Our Thoroughly Modern Family
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Our Thoroughly Modern Family
21c techno gay moms with a 16yr old boy and 7mos girl growing up in a very different world. Whatever will we do?
Curated by susangautsch
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Take a Very Colorful Tour Through Venice's Mosaic Tile House

Take a Very Colorful Tour Through Venice's Mosaic Tile House | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
In 1994, artist Cheri Pann bought a small, kind of boring house in Venice, with the idea of adding a big, studio to the side. While that was getting off the ground, Pann and her artist boyfriend,...
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Healthy relationship habits most people think are toxic

Healthy relationship habits most people think are toxic | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it

I recently wrote a post titled Toxic habits that most people think are normal. Since writing it, it’s generated a staggering amount of thank you emails, and no less than 20 people notified me that it inspired them to end their relationships (or even in a few cases, their marriages). It was the wake up call these people needed to finally let go and accept that their relationship was gagging them with a shit-spoon every day. And they deserved better.

 

 

But the article also elicited a lot of questions like, “So if these habits ruin a relationship, what habits create a happy and healthy relationship?”

 

 

These are important questions. And they deserve answers.

 

1. Let some conflicts go unresolved
2. Be willing to hurt each other's feelings
3. Be willing to end it
4. Feel attraction for people outside the relationship
5. Spend time apart

 

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The Internet of Way Too Many Things

The Internet of Way Too Many Things | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
You may be able to get your phone to project bright colors if your window sensor detects a burglar, but what is protecting you from your phone?

 

In Target’s news release, Casey Carl, the company’s chief strategy and innovation officer, says, “We see Internet of Things as a megatrend on the horizon. We know it’s going to generate huge value.”

Value for whom is the question. 

 

May I make a plea for R&D in four major areas? 1) integration of functions 2) usefulness 3) sustainability and 4) privacy/security.

 

Integration. Instead of one gadget for each function, why not one gadget, many functions? My treasured aunt and uncle, serious cooks with a tiny galley kitchen in Manhattan, have a hard and fast rule: no single-function kitchen items allowed (i.e., fondue pots or asparagus cookers). It’s a good rule and gets back to that product-integration idea.

 

Usability. Focus on technology that solves issues people actually face. While it’s true, as Steve Jobs famously said, that “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” let’s not give them stuff that’s ridiculous. Work harder to discover people’s domestic pain points: I anxiously await the creation of some truly smart things for the home, like a self-emptying dishwasher or a laundry-folding dryer.

 

Sustainability. Smart cities worry about their ecological footprint; smart homes, seemingly not at all. Every gadget in the so-called Smart Home is plastic and, last time I checked, this material has not become a renewable resource. And I shudder to think of the planned obsolescence built into these objects. I am not the first to lament that the efforts focused on less than essential “innovations” in Silicon Valley has led to brain drain in other arenas (medical research, et al). Redirecting some of the R&D money and energy currently devoted to the cool factor toward reducing waste and material usage and improving manufacturing processes instead — now that would be smart.

 

Privacy and Security. Every one of these items is connected to the Internet, and therefore all of your usage patterns are recorded for posterity — to the delight of pet food manufacturers, propane tank distributors, grill manufacturers, designers of baby linens and locksmiths. Our computers and smartphones already have a frightening amount of information about us — what we buy, what we watch, what ailments we fear we have. The connected home increases the amount of that information exponentially, yet scant to zero efforts are in place to protect consumer privacy and security. You may be able to get your phone to project bright colors if your window sensor detects a burglar, but what is protecting you from your phone?

 

Experts estimate that the Internet of Things will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020. It’s coming whether we want it to or not, so let’s focus on making “smart” a whole lot smarter.

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Three Apps All Architects and Designers Should Download - Metropolis Magazine - December 2014

Three Apps All Architects and Designers Should Download - Metropolis Magazine - December 2014 | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
susangautsch's insight:

keeping up with the Jones'

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Santa Monica Bike Share

Santa Monica Bike Share | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Meet Santa Monica Bike Share – a fun, healthy and convenient transit option. 500 bikes distributed throughout Santa Monica at 75 locations, to reach the whole community.
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Cocoon: Smart & simple home security.

