This is the season when we send our kids off to school with shiny new backpacks, and every year, they bring home the same thing: The first round of back-to-school colds. In our house, with a two-year-old intent on drooling on everyone he touches and a six-year-old still perfecting her personal hygiene practices, pathogens are passed out like hugs, and it's only a matter of time before the whole family is sick.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
I've been both a student and an instructor, and I totally get it. Textbooks are dry and hard to read. But if you don't have time to read the whole chapter like you're supposed to, there is actually a better solution than just glazing your eyes over the first paragraph a few times.
Studying can feel like a solitary activity - looking back at my student days, I remember sitting alone at a desk with just my textbooks, highlighters, cans of Coke and expanding self-doubt. If I didn't understand a concept, or couldn't find an answer, I'd search deeper into the pages, desperately, thinking maybe there was a clue I had missed. If it still seemed hopeless I'd sleep, rationalising that perhaps somehow the revelation would appear in my dreams. (It usually did not.)
Some people got a great high school education. But some of us were sent to an evangelical Christian school, where we learned that evolution is a lie, Columbus was a cool dude, and Catholics are faking it. For us, and anyone else who suspects their education could use a revisionist refresh, there's the free YouTube channel Crash Course.
Packing school lunches every day can get tedious, and the results can be a little monotonous. (Sorry, my dear child, who has eaten leftover spaghetti and peas for the past five days.) One way to spread out the labour and make things more interesting for your kid's palate is to start a lunch-packing club with other parents.
Bullies can make our lives difficult at any age - even when you're an adult - but you don't have to sit by and take undeserved punishment from someone bigger, louder or meaner than you. Here are a few approaches you can take.
I've got nothing against Dan Carlin's "Hardcore History," but it seems to eat up all the publicity for history podcasts. That's a shame, because the podcast format is a fantastic way to dive into a thirty-hour history of the French Revolution, or snack on a 12-minute account of how Warren G. Harding, betrayed by his corrupt Cabinet, publicly projected all his feelings onto his dog Laddie Boy.
If you hear that your kid (or one of their friends) has head lice, your first reaction might be a mixture of disgust, panic and an urge to disinfect everything in your house. That would be overkill. Head lice aren't a health hazard, and even medication-resistant "super lice" can be eradicated with proper treatment.