Bicycling: Netherlands Princess Rides Her Bike Back to School.
Dazed: Kids are studying for jobs that will soon be done by robots.
“The Foundation for Young Australians believes that 60 per cent of the country’s students are training for jobs that soon will not exist. As a consequence, the organisation wants to see school curriculums totally overhauled in order to prevent sending out a load of kids into the world without suitable skillsets.” Finally, someone says it. Another reason a good liberal arts degree is invaluable ... the Swiss Army Knife of degrees.
Guardian.UK: Boy trips in museum and punches hole through painting.
Not that it was a factor, but since when do fine art museums allow drinks to be carried around (other than expensive patron dinners)?
Lifehacker: How to Deal with a Heavy Backpack (kids, school).
If you’re carrying that much weight, you need a waistbelt. Not just a thin little strap, but padded hip belt. Osprey makes great ones, with stays in the back and ventilation. Not cheap, but you’re already spending tons on your kids anyway. Even some small Jansports have half-decent belts. Weight belongs on the hips, not on the shoulders. A sternum strap is to keep the shoulder straps from shifting outwards, not to ‘manage more weight’.
c|net: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ inspires kid to speak for first time.
I think the appropriate response is ... “WE are Groot.”
Guardian.UK: There are 45 fracked wells within 2 miles of my daughter’s school.
“Many students at the school suffer from asthma and serious, debilitating illnesses. What is causing this spike in health problems in normally healthy children? Fracking. It exposes our children to unsafe levels of air toxins that can cause a broad variety of serious health complications, including asthma. Students at my daughter’s schools were often forced to stay inside for weeks at a time because of the noxious fumes from the fracking sites. They think it’s strange when people don’t get nosebleeds every day.” Let me reiterate this - you cannot broadcast smells, so noone really understands this fact. Driving through southern NM and the Fort Stockton area of Texas, the stench of fracking is incredible, brain-pounding. Even with your car on a/c and recirculate, you cannot ban it from the passenger capsule. There’s no question in my mind it’s unhealthy. #endtodaysfrackingrant
Aeon: We are sacrificing the right to walk.
You know, even as a kid, I noticed the dearth of sidewalks west of the Mississippi. Cars rule the long ribbons of highway, and the grids of town.
TG’s Political Wire: Birthright Citizenship Becomes an Issue for Republicans.
The Atlantic: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus.
“During the 2014–15 school year, for instance, the deans and department chairs at the 10 University of California system schools were presented by administrators at faculty leader-training sessions with examples of microaggressions. The list of offensive statements included: ‘America is the land of opportunity’ and ‘I believe the most qualified person should get the job.’” Sounds psychotic.
Later: There’s even a website for microaggressions; what one might playfully call a ‘niggardly* view of microaggression’. Then again, even Christopher Hitchens dropped the term ‘niggardly’ because of widespread misunderstanding of the term. It interfered with comprehension by raising too many hackles - even though it was used legitimately.
I have to laugh, Wikipedia on ‘microaggression theory’: Psychologist and Columbia University professor Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.” I assume that word was pointedly chosen? The term ‘denigrating’ is, of course, built upon ‘niger’, Latin for ‘blacken’. Followup on how others perceive ‘denigrate’ in StackExchange.
I have a difficult time disassociating intent from aggression. Every definition I come across implies intentional harm of another. Yet microaggression is trying to divorce itself from intent, in order to throw a wider net. If we are all microaggressors, as current theory seems to indicate ... do we all just shut up? Institutionalized victimhood and guilt, at the same time? The history that we read, the classical canon, everything is filled with what would be termed ‘microaggressions’ today. Do we close down schools? Do we stop reading the past? All this seems to be doing is guaranteeing ‘microaggression detectives’ employment into perpetuity. Realistic, pragmatic bars must be set. Because someone says something, doesn’t confirm that they mean it. Four years of liberal arts school used to inoculate against this kind of thing, once upon a time.
When my stuttering returns, as it occasionally does, microaggression (as I understand it) occurs. People get impatient and put words in my mouth, I can see some think ‘handicapped’ or ‘mentally challenged’, etc. etc. There were times in the past where I found those microaggressions depressing. I don’t anymore, because without direct experience in being a stutterer, a non-stutterer will never understand the malady. Never. So microaggression for me, is something I will have to live with. And for the most part, I just ignore it. Because someone behaves ‘microaggressively’, it doesn’t preclude empathy. So when my stutter returns, I can be frustrated with myself, but I’m almost never offended by others. I do my best to help them help me communicate clearly. Basically, I grew up and refused the self-definition of ‘victim’ that so many others seem to want to press around my ears. I’m a survivor, and damned proud of it.
*‘Niggard’ is from Old Norse, meaning ‘excessively concerned over small matters’, and has no racial or color connotations, though many find it offensive because it sounds similar to the common epithet. Given that, be careful who’s around when you’re trying to restore data on a dying drive, muttering ‘miserable bits’ under your breath.
