New Scientist: Let’s ditch the idea that only home-cooked food is good for kids.
“... home-made meals based on 408 bestselling cookbook recipes for infants and young children are not always healthier than ready meals and convenience products. In fact, on many measures they seemed less healthy: they tended to have a lower vegetable variety per meal and were more likely to exceed maximum recommendations for energy and fat content.” I used to enjoy Campbell’s chicken noodle soup as a kid, eventually making my own Mrs. Grass’ (with the oil/egg). I mean, come on. Lighten up. You’d think we were talking about infant formula (ducking swiftly) ...
PS Mag: The Addicted Generation.
The Atlantic: When Student Activists Refuse to Talk to Campus Newspapers.
“Student activists at Smith College told student journalists they would be barred from a black-solidarity rally unless they vowed to ‘participate and articulate their solidarity with black students and students of color.’” One wonders what happens to these kids when they hit the real world, and it sticks a big fat finger in their eye.
Town Topics (Princeton, NJ): Jeff Lucker Looks Back on 47 Years Teaching History at PHS.
I survived Bulger and Roufberg. I never had Mr Lucker, but recall him fondly. You’d see him jogging through town at a certain time of day, you could set your watch by him. He reflects a kinder, gentler time in education. Part of that ‘culture of intelligence’ I love to talk about.
New Yorker: “My Friend Flicka” - A Book About Horses That Is a Book About First Love.
Do you mean kids don’t read this book anymore? Flicka and the two sequels were regular favorites when I was a child. One of the reasons I *had* to live in the West. Books are meaningful. Choose your mental furniture carefully!
Vox: I was really bad at sports in high school. This new study helps me understand why.
“Overall, she says the finding is a strike against the popular ‘10,000 hour rule,’ which implies anyone can become master at an activity if they were to just devote the time to it. The research in sports, and in other activities such as music, games, and education, just doesn’t back that hypothesis up.”
Createquity: The BFA’s Dance With Inequality.
“Has the arts degree become a luxury, or are artists from less advantaged backgrounds missing out on something?” There’s something I suppose only someone raised around the Ivy League could appreciate, affecting this. An arts degree is one of the few ‘socially approved’ degrees for rootless young children (mostly female) of affluence. As a result, there is often a bifurcation in arts programs - those who are ‘coasting’ until graduation, versus the working-class talents who are scraping to afford the education, milking the experience and contacts extensively in whatever free hours they have beyond the necessary work-study and other financial aid debt-slavery used to attend the best art schools. Sale ramen and bottled spaghetti sauce for four years, and worse ... to realize their dreams. To enter the workforce for a <20k paycheck, often. Yeah, realities. Meantime, the affluent coasters marry up to other bluebloods, nary a concern about debt. Or about art.
AV Club: Captain America is apparently a bad guy now.
“This may be the real Cap, but there is absolutely no chance that Spencer and artist Jesus Saiz are going to claim that he has been secretly working for the bad guys for 50 years of comics and 90 years or so of in-universe continuity.”
HyperAllergic: Kids Smash Art at Glass Museum While Adults Stand by Filming.
Speaking of parenting ... I was at Whole Foods the other day, and a gaggle of kids were rushing down the aisles knocking down boxes and packages. I said, “Whoa, whoa, WHOA”, the parents glared at me. They started to walk away, but I’d popped at that point. “It’s not up to others to do your job for you.” The husband really wanted to take a swing! I walked over to the info desk and let the WF people know about the mess. They said “It happens all the time. We’re supposed to ignore it.”
My uncle used to have this flat paddle hanging by his back door, with the words “Board of Education” printed on it, enhanced by an image of children getting paddled. [Later: Found online.] When we’d have dinner over at his house, I’d be stuck at a folding table next to that paddle. I don’t think I ever behaved so perfectly in any house as I did at my uncle’s. Perhaps an idea for stores. You don’t have to ever USE it. It just sits there as an imagination-generator.
WaPo: This is what it’s like to grow up in the age of likes, lols and longing.
Of interest. However, I snagged this pullquote from a commenter: “They’re not being destroyed or eaten or turned into zombies by technology. It’s just one more way for them to learn about the world. It’s up to parents to set limits.” My italic emphasis.
WSJ: How Bugs Bunny and ‘Kill the Wabbit’ Inspired a Generation of Opera Stars.
