personal blog

Today's read: danger for kids
Today's read: An interview with the author of Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) which, Babble says, "encourages letting your kids build bombs, play with fire, and drive a car."

Juicy quotes:
...if I tell a twelve-year-old, “Hey! I’m going to teach you how to pay attention better in school and how to focus,” that child is going to run away as fast as they can. But if I say, “Hey! I’m going teach you how to whittle,” I’m going to have the undivided attention of that child for hours.

...what we consider to be dangerous changes over time and from culture to culture. In India, it’s common to find people who consider it very dangerous to ride a bicycle and yet the children are allowed to run around barefoot.

As I meet more families from around the world, I find nobody can agree on what’s a dangerous topic in this book.

Not the approach I thought it would be ("duh, danger is fun") but an interesting look at what we think is dangerous, and what benefits a dangerous activity might have. So often we look only at the risks or only at the benefits of things (boy would I have a lot more to say on that, if I ever had free time to write anymore)

The book looks (from the amazon preview) like a fun set of science experiments - and it's explicit about the danger, or lack of danger, for each. One project has warnings for "go blind" and "fire" (it's about making a sunspot viewer, but is tantalizingly called "look at the sun"). Another is a not-dangerous project involving a hair dryer, and includes a brief discussion of why hair dryers are, statistically, dangerous (because people electrocute themselves in bathrooms with them - not because they are trying to make a blimp)

Looks like fun!

Other things worth reading today:
Should we parent boys and girls differently?
Why does the gunslinger who draws first always get shot?
Math lessons from Steven Strogatz (The most recent post includes a great story about a "double positive" and explains pre-WWI alliances with graph theory. And the series started with muppets! That's an automatic win in my book.)

Beth has a 4 month old baby and barely any time to write. Following this blog is like playing Scotland Yard. Hello from Mr. X!
To links by Beth on 2010-02-17.