The Scientific Evidence Against Spanking, Timeouts, and Sleep Training:

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Originally posted on Quartz:

At the end of a gravel road in the Chippewa National Forest of northern Minnesota, a group of camp counselors have gathered to hear psychotherapist Tina Bryson speak about neuroscience, mentorship, and camping. She is in Minnesota by invitation of the camp. Chippewa is at the front of a movement to bring brain science to bear on the camping industry; she keynoted this past year’s American Camping Association annual conference. As Bryson speaks to the counselors gathered for training, she emphasizes one core message: at the heart of effective discipline is curiosity—curiosity on the part of the counselors to genuinely understand and respect the campers’ experience while away from home.

Brain science is far from a precise field, but Bryson deploys it effectively when she conducts trainings. She has lectured from Australia to Germany, California to DC, and the camp trainings are only a small portion of what she does…

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The Gothic Life & Times of Horace Walpole

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Carrie Frye | Longreads | December 2014 | 16 minutes (4,064 words)

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As a child, Horace Walpole frequently heard it said of himself that surely he would die soon. Born in England in 1717, the last of his mother’s six children, he was fragile and prone to illness from birth. Two siblings before him had died in infancy, and so in the family order it went: three older children, loud, healthy and opinionated; two grave markers; and then young Horace toddling up behind—half child, half potential grave marker.

Naturally, his mother, Catherine, spoiled him. His father, Sir Robert Walpole, was the King’s prime minister. This often kept him away from home, as did a long-time mistress who acted, more than his wife did, as his hostess and companion. For her part Catherine had her own dalliances. It was that sort of marriage. The Walpoles…

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“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (Sinatra)

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yule-tide gay
From now on, our troubles will be miles away

Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

God, I love Christmastime…

J.W.

On “Geek” vs. “Nerd”

Originally posted on Slackpropagation:

To many people, “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, but in fact they are a little different. Consider the phrase “sports geek” — an occasional substitute for “jock” and perhaps the arch-rival of a “nerd” in high-school folklore. If “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, then “sports geek” might be an oxymoron. (Furthermore, “sports nerd” either doesn’t compute or means something else.)

In my mind, “geek” and “nerd” are related, but capture different dimensions of an intense dedication to a subject:

  • geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
  • nerd -A studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.

Or, to…

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“Cottonwood Creek”

THIS SHALL HENCEFORTH BE READ IN A FAUX-N.P.R. VOICE, WARM AND MELLOW LIKE A FRESH CUP OF COFFEE:

Good morning and welcome to another edition of The New American Poetry Hour. I’m your host, Pretentious McDouchebag. On today’s episode we have an old poem by Jackson Williams and let me tell you now, dear listeners: they’re not that good. This poem is not that good and show the marks of a young man who learned very early on that he’s not that good with poetry. It written during the summer of 2006, eighteen years old and fresh out of high school. I apologize to those tuning in today. 

But mmmmmm, this is good java, no?

Old Glory

COTTONWOOD CREEK

Let me go back
to where existence began:
I believed by that water, no older than five,
that our dreams will happen
where our hearts feel good enough to thrive,
only after we rise up, and remember how we ran.
At night I still remember crickets by the thousands,
a plague upon the eardrums, turn up the television;
fresh, holy visions of summer days, spent under a bridge,
a B.B. gun for frogs, scattered rocks to throw,
a time we will remember, until the creek runs low.
August brought us rattlesnakes, and ghost stories
of old dead miners breathing under bedroom windows,
don’t wander and disappear alongside the creek,
ghosts and goblins, demons who would not speak,
and we would listen: Cottonwood Creek, what is yer secret?
We would spend days there, trapped in time,
then we’d surrender it, just barely in time;
my thoughts began here, I do believe,
and the more time passes, this much becomes clear:
this quiet haze began here in our history,
still I know less parts to what must be a mystery
of what always brings me back to here;
So terrorize me, hypnotize me,
lie to me and please be kind to me,
because the mind moves swift, like a river,
but it is a creek that forms my soul.

J.W.

No Apology: A Letter

Originally posted on Mehreen Kasana:

On my way to class, I take the Q train to Manhattan and sit down next to an old white man who recoils a noticeable bit. I assume it’s because I smell odd to him, which doesn’t make sense because I took a shower in the morning. Maybe I’m sitting too liberally the way men do on public transit with their legs a mile apart, I think to myself. That also doesn’t apply since I have my legs crossed. After a few seconds of inspecting any potential offence caused, I realize that it has nothing to do with an imaginary odor or physical space but with the keffiyeh around my neck that my friend gifted me (the Palestinian scarf – an apparently controversial piece of cloth). It is an increasingly cold October in NYC. Sam Harris may not have told you but we Muslims need our homeostasis at a healthy…

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The Spiritual Ennui of Stephen Colbert’s High-Wire Performance

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

Goodbye, “Stephen Colbert!” Hello Stephen Colbert, person and brand new host of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. On the occasion of the passing of “Stephen Colbert” — pronounced the French way, name always in scare quotes — a significant amount of ink has been spilled on his genius; however, we also noticed that when it came to the Flavorwire staff, a significant amount of us had, well, fatigue regarding the “Stephen Colbert” narrative as the rogue truthiness hero in the media. Can you keep well-honed satire sharp and dangerous for nearly a decade? Should you? While there’s no denying that “Stephen Colbert” was a performance for the ages, are we going to miss The Colbert Report? Here are some reasons why we’re ready for Stephen Colbert, the man.

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