Friday, February 12, 2016

Weekend Reading: The Extra Long Weekend Edition

Our school district takes a four day weekend for President's Day. We made a deal with one of Pumpkin's friend's family: I'd take all four kids for Friday, and they'd take all four kids on Monday. Except then Petunia begged for a Mommy day, and I realized that (1) it is her turn for one, and (2) I had no idea when I'd get another chance to give her one. So Pumpkin is going to her friend's house on Monday and I am going to spend the day with Petunia. I always enjoy the solo kid Mommy days, so that will be fun. Even though she wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese.

So, anyway: I had four kids here today. I have also finally had to admit that the sore throat and headache I've had all week are a cold, not allergies. I managed to get some work done. This month's issue of Founding Chaos went out. I posted this week's Tungsten Hippo quote, which I find darkly inspirational:

I composed the Tungsten Hippo Weekly Digest for the week. It will go out Sunday morning.

I sent out a bunch of review queries for Love and Other Happy Endings. (Which, by the way, now has a GoodReads page.)

I thought I'd make significant progress on my current editing task when I took the kids to a park, but they interrupted me roughly every 3rd minute, so that particular plan was a bust.

And there are a couple of other things on my list that I didn't get to. So not a bad day, all things considered, but not a stellar day, since I'd already factored the likely kid-based disruptions into my to do list. Still, I think I am working on borrowed time and have decided to write this post a little earlier than usual, in case I crash or the kids start fighting.

On to the links:

Yesterday's post wasn't about my politics, but Sady Doyle wrote a post about Hillary Clinton and feminism and progressivism that is worth your time. I particularly love the closing line: "This is what it looks like when a woman stops smiling."

I've read a bunch of other things about politics, but I'll only share a few. Ezra Klein on how the rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics. John Scalzi on why mainstream Republicans have no one but themselves to blame for Trump. Matt Yglesias on Bernie Sanders as the future of the Democratic party.

And that's enough politics.

This story about a teacher shaming a child in a NYC charter school for not knowing the answer to a question is sickening. Those kids deserve better. I don't care how good that school's test scores are. If this is at all representative of how they treat kids, they are doing damage, not good.

Hey, look! I'm part of a new archetype! But seriously, it is a good article. Hat tip to @moink_tdr for sharing it with me.

"Kids don't kill women's careers, husbands do."

I haven't had a chance to read Marie Claire's big feature on women and guns, but I hope to get to it this weekend.

This post from Boing Boing's archives about the coolest locksmith shop is amazing. I want to visit! (After all, I visited the beer can house in Houston....)

Scandinavians have been fermenting fish for longer that we thought.

This is a surprisingly informative map of America:

And on that note, I'll sign off. Happy weekend, everyone!


  1. Great links!
    The one about abusive teaching. I can tell you this is not news to me, shaming and humiliation were used liberally as teaching tools when I was growing up. Here's a routine example from elementary school. The teacher brings back a graded test, stands in front of class, and calls out students and says out loud their grades, starting from the 5's (highest) down to 1's (fail). This means everyone knows how everyone else does, who's "dumb" and who's "smart." This also means that the worse you did, the longer you have to wait for your pitiful grade, sweating and waiting to be called out and told in front of everyone that you are worthless.

    In college: results of all tests were posted on the department bulletin board. Everyone knew who was a good student and who wasn't.

    The result is that my tiny country is ridiculously over-represented in US academia. There are probably many really fucked up people.

    I am in no way condoning abuse of young children. But this charter school is hardly revolutionary in its use of shaming and humiliation to filter out the mentally toughest high performers. If that's one's only goal, I can attest that shaming and humiliation are effective and used a lot in many places in the world. Many kids get crushed, though, and no one ever asks how they would have done with a more nurturing environment. They are simply discarded.

    So yeah, this brought memories.

    In a different vein, I enjoyed the Sady Doyle article. Thanks for linking to it!

  2. re: your tweets, this link isn't protected: ""

    Also from the article: "Employers generally aren’t allowed to know which individuals are flagged by data mining, but the wellness firms—usually paid several dollars a month per employee—provide aggregated data on the number of employees found to be at risk for a given condition."


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.