Here are some things I read this week that made me think. (These are just snippets – click on the title to read the whole thing.)

I Sent All My Text Messages in Calligraphy for a Week And Here’s What I Learned from Cristina on The Atlantic

“I got my first mobile phone when I was in high school. It was 2005, and the feeling of “cool” overwhelmed me. Text messaging was something sacred in those days. I was allotted 200 messages per month. I powered off during classes, and charged my phone three times a week.

Today, I use my smartphone so much that I can’t imagine leaving the house without my charger. But it wasn’t until I conducted an experiment to learn calligraphy that I realized how deeply technology affects my life and my relationships.”

“For years now, I’ve been working on this list of favorite art activities for kids. Every time we try a new art activity, or even revisit an old favorite, it gets measured against the list in my head.

To get included on my list of favorite and best art activities, it needs to fit the following criteria ::
– The process is fun and open-ended
– It’s easy to do
– It’s the kind of activity that kids want to do over and over again
– Plus, the end result looks pretty great, too”

Need a Pedicure? Ask These Prisoners from Great Big Story

“At one point, Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California, only housed women. In 2013, however, it became a male prison with a very unique skills training program. As a women’s prison, Valley State had a cosmetology certification course just like any you would find outside its walls. That program now continues with male inmates and is thriving. Here, dedicated students work toward professional certification by building service skills that will translate outside the prison walls.”

Facebook enlists AI tech to help prevent suicide from Lance at Mashable

“If people can be engaged with friends or family members on Facebook and they notice something that’s concerning or alarming and technology can pick up on some of those signals We can more rapidly intervene.” That speed can make the difference and, he [Dr. Daniel J. Reidenberg] added, “prevent a tragedy from happening.”

“As a community, we cannot prevent every suicide, but we must do more to reach out to people who are struggling,” wrote Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a Facebook post. “As individuals, we can be alert for the signs in ourselves and in others and act immediately. Together, we can be there for people in distress.”
“20 Minutes of Terror” — What It’s Like to Finally Let Your Kids Walk Home Alone from Natalie on Free Range Kids

“They are also learning what responsibility feels like.

They felt real pride when a lady stopped her car to let them cross a driveway and told them, “I’ve never seen such well behaved children cross the road, well done girls”. They also learned how to politely decline a lift home from a family friend, who proceeded to come straight over and tell us all about it, with ‘well done sweets’ for them when they arrived. Sounds creepy, doesn’t it? It sounds creepy because we’ve been conditioned by some very awful stories to be paranoid about everyone and everything. We owe it to our kids that we don’t create a world of mistrust and misrepresentation, where they are genuinely afraid to leave the house and enjoy the fresh air and natural world. And the first part of that is letting them experience freedom and trust and responsibility.”

Spring Break Family Adventure Challenge from iMOM and BONUS: Free Printable Spring Break Plans for Families from LifeAsMom

“You don’t have to travel far from home or spend lots of cash to have a great time during the kids’ spring break! Use this time to try new things and create some great memories by taking—and meeting—each of the challenges below!”

My favorite: the Culinary Adventure Challenge!

Also be sure to snag this free printable of Spring Break Plans for Families from Get it here.

This Doctor Appointment Changed My Life from Gabrielle, Design Mom

“People. If you’ve ever used Urgent Care or the Emergency Room on a weekend because your doctor’s office is closed, you know [this] $99 is a total bargain. And again, they come to you typically within two hours of calling! You make the appointment, put on a movie, and tada! Heal is at your door.

So what’s the downside? Well, there’s only one: Heal is currently only available in California — San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Berkeley, Oakland (and the whole East Bay). They’re growing fast, but they’re just not everywhere yet. I know. A huge bummer. But if you live in California (and millions of you do), I encourage you to give this a try.”