06 February 2015

Weekend linkage

I haven't posted links for ever so long, and thus I have a collection that should keep you busy alllll afternoon.

"Sneaky exercise." Mine is deep knee bends while cleaning up Ellie's toys . . .

Speaking of exercise, here are some Biblical dance moves. I laughed so hard. My favorite is "Lot's wife."

"If Disney princesses had realistic hair."

Paper and Salt, a delightful blog with recipes from or related to classic authors. Each post includes great stories about these writers and, of course, great food.

And now for lots of articles!

"The Jennifer Epidemic."
Beginning in 1970, Jennifer was the top female baby name in the U.S., a position it would hold for a solid 14 years. The run was mirrored in Canada and, to a lesser extent, in the U.K. All before the Internet, before there was any readily available list of popular baby names from province-to-province or state-to-state. Sure, lots of names drift in and out of popularity; but Jennifer was more than just a common baby name, it was a bona fide trend, a phenomenon.
"Henry VIII's Horticultural Manual Revealed."
Written between 1304 and 1309 by Petrus de Crescentiis, a lawyer from Bologna, the Ruralia Commoda contained advice on how to grow giant leeks, how to produce cherries without pits and growing different coloured figs on the same tree. It tells gardeners that “cucumbers shake with fear at thunder”, while a squash will bear fruit after precisely nine days if planted in the ashes of human bone and watered with oil. To get the tastiest lettuces, the manual recommends planting lettuce seed together with a radish, nasturtium and colewort inside a ball of goat manure.
"President Obama Pushes Pre-K and Free College Because He's Got Jack for K-12."
Institutionalizing children earlier and longer won’t lead to more creativity and innovation, which are the real stimulus of economic growth. Real-world experiences—whether it play when young or entry-level jobs when they’re teens—are being taken off the table while politicians mandate more isolation and testing within the confines of public school.
"No, You're Not More of a Real Mom Because Your House is Messy."
I see women encouraging each other to air their dirty laundry and share the not-so-pretty parts of their lives from time-to-time on social media and I get it. We all just want to know that we’re not alone and that other women and moms out there don’t have it all together either, but the thing is: there's always going to be someone out there who does something better than we do.
"The Passion of Pregnancy."
Privately, we can do better at validating the struggles of the pregnant women we know. Flowing from this, in our public discourse, too, we should begin to validate the difficulty of pregnancy instead of simply enumerating its merits . . . Yes, we have had awful pregnancies. Yes, there were times we wished we weren’t pregnant, but we are very glad we didn’t give up. Maybe the arsenal of pro-life bumper stickers could be fortified with a slogan as simple as “Pregnancy is worth it.”
"Love Looks Like . . . 2:07 AM."
We swore we wouldn’t become those tired ones in the middle of their life, living just a regular sort of life . . . Love would look like this for us forever. Like we were somehow above or better than the minivans and mortgages, the tub scrubbing and sheet washing, like our clock would always be made up of bright mornings and late nights. But here’s the truth: lifelong love is actually most built throughout the hours of the day, all twenty four of them, in the ordinary moments of our humanity.
"Kids, the Holocaust, and 'Inappropriate' Play."
. . . children bring the realities of their world into a fictional context, where it is safe to confront them, to experience them, and to practice ways of dealing with them. Some people fear that violent play creates violent adults, but in reality the opposite is true. Violence in the adult world leads children, quite properly, to play at violence. How else can they prepare themselves emotionally, intellectually, and physically for reality?

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