Cocoon: Smart & simple home security. | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
One Cocoon can protect your whole home by sensing activity through walls and doors, keeping you safe
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Treadmill Desk | NextDesk

Treadmill Desk | NextDesk | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it

Designed for style and function, the NextDesk Fit™ treadmill features a sleek, low profile design that allows the treadmill to blend with any home or office environment.

susangautsch's insight:

If you're standing... you may as well be walking. Or not. hmmm... 

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Remove "Smart" from your (and your kid's) Vocabulary

Most people think their intelligence is fixed. The science says it’s not. It starts with knowing you can learn anything.

susangautsch's insight:

What's your mindset? What mindset are you fostering in your kids? Is it a fixed mindset where we believe either you're smart or your not -- something you're born with? Or a mindset that we're constantly growing (or stagnating) based on what we do and don't do. So if we think we're smart, then why bother trying because our smart gene will just take care of everything. But curse the day when something particularly challenging comes along and that smart gene isn't helping much. Alternatively, if we think we can learn anything, then a challenge is an opportunity to learn it. Makes a huge difference. #youcanlearnanything 

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Third Street Promenade Turns 25, Old enough to drive

Third Street Promenade Turns 25, Old enough to drive | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
SANTA MONICA: Third Street Promenade turns 25 years old next month. To toast its quarter-life anniversary, Racked shares before and after photos of the groundbreaking outdoor shopping center and...
susangautsch's insight:

Brilliant SM idea -- outdoor shopping. Right up there with plaid shirts. 

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Guess The One Word Men Never See In Their Performance Reviews

Guess The One Word Men Never See In Their Performance Reviews | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
There's one adjective that's never used to criticize men, yet it shows up at an alarming rate in women's performance reviews.
susangautsch's insight:

Why is this not surprising?  Is it problematic that women tend to (or so they say) be more personally connected in the workplace such that their performance reviews tend to be more personal (in a critical way) where men's critical feedback tends to suggest ways to develop new skills. Even women reviewers fall into the same damn trap. Eeek... Have I done this? hmm... I think I can safely say I've ever used the word "abrasive" in a performance review -- maybe just "feisty broad" or something like that.  :-)

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susangautsch's curator insight, August 28, 2014 3:09 AM

Why is this not surprising?  Is it problematic that women tend to (or so they say) be more personally connected in the workplace such that their performance reviews tend to be more personal (in a critical way) where men's critical feedback tends to suggest ways to develop new skills. Even women reviewers fall into the same damn trap. Eeek... Have I done this? hmm... I think I can safely say I've ever used the word "abrasive" in a performance review -- maybe just "feisty broad" or something like that.  :-)

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National Parks – Finally there's an app for that.

National Parks – Finally there's an app for that. | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Visitors can get details on attractions, animals, camps, parking, the weather and more on their mobile devices.
susangautsch's insight:

May no longer be the road less traveled, but still happy to use them. 

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Home&Living Apps from Goop

Home&Living Apps from Goop | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Affordable summer fashion, Italian hotels, most useful apps.
susangautsch's insight:

Ok, so it's a lot more than just apps, but they're good ones: Food delivery, laundry, drinks, courier, etc.  But it's all the other obligatory Goop stuff too. 

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Report: student debt slowing graduates' accumulation of wealth - Hechinger Report

Report: student debt slowing graduates' accumulation of wealth - Hechinger Report | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Student-loan debt is slowing the accumulation of wealth for younger Americans, who have managed to amass only one-seventh as much money as people with similar incomes and no student loans, according to a new report. The analysis, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, finds that households headed by college graduates who didn’t have to borrow …

 

People with student loans also tend to owe relatively large amounts of money for car loans and credit cards, the study found. Their typical total indebtedness for mortgages, vehicles, credit cards, and student loans is $137,010—almost twice the $73,250 debt load of similar households with no student debt.

 
susangautsch's insight:

Young households (under 40) w/student loans also tend to also owe relatively large sums on cars & credit cards (correlation or causation?) Overall, they accumulate wealth through adulthood at much lower rates than those who manage to get the college degree without amassing a lot of debt. Just saying...

