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Annabelle Timsit

Annabelle Timsit

Quartz
  • Greta Thunberg just finished speaking at Davos, one hour after Donald Trump gave a speech unremarkably light on climate-focused details and commitments. She reminded the assembled world leaders that she came to Davos last year and told them "our house is on fire." She ended her speech this year by saying

    Greta Thunberg just finished speaking at Davos, one hour after Donald Trump gave a speech unremarkably light on climate-focused details and commitments. She reminded the assembled world leaders that she came to Davos last year and told them "our house is on fire." She ended her speech this year by saying: "Our house is still on fire."

  • The 2020 US presidential election has made clear that America's defective childcare system has reached a breaking point. And while you'll find many people to tell you how and why it got to be this way, there are few who will give you concrete solutions to fix it. Elliot Haspel, ed policy advocate and

    The 2020 US presidential election has made clear that America's defective childcare system has reached a breaking point. And while you'll find many people to tell you how and why it got to be this way, there are few who will give you concrete solutions to fix it. Elliot Haspel, ed policy advocate and author of a new book on the issue—Crawling Behind: America’s Childcare Crisis and How to Fix It—is one of them.

    He advocates for every family in America to receive a yearly $15,000 credit to invest in the care option of their choice, including staying at home with their child if they choose. I talked to Haspel about the mechanics of his plan for a Universal Child Development Credit, and about why its details matter less than the message it sends: That society should invest in the young at a time when they are most primed to learn.

  • As I've watched bushfire smoke take over entire swaths of southeast Australia, my first thought has been for children, whose bodies are more vulnerable to the health effects of toxic fine particles contained in the smoke than adults. I spoke to pediatricians in one of the largest tertiary health facility

    As I've watched bushfire smoke take over entire swaths of southeast Australia, my first thought has been for children, whose bodies are more vulnerable to the health effects of toxic fine particles contained in the smoke than adults. I spoke to pediatricians in one of the largest tertiary health facility in Sydney, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, about whether they've seen an impact in their emergency rooms.

  • Head Start is a huge popular social program in the US that helps prepare poor 3- and 4-year olds for formal schooling. It's over-subscribed, meaning that there are fewer spots available than the number of kids who would be eligible for them. And yet, paradoxically, it's also got a chronic absenteeism

    Head Start is a huge popular social program in the US that helps prepare poor 3- and 4-year olds for formal schooling. It's over-subscribed, meaning that there are fewer spots available than the number of kids who would be eligible for them. And yet, paradoxically, it's also got a chronic absenteeism problem. In some centers, as many as 40% of students miss 10% or more of school days a year. To tackle this problem, a group of researchers designed an intervention in which they texted parents up to four times a week with statistics about their child's attendance and reminders (or "nudges") about setting attendance goals and why preschool matters. The result surprised me.

  • New parents often report feeling lonely, especially those who stay at home for long periods of leave. Loneliness isn't just a momentary annoyance; it's a deep-rooted issue that's associated with lots of physical and mental health problems down the line. And poor mental health affects the bond between

    New parents often report feeling lonely, especially those who stay at home for long periods of leave. Loneliness isn't just a momentary annoyance; it's a deep-rooted issue that's associated with lots of physical and mental health problems down the line. And poor mental health affects the bond between parent and baby, potentially harming both.

    This didn't use to be as much of a problem, back when people lived with their families and extended communities and child-rearing was thought of as a collective endeavor rather than a solo project. Like one expert told me, "the old ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ that’s not just a political slogan, that’s what all the science tells you; that to raise a human child...[you need] a network of people who are putting a lot of work and investment." But in many rich countries like Finland, this proverbial village has essentially disappeared; grandparents live far away in the countryside while parents raise their child at home in the cities. So, we need to find ways to recreate the village and better support new parents as they go through this important transition.

    Finland's family cafés, where new parents can gather two to three times a week to make friends, play with their children as a group, and learn about parenting from experienced volunteers, seem like a good place to start.

  • Merry Christmas one and all! If you are the parent, grandparent, or aunt or uncle of a small child, or even if you will spend time with younger cousins or your children's friends this holiday season, the best gift you can give them is to put down your phone. Your interactions with them don't just make

    Merry Christmas one and all! If you are the parent, grandparent, or aunt or uncle of a small child, or even if you will spend time with younger cousins or your children's friends this holiday season, the best gift you can give them is to put down your phone. Your interactions with them don't just make them feel important and loved; they also help them learn all sorts of crucial skills, like language.

  • Air pollution is particularly bad in the winter, when households burn wood and coal in stoves and open fires to heat their homes. Respiratory conditions like pneumonia, which are linked to air pollution, also peak in the winter. In an editorial out today, 175 doctors in Britain warn the government that

    Air pollution is particularly bad in the winter, when households burn wood and coal in stoves and open fires to heat their homes. Respiratory conditions like pneumonia, which are linked to air pollution, also peak in the winter. In an editorial out today, 175 doctors in Britain warn the government that this is creating a perfect storm that threatens to overwhelm an already struggling National Health Service.

  • I was scanning social media all day yesterday for updates on the UK general election. One thing that stuck out to me was that Twitter seemed to be full of Labour supporters; and yet weeks and weeks of polls had predicted a large Conservative majority. Now that we have the results of the election, that

    I was scanning social media all day yesterday for updates on the UK general election. One thing that stuck out to me was that Twitter seemed to be full of Labour supporters; and yet weeks and weeks of polls had predicted a large Conservative majority. Now that we have the results of the election, that dissonance between social media and election outcomes (which I also observed while living in the US during the 2016 election) seems all the more interesting.

  • The UK general election will (understandably) dominate headlines in Europe today, but right next door, big things are happening too. France's prime minister unveiled the key details of a much-maligned plan to reform the country's convoluted pension system. In predictably French fashion, trade unions

    The UK general election will (understandably) dominate headlines in Europe today, but right next door, big things are happening too. France's prime minister unveiled the key details of a much-maligned plan to reform the country's convoluted pension system. In predictably French fashion, trade unions and workers had been on strike for a week before even knowing the contents of the plan. That just goes to show why pension reform is the hill that many French president have died on. Will that be Macron's fate as well?

  • You should read this piece by Jenny Anderson just so you can get to the part where business genius Jack Ma tells you that “The brain will be replaced by machines, but machines can never replace your heart.”