A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Quick Hits of the Week

  • Growing up, I didn’t really learn much about making and managing money. Most of the instruction regarding budgets and savings was done in passing and not nearly often enough. As a Dad, I’m trying to do better, so I’m always happy when friends share articles with me about teaching money management to kids. I only have a couple of points of minor disagreement. First, don’t give your kids an allowance. Pay them a commission for specific chores they perform. It will help them understand that money is earned through work. Second, don’t make your kids play Monopoly. It’s a terrible board game. (Life and Payday aren’t much better, but at least they don’t take as long.) There are much better games out there that will build money or resource management skills.
  • I’m rapidly working my way through Seth Godin’s latest manifesto. It covers his thoughts on how to change education to be more relevant to the current and coming age. Stop Stealing Dreams. As a homeschooling parent, I’m challenged to re-evaluate how we’re teaching our kids, and to root out some of the methods that have been heavily influenced by the school systems that we grew up in. If you’re involved in education I would encourage you to take a look at it.
  • A photographer walks through East Germany just after the wall fell, taking photographs of the stunning, but neglected, architecture. A decade later he re-traces his steps, and recreates his photographs. The transformation is inspiring.
  • A follow up to last week’s quick hit about Pat Robertson again declaring that it’s time to decriminalize marijuana. Apparently that ruffled the feathers of Jimmy Carter’s former secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Joseph A. Califano, who criticized Pat for not having enough concern for the children. Appeals to the safety of “the children” automatically raises a red flag in my head that somebody is trying to pass or support bad legislation by twisting at people’s heartstrings. So, I’m once again in the odd position of backing Mr. Robertson. On this issue.

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Quick Hits of the Week

  • So, here’s an interesting factoid everyone needs to be aware of: When debt is forgiven, the tax-man notices. If you or somebody you know settles a credit card (or department store, etc.) debt for less than what was owed, the difference is considered to be income. Tax forms are filed, and it has to be declared. Read the article completely, it covers the basics, but there are a couple additional you should take away. First, any debt settlement or bankruptcy paperwork should be filed in an easy to find location and kept forever. Also, since the IRS has tremendous power to mess with your life, take care of them as quickly as possible.
  • Teller (of Penn & Teller) reveals his secrets. This is a great article by a great magician that’s ostensibly about magic, but is actually about deception. Teller’s seven principles can apply to any field where selective truth is exploited (I’m sure I don’t need to help you generate such a list), and it’s good for us to be aware of them. No one likes to be lied to, except when the trick is really cool.
  • I’m sorry, but I have to share this. I’d like to link it without comment, but that’s not really possible. I mean, she’s baptizing a freaking monkey. All I could do was watch and boggle. Wow. I suppose it could have been worse. She could have been Jewish.

March 8, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Links of the Week, Christmas Eve Edition

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Welcome to another episode of “What Jonathan has come across on the Interwebs that he finds interesting, entertaining, inspiring, or just plain weird.” I’ve got quite a few things saved up from the last couple of weeks, so this is going to be a bit on the long side. Enjoy!

  • “It’s easy to be homophobic if you don’t know anyone who is openly gay.” Steve Chapman tells the story of how he grew out of his own homophobia. I suspect this is fairly common, I know it’s true of my experiences. See, it’s hard to continue vilifying that broadly labeled group when you meet individual members of the group that don’t fit the evil in your head. Maybe it would just be better if we dealt with each other as individuals to start with?
  • Monet Parham, single mother of two, is suing McDonald’s to stop them from using of toys to market directly to young children. The money quote: “I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat.” They also take control of her vehicle, her pocketbook, and her ability to say ‘no’ to her children, I suppose. Parenting is hard enough without abdicating responsibility to marketers.
  • How secure is your password? If it’s less than 10 characters and doesn’t include capital letters, a few numbers and a special character or two, it probably isn’t that secure. A recent hack at Gawker reveals that people make some stupid decisions when creating their passwords. Try to be more creative with yours.
  • It may seem strange to associate the behaviors and traits of leaders with those used to describe love, but I find Perry Noble’s gut check list compelling. These are good things to be working through in general, but especially if you are in a position of leadership.
  • I believe that one of the results of this Communication Revolution we have been living in, and the Information Age that it has spawned, is the total revamping of education and schooling as we know it. If you’re interested, let me suggest a couple of videos to you. Education scientist Sugata Mitra’s child-driven education talk at TED from July of this year is fascinating. There’s also an animated version of a talk presented by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert, on changing education paradigms. Both are challenging discussions and completely worth watching.
  • A message from last year that I think is very appropriate this Christmas. There are a lot of reasons to not like Christians. Shane Claiborne asks you to please forgive us, because God is not a monster and Jesus is worth getting to know better.
  • Presenting the all new taste sensation, coming to the snack aisle at your local food mega-mart: Haggis Chips! No, really.
  • This is a very long interview with Matt Ridley discussing five books that he believes are well worth reading. Some of these will probably go on my reading list. Ridley is very adept at making the case for an optimistic view of the future, and I am happy to be persuaded by him. I hope you take the time to read what he has to say.
  • This past week, pigs grew wings and began to take flight. Pat Robertson and I can agree, in part, about US drug policy. He stated, on the 700 Club, that “criminalizing marijuana [is] costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people.” I couldn’t agree more. (There has been some understandable back-pedaling from the organization, but let me have my moment of joy, won’t you?)

That’s should be enough for now. Everyone have a Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Food and Booze, Marriage and Family, Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments