really gave me positive feedback and helped me stay on the right track.”

Eye on the Finish Line
Midway through his junior year Westebbe mentioned to a Southside friend that he wanted to get in shape.  The friend suggested he check out Dreamfar.  The Dreamfar High School Marathon is New England’s first high school marathon training program that teaches at-risk high school students that anything is possible, even completing a marathon.   They teach students realistic goal-setting and the value of commitment and teamwork—skills that ensure success in the classroom, on the road, and beyond.

“The idea of me running a marathon sounded kind of crazy—I never thought of myself as athletic,” said Westebbe, who joked, “I barely got a hit in Little League.”

In spite of his doubts, he went to a Dreamfar meeting. “I learned that so may different kinds of kids were doing it [marathon training], some athletic and some not, and I thought, ‘If they could do it, there was no reason I couldn’t.’”

“Running is such an equalizer,” explains Jamie Chaloff, founder and director of Dreamfar High School Marathon. “One of the great things about the program is that kids who would never have crossed paths become good friends.  They support each other through thick and thin.”  She adds, “It’s like a family.”

Things took off from there.  While maintaining his academic course load, Westebbe, along with his teammates ran three times per week with adult mentors and coaches, and learned about proper conditioning, nutrition, gear and training, as they prepared for the Providence Marathon in the spring of 2010.

“I learned a lot about myself,” says Westebbe. “My academics got a lot better, I lost weight and gained self-confidence, and I made a lot of new friends.”

“Running in the marathon was a culmination of everything—all the training we’d done and the skills and techniques we’d learned,” said Westebbe. “I was there with all my mentors and people in the program… I felt really confident that they’d given me everything I needed to run.”

He completed the Providence Marathon and went on to captain the Dreamfar team at Newton South during his senior year, running another marathon and several half-marathons.  “Now running is an important part of my life,” he says. “It helps give me structure.”

When asked what advice he’d give young kids who are struggling, Leo says, “I believe people can achieve almost anything.  All it takes is believing you can do something and reaching out to people who can help you…Having a team of people who support you is really important.”

It’s not always easy, he says. When the going gets tough, “I think about the end.”

“When you’re going through the hardest times, keep your eyes set on your goal, the rewards.  The painful parts are something you have to do to achieve what you want—in a marathon and in life.”

Join Leo’s Team 
Leo Westebbe’s run will support the Newton Schools Foundation, the non-profit organization whose broad goal is to support the Newton Public Schools.  In today’s challenging economic environment, this public-private partnership is essential to  Newton’s ability to provide quality education and innovative programs, like the ones that helped Leo Westebbe.

“We’re thrilled and honored to have such an amazing young man representing our organization at this year’s Boston Marathon,” says NSF Co-president Julie Sall, “and we hope the community will support his journey from Hopkinton to Back Bay to support our schools.”

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Purchase Any of These Children’s Allergy Books and They Will Donate a Book to a Library of Your Choice and GIVEAWAY

Posted by on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 · 14 Comments 

food allergy picture book, The No Biggie Bunch

The first five people to leave a comment will win a book! Thank you!


Now through April 30th Parent Perks, Inc. is matching book purchases from The No Biggie Bunch series with book donations to the U.S. Public Library of the buyer’s choice. It’s easy and there are two options for purchase.

1.  Library 50-50. When customers purchase two books for their own bookshelves, the publisher will send two additional books to the U.S. Public Library of the buyer’s choice – free of charge.

The second purchasing option is the Library 100, which provides a public library with four books from The No Biggie Bunch series – two purchased by the customer for donation, plus two Parent Perks, Inc. will donate. All libraries receiving books will be given a note from Parent Perks recognizing the buyer’s donation and the buyer will be sent a note of acknowledgment from The No Biggie Bunch.

The No Biggie Bunch Series- For Kids Creatively Coping with Food Allergies

Everyday Cool with Food Allergies: Conversation Starters for Kids and Caregivers by Micheal Pistiner, MD, MMSc, edited by Heather Mehra & Kerry McManama, illustrated by Michael Kline.

This is a great introduction to food allergies and to the No Biggie Bunch series. Because kids with food allergies are so prevalent at school, this would be a great book to read for any child starting preschool or Kindergarten especially those who have no food allergies so that they understand how to keep their classmates safe and learn empathy for those who do.

