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What doesn’t kill my baby

Brooke used to have a painful head-butting habit. She’d be happily playing, then all of a sudden, she’d slam her head into my cheek…or the floor, or a toy, or anything else in range. She was just learning to use her neck, but she still cried and whimpered whenever she connected with anything solid. I cried too, when my nose or chin was in the line of fire.

We hated it every time we heard that *crack* and her shriek of pain. Our baby was hurting! We considered finding a helmet, or holding her at arm’s length, or even padding the house with bubble wrap, but they all seemed a bit overboard, even for us. Besides, she gradually strengthened her neck and stopped flailing quite so much. Life finds a way.

Brooke has decades of years of learning and life lessons ahead of her, most far harder than this one. She’ll handle most of them on her own, via trial and error. Others, she’ll learn from her friends, or from what she sees us do as role models. She may absorb a handful of things we tell her, but they’ll be few and far between. Continue reading

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Why Gimlet’s podcast ads work

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I love them. At times, I’ve loved them a little too much. However, one part I don’t love is the ads. I usually fast forward through them. I often feel a bit guilty, since I know ads are how they survive, but I still do it.

So when I realized yesterday that I actually listen to and enjoy ads on a couple podcasts – Reply All and StartUp, the first two shows from nascent studio Gimlet Media – it seemed notable. It’s not hard to figure out why: their ads are actually interesting. The show’s producers themselves produce the ads, and they take the same approach: talk to real people, find an interesting story, tell it well. Continue reading

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