A band you've probably heard of notes their tour income and expenses. Pretty interesting stuff.
Finance. Make sure your kids go into finance.
J, Robot sends along A Yeshiva Graduate Fights for Secular Studies in Hasidic Education. Basically Naftuli Moster went to college and was shocked to discover how pathetic his secular education had been. He's fighting for public schools that offer a Hasidic education to be held accountable for providing a secular education.
(This part is kind of funny:
Today, instead of black trousers, a white shirt and a broad, black hat, Mr. Moster wears V-neck sweaters and plaid button-down shirts. He still considers himself "very Jewish," but that's not how many ultra-Orthodox Jews see him. Once, he said, on the subway, a Hasidic mother instructed her son to "stop looking at the goy" -- the non-Jew. She was talking about Mr. Moster.
...Either it was the V-neck sweater, or maybe it was because Mr. Moster looks like a blond Swede in a yarmulke.)
Ferguson (lack of) indictment to be announced today?
1. What your choice of drink says about you. List your drink of choice (mostly liquor and mixed drinks) in the comments before clicking through to see how you're being judged.
2. Boring premise but jesus christ, these funniest text messages are actually the funniest. Avocado? (Via Tia elsewhere)
Of all our homeschooling practices, writing instruction is where I've differed most from the modern educational standard. As I understand it, in a standard elementary school children are expected to produce large quantities of expressive writing, starting in kindergarten with "journals" composed with inventive spelling. One local parent told me that children in her son's kindergarten class were writing full paragraphs by the end of the year. The reams of writing continue, most of it on the topic of personal experiences. The five paragraph essay format, which I learned in seventh grade, is now apparently expected beginning in third grade.
In contrast, we did... none of that. Alex copied well-formed sentences, and later took dictation from them. She listened to passages of material and summarized them verbally. She studied spelling and the formal grammar of sentences. And above all else, she was exposed to well-written books. She read them herself, and I read aloud from books that were more complex. It was a complete departure from how her friends in public school were learning to write, and it made me very, very nervous at times. In third grade, supposedly five-paragraph-essay time, Alex began writing the occasional short paragraph. Very occasional. They were short and excruciating for her to write. I tried my best to keep trusting the method.
She includes an essay that Alex has written as a fourth-grader.
Now, first, clearly Alex is an incredibly bright kid in general, so my suspicion is that she'd be writing beautifully under most forms of instruction. But Rivka's method underlines something we've talked about here before, often with regards to struggling college students: if they don't have an ear for the English language, they get slaughtered in college. (I don't mean foreign students who have an ear for a different language so much as American students who haven't read enough books.)(There's a similar fluency in math that just comes from exposure, not necessarily sophistication - does a quadratic polynomial set off lots of associations for you about parabolas and factoring and finding roots? Or did you learn that stuff, but find it hard to retrieve it spontaneously?)
E. Messily sends in this article about the gay wing of the LA men's central jail. Apparently it's unique in the country to have the population and inclination to establish such a wing.
The article starts off a little too excitedly about the salacious lives of
LBGTQ men, but then becomes much more matter-of-fact about really the interesting details, like how much safer this wing is, and why the climate created by the inmates and guards is one of nurturing and nonviolence.
The only question now is whether Bill Cosby or Jian Ghomeshi will accuse the other of sexual assault first.
This story seems to be funded at least in part by GE, so maybe it's all about appreciating their brain imaging equipment, but the researcher seems legit, and his finding is so interesting. There's something known as "The Utah Paradox" which is that people in Utah consistently report the highest levels of satisfaction with their lives, but the state also has much more than its share of depression and suicide. The theory is that the main culprit is altitude, which makes people not predisposed to depression euphoric, and people who are predisposed to depression depressed.
DQ sends along The Problem With International Development. It's a great article.
The repeated "success, scale, fail" experience of the last 20 years of development practice suggests something super boring: Development projects thrive or tank according to the specific dynamics of the place in which they're applied. It's not that you test something in one place, then scale it up to 50. It's that you test it in one place, then test it in another, then another. No one will ever be invited to explain that in a TED talk.
Furthermore, the current vogue of ranking charities includes a target overhead budget of 10%, which sabotages the kind of intimate relationship building and site-specific knowledge needed in order to help one single village in Kenya.
(I kept thinking that the author's voice sounded familiar while reading the article. And lo! We've long been a fan.)
Listen, sweetheart, if Bill Cosby hasn't sexually assaulted you yet, you can tell us. He's been so busy, and it's definitely not because he doesn't want to. Just be patient.
You know what? I'm just sick, sick to my, I don't know, but it sickens me, when every time I turn on the TV news or open up the paper news I have to simultaneous see and hear, or read, about bad sex in fiction. Why can't there be programs or articles about good sex in fiction once in a while? You know? Some good news now and then?
I know this is possible because there are well done sex scenes in such works of fiction as Tlooth (and possibly Cigarettes by the same author? but I haven't read it in a while) and Springer's Progress. Perhaps, though, you can all mention worthy works of fiction in the comments (I think it would be more interesting if one limited one's selections to works of fiction whose overall thrust (yes, that's right) is not erotic or pornographic, but rather belongs to the same gross categorization as the works generally criticized in the Bad Sex in Fiction award, but, you know, whatever).
Yes, yes, that's rather unpleasant. His comment about the determination of teenagers is right on.