Skepchick Quickies 9.23

On September 23, 1889, Nintendo Koppai was founded. (Double check that year–you read that right!) They continued to operate for the next 70 years as a playing card company.


Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. Red shirting is a college sports term. Someone is on the team practicing and training and everything, but they don’t actually play in games that year (typically freshmen year, but if they get hurt that can count too). They do that so they get better, but still keep their 4 years eligibility. So a red shirt freshman is someone who is academically a sophomore.

  2. A lot of the parents in my area seem to do the red-shirting your kindergartener thing, thinking it gives their kids an advantage. Unless there is a reason for that particular child I don’t see how it would help a child to be older and bigger than their peers. They are also going to get bored sooner it would seem. In the case of my niece, her parents decided to wait a year because although she had a July birthday she was very premature, in her case I think giving her extra year to catch up helped a lot. On the other hand my daughter has a late October birthday and we started her on time although she is physically small for her age but, she’d been in daycare and then preschool and she was ready for school.

  3. The traffic article seems to greatly over-estimate the quality of mass transit in most places. Here in Dallas, it costs me MORE money to take the light rail for my 20-mile work commute each way, takes just as long, still requires I drive 6 miles to the nearest station to my house, and then I have to walk a full mile from the nearest station to my office. Rather than losing even more money and showing up to work sweaty, I’ll just deal with the traffic.

    1. Same thing here in Phoenix. All day bus passes cost $5 or $6 depending on how you purchase them. Cheaper in “bulk” I imagine, but probably not by a lot. Sometimes you can get discounts through certain jobs/companies, or even free passes depending, but that’s not always the case.

      Phoenix is so spread out. I lived and worked near downtown when I first moved here. I went 8 years without a car in PHoenix. IT WAS NOT EASY, even when I was living and working fairly close. Going grocery shoppin gwas almost impossible (until Safeway.com started to deliver, wooh!). (And of course, ironically, now that I do have a car, I have two grocery stores within walking distance…but I can afford a better place now, which wasn’t the case previously).

      I finally got a car when I got another job on the South West side of town, and a 20 minute by car commute was taking me AN HOUR AND A HALF (minimum) by bus.

      AN HOUR AND A HALF (or more) each way.

      In 110+ degree heat.

      The last bus was at least 45 minutes, and often the a/c wouldn’t work.

      In Phoenix.

      I said ENOUGH.

      If you have a paid-for car and your car insurance isn’t too expensive, then riding the bus regularly may not even be worth it in certain cities, like Phoenix. It’s just too much of a pain in the ass, plus not always “cheap”.

  4. Re: your confusion of the redshirting term, it is regularly used in college sports, especially football, to describe someone who participates in practices and training for one year, but does not play in games, in order to get bigger/faster/better without using a year of eligibility. College players have 5 seasons in which to complete 4 years of eligibility, so some (especially in football), use it in their freshman season to make sure they are physically ready when they start playing. Thus, a “redshirt freshman” is actually a second year student who is just beginning the first of his or her 4 years of eligibilty. So, I think the analogy to holding back a K kid makes good sense.

  5. Redshirting is a sports metaphor. It refers to the NCAA policy in which freshman can be on a team without being charged for a year of eligibility (you get 4 total) as long as they don’t play in any actual games. The next year, players are referred to has “redshirt freshman” to indicate that they’re actually sophomores, but didn’t play their freshman year. It has nothing to do with Star Trek, if that’s what you were thinking.

    Also, I’m SHOCKED, SHOCKED! that CATO is lying about data. Next, you’l be telling me that tobacco isn’t harmless, the earth isn’t cooling, and counting cheerleading as a sport under Title IX won’t make it safer.

  6. Who scattered all these bones all over the table and floor here? There are some even in the new class pet’s cage! Who did this? Trevor, you’re the largest kindergartner here. You look like you can handle yourself. Why don’t you stay here a few minutes and pick up all these bones while the rest of us go to recess?

    1. Ok now my brain is going to be writing endings for what happens to poor Trevor(I’ve seen WAY too much original Star Trek for my own good!) Cannot unsee !!! Giant mutant polliwog from outer space(other kindergarten classroom)? Silica monster from the playground sandbox??

    1. Yeah, I always thought that the pride in their lineage was part of what also made them so obstinate and difficult to work with from outside. They do what they want.

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