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Toxic relationship habits most people think are normal

Toxic relationship habits most people think are normal | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it

There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe we read a few obscure love stories from the 19th century on how not to be.. 

Fortunately, there’s been a lot of psychological research into healthy and happy relationships the past few decades and there are some general principles that keep popping up consistently that most people are unaware of or don’t follow. In fact, some of these principles actually go against what is traditionally considered “romantic” or normal in a relationship.

 

1. The relationship scorecard2. Dropping “hints” and other passive-aggression
3. Holding the relationship hostage4. Blaming your partner for your own emotions5. Displays of “loving” jealousy6. Buying the solutions to relationship problems
 
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littleBits Official Store - Kits

littleBits Official Store - Kits | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
This is the best way to get started with littleBits. Each Kit comes with step-by-step invention guides, and provides billions of creative possibilities. No soldering or wiring required!
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The Downside of Resilience

The Downside of Resilience | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it

Evidence suggests that some children are — in one frequently used metaphor — like delicate orchids; they quickly wither if exposed to stress and deprivation, but blossom if given a lot of care and support. Others are more like dandelions; they prove resilient to the negative effects of adversity, but at the same time do not particularly benefit from positive experiences. In this sense, resilience, long thought to be an exclusively beneficial characteristic, is actually a double-edged sword.


What distinguishes children who prove more versus less susceptible — for better and for worse — to developmental experiences? There is no single factor, but genetics seems to play a role.... Should we seek to identify the most susceptible children and disproportionately target them when it comes to investing scarce intervention and service dollars?


Those who value equity over efficacy will object to the notion of treating children differently because of their genes. But if we get to the point where we can identify those more and less likely to benefit from a costly intervention with reasonable confidence, why shouldn’t we do this? What is ethical, after all, about providing services to individuals for whom we believe they will not prove effective, especially when spending taxpayers’ money?


For now, after half a century of childhood interventions that have generated exaggerated claims of both efficacy and ineffectiveness, we need to acknowledge the reality that some children are more affected by their developmental experiences — from harsh punishment to high-quality day care — than others. This carries implications for scientists evaluating interventions, policy makers funding them and parents rearing children.






susangautsch's insight:

Herein lies the quintessential "nature vs. nurture" issue.  Studies are showing that, for some people, nurture matters. For others, it doesn't. What makes the difference?...Nature.  So what does this mean for human development, education and social policy, not to mention ethics. 

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Magicflix | Safe kids video app

Magicflix | Safe kids video app | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Worry-free Parenting, Delighted KidsMagicflix is a safe, curated video service for kids

 

Even while watching shows like Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer on Youtube, kids are only 2-3 clicks away from adult content. Magicflix is a worry-free solution – we’re a safe, curated video service for kids, 12 years and younger. Our process, inspired by Commonsense Media, ensures videos are safe, age-appropriate and positive edu-tainment. We’re 3 moms who built Magicflix as an alternative to the unsafe, mindlessly entertaining video services out there!

 Magicflix brings videos from the best content creators including Grammy and Emmy award winners in interesting and cool categories.
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Kibbi - Complete Home Security Solution

Kibbi - Complete Home Security Solution | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Smart security at a smart price. Kibbi provides protection for your entire home.
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He Started With Some Boxes, 60 Days Later, The Neighbors Could Not Believe What He Built

He Started With Some Boxes, 60 Days Later, The Neighbors Could Not Believe What He Built | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Now this picture is something else...
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Fun and Tactile Coding for Students with Hopscotch

Fun and Tactile Coding for Students with Hopscotch | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Hopscotch is a free app created specifically for the iPad that introduces students to programming using a visual touch interface and drag-n-drop code blocks
susangautsch's insight:

More thoroughly modern computational thinking for the wee-ones. Pull out the iPad, ditch the Teletubbies (after an episode or two if you must) and get those kids coding...

