Youtube: How fast are you moving right now?
How snails can move at 19 miles per second.
NPR: A Parenting Paradox: How Kids Manage To Be ‘All Joy And No Fun’.
“We assume that children will improve our happiness. [snip] That’s why babies are called bundles of joy. But what’s so interesting is that one of the most robust findings in the social sciences — and it’s been this way for about 50 years — is that children do not improve their parents’ happiness.”
The Gun Box.
Uses a fingerprint scanner. Given the number of kids shooting kids lately, seems like an idea overdue.
Observer.UK: In Alaska’s wilds, the mystic hiker’s bus draws pilgrims to danger and death.
“The wilderness is a poor place to put your worries, your concerns, your dreams, your hopes, thoughts, wishes and happinesses. The wild simply is just that, wild. Unchanging, unforgiving, it knows nor cares not for your own life. It exists on its own, unaffected by the dreams or cares of man. It kills the unprepared and unaware.” If youths of today learn that lesson, then it’s better not to pave the bloody trail to the bus.
Gothamist: Old Cooper Union Dead - Trustees Approve $20K Tuition.
The Airship: 10 Teen Girls Who are Toppling Dystopian Regimes.
“So the kids in your life loved The Hunger Games trilogy, and you did too. After all, who doesn’t love a feisty heroine, especially one who sparks the overthrow of tyranny? But Katniss Everdeen isn’t the only teenage girl challenging despots in the far-off future.” Hopefully they use better names for secondary characters than ‘Peeta.’
Atlantic: How Much the Government Would Have to Spend to Make College Tuition-Free.
If only conditions were perfect. But alas, they never are.
GigaOm: What happens when academic research goes viral.
“Take some academic research on Facebook, add a sexy quote about how teens are abandoning the social network in droves, and combine it with a slow news period. What do you get? A small-scale media frenzy about how Facebook is dying.”
WSJ: Paglia, A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues.
“‘Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys,’ she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. ‘They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.’” A bit of cherry-picking over her various statements; stick to what Paglia says, rather than the one-liner ‘analyses’.
Etsy/Armstreet: Medieval/Renaissance/Fantasy/Elven dresses+ costumes.
Fun. Probably too late for Xmas gifts.
ArtDaily: And Away We Go! Bonhams auction filled with transportation toys in January.
San Fran. Wish I could go see the displays.
Slate: College papers - Students hate writing them. Professors hate grading them.
“Students hate writing them so much that they buy, borrow, or steal them instead. Plagiarism is now so commonplace that if we flunked every kid who did it, we’d have a worse attrition rate than a MOOC. And on those rare occasions undergrads do deign to compose their own essays, said exegetic masterpieces usually take them all of half an hour at 4 a.m. to write, and consist accordingly of ‘arguments’ that are at best tangentially related to the coursework, font-manipulated to meet the minimum required page-count.” For subjects I hated, the essays were a chore. For subjects I adored, it was a joy to be able to stretch my textual wings a bit. I’d hate to lose them all.
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.