Venezuela and the Oil Crisis

The only music I can listen to  these days is música llanera, the music of Venezuela: Simon Diaz, Soledad Bravo, Cecilia Todd. It is so soothing, magical, and brings me to such a peaceful place.
And so it saddens me that Venezuela now approaches the brink of an economic crisis. And though we may overjoyed at the prices at the gas pump, there is a global consequence where in Venezuela your typical household items,  such as diapers, milk and medical supplies, are becoming scarce.
Again and again I am reminded of the importance of reducing dependency on both oil as income and as a source of fuel. Diving oil prices impacts Venezuela so much more because it is the main driver of their economy . This is exacerbated by a black hole of debt that Venezuela has entered into over overspending.

Economists may point to winners and losers in the economic game, but the way in which global economy is interconnected it seems like we are eventually impacted negatively with our reliance on oil

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Vision of the day

Connecting with children before they become fully verbal is a fun challenge. They can teach us a lot about social communication and how to be fully present with your audience. Today I was lucky enough to sit next to an endearing 2 ish-year old who shyly turned his head into his father’s chest as I gave him my “lets be friends” smile. His father said with a laugh, “he is not shy at all, it is all an act, ” and he urged his son to say hello. The boy gradually turned his head towards me and gave a small wave at which point I enthusiastically waved back. We then proceeded to “fist bump,” “high five,” and raise our hands up at an imaginary touch down. I suddenly realized I was getting very distracted from my coffee shop “work” and turned back to my lap top, but I heard little voice say something like “some more.” OFCOURSE I could not deny that invitation and proceeded to engage in some more playful antics with the child.

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Vision of the day

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It was a deceptively bright sunny day given the freezing temperatures that made for a series of shivering visions.  I was at the wetlands where watery pathways were covered in ice that shown brilliant white beneath the winter sun.  Cat tails near the edge of the pond were illumined so delicately that I could distinguish each hair that rose stiffly from the top of their stem.   Behind them the sun splayed itself on the water as if it were a shimmering tapestry.

Why are early interventions so important to healthy language and cognitive development?

The infant brain is transforming at a rapid rate. All of the sensory systems of sight and sound are connecting and organizing themselves in response to the child’s outside world. If all goes well at age 3 or 4 the sounds coming from their mother and father’s lips will turn into meaningful pieces of information.

In Psychology and Childhood development lingo we have a term called the “critical period.” This term is so phrased because certain aspects of language such as grammar and the amount of vocabulary one can retain is dependent on  language exposure in childhood. When a child is not exposed to language till after age 10 even with an intensive intervention their communication may be severely impaired (See the case study of Genie for an example.).

To give you a more detailed idea on how an infant perceives the world  watch this entertaining and informative podcast by Radio Lab.

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