Give “Alternative” and “Alt” a Break

Let’s give “alternative” and its younger sibling “alt” the year off. They’ve really earned it. Seriously. They’ve paid their dues recently.

First , “alt” was used ad nauseum in 2016 to describe white supremacists. You could also, depending on your beliefs, call them Nazis, skinheads or racists.

Why did this term come about? I’m guessing because the people behind the movement didn’t like being called white supremacists, which is the most polite term you can use, and one that the media used consistently before they got insanely politically correct (or bamboozled by slick PR people). (They also used “white nationalists” a lot last year instead of “white supremacists” until either they came to their senses or just started avoiding those guys altogether.)

(Thankfully, they have begun to re-think this lemming-like white[sorry]washing. Late last year, the Associated Press published its usage guidance for the term, which said that it should not be used without an accompanying definition of the group/movement, as “it is not well known and the term may exist primarily as a public relations device to make its supporters’ beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience.”)

Then today, on “Meet the Press,” Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s…sorry, what is she? It’s hard to tell what her official role is, since a search of whitehouse.gov nets you:

Sorry, no results found for ‘kellyanne’

I guess they’ve been too busy taking down the civil rights, climate change and LGBT web pages to add her to the site. Guess you know where you stand in Trump’s priorities, Kellyanne.

Anyway, today she came up with a new term to describe the babble that came out of the Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s mouth yesterday at a press conference during which he answered zero questions from the press, and mostly lied.

“You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving — our press secretary, Sean Spicer, gave alternative facts to that.”

Kellyanne, dear, there is no such thing as an “alternative” fact. The definition of a fact is “a thing that is indisputably the case.” Do you need a definition of “indisputable,” Kellyanne? Okay. That would be “unable to be challenged or denied.” I’ll add to that “or given an alternative version.”

I guess we should have seen this coming. Corey Lewandowski, first a Trump campaign manager, then a CNN commentator, and now a footnote at One American News Network, said “You’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.” Then pro-Trump pundit Scottie Nellie Hughes said, “Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There’s no such thing, unfortunately anymore, of facts.”

Remember, this is from the people who benefited from (or created) fake news to win the election. Actually, to not completely win the election. Being beaten in popular vote must burn Trump as much as the size of his hands do.

Because, apparently, what matters to Trump is size. I’m not going anywhere lewd with this – I don’t have to. Look at Trump Tower (or possibly not, since you might be blinded by the tacky metallic finish). Or his own thinly veiled reference to the size of his genitals in the debate when Marco Rubio addressed the size of Trump’s hands.

The one thing that enrages Trump more than anything is when he loses a contest judged by size, which is why poor Sean Spicer, who I predict will have an aneurysm, heart attack or stroke in about six months, was sent out to lie about the size of the inaugural crowd.

Scottie Nell Hughes, I’m sorry to disagree, but the reality is that facts have not died. You all can try to convince us that facts have died, taken a holiday or become obsolete, at least when they’re not in your favor, but it won’t make it true. Saying something over and over in many different ways doesn’t change reality. That might work when your viewers only read, watch and listen to conservative media, but you’re no longer addressing your captive audience.

You’re also addressing the 48% of people who voted for Hillary Clinton. And the 1.7% who voted for Gary Johnson. And the 11,000 people who voted for Harambe the gorilla. And the press, who seem to be starting to wake up. So tread carefully, lest you lie yourself into obscurity, or at OANN like Corey, which is pretty much the same thing.

 

Share

How Colleges Use Kids’ Social Media Feeds | Common Sense Media

Hey, all you college-bound kids: What’s the easiest thing you can do to impress prospective schools? It’s not your GPA. It’s not the debate team. It’s your Facebook – and your Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Vine, and any other social media feeds that colleges can see. And yes, they’re looking. Get answers to the most important questions about what colleges want to see.

Source: How Colleges Use Kids’ Social Media Feeds | Common Sense Media

Share

9 Online Summer Camps to Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) While School’s Out | Common Sense Media

OK, don’t laugh. Virtual summer camps — where kids head to the computer instead of the pool or park — are a thing now. And before you say, “Over my dead body,” these aren’t the solitary, sedentary, screen-centered experiences you fear. Plenty of virtual summer camps offer kids the chance to make projects, investigate ideas, and explore the world. And many are free.Going to camp online can also give kids something unique: individual attention. You, a babysitter, a grandparent, or even an older sibling ac

Read on: 9 Online Summer Camps to Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) While School’s Out | Common Sense Media

Share

Catfishing Apps Let Kids Fake Everything from Texts to Tweets | Common Sense Media

From Shakespeare to TV sitcoms, the idea of pretending to be someone you’re not never gets old. In the online world, there’s a name for it — “catfishing” — and it’s common enough to have inspired a movie and a TV show. But creating a false persona isn’t the only bait-and-switch game out there. New apps let kids boost, create, or totally fabricate reality, tapping into the pressure kids feel to project a certain public image. Teens are especially vulnerable, since a lot of their social lives play out onlin

Read on: Catfishing Apps Let Kids Fake Everything from Texts to Tweets | Common Sense Media

Share

The Best Way to Fight With a Teenager – The New York Times

When raising teenagers, conflict usually comes with the territory. A growing body of research suggests that this can actually be a good thing. How disagreements are handled at home shapes both adolescent mental health and the overall quality of the parent-teenager relationship. Not only that, the nature of family quarrels can also drive how adolescents manage their relationships with people beyond the home.In looking at how teenagers approach disputes, experts have identified four distinct styles: attacking, withdrawing, complying and problem solving.

Source: The Best Way to Fight With a Teenager – The New York Times

Share

Wow. Just…wow.

I couldn’t resist posting this quote from a New York Times article:

Meanwhile, in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, Mr. Trump described himself as the person he listens to most on foreign policy.

“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things,” Mr. Trump said.

The more he speaks, the scarier it gets.

 

 

Share

Science Says: Video Games May Improve Cognitive Abilities In Multiple Sclerosis Patients – Consumerist

“Video games will rot your brain,” is something I used to hear as a child. It’s not true, and in fact a newly published study claims that some video games may actually be helpful for the more than 2 million people around the world with Multiple Sclerosis.The study, published in the Journal Radiology by researchers from Sapienza University in Rome, looked at the effect of so-called “brain-training” games on the cognitive abilities of MS patients, and found that these games can strengthen players’ neural connections.

Source: Science Says: Video Games May Improve Cognitive Abilities In Multiple Sclerosis Patients – Consumerist

Share

We’re Thinking About ADHD All Wrong, Says A Top Pediatrician : NPR

Diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are up around 30 percent compared with 20 years ago. These days, if a 2-year-old won’t sit still for circle time in preschool, she’s liable to be referred for evaluation, which can put her on track for early intervention and potentially a lifetime of medication.In an editorial just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, Dimitri Christakis argues that we’ve got this all wrong. He’s a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and the director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

Source: We’re Thinking About ADHD All Wrong, Says A Top Pediatrician : NPR Ed : NPR

Share