Weekend Reads: Brain Science, Fetal Cells, and Banned Books, etc

Well hello hello! How’s everyone doing this weekend? I’m in a bit of a sad parent moment…here in Massachusetts our news has been wall to wall Baby Bella murder this weekend. I’m not linking to the story because it depresses me, and comes with a serious content note.  Ugh. Suffice it to say, a horrible tragedy befalling a child of similar age to your own child is a special type of unsettling.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, let’s find something better to talk about!


If you’re looking for….a good story:

An airmen who rescued a three year old during Hurricane Katrina got reunited with her this week. Cute and heartwarming, just what I needed.

If you’re looking for….more cuteness:

This story on raising twin pandas is both cute and interesting scientifically. Good combo.

If you’re looking for….some brain science:

Some brain science that can change how you parent. I’m part way through “No Drama Discipline”, and it’s pretty good.

If you’re looking for….fetal cells:

A good explanation of fetal cells that remain in the body after giving birth.  Still lots of speculation, but I’ll be interested to see where this research goes.

If you’re looking for….a conversation on race:

An interesting take on raising biracial children, from the perspective of the minority parent.

If you’re looking for….your eyeroll moment of the week:

Every year at back to school time we’re treated to stories of people protesting various assigned books, but I’ll admit I never suspected someone would try to ban “Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” because of the “pornographic content”. Okay then.

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Bethany is a perpetual student who just won't stop taking classes. She's gone from engineering to psych and family systems to applied statistics, and is really fascinated by how people feel about numbers. She blogs about this over at Graph Paper Diaries, and experimenting with contingency tables at Two Ways to Be Wrong.

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  1. It *is* a different kind of distressing to read about terrible things happening to children a similar age to your own. It gives an increased sensibility of how vulnerable they are. Give your own an extra squeeze. It may not change the world, but it helps to deal with it.

    Re: banning “The Immortal Life” because 15 year olds can’t handle reading about someone discovering a tumor on their cervix? Not because it’s distressing, but because the banner doesn’t want them to know where the cervix is? I love the school’s response, ““The parent in question is still very happy with our school. She simply has strong convictions about this book that, evidently, many people do not share, including me. I would like to think that our teachers and parents come at these situations from a place of love and wanting to do what is best, even as misguided as we may think that they may be.” Politic, but not equivocating.

  2. Interesting story about the mother of color raising a biracial child. That sucks that people assume the mother is the nanny 🙁 Or that they get looks for speaking Spanish.

    I also liked the article about neuroscience and tantrums. I do try to use empathy to break through meltdowns and it’s worked so far. I do things like getting down on her eye level and trying to think about how I would react if I felt like everyone just told me what to do all the time.

    And Ugh to the Baby Bella situation 🙁 I can’t stop reading the news either. I wish something could’ve been done to save that poor little girl and all the other children who are alive now who are suffering. (I just recently sponsored a child through Save the Children and even though I can’t save every kid, I can at least help another one, so that helps my heart.)

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