Summary of “When did parenting become so fearful?”

Her new book – Small Animals: Parenthood in The Age of Fear – is the story of how Brooks came to regret that choice.
Small Animals, which was borne of a viral article she wrote for Salon in 2014, is about how Brooks copes with being formally charged as a Bad Mother in a society where that’s considered a serious crime.
In the author’s note Brooks tries to neutralize a line of criticism that she knows is coming: “They may argue that my experience of motherhood would not have been what it was if I had had more money or less, a more high-powered career or no career at all, a more supportive network of extended kin, a different group of friends and neighbors or if I were a single mother, a woman of color, an older or younger mother I’d like to concede the point from the start.” I can understand wanting one’s story to be judged on its own merits, but the intro reads like an attempt to bracket off critical questions about race and class to the moments when Brooks contemplates how much worse her situation would be if she weren’t insulated by privileges.
Brooks serves her 100 hours of community service at home: “I volunteered for the organizations from which my own kids benefitted – their soccer leagues and schools My lawyer assured me that these were perfectly acceptable activities for fulfilling my volunteer hours, since they involved giving time to nonprofit organizations.” Pled guilty to “Contributing to the delinquency of a minor”, Brooks is sentenced to domesticity.
Throughout the book, Brooks keeps asking the right question, but no one has an answer for her.
“There has to be something behind it. Some reason or cause.” “Maybe,” Skenazy answers, “If you figure out what it is, you’ll have to let me know. In the meantime, do you have a lawyer?” There are some digressions into behavioral psychology – a discipline that has fallen on hard times , epistemologically – but what Brooks and the larger critical parenting discourse seem to be missing is a theory of history.
The book gets closest to historical understanding when Skenazy explains the art of “Yuppie jujitsu” to Brooks: In order to win over her reticent peer-moms, she has to convince them “If you don’t send your kids to the park and they don’t break their foot and have to get home on their bike by themselves, they will never get into an Ivy League school; they’ll never run a corporation; they will never earn a Fulbright or find a cure for cancer or have their own hit series on HBO or run for Congress. They’ll be fat, they’ll be lonely, they’ll be sad, they’ll be depressed and anxious and lost” She continues.
Erin Anderson, an occupational therapist, tells Brooks that she sees more and more mothers who were in business applying their professional skills to childrearing: “What I see is many of them doing for their children as they might have done in their job,” Anderson tells her.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Have elite US colleges lost their moral purpose altogether?”

In the fall of 2015, student groups from 80 universities across the US demanded that their universities take action, as one statement put it, to ‘end systemic and structural racism on campus’.
The commentator, who claimed to teach at a US university and remained anonymous, warned that, however ‘exotic’ such language might ‘ring in [German] ears’, these developments would find their way across the Atlantic and into German universities.
In 1862, the US Congress passed the Morrill Act, which generated significant funds for colleges and universities.
In 1911, Weber told an assembly of German professors in Dresden that the new US institutions had adopted a German university model but adapted it to a different culture and to different ends, and their scope now rivalled even the grandest of German universities.
As American colleges and universities transformed into research universities and, as Weber put it, became more ‘metropolitan’ – loosening or even severing their denominational affiliations, replacing the classical curriculum with an elective one, relaxing compulsory chapel attendance – they maintained their commitment to the ethical formation of their students.
Within almost all colleges and universities, with the exception of some religiously affiliated institutions, moral education has shifted from the curriculum – from classrooms and labs – to extracurricular student life.
The transformation of American colleges and universities into corporate concerns is particularly evident in the maze of offices, departments and agencies that manage the moral lives of students.
Over the course of the 20th century, America’s elite colleges and universities continued to out-compete, out-perform and quite simply out-capital not only their German predecessors but almost all institutions of higher education around the world.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Archaeologists explore a rural field in Kansas, and a lost city emerges”

