Should schools make kids give everyone a valentine?
Samantha M. Schroeder
'Brooklyn' offers a love story -- and some tips on courtship.
Can a modern, independent woman watch 'The Bachelor' unironically?
R. J. Moeller
Prediction: a President Trump would turn cabinet meetings into reality TV "board meetings".
Learning how to lose graciously is as important as winning.
Since when was the Super Bowl about inciting terrorism and race war?
Wed. February 10
Wouldn’t it be great not to have to worry about money? No need to get up and go to a job, instead you could just enjoy yourself and really live?
This fantasy has plenty of appeal, and, no doubt, just about everyone entertains this line of thinking from time to time when the alarm goes off too early on Monday morning. Yet after a cup of coffee, most people recognize that working is actually an important part of living—not a distraction from it—and idleness would feel like a plague if indulged for too long.
But maybe not: CNN Money recently reported on how Y Combinator, a Silicon-valley based organization that provides seed funding and other assistance to entrepreneurs, is planning a study to see how people respond to being freed from the necessity of earning an income. Y Combinator CEO Sam Altman believes that, as technology eradicates the…
Wed. February 10
While the rest of the world was parsing the political overtones of Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime performance, UCLA gymnast Sophina DeJesus was giving a truly revolutionary gymnastics performance:
What was exceptional about Ms. DeJesus’ routine (apart from her gymnastics prowess, which is amazing, and her individuality), was the obvious support she received from both the crowd and her teammates. Ms. DeJesus’ blending of hip-hop dance moves with traditional gymnastics turned her into a viral video sensation, but it’s her enthusiasm and joy that keeps us all watching.
Tue. February 9
For football players and fans alike, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most important days of the year. The same goes for corporations; knowing they have an unusually large and dedicated audience, companies often spend obscene amounts of time, energy, and money putting out the best advertisements they can create. Super Bowl commercials now generate their own kind of competition—long after the game ends, people are still ranking and talking about the best and worst ads that aired.
This year, united in orange, the Denver Broncos and Doritos walked away the winners. The marketing gurus behind the crunchy orange chip aired an ad early in the game and it immediately had people both laughing and complaining. Two days later, the Doritos ad still has people talking.
Why did a commercial about a snack food generate such controversy?
In the ad, a heavily pregnant woman is undergoing an ultrasound…
Tue. February 9
Media outlets recently reported that China is hiring male teachers to combat what they see as the feminizing effects of too many female teachers. According to the New York Times:
Worried that a shortage of male teachers has produced a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys, Chinese educators are working to reinforce traditional gender roles and values in the classroom.
In Zhengzhou, a city on the Yellow River, schools have asked boys to sign pledges to act like “real men.” In Shanghai, principals are trying boys-only classes with courses like martial arts, computer repair and physics. In Hangzhou, in eastern China, educators have started a summer camp called West Point Boys, complete with taekwondo classes and the motto, “We bring out the men in boys.”
China’s approach is wise and much needed, both in Asia and the West. Many female teachers are doing a wonderful job, but schoolboys are…
Tue. February 9
When black Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in an apparent Black Power salute during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at their awards ceremony in 1968 in Mexico City, the condemnation was swift and nearly universal. Smith and Carlos were kicked out of the Games. A typical TIME magazine piece on the affair reads:
‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ is the motto of the Olympic Games. ‘Angrier, nastier, uglier’ better describes the scene in Mexico City last week. There, in the same stadium from which 6,200 pigeons swooped skyward to signify the opening of the ‘Peace Olympics,’ Sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two disaffected black athletes from the U.S. put on a public display of petulance that sparked one of the most unpleasant controversies in Olympic history and turned the high drama of the games into theater of the absurd.
That was then. Sunday night, Beyoncé…
Tue. February 9
Does your baby cry and want to be held? Is this extremely annoying? Do you just want a break from your demanding infant? Then I have found the product for you: Introducing the Babocush, a gently rocking bouncy-style seat that looks like the love child of a miniature mechanical bull and a diaper changing table.
Babocush promises “absolute contentment for unsettled babies,” brilliant marketing language for targeting today’s helicopter parents. “Absolute” contentment (because nothing less will do!) for “unsettled” (not, heaven forfend, “average,” “cranky” or “gassy”) babies.
The Babocush has sparked controversy, however, with commenters on the company’s Facebook page wondering if babies might miss the comfort of a mother’s heartbeat or smell when strapped into their Babocush.
But the company is quick to reassure its customers that’s it’s fine to outsource affection to a bouncy seat in order to enjoy a little “me” time. “When…
Mon. February 8
Is the smashing success of Netflix’s latest original series, Making a Murderer, a testament to American’s thirst for justice? Or is it an on-demand stream of redneck voyeurism for today’s elites?
The show is a documentary-style series that chronicles the wrongful conviction of Steven Avery, who served 18 years in jail, was exonerated, and then was subsequently convicted and re-incarcerated for another crime. It has been a boon for Netflix.
As Forbes’ Paul Tassi wrote, “I have never seen a show consume the pop culture conversation like this outside of when programs like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones kill off a major character.” It’s the show everyone is talking about.
Or is it?
As USA TODAY points out, the subscriber-based nature of Netflix makes quantifying viewership “nothing but a guessing game.” Unlike traditional cable networks or movies that make it to the box office,…
Mon. February 8
As my fifth grade daughter heads toward elementary school graduation this Spring (sniff, sniff) and into the big world of middle school, I’ve realized how much she’s learned since kindergarten in reading, writing, and arithmetic. But this year her teachers decided to give her a lesson in something most adults hope never to have to deal with—unemployment.
Depending on which parents you talk to, schools today are either too cushy (constantly worrying about whether kids are happy and not feeling anxious) or too demanding (with constant testing and less and less outdoor playtime). Whether you want more cushion or more rigor, all parents want their children to learn the skills they will need to get a job instead of a permanent spot on the basement couch after college. The program at my daughter’s school is a positive way to teach kids about some of the “realities” they will…
Mon. February 8
So the Super Bowl happened last night. And amid the hype leading up to the game Beyoncé dropped a new single, “Formation,” that is already being hailed as the new theme song for the Black Lives Matter movement. (The video features images of a black child dancing in front of police officers in riot gear and graffiti that says, “Stop Shooting Us,” as well as scenarios meant to invoke memories of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.)
She performed the song during the half time show, joining Coldplay and Bruno Mars, who served as her backup boy band—oops! I mean, who also performed some of their music.
Talking about “Formation,” the New York Times‘ Jenna Wortham argued that Beyoncé was “electing to parade her substantial wealth and ability to outearn most men in the music industry (including her husband, Jay Z) during the Super Bowl—the flagship event of male…
Fri. February 5
No one in the public eye is currently driving more media attention and polarized debate than presidential aspirant, reality TV star, and billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump. His arrogance inspires rabid admiration and visceral disgust in equal measure. Many are horrified by the prospect that, as President, the bullying Trump might prove to be a Putin-style authoritarian; many find that same cocky aggressiveness to be electrifyingly, refreshingly virile. This raises an interesting, overlooked question: As a man, what kind of a role model would a President Trump be for our sons?
In her recent City Journal article “Coarsener in Chief,” Heather MacDonald addresses that very question. She is not a fan; after condemning Trump as “the most gratuitously nasty public figure that this country has seen in living memory” and “the very definition of a bully,” she urges his conservative supporters to consider Trump’s “effect on civilized mores”:
This year Ash Wednesday falls just half a week before…CONTINUE READING >
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