Summarizing a mountain’s worth of stories, current events, creative ideas and stuff that makes us lol.
We all know that reading to and with our children is important. But what we may not know is that it’s important for them well beyond their toddler years and it’s also pretty important for us, too. Yet the number of children who read for pure pleasure these days is apparently at a record low. According to last year’s results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), just one in three 13-year-olds read for fun. Although reading leads to lots of good outcomes like improved vocabulary, academic and personal success and more socio-emotional depth, it also has critical neurological benefits. And reading together, a particular kind of reading, can lead the body to release oxytocin, the “love drug.” This, in turn, is a boost for children, but also for parents, so many of whom are struggling with anxiety, stress and their own mental health. All of which is to say that reading, especially reading out loud and reading together even when your children are no longer in diapers, is well worth your time and will probably make you happier and healthier, too.read more
Recently Fred Miller, 56, an air force veteran, purchased a grand old house called Sharswood near his childhood home in Virginia. He wanted a place big enough to host his large extended family for their many cake-filled gatherings for birthdays, fish fries and the like. Some sleuthing by several relatives into the home’s history revealed a remarkable story. As it turns out, their ancestors were enslaved on the former plantation property Fred now owns. The tale of how the Millers made the discovery—and the revelations they uncovered—is truly astonishing and, as Leslie Stahl says in this 60 Minutes episode, both “impossible and inevitable all at once.” For anyone interested in the ways American history still lives on in all of us, this is a piece of TV news not to miss.read more
So Elon Musk is buying Twitter. If you’re anything like us, you’re wondering how exactly he has $44 billion on hand to do this??? We knew he was rich (the world’s richest, in fact), but, whaaaat? Well, turns out the deal is an unconventional one, according to this piece in the New York Times. But that’s no surprise really, it’s Musk, the quintessential industry disrupter, after all. He’s using a mix of cash—raised by selling Tesla shares and offering them as collateral for personal loans—and about $13 billion in borrowed money, which is “more debt than Twitter may be able to handle, given its patchy profitability,” the article notes. Whether Musk’s move is a brilliant one, or doomed to failure, is too early to say. But it will be fascinating to watch.read more
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