Okay, pregnant-me is still sleeping a lot and using my waking time to catch up. Here are a few short items that interested me for one reason or another, but that I never managed to turn into full posts.
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Christy P. sent me a link some time ago to a site about traveling light: OneBag.com . It has tons of tips for keeping the packing weight down (including in the case of traveling with kids). I think it has some wisdom that could apply to "traveling" around town, just running errands, with your littles in tow. If you always feel like you are lugging too much around, you might find it useful.
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From the OneBag site, I followed a rabbit trail that took me to a clothing manufacturer, Scottevest, that had me wishing I had found it when I wasn't under the No-Buying-New-Nonmaternity-Clothes-When-Pregnant ban. The concept behind these folks is crazy, I know, but let me spell it out anyway:
Women's clothing with functional pockets in it.
Okay, they have men's clothes too, fair enough. And they don't have lots of different clothes. But still! A dress with pockets. Women's cargo pants with real, not cosmetic, pockets. A classic trench with a pocket capable of carrying an iPad. A travel vest with tons of pockets. I am going to autosend myself an email for a year from now, when I might conceivably be getting back into my old clothing size, to go back and check them out.
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Back when DarwinCatholic and I were posting about whether college education is worth the cost, whether a liberal arts degree is generally worthwhile, etc. -- even my husband got into it -- we were doing a lot of calculation about means and medians: costs, returns, salaries, debt, graduation rates, etc. I recently came across a short post by Tyler Cowen that reminded me of a piece of vocabulary that we should really have been using to talk about what's changed in the college calculation: variance.
If you're deciding how much to invest in a particular game, there's a big difference between a situation in which most of the possible outcomes are clustered tightly around the median, and one in which the possible outcomes are spread widely on either side of the median. Even when the two medians in question are exactly the same. In the one case, you have a very high chance of getting the value you expect out of your investment, and a low chance either of "hitting the jackpot" and doing much better or of failing miserably and ending up a big loser. In the other, there may be nearly as much chance of losing your shirt as of getting the expected value; and even if there's also a better chance of hitting the jackpot, that's not much of a consolation to the large pool of losers (especially since humans often feel worse about losing than they feel good about winning.)
I've had more statistics than the average person but somehow that never stops me from forgetting to consider the effects of variance, at least when I first look at a problem.
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The Fourth and First Amendments have been getting a lot of press lately. From Melanie B via Facebook comes this interesting link about a lawsuit brought on (comparatively rare) Third Amendment grounds. I'll save you from looking it up: it's the one protecting us from having to quarter soldiers in our homes during peacetime. The Nevada homeowner in question refused to allow into his home police who wanted to establish a "tactical advantage" against persons in a neighboring house, but the police forced their way in anyway and occupied his house.
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Another FB friend pointed to this article from the UK about a rise in rickets and scurvy there. The article's lede suggests it's related to parents who "rely on takeaways and microwave meals," and one analyst suggests it's related to the "impact of promotions, advertising, and marketing from the processed food industry."
It seems odd to blame the entire "processed food industry" for rickets and scurvy, when that is the same industry that brings things like frozen concentrated orange juice; canned and frozen fruits and vegetables of all kinds; canned oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon; and numerous other foods that would be out of reach of urban families during much of the year if we were limited to fresh, local food in season. Isn't it more likely to result from inattention to basic concepts of a "balanced diet," and (especially considering this is the UK) lack of natural sunlight?
It's possible that the marketers who advertise various processed foods in the UK have shifted away from advertising foods that help provide vitamins C and D and towards foods that don't, I suppose.
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Finally, another link suggested by Christy P: A plea to pack a "go bag." Timely, what with all the evacuations and tornadoes and explosions and wildfires that seem to have dominated the news this spring and summer.
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Do you know it took me all day to write this post? And it's practically a holiday. I started it this morning at 7 and have been working only in bits and pieces since then. Pregnancy brain -- ugh.