Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Random Assortment

~ The Postal Services' thoughts on diversifying. (I have lots of postal service relatives and used to be a stamp collector and so it holds a soft spot in my heart.)

~ Bespoke libraries. Half of me loves this; half of me scorns people who can't do this themselves.

~ On evolving maternity style. I thought about this a lot while I was pregnant, although didn't find too many solutions (but I realize that, compared with the 80s, we have it really good when it comes to maternity style).

~ I didn't like this review of A Theory of Everything (who says that every biopic has to approach its subject in some pre-set fashion?), but it sure is witty:
It would be absurd, though, to suggest that Hawking’s disability was the most significant thing about him, or that the most significant thing about his disability was how irritable it made his ex-wife, Jane.
~ "Why is everyone so busy?" implies busyness is a new thing; Tocqueville claims that it's an old American tendency (the article quotes him). Interesting:
American mothers with a college degree, for example, spend roughly 4.5 hours more per week on child care than mothers with no education beyond high school. This gap persists even when the better-educated mother works outside the home, as she is now likely to do, according to research from Jonathan Guryan and Erik Hurst of the University of Chicago, and Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland. As for fathers, those with a job and a college degree spend far more time with their children than fathers ever used to, and 105% more time than their less-educated male peers. These patterns can be found around the world, particularly in relatively rich countries.
And dryly witty:
Women’s paid work has risen a lot over this period, but their time in unpaid work, like cooking and cleaning, has fallen even more dramatically, thanks in part to dishwashers, washing machines, microwaves and other modern conveniences, and also to the fact that men shift themselves a little more around the house than they used to. 
 ~ I'm with the FDA and against ultrasounds for fun (I had only one during my pregnancy; also I found them not that fun and actually uncomfortable):
consumers, despite the FDA’s pleas, continue to pay for them, shelling out hundreds of dollars for photos or videos of their developing fetus (and fueling a thriving Etsy niche, where ultrasound images can be turned into ultrasound cufflinkspillowscake toppers, and truly unsettling night lights.)
Also, tangentially--I was thinking lately about how much I stared at our ultrasound picture before Baby Leopard was born and how uninterested I am in it now--once the real thing is in front of you, "through the glass darkly" becomes comparatively very boring.

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