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8 Los Angeles Hikes With Spectacular Endings

8 Los Angeles Hikes With Spectacular Endings | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
These Los Angeles-area hikes, compiled just for Outdoors Week, all come with spectacular sights along the trail—fun bonuses to pile on top of the exercise and fresh-air time, and the...
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Computer Science Unplugged (a.k.a. for Poets)

Computer Science Unplugged (a.k.a. for Poets) | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it

Excerpts:

At the core of the field of computer science, beneath the visible trappings of hardware and software, is a mental discipline known as computational thinking...understanding and applying the fundamental principles on which computers and networks operate.... how to represent information in a computer, how to make computers do things with information, how to make them work efficiently and reliably, how to make them so that people can use them. 

 

In conventional computer science instruction, these principles are only accessible to those who learn how to program. This poses a big hurdle, especially for younger students. Professors Tim Bell, Mike Fellows and Ian H. Witten have figured out how to teach the concepts of computer science through games, puzzles and magic tricks. Taking the computer out of the picture—for the time being—allows children as young as five to learn about the basic ideas that undergird computer science. Youngsters can tackle topics as apparently abstruse as algorithms, binary numbers, Boolean circuits, and cryptographic protocols. 

 

Whatever students’ ages or prior knowledge, Computer Science Unplugged makes the most of its liberation from the screen and the keyboard. It incorporates physical activity, asking students to move and gesture, run and hunt, in an effort to embody a computer’s operation. It employs real-life objects—crayons, string, and chalk, among other common items—to convey abstract entities like data and memory. And it nurtures social interaction, among students and between students and their teachers. Teachers are encouraged to allow children to discover answers for themselves while still offering plenty of guidance and feedback. Ultimately, Computer Science Unplugged aims to evoke intrinsic interest in its subject—to inspire students to regard computer science as an exciting intellectual adventure. 

 

susangautsch's insight:

Mamas: Don't let your kids (esp. girls) grow up to be luddites! Computation not only makes the world go round, it is their generation's new literacy right up there with reading and writing.  When I was in 3rd grade (1972), my dad came to my class and taught all of us how to count, add, and subtract in binary (i.e. 0's and 1's.) It was quite easy and fun for everyone really. Had he had the chance to take this lesson farther, I'm certain I would not have been the lone girl in the computer lab at both Univ. of New Mexico and Hawaii.  Few decades later, I know this is one of the greatest gifts my Dad gave me.  

 

go to: http://csunplugged.org/ to get started in your home or school. 

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Don't help your kids do their homework – ever.

Don't help your kids do their homework – ever. | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it

Helping my son was about my ego. In the end, all this help does nothing but hurt.  Sociologists at the University of Texas at Austin and Duke University assessed the effect of more than 60 kinds of parental involvement on academic achievement. Read it and weep, helicopter parents: Across age, race, gender and socioeconomic status, most help had neither a positive or negative effect, and many kinds drove down a kid’s test scores and grades. One of the biggest culprits? Homework help.

susangautsch's insight:

Ridiculous and ineffective of a reality homework is, there's so many reasons helping our kids with it is damaging: It sends a message that kids can't make it on their own, it allows no room for kids to fail (a very useful learning device), most parents don't understand squat about age-appropriate pedagogy, and more often than not, it becomes more about the parent than the kid. So just get out of the way, already. 

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GOkey: Charger. Cable. Locator. Memory. All on your key-ring.

GOkey: Charger. Cable. Locator. Memory. All on your key-ring. | Our Thoroughly Modern Family | Scoop.it
Boost your phone battery, use it as a charging/ syncing cable, store your data, locate your keys and find your phone.
susangautsch's insight:

It's a phone charger, key finder, and flash drive in one. woot! we need! 

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