Saturday, September 24, 2016

Weekly Web Roundup (9/24/16)

Photo Credit: Victor Björklund
Here are some interesting stories from around the web that I've seen during this past week:

Segregation Is Still Alive at These Christian Schools by Jonathan Merritt (The Daily Beast)
"While Catholic schools have existed throughout U.S. history, private Christian schools emerged en masse in the aftermath of the civil-rights movement. The Supreme Court declared public-school segregation unconstitutional in its unanimous Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. Many school systems, particularly across the South, resisted compliance while some families saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to act. Fearful at the thought of their children mingling with black students, many white Christian families founded private “segregation academies” to skirt the law. Many were “Christian” institutions, and fundamentalist evangelicals founded several of the most prominent ones. Non-Catholic Christian schools doubled their enrollments between 1961 and ’71."
I Used to Be a Human Being by Andrew Sullivan (Select/All)
"I tried reading books, but that skill now began to elude me. After a couple of pages, my fingers twitched for a keyboard. I tried meditation, but my mind bucked and bridled as I tried to still it. I got a steady workout routine, and it gave me the only relief I could measure for an hour or so a day. But over time in this pervasive virtual world, the online clamor grew louder and louder. Although I spent hours each day, alone and silent, attached to a laptop, it felt as if I were in a constant cacophonous crowd of words and images, sounds and ideas, emotions and tirades — a wind tunnel of deafening, deadening noise. So much of it was irresistible, as I fully understood. So much of the technology was irreversible, as I also knew. But I’d begun to fear that this new way of living was actually becoming a way of not-living."
How Apartheid Haunts a New Generation of South Africans by Kenichi Serino (The Atlantic)
"Over two decades after the end of apartheid, a vast gulf remains between the experiences of South Africa’s white students and black students, like Shikwambane, who’d managed to gain entry to Wits despite the poor facilities and shoddy resources at the public schools in the rural areas and townships where many of them grew up. Formerly all-white high schools, by contrast, are well-resourced and supplemented by contributions from parents and alumni. They also send students to South Africa’s best universities, and provide opportunities for black students from poor backgrounds. 
As a result, universities are now among the places that best represent the anger of the post-apartheid, or “born free” generation. This is a generation facing a grim irony: freer than their parents, but lacking the means and institutions to truly capitalize on that freedom. Many find themselves limited by what they’ve increasingly come to view as an incomplete social and political transformation, one that has simply entrenched the inequities of an age they’d been taught had long since passed."
The Origins of 25 Fall Traditions (Mental Floss)
"If your fall bucket list includes carving jack-o’-lanterns, sipping apple cider, and toasting s’mores over a bonfire, you’re in good company. But when you stop to think about it, many of our autumnal traditions—like scooping out pumpkin guts, asking strangers for sugar, and wandering aimlessly through cornfields—are pretty bizarre. Here are the reasons behind some of our favorite fall pastimes."
Today's Kids Don't Quite Know What to Make of the Atari 2600 (Mental Floss)
"Technology has changed a lot in the past four decades, which means that kids today sometimes don’t know what to make of the gadgets their parents grew up with. Video game fans might remember the Atari 2600 (originally called the Atari VCS), the retro home console that helped rec room gaming go mainstream after its initial release in 1977. At the time, the bulky Atari 2600 was the height of sophistication. Now, as YouTube channel Fine Brothers Entertainment captures in its latest “Kids React” video, it’s simply a puzzling relic from the past for Generation Z."

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