Using freshly translated documents written by the Spanish conquistadors more than 400 years ago and an array of high-tech equipment, Blakeslee located what he believes to be the lost city of Etzanoa, home to perhaps 20,000 people between 1450 and 1700.
Blakeslee says the site is the second-largest ancient settlement in the country after Cahokia in Illinois.
On a recent morning, Blakeslee supervised a group of Wichita State students excavating a series of rectangular pits in a local field.
Blakeslee, 75, became intrigued by Etzanoa after scholars at UC Berkeley retranslated in 2013 the often muddled Spanish accounts of their forays into what is now Kansas.
Blakeslee enlisted the help of the National Park Service, which used a magnetometer to detect variations in the earth’s magnetic field and find features around town that looked like homes, storage pits and places where fires were started.
“There was a lost city right under our noses.”
Kansas State Archaeologist Robert Hoard said that based on the Spanish accounts and the evidence of a large settlement, it’s “Plausible” that Blakeslee has found Etzanoa.
Blakeslee has found archaeological evidence in Rice and McPherson counties for other large settlements extending for miles, which he believes existed around the same time as Etzanoa.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The education of Derek Jeter, baseball CEO”

MIAMI – FOR TWO DECADES as New York Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter distinguished himself with his impeccable work habits and mind-numbing consistency.
“Amid numerous reports that Jeter wants to rid Marlins Park of the”Homer” sculpture in center field, Jeter refuses to be pinned down publicly.
DEREK JETER THE PLAYER developed a great comfort level over 25 years in uniform.
“I’m a frustrated game watcher,” Jeter says.”Over the years, I heard people say, ‘He doesn’t like to watch baseball.
“In my mind, baseball needs to cater to the younger demographic,” Jeter says.”It’s not always about who wins, but the experience you have.
“That’s one of my goals during the season – to pick his brain and talk to him about how he prepared to play 162 games at shortstop,” Rojas says.”I feel like it’s a blessing that we have Derek Jeter around and we can take advantage of that.
It’s all part of the balance Jeter must strike as a new team owner and baseball icon.
He’s the best, most persuasive advocate for the Marlins franchise, but he wants it to be less the Derek Jeter Show and more a long-range team effort to build something that lasts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Email Someone You Haven’t Talked to in Forever”

At some point in our careers, we find ourselves in need of help from others – whether it’s to make a direct connection to a hiring manager, to gather information on a prospective client company, or to get help in learning about a new industry quickly.
As if reaching out to ask for help wasn’t hard enough, what do you do when the person whose help you need is someone you haven’t spoken to in over a decade?
When it would help you to ask for help from someone you’ve lost touch with, you don’t need to feel awkward.
The last thing any of us want is to be seen as the person who reaches out to someone only when we need something from them.
By viewing your request in the context of a larger, reciprocal relationship and asking how you can be helpful to the other person, you help to build the relationship.
By saying something like, “Please let me know how I can be helpful to you, either now or in the future,” you open the door for them to reach out for help when they need it.
Regardless of whether your contact is able to help you, letting him or her know in a short note that you appreciate their reply and are glad to be back in touch can leave both parties feeling good about the interaction.
Reaching out to those that we’ve lost touch with doesn’t have to be a huge hurdle to asking for help when we need it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Dare You Represent Your People That Way: The Oral History of ‘Better Luck Tomorrow'”

Nearly two decades ago, Justin Lin had a bold idea: What if he made a movie about Asian-Americans?
“I didn’t want to make an Asian-American film. I wanted to make a movie about Asian-American characters.”
“I grew up wanting to be Robert De Niro, not some good Asian boy next door.”
“Asian-Americans, in the hierarchy of race, never quite made it to the top. We always get pushed over for some reason.”
“In some ways, it’s harder to make a film that matters than it is to make a good film. Better Luck Tomorrow mattered.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The great African regreening: millions of ‘magical’ new trees bring renewal”

The sand under its stately trees looked completely barren, but Souley Cheibou, a farmer in his 60s, was not worried.
They were gao trees – known as winterthorns in English – with unique, seemingly magical powers.
Over the past three decades, the landscape of southern Niger has been transformed by more than 200m new trees, many of them gaos.
Small-scale farmers have achieved it because of what the trees can do for crop yields and other aspects of farming life.
With less space to expand into as more people are born, hard-up farmers are increasingly realising that the trees can regenerate degraded land.
The ambitious Great Green Wall project to surround the Sahara desert with trees and other plants has changed beyond recognition after debate over whether desertification – the process by which soil loses its fertitlity – is real.
In areas with the best cover, they organised patrols to protect their trees from passing farmers and neighbouring villagers seeking firewood.
Their loyalty to their gaos could make areas around Zinder the most vulnerable to a disease that Reij and Tougiani have recently spotted killing trees near Niamey, the capital.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Chen Chen Aziza Barnes Layli Long Soldier Poetry”

