FT: Artist-run art schools.
[Applause.] But. This makes it sound like existing art institutions don’t hire artists to teach. They do. But art schools are more and more overlooking the important things for mere profit. For instance, kids are graduating art school without ever being exposed to one-, two-, three- or four-point perspective. One must verify a grounding in the basics, before advanced techniques are introduced. Some schools say the old techniques are ‘limiting’ … did they limit the greats of the past? No. This idea that modern art doesn’t stand on the shoulders of the past is part of the reason we’re ‘enjoying’ more and more artistic dreck. Picasso started as a very conventional artist before beginning his experimentation. You have to understand the rule, before you can break it. Perhaps smaller class sizes, more ‘mentorship’, will cure today’s art education.
Slate: What it was like to read literature’s ‘midcentury misogynists.’
“Young women are often barred from feeling the easy pleasure that comes with reading and identifying with the classics. But we also benefit from a critical perspective on these books that many of our male peers don’t have. We don’t see ourselves in them, so we grow up challenging them.” When you realize the language of misogyny is even being perpetuated in ‘young adult’ literature, you begin to realize the magnitude of the problem.
Lucky Bums: Made In USA Toboggan.
Thought this was pretty neat, until I clicked “Tech Info.” Note the bottom bullet: “Imported.” Made in USA. Imported. Best guess: the wood is imported, but the sled is made here?
SciAm: Bacterium Reverses Autism-Like Behavior in Mice.
Of course, more research needs to be done. There’s always that little (big) caveat.
Note the mention of leaky gut syndrome, which is commonly felt not to be a ‘real’ medical diagnosis. See Wikipedia for a quick overview.
Before you turn up your nose, as I almost did, I dug a little further on reputable research sites, and found that studies for my gluten intolerance - and other autoimmune disorders - are uncovering intestinal permeability as being a legitimate testable medical condition. So it is not, apparently, voodoo. Doctors (and alternative medicine, in spite of claims) are unable to, as yet, figure out how to treat it.
I tell you, once again, if I had life to do all over again, I’d get into research on gut bugs.
Later: Another study pointing to intestinal permeability as being one of three preconditions to onset of autoimmune disease.
Guardian.UK: Black women should have the right to wear an afro.
Crazy people. Afros are great, perfectly acceptable anywhere.
Slate: Millennial narcissism - Helicopter parents are college students’ bigger problem.
“The overinvolvement of helicopter parents prevents children from learning how to grapple with disappointments on their own. If parents are navigating every minor situation for their kids, kids never learn to deal with conflict on their own. Helicopter parenting has caused these kids to crash land.” I’ve wondered about this. The ‘break’ from being parented to being independent seems to be happening later, and more traumatically, for young people in my zone of awareness. My old man told me back when I was 18 or so, “I’ll consider you a success when you don’t need me anymore.” That became a dare of sorts, one I couldn’t ignore.
ShortFormBlog: Welcome to the Millennial generation.
Guardian.UK: Adam Lanza was obsessed with mass murder.
“The report also illuminates the lengths to which Lanza went in planning the killings. GPS routes found on a device he purchased showed that he had scouted out Sandy Hook elementary school the day before he carried out the attacks.” A troubled mind left to percolate in isolation. Rarely a good outcome.
McClatchy: Researchers discover new category of boredom.
“A new study of students in Germany reveals that there are five distinct types of boredom. That’s one more than researchers had expected. What’s more, the newly discovered category - which they labeled ‘apathetic boredom’ - was quite common among high school students, according to the study, published this week in the journal Motivation and Emotion.” Learned helplessness raises its ugly head again.
Jalopnik Brazil: Try to resist these miniature classic Ferraris.
The Fully Intended: Kids grow up so fast, girls even faster.
Mollie (daughter of Euan Semple) has another fantastic post. I’m reminded of the difficult time I had as a young child. Surrounded mostly by adults before kindergarten, and trying to live up to adults’ high standards, early school experiences were an exercise in complete frustration when other children would respond illogically. The nearest comparison would be putting a Vulcan child in a human schoolroom. I literally felt like another species. Who said it first: “Suffer the little children to grow at their own pace”? Whoever did, was a wise individual. Mollie speaks to much more than this; ladies will nod their heads more than men, I suspect.
