Wednesday Reads: Podcasts for Kids, Indonesian Metal, and a Racist Homeschool Book!

Happy Wednesday Readers! Creedence is playing on the turntable, coffee is in the mug and sweater weather is on the way. Let’s do some reading!

I love podcasts, and so do my kids. Leela Labs out of Santa Clara has stepped up with a great smartphone app ,  Leela Kids, that curates podcasts by age and subject with a kid friendly interface…

Parents might be incredulous that listening to audio content is enough to keep their kids engrossed when the wonders of Netflix, YouTube and Snapchat are just a click away on the same device. Jain says toddlers love listening to stories on the app, however, and that he has even managed to reduce his son’s screen time by playing podcasts during car trips and dinner. The startup plans to make Leela Kids compatible with smart speakers so older toddlers can operate the app themselves.

Parents of older kids, meanwhile, have told Jain that their offspring enjoy Leela Kids because it gives them a new way to discover content besides what they already read or watch.

“Parents and even kids are liking the ‘visual detox’ effect of Leela Kids,” he said.

I believe this means Matilda Jones of Doncaster is the new monarch of all the Britons…

Michelle Woo wants your kids to learn how to stick up for their marginalized peers…

I spoke with Amy Hickel, the volunteer coordinator for White Nonsense Roundup, a social media task force that rallies white people to call out racism online. She and her spouse have been helping their 12-year-old daughter Lily feel empowered enough to stand up against the hurtful and damaging remarks that she hears. “In later elementary school and middle school, kids know what comments are not right,” Hickel says. “They just need to be bolstered by their parents and told they’re strong enough to say, ‘That’s not okay.’”

The three Indonesian Muslim girls who make up the band Baceprot are fighting for their right to be METAL!!!

Let’s visit Romper... the Land of Lists!… First our own Steph, who claims we won’t believe these 9 insults every “scrunchy mom” has heard. Plus she defines “scrunchy mom.”

Ok, this ones not a list, but here’s a Dad handling his toddlers temper tantrum admirably.

And from March, but still relevant, here’s 8 Parents Of Transgender Children React To Trump’s Reversal Of Federal Protections. 

Why still relevant? Because the Cheeto Tinted Tyrant is still at it, misgendering Chelsea Manning in one of his most recent unhinged rants. 

(CN: Suicide) Which brings us to this heartbreaking story out of England, a transgender teen took his own life after his school refused to allow him to change his name.  On a personal note, I was touched when The Schmoo told me that their french teacher at school pulled them aside and profusely apologized for the fact that French has no gender neutral pronouns. Some folks get it.

Two Ren Fair attendees got a lot more than they bargained for when they decided to harass a cast member for breastfeeding in public. 

I was going to do an Internet Meme Demolition Derby about this insipid Matt Walsh Tweet but the rest of the internet beat me to it! Matt Walsh is a douchebag btw.

Matt Furie, the creator of the character Pepe the Frog has struck back against a self published childrens book that depicts Pepe as an Islamophobic, alt-right champion on a mission to make his farm great again.

“Furie wants one thing to be clear: Pepe the Frog does not belong to the alt-right. As this action shows, Furie will aggressively enforce his intellectual property, using legal action if necessary, to end the misappropriation of Pepe the Frog in any way that espouses racism, white supremacy, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Nazism, or any other form of hate. He will make sure that no one profits by using Pepe in alt-right propaganda—and particularly not by targeting children.”

Finally, Libby Anne brings us the story of how a white supremacist book ended up in a family’s homeschool…

How did a book written by a founder of a violent racist white supremacist secessionist group end up in the boxes of homeschooling books I was sorting through? Excellent question.

For a variety of reasons to complex to adequately address into here, a significant portion of Christian homeschool curricula contains white supremacist propaganda. Many well-meaning homeschooling parents are unaware of this problem, and because they trust anything that says it is “Christian” and uses words like “godly character,” they unwittingly bring these materials into their homes.

Hurricane Harvey poured record breaking rainfall onto Houston and environs, now Hurricane Irma is barreling towards Florida threatening to bring record breaking winds to the Sunshine State, Peurto Rico and Cuba. We hope any readers in the path of these disasters stay safe. The Foundation Beyond Belief  is putting Humanist ideals to work, collecting donations and helping to organize relief through the Humanist Disaster Recovery program.  Toss them some cash if you can. 

Here’s John Fogerty to play us out…

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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