Generation RX – Quit Drugging Your Kids

I have been screaming about drugging kids and the ADD / ADHD pseudoscience to anyone who would listen for the last 15 years. I was very happy to see this documentary on Netflix last night:

1. Psychology / psychiatry is NOT a science.
2. Hyper-active kids are normal!
3. Drugging kids to stop them behaving as kids is wrong.

This documentary (Generation RX) tells the story of anti-depressants much better than I can rant, please watch and pass it along (especially to new parents).

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Why I Host at DreamHost

From their about us pages:

DreamHost is owned by its employees.

DreamHostWe’re a tight-knit family and we’re not looking to sell out to investors or hosting conglomerates or other gigantic companies who care more about the bottom line than providing solid web hosting.

Believe us, there’s plenty of those in the hosting industry already and you probably don’t want to get mixed up with them.

The guys who work at those companies are crazy. They earn sales commissions. They dress in ‘business casual’ attire. Some of them might even wear suits un-ironically! They’ll toss around fancy words like ‘synergy’.

They wear cologne.

Wearing cologne in the DreamHost office is grounds for termination. Or at least a solid 8 hours of harassment.

I like their ideals… but when it comes down to it… it is has always been about the humor and newsletters.

(DreamHost is a webhosting company. If you don’t know what web hosting is, you can read my overview of web hosting here.)

Here is an excerpt from this month’s newsletter:

Introduction:
If you’re reading this it means the worst has finally happened.

“The worst” is probably one of the following:

• I’ve died in a horrible accident.
• I’ve died in a happy accident.
• I didn’t actually die but couldn’t write this month’s newsletter in time to prevent this automatically-sent message from going out.
• I’m stuck in the bathroom – please somebody come help me.

Regardless of the reason, the show must go on! And I’m going to use the power of technology to customize this message just for you! I’m pretty sure I know how to do it right, so let’s get to it, FIRST_NAME!

I hope you’re enjoying your CURRENT_MONTH_NAME and that you’re getting along well with your family, friends, and acquaintances. I don’t know about you, but I sure am happy to put PREVIOUS_MONTH_NAME behind me and move on to greater and better things. MOTIVATIONAL_MESSAGE, as they say!

I know we only met on CUSTOMER_START_DATE, but in the time that we’ve known each other I feel like you and DreamHost have really clicked! In fact I’ve never seen a CUSTOMER_GENDER and an Internet company hit it off so swimmingly. It’s a little creepy.

Remember that time when you set up CUSTOMER_FIRST_DOMAIN? That was really something – you made it look so easy and effortless! You only contacted tech support NEW_CUSTOMER_GRIPE_METRIC times in that first magical week, and we were so proud!

I’ve actually been meaning to ask you… Do you still live at CUSTOMER_ADDRESS_LINE1? I thought I might stop by for a while. Just to hang out…ya’ know, nothing fancy. Maybe tomorrow?

I think we have a lot to talk about, you and I! I have a strong feeling that we could even be best friends. In fact I’ve been doing some research on my own time to get to know you better, FIRST_NAME!

“CUSTOMER_SECURITY_QUESTION?” Oh, that’s an easy one! CUSTOMER_SECURITY_ANSWER! I love that about you.

And who could forget *these* shenanigans: FIRST_GOOGLE_RESULT_FOR_CUSTOMER_NAME

You’re such a crack-up, FIRST_NAME!

So yeah, if you could just have some fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies ready when I get there around 2pm, I’ll even let you try on the sweater I made out of things I found in your trash…Ha ha! Did I say found in your trash? I meant bought with cash! Talk about your crazy typos! That was a doozy, eh? Eh heh…eh…

Anyway, see you tomorrow!

Just kidding! I’m probably dead, remember?

-Brett

Thanks DreamHost for keeping me entertained!

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Get Smart – Good Reads

Here are a few websites and books that have been feeding my hunger for knowledge.

If you are a fan of the interesting info and fun facts from Blifaloo.com — you are sure to dig the following list of websites and authors who make me think. Thinking is good.

You Are Not So Smart

You Are Not So Smart

1. You Are Not So Smart

You Are Not So Smart – A celebration of self-delusion. David McRaney explores misconceptions and fallacies in an entertaining and enlightening approach. If you are interested in human psychology, I think you will appreciate the author’s ideas on why humans do silly things.

