Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-02-15

Here are the good/interesting/provoking finds I’ve stumbled across this week: 2015-02-15

  • Lego! Who doesn’t love Lego, especially when someone is creative enough to create amazing things beyond the set instructions? There is this incredible replica of Michelagelo’s Creation of Adam: 
    Then there is also this astounding creation of Hogwarts by Alice Finch from the Harry Potter series, completely playable, taking 400,000 bricks and 12 months to build. Wow.Hogwarts

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/88574960@N02/sets/72157632858317817/  

  • One of the things the husband and I have chatted about is the overwhelming stream of data and content that is generated these days, and how transient and ephemeral much of it seems to be. You cannot take for granted that something published online by an individual will be there in 2 or 5 years, much less 25 or 50 years from now. And even if it does exist, how can we deign its existence without relying on search engines, that arguably have a bent towards monetizing the results? The democratization of media and information in this information age is fine in the present, but will the democratic contributions of individuals last to be reckoned in history? This article from Nautilus is food for thought about the competing ideologies for cataloging and organizing information and created content. What is surprising is that the ideologies actually emerged over 100 years ago, with the boom in media creation of that period (radio, telegraph, phonograph records, movies, and more). Interesting parallel to our current times.

~Jen

My parents don’t work: Scene from a household

Background context: A couple of weeks ago, E1 was the “student of the day” which meant she could bring in something for show and tell. We decided to bring in a bunch of coins from different countries, since many kids probably haven’t seen money from outside of Canada or US. We had different denominations of Euros, yen, British pounds/pence, and even a rupee.

E1: Wow, how did you get all this different money?

T: Well, you know how I sometimes go on business trips to other countries? This is the change I get when I buy things in those countries.

E1 and E2 both nod understanding. “That’s cool, Daddy.”


Fast forward a few days.

I go to pick up E2 from school, and her teacher greets me with a little smirk.

Teacher: We were having a circle-time conversation today and E2 announced that “My parents don’t work.” I asked her to clarify more, and she just simply said, “My Mommy and Daddy don’t work.” So I challenged that a bit, saying that they must work, otherwise how do they get the money to buy food, and clothes and pay for other things?

“My Daddy just flies to other countries, meets with people, and then they give him money.”

Well…she’s not wrong.

Have a safe flight, honey, on this Valentine’s day as you travel abroad. Go and get that money from those people you’re going to meet while you’re not working. We have swimming lessons to pay for. 😉

~Jen

Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-02-08

Here are the good/interesting/provoking finds I’ve stumbled across this week: 2015-02-08

  • “Could we stop the anti-vaxxers if we said measles contains gluten?” Haha, Tabitha Southey hits a home run again. If logic, science and reason won’t work to convince anti-vaxxers, maybe sarcasm will?
  • Did you know that Ontario’s Ministry of Education’s curriculum on sexual education was last updated in 1998? Yes, from the early years of internet, before smartphones and social media. Two 13-year old girls are advocating for sex-ed reforms, and they are doing with with great maturity and articulation. The topic of consent is a large component of their suggestions. Just brilliant. I would hold them up as role models for my two girls.

~Jen

<–previous finds of the week

E2: I’m going to marry Collin – Scene from a household

As I pull the car away from the curb in front of E2’s daycare, I hear E2’s little voice pipe up.

E2: “I’m going to marry Collin.”

This takes me by surprise. Typically I have to fish information about her days at daycare out of her, so that this came out unprompted was unusual.

Me: “Oh really? Why do you think so?”

E2: “Because he loves me.”

Me: “And how do you know he loves you? Does he treat you nicely?”

E2: “He hugs me, and holds my hand. He always sits next to me.”

Me: “I see. And how do you feel about him? You should love him too if you are going to marry him.”

E2: <with a world weary sigh> “Yes yes, of course I love him too.”

Me: “Ok. Well, you are only 4 years old, I’m just warning you that a lot can change by the time you are 18 years old. (And please wait until you are at least 18 years old to get married. Preferably at least 25.) For example, your sister when she was your age she thought for sure she and this boy named Matthew were going to get married. Now she barely remembers what he looks like.”

E2: “I’m sure!”

The next day I decide to ask her teacher about it. During drop-off I see this boy make a beeline for E2, and gives her this big hug that is prolonged into this swaying, rotating, squeeze of a hug. Both have big grins on their faces.

Me: “So…E2 told me yesterday that she wanted to marry Collin. Have they been playing together a lot?”

Teacher: <amused>”Oh my goodness. You should see them together. He is so sweet to her, and they spend quite a bit of time playing together. When E2 is grumpy as we wake her from her nap, he comes over and pats her back or strokes her hair to comfort her.”

Me: “Oh really? And what do they talk about?”

Teacher: “You know…it’s like one of those relationships where not a lot has to be said.”

Oh my sweet E2. I hope you always remember this first love of yours, how nicely he treated you, and how good you feel to be around him, because that is the way you should feel with someone you love.

~Jen

The Humans of My Family

The photoblog Humans of New York(HONY) has received a ton of media attention in the last couple of weeks. If you don’t know what HONY is, it is a photoblog started by a man named Brandon Stanton in 2010 as a sort of artistic project to photograph 10,000 random people in NYC as sort of a visual census. Quickly it evolved to be more intimate connections, as Stanton requests permission from his subjects to photograph them, and interviews them to include a caption or quote from his interviews to tell their story.

In mid January of this year, what started off as a profile of young teenager named Vidal continued to his inspiring principal Ms Lopez and snowballed into an outpouring of respect, admiration and financial support for some programming ambitions for her school in the troubled NYC neighbourhood it serves. The amazingly successful Indiegogo campaign is one of the largest ones on the site to date. Vidal and Stanton were even invited to meet the President of the United States this week.

Wow.

I have been following the HONY blog for some time now, and one of the main reasons that I connect with these are the captions Continue reading The Humans of My Family

Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-02-01

Here are the good/interesting/provoking finds I’ve stumbled across this week: 2015-02-01

  • I don’t know if you’ve caught this story from the photo blogger Humans of New York (HONY), but it’s the kind of thing that restores your faith in the decency of the human spirit and the good of the internet. This is the first post that I saw, and I’ve been following each post since. Any of the posts featuring Vidal or Ms. Lopez beings me to tears. What a great story. The indigogo fundraiser to provide their scholars the opportunity to visit Harvard, has become so successful they now have enough to have 10 years of Harvard visits, summer programs AND provide scholarships to future grads
  • Glassbreakers—a Tinder-like platform to match peer women in the tech field in your area with the intent to create peer mentorships. Like networking, but with a discernible purpose. http://m.fastcoexist.com/3041529/change-generation/women-in-tech-this-platform-will-match-you-to-peer-mentors-tinder-style
  • “Why I Am Not a Maker” [The Atlantic].  “When tech culture only celebrates creation, it risks ignoring those who teach, criticize, and take care of others.” Hear hear. I think in today’s day and culture, this extends past the creation of tech, and includes the glorification of the creation of money. Now how do we bring balance back to our society to value these other highly important contributors to our society?

~Jen

<–Previous week’s finds