Links & News 7-16-13

learning updates,

It’s clear these won’t be weekly links. Just occasional, hey you might want to look at this links.

As for our news from our little farm, this summer our Belarusian daughter Tanya is back! She came here every summer when she was a little girl through the Children of Chernobyl program. Now she’s a new university grad and it’s a delight to see her. Hopefully I’ll write a post about it before the summer is over. Right now I’m still struggling to find out how she likes to fill her days. Unlike her little girl self, she’s now so polite that she refuses to express much in the way of an opinion.

As for links, I share a lot of them via the Free Range Learning page on Facebook, but most people have more social media self-control than I do. So here are a few links for you to enjoy.


collateral repair project, iraqi christian refugees,

This Iraqi Christian family fled after receiving threats that the entire family would be killed. The father can find work a few days a month, CRP provides food vouchers, cleaning kits, and gifts for the kids.

One of my favorite causes, Collateral Repair Project – Helping You Help Iraqi Refugees has been awarded Top-Rated Nonprofit Status. This shoestring operation does amazing work. Zip over to their Facebook page or site to see the families they’re helping directly every day. They make even a few dollars in donations go a long way.

“This is the world I want to live in, the shared world.” Rediscover it through Naomi Shihab Nye’s story-poem, Gate 4-A, from her book Honeybee.



Your life has been enhanced and/or twisted in ways you may not realize thanks to your name. The moniker you carry around affects your grades, job evaluations, even how others perceive you. Find out how in Does Your Name Help or Hinder?

Finding common ground with people who hold extreme opinions may be easier than you think. A recent study finds it has to do with asking them to explain an issue (nicely!). Find out more in The Less We Know, The Surer We Are.

Oy Vey

robot takeover, killer robots,

If my research holds true we humans may be on our way to becoming squishy fuel for autonomous machines. But no one likes hysterical articles, so I aim for a sardonic tone when writing about robots. (See if I’ve achieved it in my most recent piece Is a Robot Takeover Around the Corner?) Unfortunately the leading non-profit working on this issue has taken the easily mockable name Stop Killer Robots. And when the UN discusses lethal autonomous robotics (LARs), recommending a moratorium, media outlets are too busy with royal pregnancies and snarky politicians. I’m not entirely anti-robot, believe me. A robot vacuums my floors


Growing & Learning


Enthusiastic parents buy plenty of toys and games for little ones that marketers assure them will promote reading readiness. Balderdash. It has a lot more to do with movement and play. There are lots of no-cost ideas in Get Ready to Read By Playing.

Pediatrician Stephen Cowan, author of Fire Child, Water Child, has written a lovely piece titled 11 Things I Wish Every Parent Knew. These are things I wish everyone knew.


Extraordinary piece about an attempted murder, titled The Night I Died. Author Tracy Cochran writes, “Things happen, even terrible things, but they are not what they seem to be. And we aren’t alone. There is a light, a luminosity behind the appearances of this world.”

Auditory Yes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s