links to 10 items worth your time

1. 18 striking findings from 2018

“Pew Research Center takes the pulse of Americans and people around the world on a host of issues every year. We explore public opinion on topics ranging from foreign policy to cyberbullying, as well as demographic trends, such as the emergence of the post-Millennial generation and changes in the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States. Here are 18 of this year’s standout findings, taken from our analyses over the past year.”

2. What Happened When Dick’s Stared Down the Gun Lobby

“How can you truly be part of the conversation if you’ll only speak on your own terms?”

3. How to Fix the Apathy Problems in Schools [required reading]

“… this way of thinking has shifted the responsibility of learning, and of caring about learning, from the student to the teacher. Because it isn’t just administrators and parents who believe that it is a teacher’s job to make learning fun. Kids believe it, too.”

4. Generation – Not Millennials – is Changing the Nature of Work

“… Gen X is ‘America’s neglected ‘middle child’ …”

5. A bunch of millennials explained in a survey why they despise phone calls

“It’s simple: if you text or email someone, they can respond on their time. But if you call someone, they need to respond right now on your time. It’s just inconsiderate.”

6. Worry over kids’ excessive smartphone use is more justified than ever before

“New research funded by the National Institutes of Health found … lower cognitive skills among those using screens more than two hours a day.”

7. Email security best practices your team should be following right now

“The single biggest threat to your business’s online security is malicious emails.”

8. Facebook’s Data Sharing: 5 Takeaways From Our Investigation [required reading]

“… an investigation by The New York Times, based on hundreds of pages of internal Facebook documents and interviews with about 50 former employees of Facebook and its partners, reveals that the marketplace for that data is even bigger than many consumers suspected. And Facebook, which collects more information on more people than almost any other private corporation in history, is a central player. Here are five takeaways from our investigation.”

9. Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It

“Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage — all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.”

10. A lawyer who represents cruise ship workers reveals the hardest job on a cruise ship

“Utility galley workers often work 12-14 hours per day, seven days per week for just $500-$700 per month … In some cases, they’re not able to take scheduled breaks, but are later required by their supervisors to change their timesheets to make it appear as if they took the breaks.”

links to 10 items worth your time

1. The cofounder of Casper wants to make home renovations less hellish

“Block Renovation won’t just redo your bathroom for you. The new startup will finish it in three weeks, for 25% less than you’d pay a regular contractor. … Right now, the service is only available in New York and New Jersey, but it will soon be available around the country. And the plan is to quickly expand beyond the bathroom to other rooms, like kitchens.”

2. A New Connection between the Gut and Brain

“… there is a growing body of work showing that there is communication between the gut and brain, now commonly dubbed the gut–brain axis. The disruption of the gut–brain axis contributes to a diverse range of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. …

“… the research unveils a previously undescribed gut–brain connection mediated by the immune system and indicates that excessive salt might negatively impact brain health in humans through impairing the brain’s blood vessels regardless of its effect on blood pressure.”

3. Here’s How Much Added Sugar You Should Eat in a Day

“The American Heart Association says men should eat no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar (… 36 grams) and women should cap their daily amount at (… 25 grams). The World Health Organization and the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines are slightly more liberal: added sugars should take up less than 10 percent of your daily calories. For an adult that’s about 50 grams … To put all this in perspective, one 12-ounce can of Pepsi has 41 grams of added sugar.”

4. 22 Hidden Tricks Inside Windows 10

“Think you know Windows inside and out?”

5. Microsoft PowerPoint is getting real-time captions and subtitles for presentations

“The subtitles and captions are designed to help support the deaf or hard of hearing community, and even allow speakers to include a translation of a presentation. Live captions and subtitles will support 12 spoken languages and display on-screen in more than 60 different languages.”

6. The privacy risks of compiling mobility data

“A new study by MIT researchers finds that the growing practice of compiling massive, anonymized datasets about people’s movement patterns is a double-edged sword: While it can provide deep insights into human behavior for research, it could also put people’s private data at risk. … We need to keep thinking about the challenges in processing large-scale data, about individuals, and the right way to provide adequate guarantees to preserve privacy.”

