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Why Are American Kids So Spoiled?

Why Are American Kids So Spoiled?
In 2004, Carolina Izquierdo, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, spent several months with the Matsigenka, a tribe of about twelve thousand people who live in the Peruvian Amazon. The Matsigenka hunt for monkeys and parrots, grow yucca and bananas, and build houses that they roof with the leaves of a particular kind of palm tree, known as a kapashi. At one point, Izquierdo decided to accompany a local family on a leaf-gathering expedition down the Urubamba River. A member of another family, Yanira, asked if she could come along. Izquierdo and the others spent five days on the river. Although Yanira had no clear role in the group, she quickly found ways to make herself useful. While Izquierdo was doing field work among the Matsigenka, she was also involved in an anthropological study closer to home. Izquierdo and Ochs shared an interest in many ethnographic issues, including child rearing. “Can you untie it?” More by Elizabeth Kolbert:

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2012: The Year in Graphs As 2012 draws to a close, Wonkblog asked our favorite professional wonks — economists, political scientist, politicians and more — to see what graphs and charts they felt did the best job explaining the past year. Here are their nominees. Sheila Bair — former chairperson, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) "There has been much discussion about income inequality, but not enough focus on its corollary: debt inequality. As real wages for the masses decline, they try to sustain consumption through borrowing from the wealthy. Why my child will be your child's boss Children with ADHD can be overly energetic, but adults may just feel edgy or restless. "Adults don't show the more obvious signs such as running and jumping," says Colette de Marneffe, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Silver Spring, Md. "Hyperactivity presents more subtly in the form of restlessness." However, you may recall a rambunctious childhood. Dr. Wetzel had a patient who recalled spending a lot of time in the school hallways because "he couldn't sit still."

Longer-term breastfeeding: a father's perspective As the storm over that issue of Time magazine begins to subside, countless people have had their say about longer-term breastfeeding across blogs, radio programmes and newspaper columns. Opinions have come from doctors, breastfeeding experts, older mums, younger mums, random people on the street ... almost everyone except the partner of a longer-term breastfeeder. My wife, Arianne, still breastfeeds our two-and-a-half-year-old girl, Molly, and has been subjected to some very unpleasant criticism for doing so. Nonetheless, she continues because it is best for Molly's development. I am phenomenally proud of Arianne and how she has persevered over the years. Longer-term breastfeeding is not a decision that leads to an easier life – far from it.

America's Class War: Billionaires Against the Unions Barney Frank and Ed Rendell are right. In seeking to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the public-sector unions and their allies on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party made a big mistake. “My side picked a fight they shouldn’t have picked,” Frank told The Hill. “People need to be more strategic about the fights they pick.” You’ve probably underestimated just how big this is I met a team at a mobile dev shop a couple of weeks ago and in the discussion I casually mentioned that mobile app usage exceeds web usage. Eyebrows were raised. I couldn’t remember where I’d heard it. No big deal, everyone knows mobile is important, we moved on. It bothered me afterwards though so I checked my facts and found it again on Flurry’s blog – it’s true, Mobile Apps Put the Web in Their Rear-view Mirror. That’s a big shift, unexpected to many, but you guys are probably nodding to yourselves.

A Nation of Wimps Maybe it's the cyclist in the park, trim under his sleek metallic blue helmet, cruising along the dirt path... at three miles an hour. On his tricycle. Or perhaps it's today's playground, all-rubber-cushioned surface where kids used to skin their knees. What Can We Learn From Diagramming Sentences? Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. Diagramming sentences: what, after all, is it good for? Well, for one thing, it’s obvious that it’s good for stirring up controversy. The more than 300 comments (and close to 100 personal e-mails) in response to my last post, “A Picture of Language,” ran the glorious gamut from “love it/taught me to write/thank you, Mrs. Wengler!” to “ridiculous waste of time/confusing/who needs it?”

Against Law, For Order It’s taken decades and millions of lives, but elite opinion is starting to move against mass incarceration. The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books ran detailed exposés on the scale and violence of the penal state. Conservative leaders like Grover Norquist have said that mass incarceration violates the principles of “fiscal responsibility, accountability, and limited government,” while GOP darlings like Mitch Daniels have tried to take the lead in state reform. Soon the common wisdom will shift from “we need to get tough on crime” to “we jail too many people for too long for the wrong reasons.” The next question is what to do about it, and here the answers are harder. There are those that think that it’ll be fairly easy – follow European examples and decriminalize drugs, for instance.

Brookings Institution Topics Page Latest news from USA TODAY From the Web North Korea could inflict significant damage in attack wait but why: Putting Time In Perspective Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them. It’s not our fault—the spans of time in human history, and even more so in natural history, are so vast compared to the span of our life and recent history that it’s almost impossible to get a handle on it. If the Earth formed at midnight and the present moment is the next midnight, 24 hours later, modern humans have been around since 11:59:59pm—1 second. And if human history itself spans 24 hours from one midnight to the next, 14 minutes represents the time since Christ. To try to grasp some perspective, I mapped out the history of time as a series of growing timelines—each timeline contains all the previous timelines (colors will help you see which timelines are which). All timeline lengths are exactly accurate to the amount of time they’re expressing.

Young people are rubbish … Feckless hooded youth is wheeled out to be pitted against the freezing pensioner, as if we have to choose between them. Photograph: Radius Images/Alamy Back in the day – a phrase never used back in the day by anyone I ever met – we were the knees of the bees. George W. Bush and torture: America’s highest officials are responsible for the “enhanced interrogation” of prisoners Michelle Shepard/AFP/Getty Images. It began with one document. On Sept. 17, 2001, six days after the terrorist attacks in Washington, D.C., President George W. Bush sent a 12-page Memorandum of Notification to his National Security Council.

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