ArtDaily: Original 1964 hand-crafted GI Joe prototype leads auction.
As opposed to this prototype, you can ask just about any male of my vintage to show you the hand positions of a GI Joe, and we’ll echo them in seconds (Like you’re holding a book in the left, index finger and thumb extended with remainder of fingers closed in right).
USA Today: Kansas law thrusts Iowa insurer into gun debate.
“The EMC Insurance Cos. insures 85 percent to 90 percent of all Kansas school districts and has refused to renew coverage for schools that permit teachers and custodians to carry concealed firearms on their campuses under the new law, which took effect July 1. It’s not a political decision, but a financial one based on the riskier climate it estimates would be created, the insurer said.” Well, well. As the Republicans say, “Leave it to the market.” Insurance co’s ain’t no fools.
Guardian.UK: Should driving the school run be banned?
Perhaps not banned, but certainly discouraged. The local elementary school has instituted a one-day-a-week ‘walking schoolbus’ where staff accompany kids dropped off a mile away at the local shopping center. Too bad parents’ fears prevent children from enjoying a good walk to school. Some of my most compelling life adventures - and adventure ideas - started on those walks.
Les Machines de l’île.
Fantastic. What a wonderful expression of imagination. See if you can get the slideshows to run; they’re balky here.
ArtDaily: Age limit slapped on racy Japanese art show at the British Museum.
“The images set to go on show in London in October showcase the Japanese erotic art form Shunga, but some are so explicit that children under the age of 16 will only be allowed to enter if accompanied by an adult. A spokeswoman for the museum said one image by the artist Hokusai would show a woman in a tryst with two octopuses.” Oh my.
The Atlantic: The Crazy Republican War on Food Stamps.
Oppose foodstamps? This has been going on since the ‘80’s, at least. Did you know orphan newborns receive foodstamps? Taking food from the mouths of babes. That’s the modern Republican way. Ensure babies are born through draconian laws on women, and then leave single mothers and orphans to fend for themselves. Oh, the Republicans will mention church support, as if everyone should belong to a church and every church gives enough free handouts and support to replace a government program. As if.
SciAm: Zero Evidence That Legos Harm Your Kids.
“Around 20 percent of reporters read the study beforehand. [snip] The bad ones just copied what everybody else was writing.” Linked for that stat. And I think that’s being generous, given articles I’ve been reading lately.
ArtDaily: Marklin battleship encounters friendly waters at Bertoia’s, sells for $64,900.
“More than a century after its production, the hand-painted beauty still had its original masts, rails, two lifeboats and multiple guns. ‘Collectors want originality and condition right along with rarity. This boat covered all three bases, which is why it easily reached the high end of its estimate range’ ...”
NPR: What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out.
Best observation in the article: “Reading leads to reading.”
BBC: White children nearly a minority, says US census.
Prepare for the right-wing freakout.
Later: What’d I tell you? Coincidence? Pah.
Daily Kos: Philadelphia launches assault on public education with school closings and layoffs.
“This is nothing less than an all-out assault on Philadelphia’s poor kids, its black kids, its teachers and other school workers, and the idea that public education should be available equally to all kids.” Benjamin Franklin weeps.
Guardian.UK: New Down’s syndrome blood test more reliable, say researchers.
“The tests, carried out at the 10-week stage on 1,005 pregnancies, were found to be more sensitive at detecting Down’s syndrome and returned fewer “false positive” results than the combined tests usually carried out between the 11th and 13th weeks. The cfDNA test returned false positive rates of 0.1% compared with 3.4% for the combined tests.”
naked capitalism: Dave Dayen on Student Loans as Medieval Indentures.
“Colonial indentures would trade years of labor for the opportunity of transportation to the New World. The indentured could not alter the terms of the contract, no matter their circumstances. One way or another, the debt would get paid.” Dave Dayen quote. Linked, because this is how my ancestor, Michiel Jansen Vreeland, got to the New World. Worked off his indenture in Rensselaerswyck in 1638. Well, mostly. Long story there.
Collectors Weekly: Documentary Will Reveal Why You Should Care About Stamps.
I used to adore stamps when I was a kid. Those and coins. Hated the taste of those little tabs you used to attach ‘em to collector books.
Mashable: 10 Scripps National Spelling Bee Words You’d Definitely Screw Up.
Guardian.UK: Facebook challenge after girl’s death leap over insults.
“Italian law forbids minors under 18 signing contracts, yet Facebook is effectively entering into a contract with minors regarding their privacy, without their parents knowing.” Worth keeping an eye on this one.
NBC News: Brain overload explains missing childhood memories.
Interesting. I have two memories from prior to 3. One, being bathed in the sink and slapping the faucet. Two, sitting in a high chair and having my mother cut out alphabet letters from a slice of cheese and feeding them to me. And that’s it.
flickr: vintage zim field guides.
These gave me an immediate flashback to my childhood.
Scientific American: A Brief History of Mental Illness In Art.
Puts me in mind of the discussions we used to have around art classes when I was a high schooler … the great question, “Can you be a great artist if you’re not seriously mentally ill?” Even in college, ‘normal’ kids were discounted by the artistic peers if they weren’t completely immersed in drug-experimentation and peer-approved deviations.
NY Times: Why Do I Teach?
“We should judge teaching not by the amount of knowledge it passes on, but by the enduring excitement it generates. Knowledge, when it comes, is a later arrival, flaring up, when the time is right, from the sparks good teachers have implanted in their students’ souls.” +1.
NY Times: Revisiting the ‘Crack Babies’ Epidemic That Was Not.
This makes me want to spit nails. It wasn’t an epidemic. But it existed — don’t try to wash it away. Until you’ve taken infant CPR, walked the floors with a newborn who won’t stop crying from suffering detox, having to remain calm when their heart monitor goes off (again), and more … I’d certainly like to give these folks a piece of my mind. Not a one of these ‘investigative reports’ ever talks with foster parents of the era.
Later: Perhaps I wasn’t clear. Many of the victims are dead from heart defects. If they made a year, they were lucky. Who speaks for them?
MSNBC: Charges dropped against Florida teen over amateur science experiment.
“The Florida teenager who was arrested two weeks ago for causing a small explosion on the campus of her high school will not be charged with a crime. Kiera Wilmot, 16, was arrested by police in Bartow, Florida, after conducting an unauthorized science experiment which lightly damaged an eight ounce plastic water bottle.” My emphasis.
Guardian.UK: The dark side of home schooling.
“The Christian home school subculture isn’t a children-first movement. It is, for all intents and purposes, an ideology-first movement. There is a massive, well-oiled machine of ideology that is churning out soldiers for the culture war.”
Pacific Standard: What Does It Take for Traumatized Kids to Thrive?
Guardian.UK: Florida student charged and expelled after ‘science experiment’ goes awry.
Seems to me the teacher needs the discipline, not the student. Hmmm?