Link love

What a depressing week.  These past few years have done a lot to show white people what POC have known all along.  Explicit racism is alive and well.  White violence against POC is still happening.  Is still sanctioned.  I know racism exists and I want to end it.  But I don’t know how.  I know the best most up-to-date research on ending implicit bias, but I suspect that explicit bias requires government leadership.  Laws.  Prosecution.  Police oversight.  Changes in school curricula.

Good explanation of why passing as black is wrong.

White men are dangerous.

A little bit of sexism this week.  My comment in the comments about white men being dangerous was made prior to the shooting.  Oh, and some historical sexism involving tampons in space.

Someone should make this app.

I don’t get this comic, but #2 forwarded it.

I love this comic a lot.

Multi-age daycare.  Stress of a child.

Why to get an economics phd. though his list of “phds that work” isn’t quite correct.  Also, Michigan isn’t a “middle-ranked school.”  *I* teach at a middle ranked school.

Almost makes me wish I could sew.

HIV tests invented by a 15 year old young woman.

this is cool

10 old English words you should be using.


Amazing dino facts

The labels!

I would like this dream too!

engineeringis (click on pictures for explanations)


Ask the grumpies: Smart phone etiquette?

Debbie M asks:

How do I deal with having a smart phone? How to I carry it? Where do I bring it? When do I have it on? I don’t want to turn into one of those people who’s always attached to the phone even when I’m socializing with actual people in person, or watching a movie with them, or attending class with them, etc. And I don’t want to mess it up or be uncomfortable carrying it in my pants pocket. I don’t always have a purse or wear a blazer.

In the interest of full disclosure neither #2 nor I have a smart phone, but we can still opine! And, of course, the grumpy nation knows best.

If it won’t fit in your pocket, get a different phone.  My opinion would be to leave it on vibrate and leave it in your pocket and don’t use it unless you have to.  You can stick it in your bookbag or something.  Everyone’s always losing theirs too, or spending a lot of brain time making sure it isn’t lost, so… ugh.  Why not just put it right next to your wallet and treat it just like your wallet?  Wherever you carry your keys & ID, just carry it in there and ignore it like you ignore those things, is my totally-made-up advice.

#2 tends to leave her flip phone places and then it runs out of batteries and she finds it days later and oops, she’s missed a text or a voice-mail that she got days ago and has to call back and apologize.  That’s kind of bad etiquette too, except the apologizing part.  She does let people know that her DH is MUCH better about keeping his phone on him and energized so he’s a better person to contact.  Sadly, moms wanting to do playdates will dig up her phone number even when she’s only given them DH’s.  *sigh*

Other (better) thoughts?

You are my center

You make me grounded.

I can have had the worst day at work, the worst luck, the ickiest tummy ache.  And you’ll hug me, and I’ll feel your warm arms around me.  And for a moment, everything will be ok.

You are my comfort.  You are my hero.

I never want to imagine life without you.  Everything will always be ok, no matter what, so long as I have you and the children.  So long as we have each other.

I love you so much.

15 years today!  And hopefully for decades to come.

Feelings on parenting advice

I was a bit surprised that parenting posts came up popular in our recent poll.  Maybe I shouldn’t have been ‘cuz I kind of like our parenting posts.  But that’s not true of all parenting advice out there in the world.  In fact, I tend to actively dislike a lot it.  And not just the, “they’re (not) doing it the way I do it” kind of dislike– something even more general than that.

I cogitated really hard on what I like and dislike.

I realized that I do like tips and tricks.  I love varied answers to parenting questions that people have (especially when some of the answers note that something worked for one kid but not another, especially those that try to make connections about why).  I think of them as potential tools in a parenting toolbox.  Some will work for just the right job, some jobs can be fixed with different tools, and some tools are just useless for any job.

Essentially, I like when people say, “here’s a bunch of things we’ve tried that worked for us, YMMV.”  I like seeing lots of variety because different things do work for different children– even having just two kids, I see that one size does not fit all.

I don’t like it when they say, “Here’s the one true way and if you don’t do it this way you’re doing it wrong and you’re a horrible mother (it’s always mother) and you’re scarring your children for life.”  I hate it when they say, “here’s a problem you didn’t even think of that you’re causing by not doing the (sometimes horrible) thing we recommend.”

So I don’t like most parenting books because they’re selling the One True Way with a side-order of mommy guilt.  But I do like being able to google a question and finding a forum that provides lots of recommendations from when someone else asked the same question about hir own kid.

Do you like parenting advice?  What kind?


Foods to make at a party

For all you 20-somethings who still have lives… or for folks with older kids… here are some food-making party ideas.  As in, during the party you cook as a group.  These are a little more complicated than putting out cold-cuts for people to turn into sandwiches.  Most of these are pretty inexpensive party ideas too so um, how about a money Monday post?

Pizza — As RAs we did this during finals week and we’ve had small parties/large playdates for our child starting pretty young (maybe 4 or 5?).  We make the pizza dough (you could buy it instead), put out spaghetti sauce, shredded cheeses, and toppings.  Folks assemble their own personal-size pizzas.  We bake them.  Relatively easy and even adults seem to enjoy it.

Cookies — you can make the cookies in advance and just frost (similar with cupcakes), or for older kids, you can have them help with cutting/shaping dough.

Sushi — we haven’t done this en masse but know people who have.  We only have one sushi making kit, so DC1 has done it with a friend over, but not with more than one person.  Seaweed, sushi rice, and fillings and you’re good to go.  I bet you could make things other than rolls without more sushi kits.

