Beach Update

I’m trying to blog on an old iPad in a beach house. Let’s see if this works…

Love this article about the twisted Russian media narratives about the Malaysian plane.

This David Carr article about the print media dinosaur is pretty excellent.

In other news, we made a rock-star paella on the grill last night. We all have little patches of sunburn on our shoulders and backs due to sloppy sunscreen application. And now I’m going to join some sandy, sticky children at the beach.

Apt. 11D Update

We’re leaving tomorrow morning for a week at the beach. To celebrate their 50th anniversary, my parents rented a couple of houses down the Jersey shore for all fourteen of us. We’re looking forward to a lot of laziness. I’ll probably keep blogging when I’m down there. Redheads can only deal with the sun for so long. So, Ian and I will retreat to the houses with our respective electronic devices.

Blogging will continue, but will be at strange times.

Learning to Speak

I’m fascinated with theories of language acquisition, because one of my kids was mute due to autism. He talks now. He actually talks quite well. No accents. No modulation problems. No studders. His pragmatic speech needs work. Pragmatic speech is the ability to say the appropriate things at the right time and to talk about a wide range of topics. It’s closely related to social skills.

Yesterday, we waited in the lobby of the JCC  for the shuttle bus that takes him to the daycamp location. An elderly woman slowly shuffled into the center. She leaned on her walker and made a couple of steps here and there. Ian shouted to her in cheerful voice, “Hey, Old Lady. Do you need some help?” Sweet, but not appropriate. On the plus side, he noticed things in the greater environment, he showed empathy, he attempted interaction, and he quickly accepted a correction from me that elderly people should not be addressed as “Old Lady.”

Ian has done much, much better than his peers who also had speech delays at that early age coupled with autism. In general, the prognosis for those kids are not good. Ian’s other issues are relatively mild and he has a high IQ, so that helped him out quite a bit. I also think that some things we did at home helped.

Slate has an article about an old PBS documentary about the evolution of speech. Here’s a clip of the movie.

How Much Does it Cost to Deport A Kid?

Really interesting numbers from the New Republic about the cost of deporting the kids who are flooding into America.

If you break out the real cost of deporting a child, it’s much lower than $60,000 a child. A 2010 Center for American Progress report found it cost$23,482 to apprehend, detain, and deport a person. But because today’s unaccompanied migrants are turning themselves in, the actual cost is much lower. By not factoring in apprehension costs, Phil Wolgin, an immigration policy expert at the Center for American Progress, told me that the estimated cost per deportation is closer to $5,200 to $8,500. However, this is contingent on another part of Obama’s plan: Immigration courts need to be able to process cases in under 60 days. Right now, wait times are closer to 600 days.

SL 614

I’m not weighing into the Israel-Palestinian thing, but I will point out interesting articles. Check out this one from my friend, Allison Kaplan Sommer.

Mollie Hemingway and Mark Hemingway take aim at the liberal media. Many of her criticism are valid, but I don’t think that sloppiness is a liberal vice. It’s part and parcel of the new media landscape.

A petition to get Department of Labor to investigate the use of contingent labor at universities.

How would you look photographed in a week’s worth of trash?

Charlie Sheen.

More on Rapes on College Campuses

(Sorry, y’all, for spotty posting this week. Family duties and all.)

Tenured Radical has a great post on sexual assaults on college campuses in The Chronicle. She’s rough on everyone.

What is really interesting is that the people who create and sustain the conditions for sexual assault on campus — whether administrators, faculty, coaches, or students — consistently present themselves as normal, caring human beings. There is not a college president in the United States who does not insist indignantly how much he or she cares about the “victims” of rape. You would think, listening to this genuine outrage, that the entire mechanism of a college comes to a halt and the calendar of every administrator is cleared until they get to the bottom of things (in the rare event that someone is actually raped on their campuses). All college presidents “take rape very seriously;” but almost none seem to think these rapes have anything to do with their own failed student life and disciplinary policies…

Characterizing raped women as “victims” and “survivors” who need to have their “emotional needs” prioritized by the institution gets everyone off the hook, even though it is perfectly apparent that raped women get minimal attention and poor care. Who benefits from this false assertion? The college administration, the fraternities, the alumni who support fraternity autonomy, and the rapists. Let’s not forget the other students whose right to party is inviolable, and who seem to think it is appropriate to watch women be raped, take pictures of them, tweet them all over God’s green earth, and then bully women who report the crimes….

Women currently play a prominent role in creating sexually unsafe spaces, excusing guys who rape, and slut-shaming women who have been raped. Rape is not a man vs. woman thing anymore; it is a man + his friends + all their girlfriends + all the girlfriends’ girlfriends vs. the raped woman thing. Sure, it’s easy to blame the people with the penises, but how about all those women who are at parties and not stepping forward to stop rapes? Then there are the women who need to be cool so badly that they participate vigorously in slut-shaming and reassuring the campus on Anonymous Confession Boards that “my boyfriend is a member of (name frat/team) and they are all really good guys who would never do something like this. This is just a bad breakup and she is a big lying beyotch.”

Ack. I keep cutting and pasting paragraphs. Read the whole thing and then get back to me. Is she right about all this?

Girlie Friday

I’m in a sundress waiting for my little birds to come home. My dad will be dropping off Ian from his summer camp. Jonah will be long boarding up the block any minute. (It isn’t a skate board, moooommmm. It’s a LONG board. Eye roll.) And Steve promised he would take an early train home. When the birds are all together, we’re going to find a sleepy restaurant along the side of the Hudson River. A bottle of red and some nice garlic-y mussels.

In the meantime, I have a few minutes for girlie-ness.

I like this dress from the GAP.

I am starting to like the idea of a Fitbit.

My first generation iPad is on its last legs. The Apple iPad mini  is pretty awesome. The other tablets don’t really stack up. Trying to decide if we absolutely need one or should we wait for the bargain prices in September when a new model comes out.

I had a good friend in college who always smelled of patchouli and had an awesome paisley comforter. Because of Lorie, I only put paisley on my bed. I have three paisley duvet covers from Pottery Barn. They are having a sale. Maybe I need one more.

Candlesticks in fun colors.