Here are a few of my favorite posts from the blog:

DeindividuationThe Misconception: People who riot and loot are scum who were just looking for an excuse to steal and be violent. The Truth: You are are prone to losing your individuality and becoming absorbed into a hivemind under the right conditions.

Confirmation BiasThe Misconception: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis. The Truth: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions.

ProcrastinationThe Misconception: You procrastinate because you are lazy and can’t manage your time well. The Truth: Procrastination is fueled by weakness in the face of impulse and a failure to think about thinking.

The website has become popular enough to spawn a book:
You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself.

I haven’t read the book yet, but it is on my wish list (see below for link to this book on Amazon.com).

2. Arachnoid.com by Paul Lutus

I consider Arachnoid a hidden gem of useful knowledge. I really enjoy Paul’s writing, especially his take on various psychology topics. I say Arachnoid.com is a hidden gem — because it deserves more popularity than its traffic stats reflect.

Paul is ahead of the times, and has unique and thought-provoking opinions on a variety of subjects. Here are some of my favorite reads from his site:

Is Psychology a Science? – A critical evaluation of modern clinical psychology.

Evolution – What we can learn from biology’s most important theory.

A Society of Victims – How to Whine your way to Sympathy. One of my fav’s from Arachnoid. Please read this, and pass the link on.

Confessions of a Long-Distance sailor – Complete, online e-book — an account of Paul’s around-the-world sail. (I’ve started reading this, but think I will buy a hard-copy version…I still prefer reading on paper over a screen).

3. Paul Graham’s Essays

Paul Graham is an essayist, programmer, and investor. I have no idea how I found his website, but have spent hours reading through his articles on a variety of topics. His book “Hackers & Painters” is on my to-read list, as well. Here are some of my favs from his website:

Lies We Tell Kids – “Adults lie constantly to kids. I’m not saying we should stop, but I think we should at least examine which lies we tell and why…”

How to Disagree – …”What does it mean to disagree well? Most readers can tell the difference between mere name-calling and a carefully reasoned refutation, but I think it would help to put names on the intermediate stages. So here’s an attempt at a disagreement hierarchy…”

Why TV Lost – “About twenty years ago people noticed computers and TV were on a collision course and started to speculate about what they’d produce when they converged. We now know the answer: computers.”

Stuff – “I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can’t afford a front yard full of old cars…”

Books mentioned in this Post:

If you dig their websites, you might want to check out the above mentioned author’s books:

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Start Your Holiday Shopping…Now!

I often get asked for advice about shopping online — as my friends know that I am an Amazon and Ebay shop-a-holic. This guide is written for those new to online shopping…right in time for holiday shopping (but still viable for the rest of the year).

I never liked Christmas shopping. Crowds, weather, parking, lines, waiting…waiting…waiting. Uhg.

Why Shop Online?

To avoid headaches plus get all your pressies delivered to your (or your gift recipients) door. Many online shops offer speedy shipping options, but you can save a lot of shipping fees by getting your holiday shopping done as early as possible. If you can finish your shopping by the beginning of November, you should have all your gifts delivered by mid-December.

Believe me: as a mom of 3…nothing feels better than finishing your Christmas shopping a month ahead of time. Avoid the line-ups, traffic and stress of December shopping.

Helpful Gift Buying Links

I’ve owned the domain GiftNinja.com for many years…always wishing to launch it before Christmas to accommodate the online shopping holiday rush.

Ta da: I finally launched GiftNinja.com this week. This new site features “Unique Gift Ideas for Unique People”, the info also helps procrastinators find last minute gifts such as digital products and email-able gift certificates.

Here are some of the topics I have covered so far:

Top Video Games for Christmas 2011 – Covers Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and the portable console games. Find a great gift for the gamer in your life.

Gift Ideas for College Students – Focuses on gift ideas for the student away from home.

Better Christmas Gifts and Shopping Tips for Kids – Avoid fads and get your kid something useful that will keep their attention for years.

GiftNinja.com also features a small section of coupons for stores like Amazon, the Discovery Channel and more.

While my sites cater to a general and international audience, if you are located in the UK I suggest you try Late Late Gifts UK or Wish.co.uk — both run by a good friend of mine.

Also see Blifaloo’s Guide to Online Shopping, and Keeping your Parents Safe from the Internet for online shopping safety tips.

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