NPR: Video Game Violence— Why Do We Like It, And What’s It Doing To Us?
“There are two things that force us to pay attention. [snip] One is violence; the other is sex.” God help us if that’s true.
NY Times: Studying the Effects of Playing Violent Video Games.
What this points out is, there are some very badly targeted studies being done. I would start with, “Do some young children accept digital experiences as being equivalent to real experiences.”
WaPo: A warning to college profs from a high school teacher.
“My students did well on those questions because we practiced bad writing. My teaching was not evaluated on the basis of how well my students did, but I felt I had a responsibility to prepare them for the examination in a way that could result in their obtaining college credit. I would like to believe that I prepared them to think more critically and to present cogent arguments, but I could not simultaneously prepare them to do well on that portion of the test and teach them to write in a fashion that would properly serve them at higher levels of education.” An important read, if you’re going to be dealing with current graduates. Via Medley on Twitter.
SciAm: Owning Teddy Bears Does Not Reflect Immaturity.
Another of Scientific American’s unbearably incisive scientific articles.
NY Times: Hospital Gives Students a View of Gun Violence.
“In a darkened classroom, 15 eighth graders gasped as a photograph appeared on the screen in front of them. It showed a dead man whose jaw had been destroyed by a shotgun blast, leaving the lower half of his face a shapeless, bloody mess. Next came a picture of the bullet-perforated legs of someone who had been shot with an AK-47 assault rifle, and then one of the bloated abdomen of a gunshot victim with internal injuries so grievous that the patient had to be fitted with a colostomy bag to replace intestines that can no longer function normally.” Giving kids the information they need to make better decisions is *always* a good idea.
WSJ: The New Script for Teaching Handwriting Is No Script at All.
“At a growing number of schools, young students are no longer tracing curving L’s and arching D’s with pencil and paper, no longer pausing at the end of words to dot an i or cross a t. The common core state standards, a set of math and English goals agreed upon by 45 states and now being implemented, sends cursive the way of the quill pen, while requiring instead that students be proficient in keyboarding by fourth grade.” Heralding the death of the venerated Post-It?
NBC News: Etch A Sketch inventor dies at 86.
Thanks Mr. Cassagnes for the hours and hours of quiet entertainment.
New Scientist: Abnormal gut bacteria linked to severe malnutrition.
“Trehan’s team found that the children were significantly less likely to become malnourished once the dietary treatment had ended if they were given a course of antibiotics along with the diet.” Antibiotics kill gut bacteria, without regard for type or benefit. I’d try the faecal transplant, personally.
EuroGamer.net: Shooters—How Video Games Fund Arms Manufacturers.
“But today we know that a portion of every dollar spent on triple-A military-themed video games flows into the pockets of small arms manufacturers, either directly through licence payments, or indirectly through advertising. These beneficiaries include Barrett in the US and FN in Belgium. They may include other controversial arms dealers, such as Israel Weapon Industries, creator of the TAR-21, which appears in Call of Duty. Such deals politicise video games in tangible yet hidden ways. Consumers have, for the past few years, unwittingly funded arms companies that often have their own military agendas.” When someone tells you video games are benign, send them this article.
DesignWeek: Daniel Weil redesigns the baby-feeding bottle.
Looks like it has a pressure-relieving mechanism in the nipple; new parents have to spend a lot of time trying to learn how not to screw the nipple too tight on conventional bottles. Too tight - no flow, mad kid.
SF New Mexican: Senate bill would allow one armed employee at each N.M. school.
“Would a person with a gun go into a school not knowing if someone inside has one, too?” That is the question. Columbine had an armed deputy; however, he was outside the building. If he had been inside, one can’t help wondering about the efficacy of a pistol-wielding deputy against shotguns, IEDs and other weaponry.
SF New Mexican: New Mexico graduation rate jumps after exit exam reprieve.
“The Albuquerque Journal reported that a bill passed and signed in spring 2011 gave students a one-year reprieve from a difficult exit test. The class of 2011 was required to pass the state High School Competency Exam, while the class of 2012 had no such requirement because of the reprieve.” Aaah … you political observers, remember this in 2016, if Martinez does indeed become Jeb Bush’s choice for VP. Bookmark it to jab your memory back to accuracy.
SF New Mexican: Martinez - NM high school grad rate up 7 points.
Unmentioned is the fact that Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish put a lot of effort into school initiatives before Martinez’ election in ‘10. She deserves at least half the credit, don’t you think?
BBC: Most parents ‘lie to their children.’
“Most parents tell lies to their children as a tactic to change their behaviour, suggests a study of families in the United States and China. The most frequent example was parents threatening to leave children alone in public unless they behaved.” Didn’t work with me. I loved being left alone.
NotCot: Making of the Audi Quattro slot cars.
If you liked slot cars as a kid, you’ll love this. Scroll to the bottom; in-car video! Barf warning.
McClatchy: We’re in contact with uncontrolled chemicals.
WaPo: Nothing to kid about.
In politics, children and their welfare are the ‘nuclear option.’ Tie kids to any issue, you bring immediate eyeballs and prejudgment. [That’s not to say that Sandy Hook and guns are not inextricably entwined with kids and their welfare; I’m talking more generally, prior to SH.]
Boston Review: Forget Harry Potter.
“Why do some books written for children draw adult readers while others don’t? Which ones deserve the attention of adults? I’ve tried to read (as I entertained the possibility of writing one) a large number of children’s books and am usually stopped by the simplifications of language, life, and fictional possibility that ‘YA’ writers are required, or feel compelled, to adhere to. I grew almost instantly bored with the Harry Potter series, but Louis Sachar’s Holes, beloved by young readers, is masterful—a grownup could love it for the grand chutzpah of its plot machinery and be as moved as young readers are by its hero’s dilemmas and bravery.” One has to admit, HP was a rough slog to stay awake in some of the books, esp. towards the end.
NY Times: Newtown School Massacre Families Organize on Gun Violence.
“We’re looking for dialogue. We’re looking for ideas. We’re looking for a national discussion to take place. We don’t want to just come out and say this is what we stand for, this is what we believe in. We want to encourage a national discussion on this. Do something different. When you look at what’s been done in the past, it hasn’t gotten us very far. We have to do something different.”
NY Times: Makers of Violent Video Games Marshal Support to Fend Off Regulation.
Alas, our culture celebrates violence in entertainment, thought and deed. Video games are only one symptom out of many.
emanuel rufo: wooden cars.
Wood, non-toxic classic cars. Brilliant.
Reuters: One student critically wounded in California school shooting.
“The lone suspect, a 16-year-old male student, was arrested after a teacher and a school administrator who confronted him persuaded the boy to put his gun down.” Words vs. shotgun, and words won? I don’t think any pundit or media source is prepared to spin that.