‘Memories of Steve’

Don Melton wrote a splendid piece full of Steve Jobs stories from Don’s time at Apple:

[I]’d like to recount a few of my own stories about Steve here. Not only for you, but for myself. Because maybe in the process I can remember him better.

You’re nuts if you don’t take the time to read this. So great.

On the Benefits of Public Transportation

Katrina vanden Heuvel for The Nation, on how public transit improves lives:

According to the American Public Transportation Association, Americans are using public transportation more today than at any other time since 1956. Public transit provided 10.7 billion individual rides last year, a 1.1 percent increase over 2012 and the latest uptick for an industry that has seen a 37.2 percent increase in ridership since 1995. This is something to crow about.

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‘Own Your Words’

Matt Gemmell advocates writing your own words on your own site:

If you’re going to write, I believe you should have the honesty and the integrity to really expose yourself. If someone’s paying, then the finger can always be pointed at them: editorial control is a double-edged sword. But if no-one is paying, and you’re instead doing the courageous thing and sharing your raw words with the audience, do it on your own terms – whether that’s a hosted Tumblr or WordPress blog, or something you’ve set up yourself. The tech isn’t important; the personal exclusivity is.

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Altering the Academy Awards

MG Siegler, “Oscars, The Grouch”:

I’d cut out all the schtick and drastically reduce the time of the ceremony. I’d have some tributes, some songs, and an opening monologue. But mainly I’d just hand out the statues and focus on the speeches.

I’d keep it classy. Elegant.

Perhaps that sounds boring. But it can’t be more boring than a non-stop barrage of self-referential jokes and costume changes. I don’t want to relate to the talent of Hollywood. I want them to be recognized for what they do best and to promise to do more of it.

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On San Francisco’s Housing Market

Nick Bilton, writing for the NYT’s Bits blog:

More wealth is concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area than just about any other place in the nation. Google alone, the story goes, minted 1,000 millionaires when it went public. Ditto Facebook. And Twitter? Some estimate 1,600. Tech worker bees are doing just fine, too, with average base salaries now north of $100,000.

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‘What’s Not to Love About Pre-K’

Peter A. Greene, writing for Curmudgucation:

[W]e have politicians deciding that since Kindergartner’s are having trouble meeting the developmentally inappropriate standards of CCSS, the problem must be that they aren’t "ready" for kindergarten. So we have the spectacle of people seriously suggesting that what four-year-olds need is some rigorous instruction, and of course THAT means that we’ll need to give those four-year-olds standardized tests in order to evaluate how well the program is going.

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‘The First Picture of My Daughter I Ever Hated’

Kelly Poynter, writing for the Education Action Group:

My daughter is incredibly strong. My daughter is a 4-year cancer survivor. She is a fighter with a resilient spirit. It crushes me to see her cry; to see her struggle. My daughter deserves a happy childhood.

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The Economics of Universal Pre-K Programs

Betsy Reed for The Nation, on what universal preschool means economically:

Here’s the thing: the problem that universal pre-K programs address is not simply the need for more enriching early childhood education. The bigger problem is the huge and growing gap between the rich and everyone else—the “tale of two cities” that de Blasio talked of frequently on the campaign trail, and that has made living in New York difficult for most families.

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On New York City’s Preschool Program

Dana Goldstein for The Nation, on NYC’s innovative new Pre-K initiative:

At the Future of America Learning Center in the West Bronx, the pre-K curriculum is built around adult jobs—visiting real workplaces and then learning about the vocabulary and skills that grown-ups use every day.

At a career-month event, 4-year-olds meet doctors and nurses from the Montefiore Medical Center. Back in their classroom, they set up a replica triage desk and play doctor with a real stethoscope and blood-pressure cuff. In another unit, students visit a Citibank vault and then deposit real coins in a classroom bank.

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On California’s Drought

Adam Nagourney and Ian Lovett, writing for The New York Times:

The punishing drought that has swept California is now threatening the state’s drinking water supply.

With no sign of rain, 17 rural communities providing water to 40,000 people are in danger of running out within 60 to 120 days. State officials said that the number was likely to rise in the months ahead after the State Water Project, the main municipal water distribution system, announced on Friday that it did not have enough water to supplement the dwindling supplies of local agencies that provide water to an additional 25 million people. It is first time the project has turned off its spigot in its 54-year history.

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