Friday, December 13, 2013

Weekend Reading: Things You Should Read Edition

Thursday was my first day commuting to the new building after my office move. I've only tried 2 of the 3 or 4 viable routes so far, but it looks like my morning commute will now be 45 minutes (15 minutes to drop Pumpkin off, 30 minutes to drive from her school to the office) and my evening commute will be 35-40 minutes driving, followed by a 20-25 minute walk to pick Pumpkin up and bring her home. Of course, I could drive right to school like I do in the morning, but I am rather enjoying the evening walk, and so is Pumpkin.

Petunia is not at all pleased with the new routine because (1) she never gets to ride with Mommy and (2) Daddy picks her up later than Mommy did. Hopefully she will adjust.

We're probably going to hire our Chinese teacher to pick Pumpkin up one day per week and bring her home for a Chinese lesson. That will take the time pressure off of my evening commute one day, and if I like that, maybe we'll look into hiring someone else to pick her up a couple of other days. We'll see.

Once the routine settles, I'll have to update my logistics post again!

None of that has any relevance whatsoever to my links this week, which are things you should read, i.e., they were awesome and/or thought-provoking. So, without further ado, here are the links:

This new theory about what might have happened on Easter Island is at once comforting and utterly depressing.

This essay about "the other brother" is beautiful.

I don't think much about Britney Spears, but this article was still a bit chilling. How does she ever get her life back?

An interesting meditation on what working in a luxury mall does to the workers.

Two different thoughts about what is happening in San Francisco right now: is the problem zoning or insular tech companies?

A cautionary tale for those of us raising kids with the money to buy them any toy they want... also, I loved Spyro, too. It is the only videogame I've ever really, really played.

Mother Jones has a piece about the 194 children shot to death since last year's shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school. (The piece was written before today's shootings in Colorado.)

Look at those pictures. We have to fix this. I continue to write my representatives, but this does little since my representatives are already in favor of stricter gun laws. If your representative isn't, think about what changes you would support, and let your representatives know. And vote accordingly.

In the meantime, be sure to ask about guns before play dates. There was a case here in San Diego this year in which a child shot another child with an unsecured gun while they were playing after school. The owner of the gun is facing criminal charges, but that won't bring the dead child back.

And I think that is all I had better write about that topic, or this will turn into quite a rant. There may be a time when that is what I want to write, but not right now. I selfishly want to hang on to the holiday spirit I have this year.

So let's end with a couple of lighter things.

First, if you haven't seen the Pantene ad juxtaposing how the same actions are viewed differently in men and women, here it is:

Yes, it is trying to see us shampoo (the women sure have glossy hair!) but it is still a really well done visualization of the issue.

The picture in this tweet is just wonderful:

And this letter to Santa is downright hilarious.


  1. Anonymous6:11 AM

    I dunno, when you have plenty, you still spend time on the truly compelling stuff. My son has more access to books than I did (and I had a lot, but he has even more), which means that he doesn't spend time on the crappy stuff that I read only because I had it and hadn't read it multiple times yet. He still rereads and rereads and rereads the stuff he likes. And he has video games he works all the way through and video games he doesn't feel are worth finishing. If he had fewer video games, he'd most likely have spent more time on the game with the painting fox creature, but he's still about to finish Legend of Twilight and finished super mario galaxy. Having other games didn't stop that. Maybe some of that is personality. Or maybe excess just keeps us from playing crap when there's better stuff out there to try.

    1. Good points! They certainly make me feel better about the surplus of toys here. Maybe the key is to encourage kids to really appreciate the good stuff, and not just "surf" from new item to new item?

  2. Anonymous6:51 AM

    Thanks for sharing the post about The Other Brother - it was a thought-provoking piece. I could see that burden of living for someone else totally breaking you, but I'm glad he took it the other way, as inspiration to do more with himself.

  3. Great links, as usual.

    I found the Britney Spears article just as chilling as you did. I got to thinking, why do the meltdowns usually occur with young women? Why do young women who started out as child/teen stars melt down in their late teens? Why not the boys/young men of the same age?

    Are the young men starved to stay thin as their metabolism/growth slows down? Are the young men given uppers to get them perform when they are literally starving to death? Are the young men given breast implants? Are they given painkillers for the complications from the breast implants?

    1. What our culture does to its young female stars is disgusting, really. I've got my fingers crossed for Lorde, whose music I rather like.

      I think the point about the ridiculous diets and the meds is a good one. I wonder if anyone has researched the implications of that?

      But even without that- they are put in an impossible situation, where every move is critiqued and they have to walk the razor thin line required of successful women, and have to do it under the scrutiny of a public that is only to happy to tear them to shreds. And they have to do it at such an early age, when they have not yet had the chance to develop the sense of perspective and the thickened skin that age brings.

      Honestly, our culture places such impossible, contradictory demands on all women, I am sometimes amazed that more of us don't meltdown.


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