A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? Did you have a good week? Happily, my mini-high school reunion stretched a bit and we ended up getting a third day together. So yesterday (Friday), we drove to Muir Woods National Monument (pictured above) so we could see some gorgeous redwood trees. I hadn’t been there in a couple of years and loved being back. It feels like a sacred spot to me.

Ben Blair flew to Utah very early yesterday morning — he’s speaking at the Sunstone Summer Symposium in Salt Lake City today. And Olive took care of everything during the overlap and beyond. Turns out I did not get enough sleep during the mini-reunion and was a bit wiped out when I got home. Hah! And Olive made sure the younger three made it to swim team practice, ordered pizza for dinner, and gathered them to watch a movie after dinner. Everyone stepped up and were such good sports. Gosh we have wonderful kids. I appreciate them so much.

I didn’t get much time online this week, but I was still able to gather some excellent links for you. Here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

A gorgeous essay titled The Crane Wife. Ten days after she called off her engagement, she went on a scientific expedition to study the whooping crane on the gulf coast of Texas.

-This is new: Plastic bottles sales banned at San Francisco’s airport. Are they banning plastic soda and juice bottles too (like Coke)? If not, are we just driving consumers to buy sugary drinks? Or will it be more like only allowing drinks they come in aluminum or paper containers?

-Oddity. Someone made a font out of gerrymandered congressional districts.

-This bums me out. The U.S. government has decided to allow off-road vehicles access at a Utah national monument that houses sacred tribal sites.

-Owning a Car Will Soon Be as Quaint as Owning a Horse. (NYT) Agree? Disagree?

-Auto debt is up. Student debt is up. Unsecured loans are back. The American middle class is drowning.

-Wait. What?? High-income parents are transferring legal guardianship of their children to friends, so the kids can claim financial aid.

Do your kids pretend play like in Toy Story?

-Well this is disturbing. A Trump aide submitted drafts of his 2016 “America First” energy speech to senior United Arab Emirates officials for edits.

-I’m getting lots of recommendations to watch The Great Hack. It’s a new Netflix documentary about the connections between Cambridge Analytica, the U.S. election and Brexit. Have you seen it?

-I feel like I talk about this all the time, but I really love our power sprayer.

An article in the Atlantic titled Women’s Work. “Domestic labor tends to be poorly regulated, rife with exploitation, and thorned with uneasy ethical entanglements.”

-Hah! She wants help naming a “bad male character”. Everyone responds naming their personal nemesis, or an ex-boyfriend, or an annoying uncle.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


13 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. Gabby, I so enjoy your weekly links! I follow several and I greatly appreciate the diversity, humor and learning of what you find (I also appreciate giving me enough of the theme to decide if I should click or not!) My question is for you and other readers: I often run out of free articles to read many of the sources you use. Do you have a paid subscription to multiple news sources? Do people only read as many articles as they can for free? Do they only subscribe to a single service? Is there a way to increase the number of articles you can read without paying individual sources (like a single subscription to multiple sources)? I want to support journalism (I subscribe to my local paper delivery for $27/month and that’s only Wednesday and Sunday paper!) but I only read a couple dozen articles a month online and feel that individual subscriptions to multiple services could add up to a significant monthly bill. How do you and your thoughtful readers approach this?

    1. I have a few subscriptions to get past the paywall, but I have been using Apple News lately to get access to many more (including the WSJ, The New Yorker, the LA Times, The Atlantic, New York and all the food magazines).

  2. Check your local library. I can read as many articles as I want per month in The Atlantic, New Yorker, and New York Times (among others!) using access provided by my library…all digital.

    If you haven’t checked out your library’s offerings in addition to traditional books in awhile, it’s worth some investigation. Mine also offers all of the following for free and accessed digitally: museum passes, public transit to the museums, digital foreign films, ACT and SAT prep classes, programming classes, Rosetta Stone…..and I haven’t even mentioned the ebooks and audio books.

    Seriously, check out the library.

  3. I’ve been saying for a while that the auto industry is headed towards disaster; I’m a Millenial, and less and less of us are grabbing a license. Car ownership is massively expensive, and public transport is improving slowly – though this definitely depends on location, commute etc – and, of course, the environmental impact is unacceptable for a lot of young people.

    Two-car families are getting rarer and rarer – especially with rental services (we have GetGo in Aus; not sure about the US) and on-call services like Uber. I see people willing to spend a lot more money on high-quality bikes, motorized scooters etc than previously because they don’t have the cost or responsibility of a car.

    My personal disinclination towards getting a license and a car are medical and financial reasons, but the fact I am lucky enough to live so close to a public transport hub plays a huge role in my attitude towards it. I can only hope that the decline of the industry doesn’t metaphorically cannibalise the workers and their families.

  4. “High-income parents are transferring legal guardianship of their children to friends, so the kids can claim financial aid.” I’m speechless. This is SO wrong. There are limited resources and children from high-income families already have such an advantage for even getting into colleges. To me, it’s immoral to take resources from others that truly need it. Ugh.

  5. Thank you for sharing The Crane Wife. So well written! And it resonated with me, powerfully. I really enjoy Design Mom – thanks!

  6. My 10-year-old twin girls continue to pretend play with their Barbies, American Girl dolls and Legos as actively as Andy. It is precious to hear them (especially with time in the summer) have conversations, play school and dress and re-dress their dolls for various activities.

    As they approach fifth grade, I wonder when the pretend play will end and it breaks my heart to think of that part of childhood possibly slipping away.

    My son, who is now 22 and a senior in college, played outside with his toys and created all sorts of scenarios. I can’t remember when that stopped so I’m grateful to have these moments with my girls and will burn them into my brain.

  7. Hi Gabrielle,
    About “The great Hack”, It is worth the watch especially for the coarse advocacy of digital rights. However, be forewarned, this is very one-sided. Whilst I agree on the potential risk big data poses to democratic processes and the polarising affect social media seems to be having in social discourses, The Great Hack falls well short of delivering a slam dunk for their thesis by selectively focusing on very limited scope and context (Cambridge Analytica, Trump, Brexit, Populism), and fails to explicate how the alleged ‘manipulation’ is any different ‘in principal’ to the practice of PR and marketing we have had for decades, albeit at the technological apogee of fine grain and individually targeted effect.

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