Weekend Reads: Awkward Adolescence, Why the British Tell Better Children’s Stories, and Do We Need Toilet Training?

Happy Weekend Readers! If you are reading this on August 28, 2016 then it’s Cincy Summer Streets in my neighborhood of Northside. It’s an awesome event where we close off the main drag to cars for the afternoon and turn the streets into one big park! Check out the Open Streets Project to see about an event like this near you!

io9 recommends the Australian film Girl Asleep, coming to the States next month, as a trippy window on awkward adolescence. I’m gonna try and check it out and write a review for y’all.

Fake Geek Boys all up in your Fan Girl grill about how women warriors are “unrealistic”? Nerds on Earth busts that myth, deep diving into the history of medieval swords and the women who swung them.  

That was a happy story… now we get angry. A new study ranks the 50 most segregating school district borderlines in the country.  The quality of your kids public schools and other neighborhood amenities can vary wildly just by walking a block away. The interactive map is way cool though.

The president of Northwestern University tells us why he thinks “safe spaces” on campus are important. 

Your weekly dose of Libby Anne… When Punitive Childrearing Creates Deceptive Children. 

Football season is upon us. So is disturbing and inadequate reactions to domestic violence season. My fave NFL writer Mike Tanier delves into how the story of Giant’s kicker and serial abuser Josh Brown shows that the NFL learned all the wrong lessons from the Ray Rice episode.  In purely mercenary terms the Giants should just cut the shithead. He’s a fucking kicker, kickers are fungible.

NPR asks why we in the US are so judgmental about parents putting their children at perceived but unrealistic risks?   They look at some fascinating research

Not surprisingly, the parent’s reason for leaving a child unattended affected participants’ judgments of whether the parent had done something immoral: Ratings were over 3 on a 10-point scale even when the child was left unattended unintentionally, but they skyrocketed to nearly 8 when the parent left to meet a lover. Ratings for the other cases fell in between.

The more surprising result was that perceptions of risk followed precisely the same pattern. Although the details of the cases were otherwise the same — that is, the age of the child, the duration and location of the unattended period, and so on — participants thought children were in significantly greater danger when the parent left to meet a lover than when the child was left alone unintentionally. The ratings for the other cases, once again, fell in between. In other words, participants’ factual judgments of how much danger the child was in while the parent was away varied according to the extent of their moral outrage concerning the parent’s reason for leaving.

Additional analyses suggested that it was indeed participants’ judgment of the parent’s immorality that drove up their assessments of risk. The authors sum up their findings like this: “People don’t only think that leaving children alone is dangerous and therefore immoral. They also think it is immoral and therefore dangerous.”


Why do the British tell better children’s stories than their US counterparts? It’s all about our cultural heritage. 

Chris Helmsworth, who plays Marvel’s Thor (the best casting decision of the 21st century in my opinion), supports mental health awareness with his wardrobe while filming in Brisbane.

Probably the hardest thing in the world… Talking to children about a parent who is dying.  (CN: Cancer)

Do kids need toilet training? Janet Lansbury has 3 reasons she doesn’t think so, and advice on what to do instead. 

From Steph…

This is from last year but I recommend pretty much everything Jimmy Kimmel does with kids.


Featured Image Credit: 5chw4r7z on Flickr





Louis Doench

Lou Doench is a 52 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at

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