Yearly Archives: 2014

Kid-Friendly Video All About Walking

from "Pedestrian Safer Journey"A clever new video is speaking kids’ language about how to walk safely to school, in the neighborhood or on city streets. The stars are cartoon characters just snarky enough for real kids to relate to.

Safe Routes to School posted the 5-minute animation just in time for International Walk to School Day, this year on October 8.

Way back when you might have walked or bike to school.  But do you know today’s rules of the road?

Walk with or against car traffic?

How old is old enough for a kid to walk to school alone?

Those answers and more are here in English or Spanish:

Walking and biking is a fun and easy way for kids to be outdoors, get exercise and learn durable skills they can’t in the classroom, like how to navigate without a GPS.

Even if your school doesn’t have Walk to School Day,  you can always help them out and plan it yourself.

Want inspiration for parenting active, creative kids? Read The Durable Human  Manifesto (it only takes 10 minutes, plus it’s mostly pictures!) 

Learn more about the author on Google+.

Helping Young Guys Dissuade Party Predators

art by Maria Fabrizio

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

I’m trying out a new way to quickly post to my site. I usually take plenty of time to prepare a piece in order to provide value and good journalism. But sometimes when I see good journalism elsewhere, I want to pass it along right away.

This piece, produced by Laura Starecheski on NPR, delves into date rape and why it happens. She discovered a great prevention program that’s been in use in high schools for more than a decade. The program provides strategies to help the party predator help himself and for bystanders to tactfully defend potential date rape targets.

The story echoes the same message that Deb Werrlein gave in her stunning appearance at Listen To Your Mother DC.

Listen to Laura’s report here.

Jenifer Joy Madden  is the author of The Durable Human Manifesto. She is now preparing the full-length sequel, Cover Your Assets: How to be a Durable Human in a Digital World.  Learn more about the author on Google+.

 

Portland, Oregon: Why Being Weird is Good for People

intersection

Share-it Square in Portland, OR

In Portland, Oregon, they bike naked in the streets, hold laundromat happy hours, and neighbors adopt their intersections. The place is weird – which is a boon for the people who live there.

I learned a lot about the City of Roses, along with planners, politicians and policy makers, at the International Making Cities Livable conference. In his keynote, Portland mayor Charlie Hales ticked off some of the many ways his town makes its people the priority.

  • Spending $1 billion on the Willamette River so it’s clean enough for swimming
  • Giving every high school kid a free transit pass
  • Removing a riverfront highway to make way for a park

Hales says Portland’s land use and transportation policies “render freedom less dangerous.” With less time worrying about being hit by a car, Portlanders appear to be spending more time coming up with new ideas.

One such resident is 26-year-old Morgan Gary. Continue reading

How to Mingle with Agents and Editors

PubSmart Conference logoHere in the digital age where anyone can publish anything, emerging authors need to work harder than ever to stand out in the crowd, especially when speaking with an agent or editor. Your approach will make all the difference.

“Professionalism matters,” advised Angela Bole of the Independent Book Publishers Association, setting the tone for PubSmart, a practical new conference about the business side of book publishing.  

Since there’s no second chance to make a first impression, PubSmart presenters stressed that authors should speak with confidence and positive energy. “Have a pleasant look, hold peoples’ eyes—and don’t say um,” agent Rachelle Gardner told a rapt audience of authors in a session about how to mingle with industry experts.

But just as important as what you say is where you say it. Continue reading

Train Your Brain to be Happy

Young man has head resting on golden retriever's shoulder

Athletes do endless drills to qualify for the Olympics. It takes practice to perfect any skill, whether calligraphy or coding. Now, it may be possible to train your brain for an ongoing sense of well-being.

“There is a lot of evidence that the technologies of the 20th and 21st centuries may have made us more productive and able to do more stuff, but we are not happier,” claims Ofer Leidner, developer of Happify.com. But his creation uses technology “as a means of creating happiness and human to human interaction.” Games and activities on Happify are grounded in science proving that repeating certain behaviors can reroute pathways in the brain to make happiness a habit. The goal of using his platform, says Leidner, is to obtain “a set of skills to use and apply.”

Continue reading

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