I’m not blogging much these days…too much of the rest of my life is under construction. But there’s a lot of cool info and resources on my other pages, so check those out.
For those of us not lucky enough to live in cities where there is forward thinking transportation policy, we can but dream of things like NYC’s cool bike lanes where they are protected from the traffic by the line of parked cars. Of course this was up in leafy Morningside Heights. Other parts of the city still seem pretty scary to ride around in, but the bike share program is certainly taking off.
The whole Steubenville rape case and trial and media coverage does my head in, in so many ways that I don’t even know where to begin. But this is a good place. Well written, measured, sensible. Read it, think about it, live it.
“In general, I’d say, don’t idle in neutral. There is no neutral. Standing still in this environment is worse than running backward. It takes affirmative time and energy to change culture. It’s exhausting and demoralizing some days. But, there is a growing and passionate community of people, enabled through technology, enthusiastically doing this work. They’re easy to find and growing every day.”
Definitely worth a listen:
“When Emily Bazelon was in eighth grade, her friends fired her. Now a senior editor for Slate, Bazelon writes in her new book, Sticks and Stones: “Two and a half decades later, I can say that wryly: it happened to plenty of people, and look at us now, right? We survived. But at the time, in that moment, it was impossible to have that kind of perspective.”
In Sticks and Stones, Bazelon explores teen bullying, what it is and what it isn’t, and how the rise of the Internet and social media make the experience more challenging.
“It really can make bullying feel like it’s 24/7,” Bazelon tells Fresh Air’sTerry Gross. Comparing it with her own experience as a young teenager, she says that “when I got home from school, there was a break. I didn’t have to deal with [my friends] directly, and I could sort of put myself back together in the afternoon and evening. Whereas now when you come home if you’re a victim of bullying, you’re likely to see this continue on a social media site or via texting.”
For parents who grew up without the Internet, understanding the technology that is an integral aspect of today’s kid culture is a struggle, she says. Her question regarding that generational gulf informs the book. A parent herself, Bazelon says that she wanted to think about what limits made sense to set as her children entered the online world.
To complicate matters further, there is the issue of what role schools should play in a teen’s digital life.
“We don’t make schools responsible for all the stuff that kids do at the movies or on the beach or walking down the street,” Bazelon says, “and yet if there’s a cruel thread on Facebook or Twitter or a bunch of mean harassing texts go around, it’s very typical for parents to bring those into the school and ask for help because they naturally feel that since it’s among students, the school should have some role. I think it’s clear that schools can help kids and parents talk through these situations. What I think is much trickier is whether they can really take on the role of punishing, and … are schools really set up to police all this behavior, and do we really want them to play that role?”
LISTEN TO THE FULL PROGRAM HERE:
A five minute video with soppy music, but food for thought. It’s ostensibly about education and raising children. But there’s a lot more here. It really speaks to me about the human impulse to simplify things (and people) by putting them in boxes. And that makes progress hard because it means a lot of cool stuff gets missed.
Kind of fits with Mark Bittman’s advice: patience. One town, one small law, 3 years. But it’s a start.
“Concord, Massachusetts has become one of the first communities in the U.S. to ban the sale of single-serving plastic water bottles.
According to the Associated Press, the plastic bottle ban resulted from a three-year campaign by local activists. The activists pushed to reduce waste and fossil fuel use.”
“Lead by example, not by volume. Be encouraging, not a know-it-all.”
1. Keep an open mind.
2. Take it one step at a time.
3. Add — don’t subtract.
4. Don’t ban anything but bans themselves.
5. Don’t be a jerk (or, how to set a good example)