One poem of Barnes’s that I keep returning to starts with a minor domestic scene: The speaker finds a centipede near her writing desk.
The opening poem of the book, it’s a wandering lament for a basic human failing.
Many of the poems in i be, but i ain’t beg to be experienced viva voce, and it’s easy to imagine them bellowed in front of the footlights, or slung coolly back and forth in front of the camera.
While performance seems to suit the strengths of Barnes’s work, Layli Long Soldier’s poetry is harder to separate from the page-which doesn’t mean that it rests there comfortably.
The vow to compose sentences with care comes from “38,” a five-page poem that acts as a fulcrum between the shorter poems in the book’s first section and the longer “Whereas Statements” of the book’s second and final section.
The poem builds force with stark, declarative sentences, each standing as a stanza or paragraph on its own.
“Real” poems do not “Really” require words.
Then she reconsiders: After all, the trader’s words initiate the poem, “Click the gears of the poem into place.” It’s telling that even in the most straightforward portion of the book, Long Soldier deploys language to mark its own limits, to probe its utility, to take its measure against concrete and tangible actions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Teens get a bad rap’: the neuroscientist championing moody adolescents”

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore looks barely older than a teenager herself.
“Until about 15 or 20 years ago,” she says, “We just didn’t know that the brain develops at all within the teenage years.” Until then, it was assumed that teenage behaviour was almost entirely down to hormonal changes in puberty, but brain scans and psychological experiments have now found that adolescence is a critical period of neurological change, much of which is responsible for the unique characteristics of adolescent behaviour.
“Teenagers get a really bad rap and we mock them and demonise them more than we do any other section of society. And it’s not right. They’re going through an important stage of their development that they need to go through. Most parents don’t know that their teenagers are undergoing such a transformation.”
Blakemore likes to talk about her work by beginning with a quote from a teenager’s diary dated 20 July 1969: “I went to arts centre in yellow cords and blouse. Ian there but didn’t speak to me. Got rhyme put in my handbag from someone who’s apparently got a crush on me. It’s Nicholas I think. UGH. Man Landed on moon.”
Parents fret about their teenagers’ obsession with social media and selfies, but Blakemore says it is only the logical consequence of technology making their imaginary audience real.
“There’s a lot of evidence that teenagers value other teenagers’ views more than adults’ views. There have been studies on bullying – and smoking – showing that if you get the young people themselves to run campaigns, they have a much bigger affect on attitudes than if the same campaigns are carried out by teachers.”
Like most adults thrust on to a stage, teenagers who believe in their imaginary audience want nothing more than to blend into the wings – and Blakemore’s work has helped her make sense of her own blushing teenage self.
“That’s not what teenagers do. And it’s really important that they don’t, because they have to become independent from us – so there has to be a lot of rebellion, and embarrassment in front of us, and it’s all part of what’s important for teenagers to do. But that’s really hard for parents to take. And I think that’s reflected in society this sneering we do about teenagers.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The last Blockbuster: ‘I’m proud that we’ve survived'”

Standing unpretentiously in the car park of a petrol station at a busy intersection in Oregon, this Blockbuster is the last one still open in the US. Over 10 years ago, the Blockbuster chain, known for short-term rentals of films on video cassette and DVD, numbered 9,000 stores around the world.
The store in Bend, Oregon, is a franchise and became the last one after two independent locations in Alaska shut down in July.
The best stories are about the parents who bring their kids and are like: “This is what we used to do, we used to grab a movie and take it around.” Or the ones talking about how they had their first dates going to Blockbuster.
We have a beautiful grass in front of our store and three weeks ago there wasn’t a path to the Blockbuster sign like there’s now – yellow, worn out grass from everybody taking their pictures.
It doesn’t matter what colour of skin, religion or political affiliation, everybody in the world has a happy feeling when they think about Blockbuster and it brings us all together.
A woman who had managed a Blockbuster store in California came with her family and it was like we were long-lost friends.
All the media hype has actually reminded people that we’re here and we’ve had more customers coming in saying “Hey, we want to support you, we want to keep our last Blockbuster in Bend.” That’s been really wonderful.
The elements of a traditional Blockbuster have all been kept: yellow walls, candy machines, even the computer system with its blue screen.

The orginal article.