Vietnamese fresh rolls — DC1 has done this with friends over before too.  Similar to sushi, only you need a big bowl of warm water to soften up the wraps.

Wontons — We went to one of these in graduate school.  The hosts had wonton wrappers, fillings, and egg-wash ready.  Guests stuffed, folded, and sealed.  The hosts cooked the filled wontons (in this case in a soup, but in high school I vaguely remember we deep fried them one time since I had a fryer and we didn’t have ovens or stoves).

Taffy pull/popcorn balls — I used to have taffy pulls at my birthday parties growing up.  They are sticky and messy and fun, but kids do grow out of it I think.  (#2 had this event THIS YEAR at a new year’s party and it was all adults doing it.)  My mom would make the candy, then we’d let it cool enough to touch.  Kids would wash and butter their hands and then pull the candy until it was stretchy and cool.  Popcorn balls are similar, but with butter handed kids shaping sticky popcorn/candy into balls.

This is not cooking, but maybe is frugal: #2 just came up with the idea of a booze-trade party.  “I have this two-thirds full bottle of gin I’ll never use.”  “Cool, I’ll take it!  A friend gave me this tequila and I don’t drink tequila, who wants it?”  “I’ll trade half my six-pack for half of yours and we can both try them both!”  “This bottle of vodka was in our freezer and my roommate moved out, it’s up for grabs.”  “I need 3/4 of a cup of Grand Marnier for a dessert but I don’t want to buy the whole bottle, who can hook me up?”  Doesn’t that sound great?  Maybe?  Or it could be just an exchange of weird foods that you bought for one recipe but you’ll never use the rest.  Black rice?  Fenugreek?  Turmeric?  (You should use turmeric though, it’s cool.)  It cleans out your kitchen guilt-free!

Have you ever been to a cooking party?  Cooking what?

Link love

Where is summer going?

F the police never ends.  It really doesn’t.  And of course this one was all over the news.

Which state was the worst for women this week?  Surprisingly, not Idaho.

In case you missed this week’s douchecanoe.  The sex discrimination you don’t see.  Unseen women behind douchecanoe’s Nobel prize.  #distractinglysexy .  Related:  #15 is how I’m feeling now.  Also this related:  this is depressingly true.

Surprise!  Redditor’s harass female CEO after reddit cracks down on harassment.  Also:  guess which employee gets thrown to the wolves by Tor (hint:  Not a male one.)

Giving voice to black youth in YA. Fighting against racist memes. I want a Disney Princess who…

Sesame St. is pretty awesome.

Why flexible work options are so important.

I want to tell all the middle-aged comedians complaining that colleges are too PC for stand-up comedy that that’s not the problem. The problem is that they’re out of touch and not funny or relevant. NPR actually had a couple of really great programs on how humor changes over time. One of them was a book review that gave examples of things that used to be hilarious to audiences but are now offensive or just not funny (think turn of the century cartoons– violence, like wife beating, used to be a lot more funny to people). The other spot they had is this new program that Billy Crystal and Josh Gad are doing– Billy Crystal, btw, I bet isn’t having the problem of not getting laughs at colleges. Because he doesn’t just rely on lame shock value for humor. Granted, the tv show sounds pretty terrible, but there’s a little clip in the interview of Crystal dying in front of a young audience because his jokes are lame for that generation (purposefully so) that really illustrates what is wrong with Seinfeld (and that dude I’ve never heard of who posted the same thing on HuffPo and maybe even a little bit Chris Rock).

Yay Ferguson public library!

Anti-vaxxers allow diphtheria in Spain.

How is this even legal?

HuffPo is not a fun place to work.

Not a wasted word discusses a potential upcoming no-spend challenge.

Dr. Dad is back. Whole Foods rating system. These sound yummy.

Drunk synonyms over time. Awesome prom dress. True things.

This is fun.


Very cool video and commentary by delagar.

Tapping your inner wolf.

Googled questions answered

Q:  how do you explain differentiation to gifted kids so that they do not brag

A:  why not let them brag?  they will either get beaten up for it and stop, or else it’ll be ok.  It’s GOOD to be smart.  Being smart is super-cool but trying hard is even cooler.  #2 disagrees with beating up being a good outcome.  Um, back in the day I believed that everybody is good at different things, though I have since learned that’s not true– some people are good at a lot of stuff and some people aren’t good at much of anything.  But I believed that.  I guess I wouldn’t try to find an explanation that would keep them from bragging, but I would address the importance of not being a jerk to people who don’t need the additional work to keep them challenged.  All people have value and it’s super douchey to make fun of people who are at a lower level for whatever reason they’re at a lower level.  Everybody should work hard in order to grow.  And not everybody has had the advantages that kids in the upper groups with differentiation has had, even some gifted kids.

Q:  when do lecturers at college go back to work after summer

A:  “back”?

Q:  how do others feel about making more money than there parents?

A:  I feel pretty good, personally.  I think DH does too.

Q:  if i dont do sleep training when will my baby sleep through

A:  sleep training is generally irrelevant to the sleep through question– it happens or doesn’t happen with or without sleep training, and if it doesn’t happen that’s not necessarily a bad thing– sleeping through is a relatively modern invention facilitated by electric lighting

Q:  can the county take my home

A:  Check your county’s eminent domain laws

Q:  should children be made to do things they dislike because it is good for their character

A:  probably not if that’s the only reason to do it.  There are plenty of worthwhile things to make children do that have the side benefit of buffing up their character.

Q:  are vertical blinds out of style

A:  Were they ever really in style?

Q:  consequences of wasting money

A:  you have less money, but not more worth-it

Q:  one word for people who like being miserable

A:  curmudgeon?  maybe?