The Great Forgetting
. Our first three years are usually a blur and we don’t remember much before age seven. What are we hiding from ourselves? [more inside]
The shortening leash on American children: We heard a lot about sneaking out, petty theft, amateur arson, drugs, and sexual experimentation from our older respondents. But as time passes, the picture of childhood looks a lot less wild and reckless and a lot more monitored. We asked parents how they would react if they caught their kids doing what they had done as kids. A typical response: "I'd probably freak out and turn my home into a prison."
Sometimes life seems really short, and other times it seems impossibly long. But this chart helps to emphasize that it’s most certainly finite. Those are your weeks and they’re all you’ve got.
By the time they reach high school, nearly 20 percent of all American boys will be diagnosed with ADHD.
Washington Post education reporter Valerie Strauss
posted some quotes on her blog to answer the question: "How Hard is Teaching?
" She then received another response, from a veteran seventh-grade language arts teacher in Frederick, Maryland: "I would love to teach but..."
Josh Clark from the Stuff You Should Know Podcast, has put together two amazing galleries of old Halloween costumes. Really old, homemade costumes
, and Seventies and Eighties costumes
'Loss is difficult at any time of life. It can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are still navigating their way, sometimes clumsily, toward adulthood. They know they need help, but are sometimes reluctant to ask for it. And often, because of their youth, their loss may be the first death they have ever known.'
For a year, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sat in on meetings of a grief group at Archbishop Moeller high school, for boys who had lost a parent... and learned The Rules of Grieving
The JV Club
is a podcast [iTunes, SoundCloud]
hosted by comedian, actor and SF Sketchfest founder Janet Varney
. The podcast takes the form of a longform interview with an actor, comedian, writer, or someone else that Varney wishes to interview. The conversation usually focuses on the childhood and teenage years of the interviewee, who is always female, and the interviews frequently get very raw and emotional. The first guest was Christina Hendricks
, and some of my favorite episodes were the interviews with Kerri Kenney Silver
, Maria Bamford
, Tig Notaro
(who came on again
), Stephanie Escajeda
, Morgan Walsh
, Erica Rhodes
, Lynn Chen
, and Susan Orlean
Over the past month, the Sesame Street workshop
on illuminating the experience of military families
, and providing resources
to help them cope with their extraordinary lives.
The Magic Box
[SLYT] (via BoingBoing
). Is it dusty here or is it just me?
"Most American high schools are almost sadistically unhealthy places to send adolescents."
Does the "worst of adult America looks like high school because it’s populated by people who went to high school in America?" [more inside]
Born in Africa to French wildlife photographer parents, Tippi Degré had a most unusual childhood.
The Games We Play. [SLYT]
And you thought you were the only one.
an invaluable resource for anyone who was ever traumatized by a childhood "classic", covers everything from popular kids' books
to bizarre movies
, even that odd little song
you had memorized
as a kid. [more inside]
First recorded 50 years ago, Peter Paul and Mary
's Puff the Magic Dragon
has a rather sad ending: Puff 'sadly slips into his cave' while little Jackie Paper grows up and puts his childhood behind him. But in 2007, Peter Yarrow published a book, Puff, the Magic Dragon
, in which the classic song remains the same, but whose illustrations give us a new glimpse into Puff's future. Here is Mr. Yarrow, performing the song with his daughter Bethany at Woodstock's Bearsville Theatre, in '07
. [more inside]
‘Whatever you do—hang on to your childhood!’ He was true to this in his fashion, both in ways that delight me and in ways that do not. He loved the idea of a birthday celebration, being lavish about it, reminding people that they were once unborn and are now launched. This is bighearted, and we might all do a bit more of it. It would help me to forgive, perhaps just a little, the man who helped generate the Hallmark birthday industry and who, with some of his less imposing and more moistly sentimental prose scenes in A Christmas Carol, took the Greatest Birthday Ever Told and helped make it into the near Ramadan of protracted obligatory celebration now darkening our Decembers. - Christopher Hitchens writes about Charles Dickens in his last Vanity Fair column
The decline of play.
As a society, we have come to the conclusion that to protect children from danger and to educate them, we must deprive them of the very activity that makes them happiest...
"Hot Wheels, Nerf Balls, Spyrograph, View Masters... Remember any of those? Well, that’s the idea behind Jellio
. Think of all those times that you flashed back to something from childhood, and it put a huge grin on your face. Well we think you can surround yourself with a few of those memories on a long-term basis."
"In the course of researching my book The Emotional Life of Nations, I discovered that just before and during wars the nation was regularly depicted as a Dangerous Woman. I collected thousands of magazine covers and political cartoons before wars to see if there were any visual patterns that could predict the moods that led to war, and routinely found images of dangerous, bloodthirsty women.