Gizmodo: Make Matches Into Mini Missiles.
Is it just me, or does it seem like Gizmodo has recently uncovered a trove of ‘60’s Boy’s Life magazines? Is there any kid on the planet who DOESN’T know how to do this? Or mixing baking soda and vinegar in airtight containers to make them pop their lids? Using waxed paper on slides? Just serves to remind me that once upon a time, a piece of chalk and a rubber ball, or even just a throwaway soda can could entertain a dozen kids for hours.
The Observer: The open spaces where we played are cruelly lost to today’s children.
“Is there a sorrier sight than playing fields that are empty on a Saturday morning?” Rickets was unheard-of when I was a child, relegated to the distant past. I suspect the modern solution will be … skylights.
The Dissolve: Hidden Mickeys—Why we look for Disney’s dark side.
Guardian.UK: Neil Gaiman novel banned by New Mexico school after mother objects.
I’ll apologize for NM. I’d like to know if Lolita is in the stacks. Or Madame Bovary.
Guardian.UK: Guys and guns, boys and toys.
I suppose it’s all apparent when one is a child; how many times have you seen a young boy holding a gun between his legs, stroking it. Related to the late-middle-age adult male penchant for purchasing powerful red sports cars. One can’t help the urge to yell, “Sorry the Viagra isn’t working!”
IMHO, all males have a base, atavistic urge that needs to be assuaged in one way or another. Attempting to ignore or eliminate it is a mistake. It is not ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, it just needs to be understood. And managed properly.
Pricenomics: Is College Worth It?
BBC News: Connecticut court to decide whether horses are ‘vicious.’
“… a species naturally inclined to do mischief and be vicious.” One would think we’re talking about meat-eating animals here, wouldn’t you? Kids are often jabby/pokey/slappy. And they bite. Perhaps they should be classified as vicious … ?
Later: Do they look vicious to you?
Youtube: Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones.
ProPublica: The $13 Test That Saved My Baby’s Life. Why Isn’t it Required For Every Newb
“As we later learned, congenital heart problems are the most common type of birth defect in the United States.” Cheap detection of a serious problem.
SF New Mexican: State police documents detail teen’s drug death at foam party.
“… they didn’t try to stop her because ‘they were not her parents and cannot tell her what to do’ …” I can’t read the whole thing on the New Mexican; paywall. Perhaps you can. Here’s another link from a local TV station.
14 years old. Choose the wrong friends, you can end up dead. I used to think ‘helicopter parenting’ was a bad thing. Now I wonder. How on earth can you raise a child safely in today’s culture? Major props, current parents.
New Republic: Stop Forcing Your Kids to Learn a Musical Instrument.
“But for the general mass of kids, the dance classes will not have had much impact on how they move. If you don’t believe me, then please visit a middle school in a wealthy town, watch children in the lunch line, and try to pick out which ones had studied ballet.” I disagree, mostly. Once a certain level of knowledge is acquired, the movements of a ballet-taking child can be easily distinguished. After two years of Latin, my basic English/grammar/vocabulary skills changed remarkably. But you would have likely had to experience both before and after to appreciate it. Whether one should ‘force’ or not, is contextual. Some kids need more … er … ‘external motivation’ than others.
Bloomberg: The Case Against Cursive.
“Students have more important things to learn, which they no doubt would be happy to describe in an e-mail.” I don’t see children learning ‘important things’, just ending up having useful things dropped from curricula. What I do see is training up and optimizing future debt-laden consumers.
Slate: Food stamp recipients by county—An interactive tool showing local SNAP data.
Of note. Try Farmington, New Mexico. A city that oil and gas employment and revenues are supposed to have ‘helped.’
NY Times: A Young Fan Dies of an Apparent Overdose at Music Festival in Australia.
Law enforcement needs to step up. DEA? Whatever is necessary to get the drug dealers’ lockhold released. Cities need to look at their devil’s bargain between pumping up empty venues with easy money and the morality of enabling easy access to drugs. No more young people should die.
After a quick Google, perhaps this is more evidence of the effects of sequestration. DEA’s active enforcement is reduced by 35%, according to that link. No wonder we’re seeing a recent uptick of overdoses.