Odious and Peculiar

Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.

O&P's Current Pick:

Forging the Sampo

Odious' Links:

The Little Bookroom
The Pumpkin King
Larissa Archer
Inverted Iambs
Eve Tushnet
Pamela Dean
Kambodia Hotel
Pen and Paper

Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary
Deep-Sea News
NASA's Mars Website
Classics Online
Perseus Digital Library

Nine Scorpions
The Blithe Kitchen
Letter from Hardscrabble Creek
Arts & Letters Daily
About Last Night



Chas Clifton's Nature Blog
Rock Art Photo Blog
Girl on a Whaleship
Nature Lyrics Languagehat
Jabal al-Lughat
Laputan Logic
Strange Maps
Vladimir Dinets: Polymath Russian Adventurer
Virtual Tour of Almaty, Kazakhstan
Aerial Landscape Photography
USGS Earth As Art
Panoramic Aerial Maps of the American West

The Internet Bird Collection
Bird Families of the World
Ancient Scripts
The Aberdeen Bestiary Project
The Cephalopod Page
The Ultimate Ungulate
The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire
USGS Streamflow Data

Worthy Miscellany
Finno-Ugrian Music
Boojum Expeditions
American River Touring Association

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Monday, December 20, 2010
The Free-Range Kids blog has posted the 2010 Golden Helicopter Parenting Awards, the Ig-Nobel Prize of parenting and sanity generally.

Doomed, I say.

I really approve of the Free-Range Kids blog, but I don't check in much because it's just too damn depressing. Leaves me thinking that the only options are vasectomy, purchase the Unabomber's land (lately for sale!), or move to Turkey. Turkish kids wander the streets of major cities at will, negotiate urban traffic and run cheerfully to greet strangers. You'd think they'd all be dead of tetanus, splattered on undercarriages, or held captive in basement gimp-rooms. And yet they seem to thrive....

Three Turkish girls at the Çifte Minareli Medrese, Erzurum, Turkey.
Talking to Strangers

This was downtown in a city of over 360,000, no parents in sight. Some of the most striking things about Turkey were the large numbers of (very friendly) young people, and the moments of feeling like you were in a '50s movie, where street urchins say "Hi, mister!" and everyone acts proud of their hometown. I don't want to digress too far, but suffice it to say that within 12 hours of arriving in Gümüşhane, we two random travelers had our picture taken with the mayor. Turkey certainly has problems, including some very big ones, but there's a sense of pride and optimism there which I never feel here (not even at the Salmon demo derby).

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