I’ve said it many times here. My appreciation of classical music started with Looney Tunes.
Atlas Obscura: Take a Ride on 9 of the Most Incredible Model Trains in the World.
Forget Trump for a while, look at these model trains!
YT: Rita Moreno - Berklee Commencement Address.
She raps about halfway in. She even worked in ‘perspicacity’. You go, girl.
Atlas Obscura: A Teen Says He Found a Lost Mayan City Using Old Star Maps.
Even the most enlightened have encouraged cultivating a “child’s mind” outlook. Seems it works.
NPR: The History Of Children’s Books.
“A shift toward books that confront the complexity — and deep emotional challenges — that children and adolescents face.” Getting them on the ‘victimization’ train early, eh?
Guardian.UK: Man allegedly lured Navajo girl in to van to sexually assault her but left her to die.
Horrible in every possible way.
GQ: Chasing the Wake of 14 Shootings in 10 Days.
“There will be injured, and there will be dead. We will begin with the obvious questions: Who is the shooter (age, occupation, etc.)? What is his psychological profile? Where did he get the gun? The last question will be maddening, because if answered honestly, each and every time we’ll realize that we gave it to the killer ourselves.”
Open Culture: Watch Animated Introductions to 25 Philosophers.
Even these short excerpts may be too much for some short-attention-span individuals. But worth the watching, for those who have never had any exposure to these ideas.
Vox: More American children and teens aren’t just obese. They’re morbidly obese.
Gack. Well, I’ve pointed to this book before - expensive, but very much worth the price: Schooled on Fat. You will be shocked, I think. I was. It has the honor of being the first book I’ve ever reviewed on Amazon.
NPR: Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains.
“... you had the expectation that their brain - because their body looks like an adult - that their brain should also be structurally like an adult. Well, it’s far from the truth.” Even the medical community was slow to realize children are not small adults - you cannot medicate them by difference in weight or size. Now, when it should already be obvious, we find out teens are just as different. Earns another “Duh.” Second one in a week.
Italian Ways: The De Tomaso Mangusta - the beauty and power of a fighter.
Couldn’t recall why I liked this car so much when I was a kid. Then I scrolled down. Those dual side-opening hatches in the back. Corgi toy, or Hot Wheels? Can’t recall. But cool.
The Atlantic: Why Promising Baltimore Students Don’t Escape Poverty.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. You pull a child out of a bad situation, put her/him in a good one, they’ll thrive. Boarding schools might help solve this - if there were the will to vivify them. America might end up stunned at the excellence unleashed. I saw, via his childhood diary, how my own father (ensconced in an orphanage) went from near-illegible and near-unintelligible to quicksilver, witty and erudite in a few short years after being sponsored to a private prep school (where he had to shovel out the stables, do the most menial chores to stay). Riffing off an earlier post, ‘social elites’ felt he had to ‘prove’ himself by superhuman efforts in order to ‘deserve’ education. Physical labor, excessive hours ... and catching up to grade level? Efforts that social elites could never match, even if they wanted to. And that is what is wrong with having the ‘haves’ legislate aid to the ‘have nots’. They load the dice. The fact that Dad succeeded, is amazing.
The Atlantic: Why Reading Literature in High-School English Class Should Educate the Emotions.
I never thought to describe it this way ... but reading as a teen was *all* emotion. Feeling what the characters were going through. Perhaps it exercises and expands teens. Either way, YES: “Literary study should ... provide us with many complex models for understanding and responding to others and to ourselves.”
NPR: New Mexico’s Truth - Stunning Vistas And Child Poverty?
“I do think it’s critical that we draw attention to what’s going on with our children and our families here in New Mexico, but I think there’s a way to do it that’s actionable and that’s positive, and unfortunately I think they did it in a way that was destructive and divisive.” It is an unfortunate parody, but if you cannot get attention any other way, what choice do advocates have? NM Truth seems to push early education. We’ve found NM has a cultural resistance to early education. I’ve heard the term ‘indoctrination’ bandied about by parents. Perhaps a better strategy is one of pushing parents to educate their children to a higher level than themselves - and helping them feel comfortable about it. Early education isn’t the only education.
Alternet: Why Are K-12 School Leaders Being Trained in Coercive Interrogation Techniques?
Children are *not* criminals.
[When, O when, will we reach ‘peak ignorance’, and return to sanity?]