Sociologist, political psychologist, and founder of The Institute for Psychohistory (no not that one)
Lloyd deMause has written eight books and 90 articles on the link between warfare and parenting practices. With thousands of references to psychological and anthropological studies, deMause makes the case that outbursts of nationalist violence are reenactments of childhood experiences common to large groups.
His book The Origins of War In Child Abuse
is available as a ten-part, free audiobook
; read by Stefan Molyneux
. [more inside]
"We were wondering if you would petition to be emancipated," he said in his lawyer voice.
"What does that mean?" I asked, picking at the mauve paint on my hands. I later discovered that for most kids, declaring emancipation is an extreme measure -- something you do if your parents are crack addicts or deadbeats.
"You would need to become financially independent," he said. "You could work for me at my law firm and pay rent to live here."
This was my moment of truth as an objectivist. If I believed in the glory of the individual, I would've signed the petition papers then and there. But as much as Rand's novels had taught me to believe in meritocracy, they had not prepared me to go it alone financially and emotionally. I began to cry and refused.
As Libya's Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi fights to keep power
, author Hisham Matar
remembers some very emotional childhood experiences
Imagine your hometown never changed.
That no one ever grew old or moved on. Part book, part film, part family photo album, Welcome to Pine Point
unearths a place frozen in time and discovers what happens when an entire community is erased from the map. [Autoplaying music/film in links] [more inside]
Past, I'd like to introduce you to the present.
"Letters Home relies on contributions. We are nothing without readers who are willing to share their stories or respond to others. We don’t think we’re alone in wondering what’s happened to our childhood homes since we left. Or in wanting to share an important event that occurred there – from a birthday party to a marriage proposal, a secret revealed to a lie concealed.
Write a letter to the present occupant (even if it’s still family), the owner of the store that now stands on that lot, whatever or whoever might be there now, and share your memory. Ask them to respond with their own story and photo. Their letter and photo will then be added to your post." How Letters Home works?
Web of stories
- "There are few things more interesting or more pleasurable than to watch someone tell a good story. And one story always leads to another."
Malnutrition, the silent epidemic
- Photojournalist Ron Haviv traveled to Bangladesh to document a silent epidemic that may lack the drama to make the nightly news, but has the power to undermine a world's worth of young lives: childhood malnutrition.
Not satisfied with merely screwing up their kids
, helicopter parents
are swooping in, kicking ass and taking names. Having defeated such scourges as stickball
and the dreaded interwebz
, they have turned their sights elsewhere.
The next front in the War on Childhood? The Best Friend
‘I no longer wish to parent this child’
– part of the note attached to 7 year old Artem Saveliev sent back to Russia yesterday by his American adoptee mother Torry Hansen who claims she was misled by the Russian Authorities as to the boys mental stability. 'A seven-year-old boy arrived at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on April 8 in the morning. The skinny boy had no luggage with him – he was only holding a letter in his hands.'
according to the Russian Media, though other
sources suggest a Russian Tour guide was located on the internet and paid $200 to collect Artem from the Airport and take him to the Russian Authorities. The Kremlin's child rights comissioner Pavel Astakhov and Russian Media
in general are coming down very hard on the American mother and painting this as cruelty rather than tragedy.
writes in the London Review of Books on the James Bulger murder
It really should be read in conjunction with his earlier piece from 1993
to fully appreciate his stance. Previously   [more inside]
A second Edgar Oliver
story was posted [mp3]
on The Moth Podcast yesterday. Recorded in January, 2006, he calls it The Apron Strings of Savannah but the Moth people call it The Story of How Edgar Became Edgar.
Do you let your small children run around naked?
"The sexual component of nudity — and a fear of pedophiles — is what makes some adults object entirely to letting children be naked. Jenny Louie said her husband is so uncomfortable when their 4-year-old daughter, Rebecca, is naked that, even if she is alone in her bedroom, in Los Angeles, he will immediately close her shutters."
"... [M]any of us who were raised in the 1950s, '60s and '70s are survivors
. We were tiny daredevils
: sun-blasted, pocket-knife-carrying, bottom-spanked, cow eaters. We ran the streets armed with BB guns, boxing gloves and bottle rockets, wholly unprotected by bike helmets, sunscreen or Amber Alerts. Our houses were filled with the blue cigarette smoke of our cocktail-drinking parents and we believed it wasn’t supper without a mountain of red meat." [more inside]
- a charmingly animated short in which people talk about childhood misconceptions about sex and childbirth. More on childhood sex misconceptions from Dan Savage 1
. (pretty tame clip, but possibly NSFW) [more inside]
There is something indescribable about the Growing Up Star Wars (1977 - 1985)
Flickr pool. I think it's the fact that the nostalgia for a commercial product actually is pretty moving
. Okay, some
, but in general I'm happy this exists. It's strange to see your childhood and realize how old
Oliver Postgate has died.
The voice of millions of British childhoods, creator of Bagpuss
, The Clangers
and Noggin the Nog
passed away yesterday after a long illness.
I always kind of hoped that God spoke in that voice.