My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring). This week: the moral dilemmas of work vs children, the youth of today, buses as prozac and an easter chocolate quiz.
A great article on Stuff – looking at how women justify to themselves their choices re: stay-at-home vs work with small children. And how much importance we give to the few women who have the choice (their work pays enough, but their partner earns enough that they don’t need to…) to make the “correct” decision… Do we go Swedish with the dilemma and put a strong first 18 months at home and then work (with night nurseries if needed)? We certainly don’t want to go Japanese – where the country is due to shed a third of it’s population as women don’t have children…
Have the youth of today lost their rebellious streak? The BBC’s Home Editor looks at how much less alcohol and drugs the youth of today consume, and how much more school they go to, and wonders what’s wrong with the youth of today?
BBC Future imagineers a new sort of public transport system – more flexible buses, that go where people want them, rather than in and out of cities on prescribed routes. An intelligent adjusting system that lets people flag buses from wherever with smartphone apps, and a computer grid to calculate the most efficient routes to get everyone where they want. As The Atlantic reports London buses are the new prozac – users have much better mental health, lower loneliness and more social connection – it’d be good to spread that around. But can such a system cope with regular bus users that don’t have smartphones or computers at all?
In the USA Mother Jones looks at why Conservatives are trying to label Barack as Dumb and Lazy – when it won’t stick be cause it’s so opposite to his character. Caricatures can work, denial doesn’t. Also over there a challenging New Yorker article looking at why the US won’t do anything about their gun laws, despite one of the strongest correlations in social science being between gun control and less gun violence. It works – unless Americans think that part of their Exceptionalism is that they are exceptionally violent and evil-doing.
Mother Jones looks at Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million to Newark schools. A seeming publicity stunt just before The Social Network released, it’s been used for charter schools and teacher performance pay – and is seen as a non-voter / parliamentary fund for Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to force his plans through with. Where will the libertarian facebook founder take us next with a further $13.3 billion burning in his pocket…
Finally, it’s Easter, so the Guardian has an ethical chocolate quiz. What do you know about the treats you eat?
(oh, and this Weyant New Yorker cartoon was want Irish Bill needed for his post on Friday: