NY Times: Starving Public Education.
Haven’t had a chance to read through, but they sound like first-person adoptee stories.
Literary Hub: The Beautiful, Proto-Feminist Snark of Jane Austen’s Juvenilia.
For any Austen fan. Perhaps things haven’t changed so much after all.
Dazed: Congratulations millennials, we’re totally fucked.
Mashable: ‘Nina’ distributor responds to biopic scandal, defends star Zoe Saldana.
Racism. Why do I say that? When we took care of orphans, a black family would never adopt a child blacker than the lightest adoptive parent skin color. Lighter, yes. Blacker, no. We took care of too many brilliant little kids who would never be adopted. Black newborns are smarter sooner — smile sooner, make eye contact sooner. What our culture does to all that potential, I just can’t bear.
SciAm: Can Kids Learn More When They Exercise During Lessons?
NewEconomicPersp: A Clinton Presidency has been/would be a disaster for Black Communities.
“The problem with Clinton’s claims, however, is that she betrayed children as First Lady. Under the guise of welfare reform, the Clinton administration worked with Republicans to gut social services, ignoring their own senior officials’ warnings that, by doing so, they would be plunging over a million children into poverty.” One of the major reasons I don’t like Hillary. I remember what it was like on the receiving end of this - I’d thought Reagan was bad enough. Clinton pulled even more of the rug out - and he was supposed to be on our side! Many of our newborn orphans suffered as a result of this. As the Republicans roll out the ‘edge cases’, the children get overlooked. The Clintons were supposed to be smart. Look what they compromised with: never forget “Don’t feed the alligators.”
New Yorker: Do Teens Read Seriously Anymore?
“Was it better once? I know perfectly well that there was never a Golden Age of Teen Reading.” Omigod, when I discovered Sci-Fi in my teenage years? You couldn’t GET me out of a book. Foundation Trilogy. Ringworld. More. So many more.
I suspect this has more to do with the paucity of children’s imaginations, than it does about reading, per se. In a visual world, why would they bother to create a compelling mental architecture of what they’re reading? They can always turn to Disney and Netflix. This is *exactly* why I was so slow to watch the LotR movies. The characters in my imagination were so beloved, I couldn’t bear to overwrite them with Hollywood equivalents. I’ve been able to differentiate the characters, happily. When I crack a book, I see my mind’s creations. When I view a screen, I let LotR take me to their very different destination.
Mashable: ‘Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2’ is cute ‘Call of Duty’ for kids.
“Baby’s first shooter” is a thing now? End of the friggin’ world. Just hearing that statement makes me want to sledgehammer my portable devices.
Pacific Standard: What Does Having Grit Really Get You?
Piffle. The study must have been structured badly. Grit is the only thing that allowed me to survive.
New Republic: The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens.
“I picked joining Tumblr and staying active on here because: 1. I’m not attractive enough to be a Youtuber 2. Not popular enough for twitter 3. Facebook is dumb.” I find Tumblr better and more vital than Instagram or Youtube. Their recommendation engine spanks every other one I’ve ever experienced. You don’t get the interaction of Facebook, but that’s not the point. Reposting stuff you like is the point. Your beliefs, couched in photographs and graphics. Text is available, but not as common as pix.
Guardian.UK: Ronda Rousey - I thought ‘about killing myself’ after Holly Holm knockout.
“I need to have his babies. I need to stay alive.” You’ve GOT to be kidding. Well, it was on Ellen. I should give her cred for playing to her audience.
Italian Ways/Antonio Mancini - Portraits of hardworking children.
Is it just me, or do they all have soulless, empty eyes?
Ed. note: Italian Ways left the ‘d’ off ‘hardworking’, not I. I’ve replaced it, but not soon enough for Twitter to catch the correction.
Mashable: Andrew Lincoln on his ‘Love Actually’ character - ‘He is a stalker.’
Hmmm. He’s not following her outside of normal social interactions. The video is not an attempt at an upskirt, for goodness sake. He’s not stealing things she leaves on tables, or snitching stuff she leaves at her boyfriend’s house. He keeps making her experiences with her boyfriend/husband amazing, only because he wants to see her happy. I don’t think that is ‘stalker’ territory. I think that’s “mooning over a girl you’re briefly obsessed with.” He steps out of propriety with the cards at the end, but it’s his final gesture before he moves on.
