Weekly Meanderings, 15 August 2015

Weekly Meanderings, 15 August 2015 August 15, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 9.06.41 AMCoffee and the, well, colon:

For some people, coffee brings on more than just a caffeine buzz. The latest video from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series tackles its effects on our insides with science.

So, yeah. About 30 percent of humans feel the need to defecate after drinking their morning joe. If you’re one of that lucky three out of 10, you’ve probably wondered what’s up with that.

Mary Bowerman tells a wonderful story about Josh Cyganik and Leonard Bullock:

After hearing two teenagers mock the state of an elderly man’s home, Josh Cyganik, an Oregon railroad worker, decided to take action.

For the past four years, Cyganik has started each morning the same way. He leaves his home in Pendleton, Ore., and waves to his neighbor, 75-year-old Leonard Bullock, who often sits on the front porch of his home.

In early July, Cyganik overheard two teenagers say the home should be “burned to the ground” as they walked by Bullock’s house. Unfortunately, Bullock could hear the teens.

“I saw the look on Leonard’s face. I could tell the comment bothered him,” Cyganik said in an interview posted on his employer Union Pacific Railroad’s website.

Cyganik said he couldn’t stop thinking about Bullock and decided to do something. He asked Bullock if he would like to have his house painted.

“He was ecstatic,” Cyganik said.

In need of a few extra hands to help paint the home, Cyganik asked for help via Facebook.

10 minutes per grade, by Kelly Wallace:

(CNN)Nothing quite stresses out students and parents about the beginning of the school year as the return to homework, which for many households means nightly battles centered around completing after-school assignments.

Now a new study may help explain some of that stress.

The study, published Wednesday in The American Journal of Family Therapy, found students in the early elementary school years are getting significantly more homework than is recommended by education leaders, in some cases nearly three times as much homework as is recommended.

The standard, endorsed by the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association, is the so-called “10-minute rule” — 10 minutes per grade level per night. That translates into 10 minutes of homework in the first grade, 20 minutes in the second grade, all the way up to 120 minutes for senior year of high school. The NEA and the National PTA do not endorse homework for kindergarten.

An update on Vicky Beeching.

Vermont farm for a weekend? By Sara Tucker:

Today, conversations at an overnight Vermont farm stay are more likely to be animated by locavorism and Slow Food enthusiasm than by Marxist politics, but the farms themselves still resemble those of my grandparents’ generation. They are family-owned and -operated, relatively small and highly diversified: A single farm might produce vegetables, milk, eggs, beef, pork, poultry, honey and maple syrup. Gone, however, are the days when guests might move in for the entire summer expecting little more than a bed, three square meals and fresh air. Today’s farm getaways tend to last two or three nights, and, while you can still partake in old-fashioned country pleasures such as picking berries and tubing down the river, hosts may offer anything from chamber music performances that unfold in a barn (the goats will be put out to pasture) to weaving classes that can teach you how to make all your Christmas gifts from wool felt.

Seaweed revenge, from AP:

The picture-perfect beaches and turquoise waters that people expect on their visits to the Caribbean are increasingly being fouled by mats of decaying seaweed that attract biting sand fleas and smell like rotten eggs.

Clumps of the brownish seaweed known as sargassum have long washed up on Caribbean coastlines, but researchers say the algae blooms have exploded in extent and frequency in recent years. The 2015 seaweed invasion appears to be a bumper crop, with a number of shorelines so severely hit that some tourists have canceled summer trips and lawmakers on Tobago have termed it a “natural disaster.”

From the Dominican Republic in the north, to Barbados in the east, and Mexico’s Caribbean resorts to the west, officials are authorizing emergency money to fund cleanup efforts and clear stinking mounds of seaweed that in some cases have piled up nearly 10 feet high on beaches, choked scenic coves and cut off moored boats.

How can an amateur sport be so economically-shaped? Mike Foss:

Nick Symmonds won the 800-meters at the U.S. Trials and is giving up his spot on the U.S. Track & Field team headed to the world championships in Beijing after he refused sign the required statement of conditions.

The conditions contained within the statement include the requirement that each athlete must wear the team-sponsored Nike uniforms at official team functions. Symmonds is sponsored by Brooks. Symmonds explained his reasons for not signing the USATF documents to ESPN, which were disputed by USATF chief of public officer Jill Geer.

The tragedy here is that this author, one Grant Castleberry, will not see the irony in his piece — the irony of supposing one cultural capitulation (Victorian) is not cultural capitulation while another (Target’s de-gendering) is capitulation. Seriously, now, does Genesis 1-2 or the Song of Solomon really teach this?

The Bible teaches that men are wired by God to protect and to pursue, so it is not surprising that they naturally like toys that by-and-large involve fighting, building, and racing. Women, on the other hand, are wired by God to nurture and to be pursued, so it is also not surprising that they largely enjoy playing with American Girl Dolls, Barbies, and Disney princess dresses.

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