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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

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Where we're as proud as punch to announce the birth of Gransnet. Please tell all the differently-aged persons you know about it, and do, please, tell us what you think.

The As to your Qs about asthma are now in from Dr Mike Thomas of Asthma UK. And, new in Mumsnet Learning, we've some free e-Books for your primary-school child to help them practise their reading, whatever their level.

Oh, and advance notice that, next Thursday (12 May, 1-2pm), we've got comedian Ruby Wax coming in for a webchat about life, laughter and mental health. Should be a scorcher (thread opening soon).

Now for this week's parenting news...

AV referendum: Voters in the UK get to choose today whether they want to keep the first-past-the-post system for Westminster elections or switch to the alternative vote. The referendum is being held alongside elections for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland Assembly and 279 English councils. (BBC News 05.05.11; browse our AV webchat; join the discussion on Talk)

Couch-potato kids: British children are, it seems, turning their backs on physical activity, preferring to play with their video games and mobile phones instead. Three-quarters (77%) of six to 15-year-olds have a games console and 68% have a mobile phone, according to a new survey, but 15 per cent can't swim, one in 10 hasn't learnt to ride a bike and one in four has never run a distance of 400m. (Independent 04.05.11)

MUMSNET IS BACKING THE BIG LUNCH BUNTING CHALLENGE. Find out how to get your children involved here. There are fantastic prizes to be won - and free Shaun The Sheep stickers for all kids who sign up!

Other stories in brief

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Hot threads

Quote of the week: aliceliddell takes a sisterly look at her armpit hairs in honour of Talk's new Feminism section: "Mine are gorgeous and hairy. But not big enough. I'm thinking of silicone implants. What do you think?"

Competitions

Check out the great prizes in our May competitions. Here's what you could win:

Don't forget to keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name comes out of the hat...

HELP GET ASTHMA TAKEN SERIOUSLY. Asthma UK is asking everyone affected by asthma to visit asthma.org.uk/getitoffyourchest and share their stories of how asthma affects their life. Three people die of asthma every day, yet asthma is seen as no big deal – help Asthma UK get it taken seriously. 

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Aitch's TV round-up: Made in Chelsea, Monday 9 May, E4, 10pm
What's this? The Only Way Is Essex but with more class? <falls over laughing> So here's what must have happened... Channel 4/E4 execs couldn't work out why TOWIE is a huge success while their own version, Seven Days, was decidedly not. Desperate to claw back some of those ITV2 viewers, they had a decision to make <adjusts mini-skirt and assumes Dolly Dealer pose>... higher or lower? They've gone for higher, gathering together a bunch of dim, public-school educated toffs to fight, bitch, dance and spend Daddy's money in the name of entertainment. And while they are not as immediately appealing as the TOWIE lot, it might work – as long as we can shake off the suspicion that this is exactly what the Royal Wedding reception was like...
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.

Recipe of the week: OverMyDeadBody's The best vegetable stir-fry ever
Fresh, tasty, stir-fry heaven – especially if you toss in some seasonal asparagus. Serve with a generous side order of healthy-eating kudos...
You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's all from us. We're off to grab some grannies...
Love, MNHQ

MUMSNET AND RACEONLINE: BECOME A DIGITAL CHAMPION! Become a RaceOnline digital champion and you could go to day one of the 6th National Digital Conference on 11 May. We have bagged ten places exclusively for Mumsnetters.

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