This also reinforces, subtly, that men are the majority of stalkers. I was never a ‘looker’. But I had male friends who were constantly pursued by girls. These young ladies would make friends of the sisters so they could rummage around the guys’ stuff in their own house. Does that count as stalking? If it’s earlier than 13 years of age? Older? Does it matter? Creepier than Love Actually, no?
Another needless kneejerk that harms a reasonably-enjoyable movie. It’s a fantasy.
Later: You know, in rethinking, the actor does matter. Imagine the role if it had been Colin Frissell (Kris Marshall) ... personality context matters, too.
NPR: What Kids Need From Grown-Ups (But Aren’t Getting).
“I think there’s a little bit of a repair process that we need to engage in. Because if you’ve got a kid who’s used to going to a million lessons and only uses toys that have one way of using them and then, suddenly, you put them in a room with a bunch of boxes and blocks and say, ‘Have fun!’, the kid’s gonna say, ‘Are you kidding me? What?!’” Sad. I hear my old man, walking through the living room, deftly snapping off the television on a Saturday morning, saying “No more. Get outside.” And we’d disappear until dinnertime.
Back to the article, I believe I see this lack of flexibility of mind, paucity of imagination, deficit of curiousity in the youngest journalists appearing online. So cocksure, missing so much in their surety of the narrow education and restricted experience in their lives.
Dazed: Meet Hijarbie, the world’s first hijab-wearing Barbie.
“I’m filling a gap and hoping to create a positive awareness for the Muslim girl [snip] I want her to be inspired. This is about creating an alternative and having toys that look like you, which, at the end of the day, leads to better self-esteem.”
Dazed: Body-positive Barbie lands the cover of TIME magazine.
Since she’s dominating the news cycle, I have to comment. The body shape is disturbing. Short body, crazy long legs. I feel her feet should be just below her knees. I am expecting to hear in stores, “Mommy, mommy - I want a FAT Barbie.” And enjoy the response.
MessyNessyChic: Lilli, the High-end German Call Girl who became America’s Iconic Barbie Doll.
OMFG. I can’t stop laughing.
WaPo: Researchers have found a major problem with Disney movies.
But ... if the movie’s called “Aladdin”, wouldn’t you expect male dialog? I understand the premise, something’s not quite right here. They need to broaden out and compare to chick flicks outside of animation. Notting Hill is mostly Hugh Grant dialog. Sleepless in Seattle, probably 50/50, but leaning towards male. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. An Affair to Remember. Be fair.
I suspect these researchers are parents of kids who’ve been allowed to play Frozen on repeat for the last year. “Disney is the GREAT SATAN!”
WaPo: Kids would rather play Xbox than make money shoveling. It’s pitiful.
“A couple of teens going door to door in New Jersey last year were stopped by police for operating without a license, just like the summertime lemonade-stand crackdown. Politicians actually debated whether kids should have to get a $450 business license to shovel Old Lady Johnson’s walk down the street before passing a bill giving them special permission to shovel. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed it into law last week, just in time for the snow.” My incredulous italics. Via Medley on FB.
The Millions: Worlds Upon Worlds - On Growing Up Book-Rich.
Lovely opening: “I grew up in a middle-class family in rural upstate New York. We had a mortgage and a car loan, and my brother and I wore hand-me-downs. It was a nice, ordinary American upbringing: quietly blessed, reassuringly average, except for one thing: in books, I have always been rich.”
Guardian.UK: Obama declares Flint water emergency as Sanders blames Michigan governor.
New Yorker: Constitution of the United States, Edited by the College Sensitivity Committee.
AJ America: Newborns Addicted To Opioids On The Rise.
What the mother takes, the baby gets high on. I walked the floors with ‘crack babies’, I know it to be true. Even antidepressants, supposedly ‘safe’, give you odd behaviors in newborns.
FastCo: Federal Law Now Says Kids Can Walk To School Alone.
“Ironically, kids walking to school today are actually very safe — safer than their parents were. The crime level is back to what it was in 1963.” Jeebus, a bit of common sense actually passed. HOORAY FOR KIDS.