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* Is overparenting peaking?
* For all the helicopter parenting, sex talks tend to be too little, too late.
* Outrage over teaching masturbation in Spain; article mentions what other sex-ed programs do. Makes the USA sound stuck in the Dark Ages.

* The anti-statism obsession in America
* Cake vs. screamers: increasing marginal utility of 'reliever' goods and the persistence of poverty.

* Obama aims to shrink the war on terror from "terrorism" to "Al-Qaeda", on the grounds that only A-Q is targetting us, plus movements like Hamas and Hezbollah and even the Taliban have nationalistic roots in the people, and can't simply be stomped.
* Palin's fake bus tour, call for the US to dedicate itself to God, and flirtation with the Birthers
* Manual for GOP obstructionism.

*composting toilets progress.
* Christmas defined
* Blood plasma from border Mexicans. US is one of the only countries to allow paying for blood and plasma, and a massive exporter of plasma since other countries don't collect enough. I smell a causal connection, there...

* Ada Lovelace: the Origin
* Evolution of Nintendo controllers


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
That "Cake vs. screamers" article is pretty great.

Thanks for sharing the link!
Dec. 10th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it!
Dec. 8th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
From the overparenting article:

"Payne says. The average child has 150 toys. "When you cut the toys and clothes back ... the kids really like it." He aims for a cut of roughly 75%: he tosses out the broken toys and gives away the outgrown ones and the busy, noisy, blinking ones that do the playing for you."

I'm glad to see my toy minimalism is vindicated. Though kind of shocking that the average kid has 150 toys! Wonder if they are counting every action figure and Matchbox car separately. Though I've seen some crazy playrooms so maybe that is close to the norm.

A good rule of thumb I've heard is to aim for 10 toys. We probably come close if you count things in sets: blocks, basket of cars, dress up box, etc.
Dec. 10th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Frigging LJ notifications queue, I just saw this because I checked my 'homepage'. Anyway. Yeah, I thought you'd like that article. 10 feels low without thinking about it, 150 does seem way too high, esp. for an average. (Which average? No one knows stats. For any of them, a pretty round number.)

* ball(s)
* stuffed animal(s)
* beach pail and shovel
* Legos/tinkertoys
* doll(s)/big action figure(s)
* box of action figures
* jigsaw puzzle (probably changed in and out)
* chemistry set
* microscope/magnifier
* binoculars
* kaleidoscope
* periscope[1]
* globe
* juggling balls
* puppet(s)


[1] These seems underused in the real world, or on TV. Do special forces use hand periscopes to peer around corners? Hey, you can find out for me.
Dec. 12th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC)
Is this your ideal list, or just brainstorming? I like them all, although at least half are too old for my son so at least some are age dependent. I'm also not sure its fair to put some like globe, microscope, etc. in the toy category (I would call those homeschooling basics in our family), just like books and art supplies.

At the very least I think if you are going to limit to ten toys then it definitely has to be in flux based on age and interests of the child.

No idea about the periscope, but have never heard of such a thing.
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
Just brainstorming what toys it'd be reasonable for a kid to have without feeling overboard. And yeah, some might not be 'toys', or even kid specific (globe, optics).

Ask? :) I haven't heard, but in action scenes I keep seeing people pop their head out to look around and I keep thinking "wouldn't a periscope be safer?"
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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