Lyse Links: Adoption, texting, and hit songs


I’ve led with some shorter/lighter pieces, but the last few links are hefty. Enjoy!

Texting with Boys — This is an op-ed, so not as thorough as I’d like, but it’s a fascinating look at differences in communication. I have several similarities with the author, including a mostly-female family, plus emphasis on written communication (obviously).

Couple buys street in millionaire neighborhood — in a comedy of errors revealed by one couple’s stroke of astonishing luck, the street in a private high-scale neighborhood is now owned by outside individuals who are scheming ways to make money from their acquisition. Moral of the story: pay your taxes.

Trump’s positive news folder — for someone who doesn’t want to argue politics, I share a lot of political stories. This one caused a Twitter uproar about the President’s delusion. That’s up for anyone’s perception. BUT. If you’ve spent much time in entrepreneurial circles or high achiever optimization literature, this will sound pretty familiar. Starting the day with affirmations or positive thinking is not so unusual. Maybe not normal (or good?) for a president, but not as odd or laughable as many people think it is.

The Children of Strangers — this is an excellent profile of a family that had or adopted more than 20 children. Large families are a point of contention for many reasons, some of which will be obvious in this article. But I like a few things about the article. First, the author makes a serious attempt at relating the story with little commentary or bias. Second, I think it provides a good picture of the trade-offs necessary in any family. No family is perfect. Every decision to say “yes” is also saying “no” to something else. So “yes” to 20+ children means that more children have a family. But it also means less money, (probably) less time with each child, etc. In the end, I think these parents made the best decisions they could based on their values. Those choices probably helped their kids in some ways. And too much time thinking about “what-ifs” will drive you crazy.

The hit song you’ve never heard of (sold more than the Beatles) — The world is a big, diverse place. So much so that you’ve probably never heard of the man who created a hit song that sold more copies than any Beatles song. It’s a great story about music and legacy in Africa.

Has the smartphone destroyed a generation? — Look, I hate doom and gloom generational opinions as much as anyone. But this is a balanced, data-backed article from a generational researcher. Strongly recommended for anyone who cares about generational profiles, the current adolescent generation, or the effects of technology on human behavior.

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28/30 Book Review: Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science


Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science
Mary Roach
Nonfiction/Journalism/Science

Summary

In Bonk, the best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn’t Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

Less taboo than you might think

Let’s just get this out of the way–it’s a book how sex works and what science knows about sex. It’s not erotica. Yes, it talks about erections and orgasm and arousal and all kinds of body parts. But it’s quite tasteful, for the most part. Any adult could read this book and not feel guilty. Continue reading

12/30 Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Aimee Bender
Fiction/Fantasy?/Magical Realism

Summary

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes Continue reading

Oh, Greta! The Library’s Real Role on Campus


Greta’s tweet triggered instant anger & humorless laughing for me, so I’m glad someone took the time to explain why she’s wrong. I’ve been in several university libraries & none of them are vanity projects in any way.

Mr. Library Dude

This morning, media personality Greta Van Susteren tweeted out:

A vanity project? Hah! No library I’ve ever worked in could be called a “vanity project.”

The tweet was in response to a Yahoo Finance article: College is Still Getting More Expensive: What Can Stop It?

No real surprises here: College is too expensive and yes, debt is a concern for most students and families–something that most of us agree with.

The comment about smartphones? A flippant remark that reveals a real lack of understanding about academic research and how information is accessible to students.

But a vanity project? A 2012 article on InsideHigherEd.com reported that library budgets as a percentage of the total university budget had fallen from a high of 3.83% in 1974…

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A Note on Wikipedia’s 15th Birthday


I wasn’t prepared for Wikipedia’s 15th birthday (today) and I have homework to do, so this won’t be long. But here’s what I want you to know about Wikipedia.

Wikipedia shaped my teen years. I joined the site in 2009 and logged 10,000 edits in 3 years. I created over 9000 pages. I met countless people, read about numerous subjects, and contributed a little bit to global knowledge. I learned a lot about proofreading, formatting in html, and citing sources. Wikipedia changed how I think about Continue reading

Attempting to like the cold


I don’t like cold weather. Any cold weather. I’m a complete wimp about it. I grew up in the deep, deep south of the United States, where Christmas is regularly celebrated in 80 degrees.

I still live in the south, but not south enough, so now it’s cold and I’m not happy.

But I’m trying to practice gratitude. So here are the things I do like about the cold.

  • clear skies and bright stars
  • the smell of smoke on the wind
  • cozy cuddles
  • jeans and boots
  • bright scarves
  • hot food
  • no mosquitos
  • no cockroaches
  • no spiders
  • fires
  • not sweating through my clothes

I don’t like any of those things nearly as much as I like hot sunshine and bare feet and long days and actually enjoying the outside, but I’m trying.

What is your list?

 

Things I Did Today


(More interesting/intellectual stuff coming when I finish editing my final projects. I question the sanity in attending grad school.)

  • Listen to “The Last Goodbye” 6 times (and counting).
  • Plan the next possible LOTR/Hobbit movie marathon with my sister — probably  2017. Maybe.
  • Have a happy heart attack when a dog walked into my office. (YES, A DOG JUST WALKED THROUGH THE DOOR INTO MY OFFICE.* We don’t normally have dogs.)
  • Pet said dog for 15 minutes.
  • Contemplate dognapping.
  • Listen to “I See Fire” 4 times.
  • Spend entire morning at work typing with my penguin mittens (because they have fingerless gloves). I’m really good at convincing people that I’m a real adult.
  • Run 1 mile.
  • Feel like dying.
  • Make lists to procrastinate on school projects.
  • Refresh Twitter 27 billion times. (Guys, TWITTER. There are authors and they talk to each other and it’s like a window to the lives of celebrities. Yes, authors are celebrities.)

So, what did you do with your life today? Also, I need song suggestions, clearly.

*The dog was accompanied by people. I just didn’t originally see them. And let’s be real, they’re not important to this story.