FiveThirtyEight: Your Genes Won’t Make You Rich.
Trust fund babies über alles. Even adopted ones.
PS Mag: Read—Don’t Just Talk—to Your Kids.
LRB: Owen Bennett-Jones reviews ‘‘We Love Death as You Love Life’.
Guardian.UK: Picky eaters may grow into depressed and anxious kids, research suggests.
“To pathologize something that’s not pathological.” Still, I don’t know how far “If you eat your broccoli, you’ll be happier when your older” will take a parent.
High Speed YoYo, reviews.
Because ... YoYo. What other excuse do I need?
PublishersWeekly: What Publishers Read at Home with Kids.
I must be old.
nakedcap: How Big Corporations Are Starving Public Schools of Billions of Dollars.
For shame. And many of these companies are supposedly producing educational software and systems. A vicious circle; schools can’t afford to upgrade and buy more product because companies are loopholing taxes.
Guardian.UK: Does the age of an author matter when writing YA fiction?
“One thing we’ve learned from Yalc, is that writers of all ages - young and old – write exactly the kind of fiction that YAs want to read, and long may it continue!” Who comes up with story ideas like this? Ageism!?! How old was Dr. Seuss?
Register.UK: New study into lack of women in Tech: It’s NOT the men’s fault.
“Really it happens a lot earlier than college.” You have to look at the whole timeline for young lives. Right down to the pink baby blankets.
Atlantic: America Is Even Less Socially Mobile Than Economists Thought.
“... in the U.S., roughly half of parental income advantages are passed onto the next generation in the form of higher earnings. This proportion increases for the wealthier: For people whose parents are between the 50th and 90th percentiles of earners, about two-thirds of this parental edge is perpetuated. (It’s also worth noting that two-thirds of 90th-percentile earnings is substantially more money than two-thirds of 50th-percentile earnings.)”
Guardian.UK: Bison ruins woman’s selfie at Yellowstone in fifth run-in of the season.
You know, I keep seeing youngsters on Tumblr linking images of lions and tigers hugging humans. I fear they believe that is humanity’s natural relationship with predators.
WaPo: What happens when fat kids don’t know they’re fat anymore.
“Adolescents, for instance, are 29 percent less likely to correctly perceive themselves as being overweight than they were almost twenty years ago, according to the study’s findings. And the drop-off is the most pronounced among younger children — overweight 12-year-olds are almost 40 percent less likely to understand that they are overweight today.” Baby fat can be persistent. I’d be cautious about ages. I was a stocky youngster who leaned out like a stringbean in high school ... but ‘stocky’ today has no relation to the BMI of some kids I see waddling about. Fat in my childhood did not resemble today’s pint-sized Michelin Men. What we called ‘stocky’ in the day wouldn’t even register on the scale of today’s BMIs. After 16, if the first part of you that enters a door is your bellybutton and not your nose, there’s likely a problem. Keeping kids trapped in houses and schools, under surveillance, is the most direct cause I can think of.
The New York Review of Books: The Key to Rereading by Tim Parks.
“But when a key—for example, a new poem, or a new species of animal—is first met, there is no lock yet ready for such a key. Or to be precise, the key is not even a key since it does not open anything yet. It is a potential key. However, the encounter between the brain and this potential key triggers the making of a lock. The next time we meet or perceive the object/key it will open the lock prepared for it in the brain.” Oh, that’s a lovely way of thinking about it. Certain books meant nothing in high school - one had to have life experience before appreciation allowed the key-turn.
Public Books: Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking.
“Critical thinking, in either context — as a practical skill or as a rugged comportment toward the ineffable — would seem to function as a second-order fantasy, hovering above the very thing that we cannot come to terms with in a satisfying way: the role of liberal arts in higher education.” Add curiousity in the mix, and you’ve got a potent combination. IMHO.
Guardian.UK: Two coyote attacks on young children prompt California to warn residents.
“Maybe just a handful of coyotes are acting a little aggressive, but in general they do a huge amount of service for the ecosystem. They’re great at rodent control.” Yes indeed. But don’t leave small children unattended in coyote areas - they’re as easy to snatch as household pets. And I’ve repeatedly posted here about what happens when the local coyote pack starts frequenting the area. The “Missing Pet” signs blossom like forsythia in the springtime. The pack can bring down pit bulls and rotts with relative ease.
Guillows is still around! Get a model plane kit, and relive your youth.
This was buried in a comment, supplied by frequent commenter Emmett [THANKS] ... Guillows is still around, still making those great model airplane kits. Perfect summer occupation.
Takes me straight back to youth. I used to have a rudimentary two-buck rubber band model that would do two perfect loops and land at my feet. Best plane I ever had.