Peanut-Free for Three by Heather Mehra & Kerry McManama, illustrated by Michael Kline.

This book brings up a very good point: opened jars of jelly or jam can often contain remnants of peanut butter in a household where no one has a nut allergy. Peanut butter and jelly just go together, right? And don’t most of us use the same knife when making the sandwich? I know I do! We also meet other kids in the No Biggie Bunch with other food allergies. Greta is allergic to gluten, Paige to nuts, and Eliot to eggs.

Trade-or-Treat Halloween by Heather Mehra & Kerry McManama, illustrated by Michael Kline.

Greta’s gluten allergy means that she can’t eat all the candy she collects at Halloween trick or treating but it’s no biggie because her parents have a trading system of safe treats for candy with gluten that she’s excited about.

Sports-Tastic Birthday Party by Heather Mehra & Kerry McManama, illustrated by Michael Kline.

I know that finding safe snacks can be an issue if you are the snack mom at preschool or it’s your turn to bring the snack for a sports team. In this case, Scott’s sports birthday party navigates the issue of cake that is safe for his friends with allergies.

Dairy-Free Dino-Licious Dig by Heather Mehra & Kerry McManama, illustrated by Michael Kline.

Davis is allergic to dairy so when he needs a snack, he understands that sharing snacks isn’t safe for him.


To view any picture book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

To purchase book and participate in library donation program, please go here.

I will be giving away this entire set of books. If you would like to win a book, please leave a comment with the title of the book you want. Thank you!


About Parent Perks, Inc.
Parent Perks, Inc. is a publisher of educational and entertaining children’s books. We believe when children are engaged and empowered, they can receive messages that stimulate imagination and promise transformation. Our publications embody the spirit of children and spark their social, interpersonal and intellectual innovation.

About The No Biggie Bunch
The No Biggie Bunch is a group of kids who are diverse in their food allergies, ethnicities and interests – all the things that make kids special. Kids with food allergies are still kids by definition – kids with equal need to stay safe and have fun. The No Biggie Bunch adventures provide creative solutions and responses for school, play dates, holidays, birthday parties and more. The No Biggie Bunch was created by authors Heather Mehra and Kerry McManama.

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Phases of Moon Study Guide for 4th Grade Science

Posted by on Monday, March 26, 2012 · 1 Comment 

Moon phases diagram, 4th grade science, Newtonimage from Moon Connection

My kids study phases of the moon in 4th grade and both girls seemed to have problems with getting Waxing versus Waning straight in their heads despite a week of study. It could be that Waxing Crescent Moons look pretty similar to Waning Crescent Moons. I think Oreos would help with this!

I have a fun moon project that a Dad Friend first did for my oldest when she was in preschool. Clearly, it didn’t sink in but perhaps repetition is key. I’d use the mini-oreos myself for creating a cookie based phases of the moon chart. If you want to try it, it’s below.

Some kids might need a more detailed explanation and I found this from Moon Connection.

Other kids might like a video.


Diagram Explanation

The illustration may look a little complex at first, but it’s easy to explain.

Sunlight is shown coming in from the right. The earth, of course, is at the center of the diagram. The moon is shown at 8 key stages during its revolution around the earth. The moon phase name is shown alongside the image. The dotted line from the earth to the moon represents your line of sight when looking at the moon. To help you visualize how the moon would appear at that point in the cycle, you can look at the larger moon image. This means for the waning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent phases you have to mentally turn yourself upside down. When you do this, you’ll “see” that the illuminated portion is on your left, just as you see in the large image.

One important thing to notice is that exactly one half of the moon is always illuminated by the sun. Of course that is perfectly logical, but you need to visualize it in order to understand the phases. At certain times we see both the sunlit portion and the shadowed portion — and that creates the various moon phase shapes we are all familiar with. Also note that the shadowed part of the moon is invisible to the naked eye; in the diagram above, it is only shown for clarification purposes.

So the basic explanation is that the lunar phases are created by changing angles (relative positions) of the earth, the moon and the sun, as the moon orbits the earth.

If you’d like to examine the phases of the moon more closely, via computer software, you may be interested in this moon phases calendar software.


Moon Phases Simplified

It’s probably easiest to understand the moon cycle in this order: new moon and full moon, first quarter and third quarter, and the phases in between.

