I’ll take ‘Potpourri’ for $1600, Alex

1. 10 ways cities and towns can kick the offshore-oil habit, per Grist

Anything that involves transportation and infrastructure improvement is amazing, and Jonathan Hiskes hits the nail on the head when he discusses 10 things cities can do to become less oil dependent and more energy efficient. Some of his suggestions include making streets accessible to all people (not just drivers), building near public transit, demanding more density, and cutting parking.

2. Documents Show Early Warnings About Safety of Rig, per The New York Times

Hindsight is 20/20, and the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon is no different. Now, documents are showing that the oil rig that exploded showed several serious safety problems, all of which serve as clues to its eventual explosion:

On Tuesday Congress released a memorandum with preliminary findings from BP’s internal investigation, which indicated that there were warning signs immediately before the explosion on April 20, including equipment readings suggesting that gas was bubbling into the well, a potential sign of an impending blowout.

The warning signs started almost a year ago and continued up until the oil rig exploded. There seems to be a pattern of well-documented safety concerns in these environmental disasters, which either don’t get resolved because of pressure from the company or because federal regulators are too lax with their rules. Both sides are too concerned with the cost in terms of money and time than in terms of human and other forms of life.

3. Sex and the City 2‘s stunning Muslim clichés, per Salon

I haven’t seen the new Sex and the City, but reading this (spoilers, beware) made me concerned:

After discovering they will visit the Middle East, the ladies whip out hall-of-fame Ali Baba clichés: References to “magic carpet” (a double entendre, naturally), Scheherazade and Jasmine from “Aladdin” come in rapid succession.

I was eager to see the movie, but now I’m not sure I’ll watch it. It was already being panned as a terrible movie, and it sounds like the way they depict Middle Eastern culture is problematic and borderline racist.

4. Science Proves That “Helicopter Parents” Ruin Kids, per Jezebel

A study has shown that overprotective and obsessive parents — aka “Helicopter Parents” (you know, because they hover of the children and everything they do) — often breed neurotic, anxious, dependent children who don’t take as many risks:

Some protection from parents is natural, but too much (like, say, forbidding travel) can convince kids that they’re not equipped to deal with the risks of the world.

I would always prefer that my mom just deal with doctors’ offices, customer service, mechanics, and the like, but I think it’s healthy that she doesn’t give in to my whining and makes me deal with that kind of thing myself. Unless my being young is getting in the way of someone helping me or treating me properly.

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