Tag Archive | kids

Good people doing good things

“Voters have approved a ballot question that supporters say will give Massachusetts the nation’s strongest requirement for providing paid sick time to workers.” Go state!

“You can see the effect Abbott’s civil disobedience is already having on the Fort Lauderdale police officers. The first time they stopped him from feeding people and took a 90-year-old man away in a police car. Those officers weren’t inclined to do that again, so now they’re just filming from a distance. Why? Because it’s a stupid, unjust law, and enforcing it made them feel stupid and unjust.

“Then she placed the stone on a shelf in the kitchen, and it stayed there as a permanent reminder of the promise she had made to herself at that moment: never violence!” Astrid Lindgren, everybody.

Gorgeous fantasy photographs of adorable tiny girl (maybe 3?). The blurb is all “look how amazing and inspirational this is, she only has one hand” and utterly fails to mention “look how pretty this is, in some of these she has wings.” (Normal!AU Megan Wallaby, y/y?)

[Video] The latest in bionic limbs: a talk presented by a double amputee walking around stage, and ended with a performance by a dancer who lost her leg a year before.

“It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. […] So how much more worthy of his care and affection is Siri, with her soothing voice, puckish humor and capacity for talking about whatever Gus’s current obsession is for hour after hour after bleeding hour?” A like story about a kid & a voice app.

A bunch of tales of egregious race and gender BS. With studies!

“Haven’s inconsistent enforcement of the dress code makes girls ’embarrassed,’ because those who are more developed often get singled out. The experience of 12-year-old Lucy Shapiro supports this. She tells the story of when both she and her friend were dressed in athletic shorts, but only Shapiro was ‘dress-coded.'”

“Allen, now 32, said she was stunned when her supervisor at the Hobby Lobby store in Flowood, Mississippi, told her she would be terminated for taking unpaid time off to have her baby.

“1. Random Stranger: (Takes Rhys’ hand while he’s 1 ft. in front of me)…let’s go find your Mommy!

“When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, ‘A crowd gathers, which is half female.’ That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise.

“…more often than not, bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.”

A long list of responses to BS MRA arguments, full of numbers and logic and citations.

“And then secondly you have these strangers, for example, coming up to a woman [shopping with a black male friend in a store] and saying, ‘Do you know your husband is black?’

At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years – and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.”

“And they wrote letters saying, I really admire your work. Would you have some time to meet? The letters to the faculty were all identical, but the names of the students were all different.” In an outcome that surprises no one (except possibly certain white men), the letter gets the highest rate of positive responses when it has a white-sounding male name attached.

“A woman who got a 4.0 GPA in high school will only be worth about as much, income-wise, as a man who got a 2.0. A woman with a 2.0 average will make about as much as a man with a 0 GPA.

“Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. […] Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.

Researchers avoided using female animals for fear that their reproductive cycles and hormone fluctuations would confound the results of delicately calibrated experiments.” Apparently male animals don’t have hormones! And somehow it never occurred to these scientists that using a non-random sample where half the population has been systematically selected out might also confound their results.

Humans make fun stuff: past through present.

Medieval kids’ doodles on birch bark. This is the greatest thing. 13th-century children draw exactly the same way as 21st-century children.

“An Austrian collector has found what may be the oldest globe, dated 1504, to depict the New World, engraved with immaculate detail on two conjoined halves of ostrich eggs.” (It has most of South America down correctly, but above that is ocean, with a couple of scattered islands where you would expect North America to be. Someone needs to write an AU in that universe.)

“Modern GIFs may make the Internet a more animated place, but they’re no match for the sublime weirdness of 19th-century animations.

“The girl who is standing in the photo is the one who is dead.

Isaac Asimov in 1964, predicting what the world will be like in 2014. He’s close to the Internet, way off when it comes to hovercars, and, as you would hope, right-on about robots.

Apple II emulator, with tons of games! In the name of nostalgia, I had to play a round of Oregon Trail, and then may have lost a couple of days rediscovering Lemmings.

Like every visual artist ever, Osamu Tezuka had a clandestine stash of personally-drawn porn. Specifically, sexy anthro mouse porn.

Virtual planet maker! Impressively shiny.

Hacking together your own solar chargers, suitable for powering your USB devices or whatever else you’re in the mood for.

Some feel-good stories for the end of the year

“‘She runs to my arms and said, “I need to see my mommy,“‘ Boggs said.”

“Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers — and transforms elementary school.”

“Today, the high school graduation rate for Tangelo Park is 100 percent. And no, that is not a typo.

“Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, ‘at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.’

China has self-service libraries in the subway. And we don’t. America, I am disappointed in you.

Although we did a pretty good job turning this abandoned Wal-Mart into a library.

The octopus – now nicknamed Jock the janitor – took up tidying after watching staff at Loch Lomond Aquarium wipe his glass.”