As shown in the above diagram, the new moon occurs when the moon is positioned between the earth and sun. The three objects are in approximate alignment (why “approximate” is explained below). The entire illuminated portion of the moon is on the back side of the moon, the half that we cannot see.

At a full moon, the earth, moon, and sun are in approximate alignment, just as the new moon, but the moon is on the opposite side of the earth, so the entire sunlit part of the moon is facing us. The shadowed portion is entirely hidden from view.

The first quarter and third quarter moons (both often called a “half moon“), happen when the moon is at a 90 degree angle with respect to the earth and sun. So we are seeing exactly half of the moon illuminated and half in shadow.

Once you understand those four key moon phases, the phases between should be fairly easy to visualize, as the illuminated portion gradually transitions between them.

An easy way to remember and understand those “between” lunar phase names is by breaking out and defining 4 words: crescent, gibbous, waxing, and waning. The word crescent refers to the phases where the moon is less that half illuminated. The word gibbous refers to phases where the moon is more than half illuminated. Waxing essentially means “growing” or expanding in illumination, and waning means “shrinking” or decreasing in illumination.

Thus you can simply combine the two words to create the phase name, as follows:

After the new moon, the sunlit portion is increasing, but less than half, so it is waxing crescent. After the first quarter, the sunlit portion is still increasing, but now it is more than half, so it is waxing gibbous. After the full moon (maximum illumination), the light continually decreases. So the waning gibbous phase occurs next. Following the third quarter is the waning crescent, which wanes until the light is completely gone — a new moon.


The Moon’s Orbit

You may have personally observed that the moon goes through a complete moon phases cycle in about one month. That’s true, but it’s not exactly one month. The synodic period or lunation is exactly 29.5305882 days. It’s the time required for the moon to move to the same position (same phase) as seen by an observer on earth. If you were to view the moon cycling the earth from outside our solar system (the viewpoint of the stars), the time required is 27.3217 days, roughly two days less. This figure is called the sidereal period or orbital period. Why is the synodic period different from the sidereal period? The short answer is because on earth, we are viewing the moon from a moving platform: during the moon cycle, the earth has moved approximately one month along its year-long orbit around the sun, altering our angle of view with respect to the moon, and thus altering the phase. The earth’s orbital direction is such that it lengthens the period for earthbound observers.

Although the synodic and sidereal periods are exact numbers, the moon phase can’t be precisely calculated by simple division of days because the moon’s motion (orbital speed and position) is affected and perturbed by various forces of different strengths. Hence, complex equations are used to determine the exact position and phase of the moon at any given point in time.

Also, looking at the diagram (and imagining it to scale), you may have wondered why, at a new moon, the moon doesn’t block the sun, and at a full moon, why the earth doesn’t block sunlight from reaching the moon. The reason is because the moon’s orbit about the earth is about 5 degrees off from the earth-sun orbital plane.

However, at special times during the year, the earth, moon, and sun do in fact “line up”. When the moon blocks the sun or a part of it, it’s called a solar eclipse, and it can only happen during the new moon phase. When the earth casts a shadow on the moon, it’s called a lunar eclipse, and can only happen during the full moon phase. Roughly 4 to 7 eclipses happen in any given year, but most of them minor or “partial” eclipses. Major lunar or solar eclipses are relatively uncommon.


Oreo Phases of Moon Fun Project from How to HomeSchool My Child

Oreo Phases of the Moon – Homeschool Activity

Obviously, you’ll need a package of Oreos.  Each child will need 8 Oreos, a butter knife and a paper plate.  You may need more than 8 Oreos if they crack on you. You can use the mini Oreos too.

Oreo Phases of the Moon 1

Depending on the age of your child, let them use a Sharpie to label each phase on the paper plate.

Oreo Moon Phases1

Be very careful as you separate your Oreos.
I had a few crack, so I had to eat them.  Gosh!
The full moon & new moon are already done when you pull apart your Oreo.

Oreo Moon Phases 2

It may take practice, but each child needs to scrape off the filling to create 2 crescent moons, 2 half moons and 2 ginnous moons.

Oreo Phases of the Moon 2


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Sift & Mix with Boston’s Best: Joanne Chang’s Celebrity Chef Cooking Class for Kids!

Posted by on Friday, March 23, 2012 · 9 Comments 

Joanne Chang cooking class for kids,

Boston Center for Adult Education Continues Popular Celebrity Chef Kids Classes as Part of Its Bean City Kids Program!

