Interesting articles, videos and other tidbits from around the web.
When a promoter booked the rock band Van Halen they needed to provide a bowl of M&Ms, having all brown ones sorted out.
As lead singer David Lee Roth explained in a 2012 interview, the bowl of M&Ms was an indicator of whether the concert promoter had actually read the band’s complicated contract.
“Van Halen was the first to take 850 par lamp lights — huge lights — around the country,” Roth said. “At the time, it was the biggest production ever.” In many cases, the venues were too outdated or inadequately prepared to set up the band’s sophisticated stage.
“If I came backstage, having been one of the architects of this lighting and staging design, and I saw brown M&Ms on the catering table, then I guarantee the promoter had not read the contract rider, and we would have to do a serious line check” of the entire stage setup, Roth said.
John Pasden at Sinosplice shares this cute conversation between a bilingual kid in the US and a Chinese adult:
Adult: What do you most like doing with your family?
The key to understanding this exchange is knowing that 做 (zuò), the verb meaning “to do,” sounds identical to the verb 坐 (zuò), which means “to sit.” Add into this that many verbs in Chinese don’t require an additional preposition like their English counterparts (for example, we’d say “sit on” rather than just “sit”), and the child’s answer starts to make a lot of sense.
Great example of the challenges understanding spoken Chinese. Using characters this mixup could never happen.
Then enter Vietnamese, where even in the written language everything looks the same:
Chào em = Hello
Cháo em = You porridge
Ben Thompson suggests blocking TikTok in the US:
This is, without question, a prescription I don’t come to lightly. Perhaps the most powerful argument against taking any sort of action is that we aren’t China, and isn’t blocking TikTok something that China would do? Well yes, we know that is what they would do, because the Chinese government has blocked U.S. social networks for years. Wars, though, are fought not because we lust for battle, but because we pray for peace. If China is on the offensive against liberalism not only within its borders but within ours, it is in liberalism’s interest to cut off a vector that has taken root precisely because it is so brilliantly engineered to give humans exactly what they want.
I would add a friend’s suggestion to block WeChat so the Chinese elite’s kids studying overseas can no longer communicate easily with their friends back home. Let them see how it feels.
Today Ars Technica brings you inside the pilot’s seat of an F-15C Eagle fighter jet to break down every button in the cockpit. Join retired United States Air Force pilot Col. Andrea Themely as she walks you through everything at your disposal, from emergency features and communication controls to navigation features and weapons and defense. With 1100 hours of experience piloting F-15’s, Col. Themely expert eye is ready to guide you each step of the way.
Joshua Drummer on Twitter:
Wife trying livestreaming on Douyin. Comes over to me in the middle of a stream and puts me on camera. After about a minute, notice pops up saying that foreigners are not allowed to appear on livestreams “without permission”.
Journalist Isabelle Niu replied:
This seems really alarming so I did a little digging and found that apparently ByteDance, which owns Douyin & TikTok, explained how it self-regulates livestreaming content in a detailed 2019 report. I’ll break down some of the main points of the report in this thread
Read the whole thing. Welcome to semi-automated livestream censorship.
–– Tim Urban
Vivian Vo was born in the U.S. and has a Vietnamese mother and a Vietnamese-Dutch father. With 1.7 million followers on Instagram after seven years working as a makeup artist, Vo is well-known for her revealing style and long hair.
–– Dave Cutler
As part of NPR’s parenting series #HowToRaiseAHuman Michaeleen Doucleff visited a Maya village in Yucatán where even the youngest kids take great joy and pride in helping out in the house.
The Maya achieve this by letting the kids help whenever they want and however small the contribution is. In the beginning this takes longer than if the parents would do the task on their own.
The moms see it as an investment, Mejia-Arauz says: Encourage the messy, incompetent toddler who really wants to do the dishes now, and over time, he’ll turn into the competent 7-year-old who still wants to help.
Research supports this hypothesis, says the University of New Hampshire’s Andrew Coppens. “Early opportunities to collaborate with parents likely sets off a developmental trajectory that leads to children voluntarily helping and pitching in at home,” he says.
Or another way to look at it is: If you tell a child enough times, “No, you’re not involved in this chore,” eventually they will believe you.
Back in San Francisco Doucleeff tried it with her then two-year-old daughter:
So how did I turn a tantrum-fueled toddler into a chore-loving cherub (as if). To be honest, I needed to revamp the way I parent. I changed the way I interact with Rosy and the way I view her position in the family.
She made the chores the fun activity of the day, took her time doing them and included her daughter whenever possible.
For another article Doucleeff and colleague Jane Greenhalgh went to Iqaluit, Canada to learn how Inuit parents raise their kids to be calm adults that don’t get angry.
One part is not to yell:
“Shouting, ‘Think about what you just did. Go to your room!’ " Jaw says. “I disagree with that. That’s not how we teach our children. Instead you are just teaching children to run away.”
And you are teaching them to be angry, says clinical psychologist and author Laura Markham. “When we yell at a child — or even threaten with something like ‘I’m starting to get angry,’ we’re training the child to yell,” says Markham. “We’re training them to yell when they get upset and that yelling solves problems.”
Another one is storytelling:
For example, how do you teach kids to stay away from the ocean, where they could easily drown? Instead of yelling, “Don’t go near the water!” Jaw says Inuit parents take a pre-emptive approach and tell kids a special story about what’s inside the water. “It’s the sea monster,” Jaw says, with a giant pouch on its back just for little kids.
And one is role play:
When a child in the camp acted in anger — hit someone or had a tantrum — there was no punishment. Instead, the parents waited for the child to calm down and then, in a peaceful moment, did something that Shakespeare would understand all too well: They put on a drama. (As the Bard once wrote, “the play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.")
“The idea is to give the child experiences that will lead the child to develop rational thinking,” Briggs told the CBC in 2011.
In a nutshell, the parent would act out what happened when the child misbehaved, including the real-life consequences of that behavior.
All three articles are highly recommended.
Basecamp in Getting Real:
Don’t hire people. Look for another way. Is the work that’s burdening you really necessary? What if you just don’t do it? Can you solve the problem with a slice of software or a change of practice instead?
Whenever Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, used to fire someone, he didn’t immediately hire a replacement. He wanted to see how long he could get along without that person and that position.
I genuinely believe that with the right processes and the right people most companies need only half their headcount.