Tag Archives: Map

Charlotte Parent: Asking For Help Doesn’t Make You Weak

What is it about the Y chromosome that prevents dudes from asking for help?

Dudes need to stop trying to muscle their way through life and ask for help.Heck, the Human Genome Project, which mapped every single gene on every single chromosome in the human genetic code, was formed specifically to answer that question.*

Yet it remains unanswered.

Today, over at Charlotte Parent, I’ll be talking about why dudes don’t and dudettes do ask for help, why that might happen and why most of those reasons are straight-out wrong. As usual, I’ll be blogging under our Stay-At-Home Dudes column name.

Join us, won’t you?


*It really wasn’t.

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Freaky Friday: Executive Function

by Richard

It’s so pervasive that, whether you have it or not, you’ll never notice it. It’s woven into everything we do, so it’s not off on its own setting apart a big space for itself.

While it’s called executive functioning in formal speak, I like to think of it as the ability to think your way out of a wet paper bag.

Consider it this way: Say you’re stuck in a wet paper bag. A large one, of course. Those of you with a well-developed executive function will explore your environment, note the condition of the bag, map out the confines of the bag, possibly test the tensile strength of wet paper and then make your exit. Basically, you will map out a plan for determining the environment, whether you want to get out or not, and then find a systematic manner in which to create your exit. You don’t have to think about doing it, a properly developed executive function is always there, always running and always guiding how you think about thinking.

On the other hand, those without a well-developed sense of executive function, finding themselves in the same wet paper bag, will be dumbfounded. They’ll focus in on the texture of the paper and spend a long time considering what that texture means. They’ll look up at the top of the bag and try to jump out and become quite frustrated when they can’t standing leap fifteen feet straight up. They’ll wander around the periphery of the bag again and again. They’ll do other stuff in between the actual actions, like sit down and think about planes. Or wish they had some string, maybe. Or convince themselves they like being in a wet paper bag and don’t want to get out. There is no plan. Nothing systematic is accomplished. Cause and effect are things possibly mentioned in that one science class they spent watching out the window.

Around the time of puberty, the frontal part of the cortex of the brain matures, allowing individuals to perform higher-level tasks like those required in executive function. Think of executive function as what the chief executive officer of a company must do — analyze, organize, decide, and execute. Very similarly, the six steps of executive function are:

1. Analyze a task

2. Plan how to address the task

3. Organize the steps needed to carry out the task

4. Develop timelines for completing the task

5. Adjust or shift the steps, if needed, to complete the task

6. Complete the task in a timely way

Kids with executive function disorder (EFD), and that’s a pretty high percentage of kids with AD(H)D and learning disabilities, can be assigned a task like any other student. The problem is, this kid with EFD won’t approach it logically. The dude will let it wait until the last minute and then whip out whatever there’s time for.

Which is why it’s so important that we function as very talkative brains for our young dudes and dudettes. Even if they don’t have EFD, it’s a great idea to go over a project, work work with him to organize himself and get a timeline set up. Then as she’s working on the project, get back in and talk about whether or not she needs to adjust or change the steps.

It’s the working together part, him seeing you how do these things, helping to do them on his own, that will enable him to develop his own set of executive functions. So let’s get out there and get to work.


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Taking A Dive

by Richard

Sir Richard Branson is a dude with a vision. And I don’t just say that because of such a sterling first name, no. See, this is a billionaire who thought the best way to spend his money and to make money was to start up a company called Virgin Galactic, which is going to be selling space trips to millionaires.

Okay, maybe the business statement doesn’t say just millionaires, but, please. That’s got to be the target demographic, considering tickets cost $200,000. That’s a lot of bread.

Anyway, so this Richard Branson dude decides it’s not enough to run Virgin Airways and Virgin Galactic, but that he’s got to start looking down as well. He’s now decided to start Virgin Oceanic.

Sir Richard Branson, American sailor, pilot and explorer Chris Welsh, and submarine designer Graham Hawkes launched Virgin Oceanic, a project to explore “the last frontiers of our own Blue Planet: the very bottom of our seas.” .

The project includes a partnership with Google: “Using their mapping technology, Google hopes to chronicle the dives as they happen and share discoveries, footage and record breaking achievements with the world.”

Frankly? This is freakin’ awesome. I mean, more people have walked on the moon than have explored the deepest trenches of our ocean. And not just a few more on the moon. I’m talking a lot more. There’s tons we don’t know about what’s going on down at the depths of our oceans.

I mean, think about it. The bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is more than 7 miles underwater. This is — for the most part and you should excuse the pun — virgin territory. (Not to say that people haven’t speculated about it.)

Virgin Oceanic will see the world’s only submarine capable of taking a human being to such extreme depths make five dives over a two-year period, set up to 30 Guinness World Records and, by working with leading scientific institutions, open the eyes of the world to what lies in vast areas of the oceans for the first time in history. The Virgin Oceanic Submarine and her pilots will travel deeper and explore further than any one in history.

Each dive will be piloted by different commanders with Chris Welsh diving to the Mariana Trench (36,201ft) with Sir Richard as back up pilot, and Sir Richard piloting to the Puerto Rico Trench (28,232ft) – the deepest trench in the Atlantic, which has never been explored before – with Chris Welsh acting as back up.  The Virgin Oceanic sub has the ability to ‘fly’ underwater for 10km at depth on each of the five dives and to fully explore this unknown environment.

The deepest parts of all five oceans. Dude, that is amazing. But get this next bit.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believe that the deepest point of the Mariana Trench is 36,201ft – a depth not yet reached by humankind. Some experts believe that it will be impossible to reach a depth much below the current record of 35,911ft (set by a submersible that didn’t have the capability to manoeuvre or explore) because of millions of year’s worth of biological ‘soup’ at the bottom of the trench.  They may well be correct but we simply don’t know – with Virgin Oceanic’s submarine’s capability to explore at the bottom of the trench we aim to find out and, if possible, go deeper.  The Puerto Rican trench is the deepest point in the Atlantic and no one has attempted to explore it before now.

Millions of years of dead fish and feces. Good thing you can’t step out and smell that. We’re talking dangerous levels of smell-ocity. Can you tell I’m excited about this whole thing? Oh, yes, I am. I can’t wait to start googling the results.



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