Metafilter: Evolution is wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.
Learn of creationism, and how far people can rationalize belief. I think back to my own childhood, in which I got both versions ground into my brain. I have to say I rationalized the Biblical story as a nice narrative that was more archetypal than literal - symbolic, in other words. Had no words for that perception as a child, but I clearly remember that was the flavor of my unspoken thoughts. I preferred evolution because, at the time, it gave me dinosaurs. And I loved dinosaurs. Genesis, Adam and Eve didn’t stand a chance against Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Especially when I could walk over to Guyot Hall on the Princeton campus and see a real Tyrannosaurus skull (larger than I was, black as the hinges of Hades, teeth longer than my child’s hand).
Paris Review: Notes from the Milk Cave.
“Even if someone had told me ‘twenty minutes per breast per feeding,’ it would still have taken sitting down every two hours for forty minutes for me to understand, because just like every other aspect of pregnancy and motherhood—morning sickness, contractions—the imagined experience turned out to be laughably unlike the experience itself.”
Vox: The ‘not everyone should go to college’ argument is classist and wrong.
More useful, applicable intelligence is never a bad thing. Problem is, not all colleges are in the business of increasing intelligence.
Reason.com: Mom Jailed Because She Let Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Play in the Park Unsupervised.
Pffft. I walked by myself to kindergarten. Today, state-enforced helicopter parenting? Man, I’m so glad I grew up when I did.
SciAm: Kids on Screen-Time Diet Lost Weight and Got Better Grades.
“Parents are in a much more powerful position than they realize.” The ‘idiot box’ remains the ‘idiot box’ … or so it seems here.
Salon: Is J.K. Rowling the new George Lucas?
Hemmings Find of the Day: 1959 Chevrolet Impala.
Little old lady across the street from us had one of these. What only kids who grew up in the era can tell you — playing in the street, you got the hell out of the way of those fins as they came backing out of the driveway.
CR4: Best Engineered Toys, Past, Present and the Future.
Hypochondria in medical students and doctors: When to worry about health symptoms.
“Medical student syndrome is a well-documented phenomenon, a one- to two-year phase during which aspiring physicians think they’ve contracted whatever disease it is they’re studying.” Anyone who’s had a child become a physician knows this well. The internet allows us all to be hypochondriacs. Too many conversations these days begin with … ‘organ recitals.’ Such casual conversations about health used to be reserved for those over 60.
Guardian.UK: Harry Potter makes first appearance for seven years as he turns 34.
A weighted hors d’oeuvre? When other projects don’t match their expectations, authors tend to return to the ‘never again’ stories.
NY Times: Why the Research on Viewing Is Best Ignored.
“Anyway, yes, television affects our lives, as do microwaves, cellphones, cars, polyester, Tupperware. You can either study those effects to death — ‘Study Finds That Trying to Keep Up With Studies of TV Viewing Causes Insanity’ — or just accept that there’s a good-bad trade-off in watching television, and that you should negotiate it as best as you can, using common sense. ”
Slate: Neuman Celano library study - Educational technology worsens achievement gaps.
Flickr: Harry’s model car collection - all for sale.
If you’re of the same vintage as I, you’ll recognize at least two.
Guardian.UK: Autistic boys exposed to higher levels of hormones in womb, study finds.
“In the study, some boys exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb developed perfectly normally, while others exposed to low levels were diagnosed with autism. The results cannot indicate whether an individual will go on to develop autism or not.” What causes the hormone boosts in a subset of pregnant women? Points to some interesting hypotheses. BPA, soy have been shown through scholarly studies to have hormonal effects on amniotic fluids, or so I seem to recall.
NY Times: What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades.
“When children had drawn a letter freehand, they exhibited increased activity in three areas of the brain that are activated in adults when they read and write: the left fusiform gyrus, the inferior frontal gyrus and the posterior parietal cortex. By contrast, children who typed or traced the letter or shape showed no such effect. The activation was significantly weaker.”
BBC: Offer vegetables early and often to fussy toddlers, study says.
Yeah, but make it fresh. Don’t serve the glop in jars.
The Rumpus: Check Out These Girls ‘Write’ Now.
Title improved. “And don’t miss this year’s Girls Write Now anthology, Breaking Through, with a Foreword from NYC’s First Lady Chirlane McCray, out on June 3.”
WSJ: Lawsuit Filed Over Cooper Union Tuition.
KickStarter: Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere.
Linked all over, but you’d have to be heartless not to give it just a little more promotion.
ArtDaily: Young people could be struggling to engage with the classics.
We’re so distant in chronological time, almost all context is gone. The details of prior centuries’ culture are no longer perpetuated. Downton Abbey doesn’t count; it’s not enough.
Yahoo News: Rush Limbaugh wins children’s book award.
“Nominees are selected by the most objective method possible, sales, while the winners are supposedly picked by kids, who vote online. But executive director Robin Adelson of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, nonprofit organizations that co-founded the awards seven years ago, acknowledged Thursday that adults could easily vote and vote multiple times, a problem not uncommon for Internet competitions.” Internet voting! Why bother?
Planet Princeton: Princeton High Makes U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 Top 10 List.
“Princeton High is one of only three schools on the New Jersey Top 10 list that are open-enrollment schools. The remaining schools are charter, technical or magnet schools with a selective admission policy.” That’s my high school. Good for them!
Youtube: Robot and astronaut bid farewell on International Space Station.
Mashable: Heroic Cat Saves Child From Vicious Dog Attack.
I think much better of cats now. I bear many scars from bicycling by skulking, vicious undisciplined ‘driveway dogs’ who don’t have anything to do but contemplate premeditated attacks … and deploy them with limb-threatening accuracy. I bike near a dog in a driveway now, I turn around before I’m in ‘range.’
PS Mag: When Bad Things Are Noticed by Good Babies.
“For many of us, the thought of living in a random universe where bad things happen by chance is unacceptably frightening; pinpointing blame provides an odd sense of reassurance. If these researchers are correct, this understandable but unfortunate tendency is already starting to show itself soon after we emerge from the womb.”