“They exchanged the rings that they had been wearing for 20 years, but now they can legally call them wedding rings.

A year since Newtown, and…

Slate’s ongoing tally of (reported) gun deaths in America since Newtown, through December 13.

And what they’ve learned from the process. “You can’t point to any disease that kills this many people. There’d be an enormous outcry if we only spent $10 million on cancer in children, for example. This is the way the conversation needs to go.”

It’s the first time someone has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944.”

Gerardo I. Hernandez [was] the first Transportation Security Agency officer killed in the line of duty since TSA’s founding after 9/11” — and it wasn’t anything to do with a foreign terrorist, it was domestic gun violence.

Unarmed woman shot to death while driving in a car with her infant child. Good job, police! Way to go.

Unarmed teenager shot in the back of the head after knocking on someone’s door, then getting no answer and turning to go. Apparently she had been in a car accident, and her cell phone died. Apparently the shooter claimed “self-defense.”

Another guy claims “self-defense” after pulling a gun on a mom and her four kids who weren’t moving fast enough for him in a parking lot.

Lucas’s father, Joshua Heagren, had tried to teach the 3-year-old to respect firearms.” You can guess how this story ends. Gun accidents are the ninth-leading cause of unintentional deaths among children ages 1 to 14, and an NYT investigation suggests the numbers may be badly undercounted.

“Two North Carolina parents are facing multiple charges after police said that one 3-year-old child accidentally shot another 3-year-old child near Asheboro this week.

“The FBI also estimates that, in states where a background check is required for every handgun sale, 38 percent fewer women are shot and killed by abusive partners.”

Psychology: schizophrenia, bipolar, trauma, care

“After interviewing many people with this illness the scientists compiled a short clip of what a schizophrenic might hear during an episode, or just day to day. I listened to this from my laptop speakers, not the recommended head phone approach (Which I’m glad that I did!)”

“Results of a preliminary trial, announced today at the Wellcome Trust in London, demonstrated how people with schizophrenia could overcome their auditory hallucinations by conversing with an avatar representation of the voice in their head.

A woman with bipolar disorder tells the story of her life, achievements, and struggles: well-written and moving, and makes you wish everyone could have the kind of financial security she did while trying to recover.

“Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline — suspensions drop 85%.” This miraculous new approach boils down to “pull aside the kids who blow up, and ask them how they’re feeling and if there’s anything stressing them out.”

“In the wake of last December’s shooting massacre in Newtown, CT, many conservative lawmakers and state leaders called for strengthening America’s broken mental health care system. But now, the GOP’s stubborn opposition to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is preventing 1.2 million poor and mentally ill Americans from getting basic mental services, according to an analysis by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).”

More gun deaths. Lots of preventable ones.

(N.B. all of these are heartbreaking, and many of them involve children.)

Slate’s ongoing tally of gun deaths in America since Newtown.

Hey, you know how we have laws against marketing some products, such as cigarettes, to children? Maybe we could have some of those for guns. You know, to forestall things like a 5-year-old accidentally shooting and killing his 2-year-old sister with a “My First Rifle”.

“If a mother from the inner-city of, say, Philadelphia did that, and the kid subsequently shot his sister to death, Fox News never would stop yelling about the crisis in African American communities and the Culture Of Death, and rap music, too. If your culture is telling you that children who have only recently emerged from toddlerhood should have their own guns, then your culture is deadly and dangerous and that should concern you, too.

More: “…the mother left the two children in the car while she went into the house to get something at about 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday. While she was in the house, the 3-year-old toddler found a loaded pistol in the car and shot the infant in the left cheek near the mouth.

Ka’Nard Allen, 10, is healing from a bullet graze wound on his cheek from the Mother’s Day shooting. In October 2012 Allen also lost his father, Bernard Washington, to violence. His 5-year-old cousin, Briana Allen, was fatally shot and a bullet hit Ka’Nard in the neck during his birthday party last May 29.”

“At the same time that investigators were in the midst of a high-profile manhunt for the marathon bombers that ended on Friday evening, 38 more Americans – with little fanfare – died from gun violence. One was a 22-year old resident of Boston. They are a tiny percentage of the 3,531 Americans killed by guns in the past four months – a total that surpasses the number of Americans who died on 9/11 and is one fewer than the number of US soldiers who lost their lives in combat operations in Iraq.”

And, since that last one: “U.S. Gun Deaths Since Newtown Now Exceed Number Of American Troops Killed In Iraq

“It did not appear to anyone — including me — that residing within my family’s weapons cache might affect my life. Together, my three brothers own at least a dozen weapons and have yet to harm anyone with them. […] As for me, I have three guns, one inherited and two gifts, and I’m hardly a zealot. In fact I never had much interest in guns. Yet it is I who killed a man.