Go Ahead, Give a Kid a Laptop and Walk Away

At this past weekend's Techonomy Conference 2010 in Lake Tahoe, One Laptop per Child Founder Nicholas Negroponte answered a fundamental question that OLPC critics have fired his way over the years: You can't just hand a kid in a developing world country a laptop and continue on your way, can you?

According to the program's experience in Peru, Negroponte says, "you actually can" do just that. The kids apparently cotton to the new technology pretty easily, and can even use it to teach themselves how to read and write. But, that's not all, he explains: "50 percent of the kids in Peru who use this laptop are teaching their parents how to read and write."

The common misconception that these critics share, he asserts, is being stuck in the mode of needing teachers in order for learning to take place. In countries where the adult population is barely more educated than children, these technologies can fill the breach that an uneducated teaching profession can cause. (See video below where Negroponte elaborates on that point.)

And it wasn't just traditional teaching that he peered beyond during the panel discussion he participated in, which was called "What Technology Wants vs. What People Want." He also forecasted the end of books.

According to a post on TechCrunch, Negroponte, citing Amazon sales figures of books sold for its Kindle vs. bound volumes, proclaimed: “It’s happening. It not happening in 10 years. It’s happening in 5 years.”



When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

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At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

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October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

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At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

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The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

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