7. How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location

“Hundreds of apps can follow your movements and share the details with advertisers, retailers and even hedge funds. Here’s how to limit the snooping.”

8. Facebook Wants to Know Where You are Going

“… if you want to keep using your Facebook account since it’s still your main way to keep in touch with your friends, you can turn off the Facebook’s location tracking features by following these steps …”

9. ACLU slams ‘nightmarish’ Amazon patent application to bring facial recognition to your front door

“‘It’s rare for patent applications to lay out, in such nightmarish detail, the world a company wants to bring about,’ said Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney at the ACLU. ‘Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future, with its technology at the center of a massive decentralized surveillance network, running real-time facial recognition on members of the public using cameras installed in people’s doorbells.’

“Amazon declined to comment for this story.”

10. 12 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online

“Making your devices, online identity, and activities more secure really doesn’t take much effort. In fact, several of our tips about what you can do to be more secure online boil down to little more than common sense.”

links to 4+ helpful articles

1. When you’re grateful, your brain becomes more charitable [required reading]

“Practicing gratitude shifted the value of giving in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. It changed the exchange rate in the brain. Giving to charity became more valuable than receiving money yourself. After the brain calculates the exchange rate, you get paid in the neural currency of reward, the delivery of neurotransmitters that signal pleasure and goal attainment. So in terms of the brain’s reward response, it really can be true that giving is better than receiving.”

2. Early Benchmarks Show ‘Post-Millennials’ on Track to Be Most Diverse, Best-Educated Generation Yet

“A demographic portrait of today’s 6- to 21-year-olds.”

3. Giving Thanks for Difficult People

“Give thanks for the difficult people in your life. Then, identify what’s in the way of being fully present. Take the time to resolve it, so that you can bring your full humanity, and your full spiritual powers, to bear.”

4. Your Child and Facebook are Not a Good Match

“What is happening with those photos once they’re uploaded?”

5. A Fact-Checker’s Guide to Thanksgiving Politics

“With the holiday on the heels of the midterm elections, sitting out a political food fight may be unavoidable. But it doesn’t have to be inaccurate. Arm yourself with the facts.”

links to 5 helpful articles

1. Aretha Franklin Doc ‘Amazing Grace’ Amplifies the Power of a Gospel Classic

“The new Aretha Franklin documentary ‘Amazing Grace’ — filmed in 1972 during the live recording sessions for her hit album of the same name, but not available for public viewing until today — is a marvelous 87-minute testament to Franklin’s unrivaled singing ability.”

2. Sunday School with Judges: Part 1, Judges is Hard on Judges by Richard Beck

“… sometimes we just need to let the Bible we weird and unsettling. I understand the impulse to smooth out all the rough, dark, violent edges. But I also worry about doing that all the time.”

3. Now it’s easier to protect your browsing privacy on iOS devices with 1.1.1.1 app

“The gold standard for privacy protection on the Internet is to use a VPN service. This encrypts all traffic so your ISP has no way to know which sites you’re visiting or what you’re doing there. But trustworthy VPNs cost money. A free alternative approach which protects some of your data is to use a third-party Domain Name Server (DNS).”

4. As parking garages reach max life expectancy, expect more failures, experts say

In Texas, parking garages aren’t required to be inspected. [emphasis mine, DPS] Their owners aren’t required to tell you about any problems. That means for the hundreds, if not thousands … their safety is a mystery.

“Experts say that most parking garages … were constructed during a building boom in the 1980s. Engineers say they have an approximate 30-year life span. That means many garages in our area are well past their prime and potentially developing serious, even deadly, issues if left unaddressed.”

5. Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab

“So much in this episode was rare, and yet so much of it felt like classic Doctor Who … For me, the episode was a compelling and deeply moving combination of everything I love most about Doctor Who. Interesting material about both human and Gallifreyan religion. Serious commentary about individual lives, history, morality, and the value of life.”

links to 4 helpful articles

1. New Criterion for Voting: Words [essential reading]

“… Luke 6:45, ‘What comes out of the mouth is what’s overflowing in the heart.’ The words we speak are windows into the human heart. What we say in a moment of anger or frustration reveals something about us, whether we like it or not. All of us at times have said things we wished we could take back. No one is immune from ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease. The problem with such moments is not that we say things we don’t mean; we say them precisely because we mean them.”

2. What Parents Need Most from Their Pastors After a Miscarriage

“How can we best serve couples after miscarriage (not just women) and ensure they access the practical and spiritual support they need as they grieve and heal?”

3. Hush: How to Tell if God’s Speaking

“God’s voice is declared in many ways. God speaks through circumstances. God communicates through dreams and visions. God speaks through beings like angels and people. God speaks powerfully through Scripture. And God speaks through the still and small voice of his Spirit. God desires to share his wisdom in a wide number of ways.”

4. Use these 9 critical iPhone privacy and security settings right now

“I’ve written before that Apple is unique among modern tech giants in that it builds its products with privacy at the forefront. But many of those protections and tools available on every iPhone only make a difference if you’re aware of them–and judging from my conversations with friends, many people aren’t. If you’re an iPhone user, these are the security and privacy features you need to know about–and should be using.”

links to 5 helpful articles

1. Seven Ways to Teach Civil Discourse to Students

“… young people need to learn how to respectfully disagree.”

2. Tiny Books Fit in One Hand. Will They Change the Way We Read?

“The tiny editions are the size of a cellphone and no thicker than your thumb, with paper as thin as onion skin. They can be read with one hand — the text flows horizontally, and you can flip the pages upward, like swiping a smartphone.”

3. Your Kid’s Apps are Crammed with Ads

“A few years ago to suggest limiting tech for kids would have sounded alarmist, and now that’s changing.”

4. More Than 90% of Generation Z Is Stressed Out. And Gun Violence Is Partly To Blame

“Members of Gen Z — people ages 15 to 21 — reported the worst mental health of any generation included in the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America report, which was based on almost 3,500 interviews with people ages 18 and older, plus 300 interviews with teenagers ages 15 to 17.”

5. The FDA’s updated nutrition labels could improve your health—if you know how to read them

“Nutrition labels may have a difficult time getting 350 million people to shift their diets, but if you decide you’re going to start paying attention, think of the positive impact you could have on your own life. All it takes is turning that package around and reading the label. It’s now easier than ever.”

what to do about using Facebook: a baker’s dozen of this man’s ways

1. Only with exceedingly rare and brief exception have Facebook on my phone or tablet.

2. Have, and keep constantly updated, quality anti-virus, malware detection, and ad-blocking software. Run scans by these regularly, even if they are already automated and constantly run in the background. In addition, keep a clean machine (e.g. – make regular use of CCleaner or similar software).

3. Never “sign in” to any account via another account (e.g. – “Sign in with Facebook”).

4. Refuse to do anything on any social media unless #’s 1-3 above are in place, working well, and are current.

5. Within Facebook, make sure Platform is turned off. [Settings > Apps]

6. Make sure zero check boxes are ticked under Apps Others Use. [Settings > Apps]

7. Select “Only Me” for Old Versions of Facebook for Mobile. [Settings > Apps]

8. Closely and regularly review answers to all eight questions under Privacy. Err on the side of restriction. [Settings > Privacy]

9. Select “Only Me” and “On” for all Timeline and Tagging Settings. [Settings > Timeline and Tagging]

10. Closely, and regularly, review all settings under six categories under Your Ad Preferences. [Settings > Ads] Again, err on the side of restriction.

11. Do not play any games or take any polls on any social media.

12. When posting, make rare use of tagging others and typically remove any tags that automatically appear.

13. Avoid skipping or putting off any of the preceding.