(via Can You Say…”Hero?”)
Why Mr. Rogers, famous for doing the same thing year in and year out, was a hero.
Here’s an un-fun experiment: the next time your kid’s in the other room, sneak a peek at her science textbook. Chances are, it says evolution is just a theory and global warming is debatable.
If you’re living in Louisiana or Tennessee, you may also want to check out what your kids’ teachers are discussing in class: Teachers in those states are now allowed to teach creationism along with evolution and to argue both sides of global warming - even over the objections of their school principals and superintendents.
In 2013, nine anti-science bills were introduced in seven states, and legislators nationwide have filed about 50 bills in the past 10 years declaring evolution a “controversial” idea whose opposing side, creationism, must be taught in the interest of academic freedom. Though most of these efforts died in committee - as South Dakota’s did last week - some become law.
It’s all being done under the guise of fairness: Missouri’s House Bill 1587, creeping toward a vote, would force principals and administrators to let teachers “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of the theory of biological and hypotheses of chemical evolution.”
The bill’s authors say it’ll help students “develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues, including biological and chemical evolution.”
Jake Schellenschlager, a 14-year-old living in Glen Burnie, Maryland, can deadlift more than 300 pounds. He currently holds five world records from the International Powerlifting Association for his age and weight class, and he’s only two years into his journey. The Atlantic’s video team caught up with Schellenschlager to find out what motivates a 127-pound teenager to try his hand in the world of powerlifting.
Like many new mothers, former Daily Beast contributor and professional photographer Rachel Hulin started photographing her son Henry from the moment he was born. When Hulin discovered that Henry took great delight in being held and ‘flown’, she started shooting his aerial adventures…and soon the photo project “Flying Henry" was born.
Hulin’s technique requires impeccable timing and some post-production tricks. From ClampArt:
…she would anchor the camera to a tripod and shoot pictures on a timer while she held the infant overhead. Other times her husband would stand in to elevate their son. The sessions were typically just five frames in duration before Henry lost interest. Then, back at the computer, Hulin digitally eliminated the adults in the images making it appear as though Henry were in magical flight.
While the beautiful photographs evoke a quiet magic, they loudly remind us of the power of discovering the world for the first time.
So rad. Man, we want to fly.
Alonso Mateo is a five-year-old Instagram celebrity.
(Meanwhile, your nwktumblr gets excited when more than two friends from high school <3’s their photos of iced coffee.)
From this week’s issue, an essay on going “childless by choice,” and how too much of that may spell disaster for the country as a whole.
Sitting around a table at a hookah bar in New York’s East Village with three women and a gay man, all of them in their 20s and 30s and all resolved to remain childless, a few things quickly became clear: First, for many younger Americans and especially those in cities, having children is no longer an obvious or inevitable choice. Second, many of those opting for childlessness have legitimate, if perhaps selfish, reasons for their decision.
“I like seeing people with their children, because they have their special bond, and that’s really sweet, but it’s not something I look at for myself,” says Tiffany Jordan, a lively 30-year-old freelance wardrobe stylist who lives in Queens in a rent-stabilized apartment and dates a man who “practically lives there.”
Jordan and her friends are part of a rising tide. Postfamilial America is in ascendancy as the fertility rate among women has plummeted, since the 2008 economic crisis and the Great Recession that followed, to its lowest level since reliable numbers were first kept in 1920. That downturn has put the U.S. fertility rate increasingly in line with those in other developed economies—suggesting that even if the economy rebounds, the birthrate may not. For many individual women considering their own lives and careers, children have become a choice, rather than an inevitable milestone—and one that comes with more costs than benefits.
“I don’t know if that’s selfish,” says Jordan, the daughter of an Ecuadoran and an Ohioan who grew up in the South Bronx, explaining her reasons for a decision increasingly common among women across the developed world, where more than half of the world’s population is now reproducing at below the replacement rate. “I feel like my life is not stable enough, and I don’t think I necessarily want it to be … Kids, they change your entire life. That’s the name of the game. And that’s not something I’m interested in doing.”
The global causes of postfamilialism are diverse, and many, on their own, are socially favorable or at least benign. The rush of people worldwide into cities, for example, has ushered in prosperity for hundreds of millions, allowing families to be both smaller and more prosperous. Improvements in contraception and increased access to it have given women far greater control of their reproductive options, which has coincided with a decline in religion in most advanced countries. With women’s rights largely secured in the First World and their seats in the classroom, the statehouse, and the boardroom no longer tokens or novelties, children have ceased being an economic or cultural necessity for many or an eventual outcome of sex.
But those changes happened quickly enough—within a lifetime—that they’ve created rapidly graying national populations in developed, and even some developing, countries worldwide, as boomers hold on to life and on to the pension and health benefits promised by the state while relatively few new children arrive to balance their numbers and to pay for those promises.
Until recently that decrepitude has seemed oceans away, as America’s open spaces, sprawling suburbs, openness to immigrants, and relatively religious culture helped keep our population young and growing. But attitudes are changing here as well. A plurality of Americans—46 percent—told Pew in 2009 that the rising number of women without children “makes no difference one way or the other” for our society.
These changes are not theoretical or inconsequential. Europe and East Asia, trailblazers in population decline, have spent decades trying to push up their birthrates and revitalize aging populations while confronting the political, economic, and social consequences of them. It’s time for us to consider what an aging, increasingly child-free population, growing more slowly, would mean here. As younger Americans individually eschew families of their own, they are contributing to the ever-growing imbalance between older retirees—basically their parents—and working-age Americans, potentially propelling both into a spiral of soaring entitlement costs and diminished economic vigor and creating a culture marked by hyperindividualism and dependence on the state as the family unit erodes.
Crudely put, the lack of productive screwing could further be screwing the screwed generation.
That’s just the start. Keep reading “Where Have All the Babies Gone?" in Newsweek, and let’s hear it in the reblogs.
[Illustration by Shout]
This is little Mykayla Comstock.
Mykayla is 7.
Mykayla’s been battling leukemia since June, when doctors discovered a basketball-size tumor in her chest.
To cope with the debilitating symptoms associated with her traditional cancer treatments, Mykayla consumes a gram of cannabis oil every day.
She also likes the way cannabis makes her laugh. “It’s like everything’s funny to me,” she tells us. Her mom, facing critics, wants you to know she isn’t drugging her child.
"I use this for her medicine," she says. "It’s amazing, and I think people should know that."