Bicycling/Fascinating Rides: Schwinn Sting-Ray.
Memories. Never had one, but drooled over them in a catalog.
NPR: Swordswoman, Opera Singer, Runaway - ‘Goddess’ Chronicles A Fabled Life.
“Australian young adult author Kelly Gardiner has written her first novel for grownups about a character who seems to leave no adult passion untested.” I’ll have to give it a try, to judge whether YA to regular novel is a good path for young authors.
The Atlantic: When Schools Overlook Introverts - Why Quiet Time is Important for the Learning Proces
Important. In our world of helicopter parents and planned childhoods, I stand shocked. I could never have been the person I am, if I wasn’t able to lie with my back on the grass for hours and stare at the clouds. BY MYSELF.
The Atlantic: Callisto, a New App That Makes It Easier to Report Campus Sexual Assault.
TechDirt: Texas Police Arrest Kid For Building A Clock.
Apparently Texas high schools don’t have science teachers. [Update: See comments here for correction.] And law enforcement can’t tell the difference between a battery-operated clock and a bomb (which would have some sort of explosive material attached). “It looks like a movie bomb to me.” And we’re giving these jokers military surplus?
New Republic: Ivy League Schools Are Overrated. Send Your Kids Elsewhere.
This has sort of been true forever. Second tier, and even state universities turn out better graduates ... more adaptable ones. With the challenges to liberal arts curricula, however, I’d imagine moderns are not quite as adaptable as in previous decades. I had problems with interns even in the ‘90’s, as I’ve related before.
Pacific Standard: Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults.
“The period of nationwide moral hysteria that came to be known as the Satanic Panic began in 1980 with the publication of Michelle Remembers, a biographical account of the repressed memories of the childhood ritual abuse ...” I can stop right there. The insinuation of ‘regression hypnosis’ tells you everything you need to know. Move on.
ABC: ‘Our Gang’ Actress Jean Darling Dies at 93.
RIP, good lady.
Harpers: The Neoliberal Arts.
“This is education in the age of neoliberalism. Call it Reaganism or Thatcherism, economism or market fundamentalism, neoliberalism is an ideology that reduces all values to money values. The worth of a thing is the price of the thing. The worth of a person is the wealth of the person.” Good read. Read ‘o the day.
TechDirt: Moral Panics And How ‘The Kids These Days’ Adapt.
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.