WHAT:             The same place that brought you classes like, “Mind Your Manners” with a noted tea sommelier and etiquette expert, the Boston Center for Adult Education’s (BCAE) Bean City Kids program is continuing the popular monthly series of interactive kids’ celebrity chef classes! Previous SOLD OUT celebrity chef classes have included reality TV show stars Andy Husbands of Tremont 647, Jason Santos of Blue Inc., and Jose Duarte of Taranta. On Monday, April 23rd, 2012 from 3:30PM to 4:30PM, kids will have the opportunity to tap into their creative side, working spoon to spoon with celebrity chef Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers and Chang in the BCAE state-of-the-art-kitchen facilities.

The interactive cooking classes are hands-on, allowing kids to explore a whole new world of food appreciation while learning the tricks of the trade. They will take part in the cooking process from start to finish, building confidence and pride in the dishes they’ve created. At the end of the session the group will sit down with Chef Chang and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Conveniently scheduled after school, the classes are perfect for children six to nine years of age! The themes & items prepared vary from month to month. All classes will involve two dishes that are both prepared by Chef Chang and students. All classes are nut-free. There MUST be a parent/caregiver present during class who is responsible for each child (no more than 3 kids per adult). Child’s registration fee covers caregiver.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to sift and mix with Chef Joanne Chang!

WHEN:             Monday, April 23rd, 2012; 3:30PM-4:30PM; 1 session

COST:              $45 Members/Non-Members, $15 Materials


WHERE:           Boston Center for Adult Education122 Arlington Street Boston, MA 02116.

RSVP:              Registration is necessary. Please visit or call the Boston Center for Adult Education at 617-267-4430 to sign up. There must be a parent/ caregiver present during class time. No more than 3 students per adult.

ADDITIONAL:  Suitable for children 6-9 years of age. Completely nut-free. Children must be supervised by a parent or a caregiver.

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Hiring Build/Automation Engineer for litl (Back Bay Boston)

Posted by on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

start up back bay boston litl consumer electronics apps ILoveNewton backend back end engineer sys admin position hiring

litl is looking for an experienced Build/Automation Engineer to join our Copley Square-based development team.  litl is the company that brought you the litl webbook, a computer that lets you enjoy the web without worrying about anything else and winner of numerous national and international awards. litl is now looking to bring many consumer photography applications to market.

Skills & Requirements


About litl

We’re a small computer company with big ideas. Headquartered in Boston, we also have people in London, Brazil, the Greek Isles…you get the idea. Our 60 person team consists of software developers, hardware engineers, industrial designers, user experience experts, graphic designers, evangelists, logistics gurus, and top-notch customer support. An unlikely mix, perhaps, but what we have in common is passion for creating compelling user experiences. Our four-year pursuit has been continually fueled by enthusiasm and excitement about our diverse set of projects. The results are always simple, useful and delightful.

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Land’s Sake (Organic) Farm: Selling Shares Now!!!

Posted by on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 · 1 Comment 

 Lands Sake Organic Farm, Weston, beansradishes, land's sake farm, Weston, Newtontomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, Land Sake's Farm, organic tomatoes,

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Weston, MA Near Newton!

A season of fresh, chemical-free produce, grown right at Land’s Sake. Picked just hours before you receive it, so it tastes great and is healthy too!

2012 Shares available now!
Make Land’s Sake Farm your farm today!   781.893.1162

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Cardio Diva! Master Dance Class with Celebrity Guest Instructor Jeff Costa!

Posted by on Monday, March 19, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Jeff Costa, Cardio Diva!,,

Join Jeff Costa for an electrifying aerobic-dance workout! The perfect marriage of exercise and dance, the Cardio Diva dance workout provides a fun environment for participants to get in touch with their “inner diva” while sweating to cutting-edge pop music and dancing to free-flowing and innovative choreography. Jeff Costa is known as the founder of what Time Magazine coined the “New Burlesque movement gym culture.”

Thursday, March 29th

7 – 8:30 pm

The Sports Club LA Boston The Sports Club/LA Boston For Kids Only Valentine's Event I Love newton

The Sports Club/LA

4 Avery Street at Tremont
Boston, MA 02111

Members $15; non-members $25

There is no advance sign up. Registration will take place on the night of the event. Please bring cash or check. Please contact Alexa Malzone at 617.375.8548 or for more information.

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