Fake Science

Love, love, love this slideshow of fake science facts.  Just brilliant.  Here’s two of my favorites:

“Don’t lie to a flow chart” had me laughing out loud the first time I read it.  And the accompanying article.


Photo of the day

Okay, one last set of Olympic photos.  They’re just so damn good.  Like any good parent, really love this first one:

United States’ Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrates with her boys Joey and Sundance after winning the women’s gold medal beach volleyball match, on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

And this one because watching David Rudisha win the 800m was amazing (and he’s got a great backstory, too).  Kim said it was like watching Secretariat in the Belmont:

Kenya’s David Lekuta Rudisha celebrates winning the men’s 800-meter semifinal in the Olympic Stadium, on August 9, 2012.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

If you like sports, amazing photos, or human drama you owe it to yourself to check out the whole set.

How to parent in one short Op-Ed!

Great Op-Ed in the Times a couple weeks ago that boils down lots of parenting research from recent years into a few key points.  Here’s the heart of it:

Their research confirms what I’ve seen in more than 25 years of clinical work, treating children in Marin County, an affluent suburb of San Francisco. The happiest, most successful children have parents who do not do for them what they are capable of doing, or almost capable of doing; and their parents do not do things for them that satisfy their own needs rather than the needs of the child.

The central task of growing up is to develop a sense of self that is autonomous, confident and generally in accord with reality. If you treat your walking toddler as if she can’t walk, you diminish her confidence and distort reality. Ditto nightly “reviews” of homework, repetitive phone calls to “just check if you’re O.K.” and “editing” (read: writing) your child’s college application essay.

Once your child is capable of doing something, congratulate yourself on a job well done and move on. Continued, unnecessary intervention makes your child feel bad about himself (if he’s young) or angry at you (if he’s a teenager).

And here’s probably my favorite parenting quote ever:

 So many parents have said to me, “I can’t stand to see my child unhappy.” If you can’t stand to see your child unhappy, you are in the wrong business.

No, I don’t like to see my kids unhappy, but I realize it’s necessary.  Some context:

The small challenges that start in infancy (the first whimper that doesn’t bring you running) present the opportunity for “successful failures,” that is, failures your child can live with and grow from. To rush in too quickly, to shield them, to deprive them of those challenges is to deprive them of the tools they will need to handle the inevitable, difficult, challenging and sometimes devastating demands of life.

Anyway, really interesting essay.  Truth is, I’ve been increasingly coming to the realization that Kim and I still do too much for the kids that they can do for themselves.  We’re working on it (and they don’t like it!)

I feel bad for my friends in Colorado

I got a call from a local reporter yesterday asking me if NC was still in play.  (Alas, could not do the interview saying “yes!” since I had a most-of-the-day faculty meeting– fun!)  Why do people keep asking this?  If it wasn’t would both campaigns literally be spending millions and millions of dollars here every week?  The google let me down in trying to find a handy list of ad spending by media market, but the Post does have a nice interactive graphic where you can see the spending when you hover over various cities.  Raleigh was at $6.2 million in a recent week.  That’s quite high.  Especially when you consider we’re only the 30th or so most populous MSA.  Meanwhile, the Denver and DC media markets are both topping $10 million.  Yowza.

Now, I love politics (obviously), but even I hate the fact that I swear pretty much every single ad during Jeopardy tonight was a presidential campaign ad (of course every single one was negative).  Just depressing and annoying.  And its almost twice as bad other places.

Thank God Jeopardy is about the only time I watch any commercials.  On a related note, they had a category (name the Order) in which the Tournament of Champions semi-finalists missed every single clue.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.  They listed an animal (or two) and you had to name it’s  Biological Order.  I was quite proud of myself when getting the $2000 question: Platypus.  Which, of course, is a monotreme.  (I swear, the stuff just bouncing around inside my head for no discernible reason).

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