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.
The Dissolve: Hidden Mickeys—Why we look for Disney’s dark side.
Guardian.UK: Neil Gaiman novel banned by New Mexico school after mother objects.
I’ll apologize for NM. I’d like to know if Lolita is in the stacks. Or Madame Bovary.
Guardian.UK: Guys and guns, boys and toys.
I suppose it’s all apparent when one is a child; how many times have you seen a young boy holding a gun between his legs, stroking it. Related to the late-middle-age adult male penchant for purchasing powerful red sports cars. One can’t help the urge to yell, “Sorry the Viagra isn’t working!”
IMHO, all males have a base, atavistic urge that needs to be assuaged in one way or another. Attempting to ignore or eliminate it is a mistake. It is not ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, it just needs to be understood. And managed properly.
Pricenomics: Is College Worth It?
BBC News: Connecticut court to decide whether horses are ‘vicious.’
“… a species naturally inclined to do mischief and be vicious.” One would think we’re talking about meat-eating animals here, wouldn’t you? Kids are often jabby/pokey/slappy. And they bite. Perhaps they should be classified as vicious … ?
Later: Do they look vicious to you?
Youtube: Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones.
ProPublica: The $13 Test That Saved My Baby’s Life. Why Isn’t it Required For Every Newb
“As we later learned, congenital heart problems are the most common type of birth defect in the United States.” Cheap detection of a serious problem.
SF New Mexican: State police documents detail teen’s drug death at foam party.
“… they didn’t try to stop her because ‘they were not her parents and cannot tell her what to do’ …” I can’t read the whole thing on the New Mexican; paywall. Perhaps you can. Here’s another link from a local TV station.
14 years old. Choose the wrong friends, you can end up dead. I used to think ‘helicopter parenting’ was a bad thing. Now I wonder. How on earth can you raise a child safely in today’s culture? Major props, current parents.
New Republic: Stop Forcing Your Kids to Learn a Musical Instrument.
“But for the general mass of kids, the dance classes will not have had much impact on how they move. If you don’t believe me, then please visit a middle school in a wealthy town, watch children in the lunch line, and try to pick out which ones had studied ballet.” I disagree, mostly. Once a certain level of knowledge is acquired, the movements of a ballet-taking child can be easily distinguished. After two years of Latin, my basic English/grammar/vocabulary skills changed remarkably. But you would have likely had to experience both before and after to appreciate it. Whether one should ‘force’ or not, is contextual. Some kids need more … er … ‘external motivation’ than others.
Bloomberg: The Case Against Cursive.
“Students have more important things to learn, which they no doubt would be happy to describe in an e-mail.” I don’t see children learning ‘important things’, just ending up having useful things dropped from curricula. What I do see is training up and optimizing future debt-laden consumers.
Slate: Food stamp recipients by county—An interactive tool showing local SNAP data.
Of note. Try Farmington, New Mexico. A city that oil and gas employment and revenues are supposed to have ‘helped.’
NY Times: A Young Fan Dies of an Apparent Overdose at Music Festival in Australia.
Law enforcement needs to step up. DEA? Whatever is necessary to get the drug dealers’ lockhold released. Cities need to look at their devil’s bargain between pumping up empty venues with easy money and the morality of enabling easy access to drugs. No more young people should die.
After a quick Google, perhaps this is more evidence of the effects of sequestration. DEA’s active enforcement is reduced by 35%, according to that link. No wonder we’re seeing a recent uptick of overdoses.
Bloomberg: Crying Kids on Planes Spawn Child-Free Zones, Flight Nannies.
EARS, you idiots. Most parents - and I’d see this frequently when travelling - will pop gum in their own mouths to encourage their own ears to balance. Babies/toddlers have no such knowledge - and their ear anatomy is much smaller, more likely constricted from mucus. Their ignorant parents just sit by and flap their hands while the kids scream in excruciating pain. Look it up on Google, ‘authorities’ will recommend pain-killers for the kids, gum and alcohol for the adults. Crazy. GET THEM TO SWALLOW. Pacifiers. Bottles. Keep at it. Takeoff and landing are the ‘danger’ periods. Handle those well, you should have a decent flight.
TG’s Political Wire: Limbaugh’s Bestseller.
About those parenting pictures ...
Seattle PI: Cherokee girl’s case goes to Okla. Supreme Court.
I’ve only watched this in bits and bytes, so I may not be commenting from definitive info. But I can comment on what I know from being involved with adoptions. What weirds me out about this is the fact that there’s any case here at all. In NJ, you can’t put a child up for adoption without getting the father’s consent (or consent of father’s parents or guardian if underage). If the father (‘absent’ or not) - or even members of the father’s family - wanted custody of the child, they’d get it. The natural parents had leverage, the leverage of blood, that’s incontestable. Adoptive parents come second, even if affluent and influential. If the father signed away his rights, he hasn’t a hoot’s chance in hell of getting that child back.
Why was the father not involved in the original adoption? Why did he have to ‘win custody’ when she was 2? Why make this poor child a legal football? Sounds like someone wants to open the tap to Native American child adoption by Caucasians, through an ‘edge case.’ This particular edge case is a child … one that will have to live with the fallout. That’s a hefty burden to bear, for those who have eyes to see, ears to hear. Used as a legal precedent, a great number of hefty burdens will appear.
10,000 words: NM State, Auburn Step Up Convergence Journalism Digs and Curriculum.
“Just last week, New Mexico State University (NMSU) opened a $100,000 Digital Journalism Center with a soundproof audio booth, a studio students can use to produce podcasts (with a green screen!) and a Mac Lab to better accommodate the needs of up-and-coming multimedia student journalists.” Ahem. Podcasts, with a green screen? Come again? I think the writer means ‘broadcasts’.
Metafilter: On Saturday Mornings in 1967.
I think I recall “Six Bears and a Clown.” Not sure.
Guardian.UK: Why are American universities shying away from the classics.
“For American college students, 1990 appears to be a historical cliff beyond which it is rumored some books were once written, though no one is quite sure what. Why have US colleges decided that the best way to introduce their students to higher learning is through comic books, lite lit, and memoirs?” Good lord. Someone needs to start an online course curriculum to fill the gap.
Smithsonian/Innovations: 10 Things We’ve Learned About Learning.
Worthy. Got kids? Read this.
Smithsonian: People Feel Sorrier for Battered Puppies Than Adult Humans.
Age is merely a factor. People will keep their doggies on the sidewalk at crosswalks, yet shove child-filled strollers and carriages into the traffic lanes while waiting for the ‘walk’ signal at stoplights.
NY Times: Cosmo Allegretti, ‘Captain Kangaroo’ Actor and Puppeteer, Dies at 86.
“‘You look too tough for a children’s show. You’ll scare the kids.” Never. Adults still continue to misjudge children’s capacities. RIP, Mr Allegretti.
Teaches a valuable lesson: Even a lemonade stand needs an angel investor ($20.00 up front, before any income). Kid better have a *great* pitch[er].
LA Times: Diaper crisis among poor families endangers children, study finds.
“Parents in need can get subsidized healthcare through Medicaid, subsidized rent through a public housing agency and subsidized food through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. But there are few places to turn when they need help paying for diapers.”