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When You Combine a Senior Home and a Daycare Center, Everybody Wins

Five days a week at Seattle’s Providence Mount St. Vincent care center, the very young and the very old come together for music, art, and friendship. The care center, known familiarly as “the Mount,” is home to 400 older adults and others who need assistance. It’s also the site of the Intergenerational Learning Center, a community daycare program with a mission to teach children about aging, show them what it’s like to live with disabilities, and give them opportunities to “receive and give unconditional and unbounded love.” 

Each visit from the children is a highlight of the day for many of the Mount’s residents. It’s also a carefully considered part of their care. Participating in story time, music, and art projects with the kids can help reduce residents’ loneliness and anxiety, boost their self-worth, and show them that they’re still important.

Employees at the Mount first conceived of the program 20 years ago, and director Charlene Boyd helped make it a reality. The benefits really do go both ways, she told The National.

The babies and toddlers “have no particular agenda,” Boyd says. They simply live in the moment and inspire their older friends to do the same. “That present perfect is what we see every day.”

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holidays
10 Alternatives to Columbus Day Celebrated Around the Country
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Columbus Day has a complicated history, and many cities have recently voted to rename the annual holiday that falls the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day, honoring the native cultures that existed in North America long before Columbus arrived in 1492 and who were decimated by European colonization. In lieu of heading to a Columbus Day parade, consider these 10 alternative celebrations taking place across the country.

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entertainment
How Screen Directions Perpetuate Gender Stereotypes
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It's hardly a secret that Hollywood has a sexism problem onscreen. But issues of bias and stereotyping might be just as prevalent behind the scenes, according to The Pudding’s new analysis of nearly 2000 film scripts.

Data scientist Julia Silge and her colleagues pulled screenplays for 1966 movies, most of which were less than 30 years old. They processed the text to scrape out just the screen directions, then narrowed it down further to two-word terms like “she runs” or “he sits.” Finally, the team calculated the odds that any given verb would be paired with a male or female pronoun. 

Unfortunately, the results were bleak. Female characters were overwhelmingly instructed to behave like damsels in distress, while men took (often violent) action. 

Gif showing the association between gender and certain verbs.

They also used information about the screenwriters themselves to investigate the relationship between writers’ genders and their characters’ behavior. Their results suggested that both male and female writers were likely to rely on gender stereotypes

“Relative to men,” the analysts note, “women gasp, hurry, smile, hesitate, and stir (mostly while cooking), regardless of whether the writer is a man or a woman. Men are consistently more likely to smash things, draw their weapons, grin, wink, point, talk, and speak.”

But it’s not as though the sample sizes were the same, or even close. Male screenwriters were responsible for 85 percent of all the scripts in the study.

“Should Hollywood reach gender parity,” Silge wrote, “we’d expect fewer women characters to respond, kiss, and cry. The increase in female writers would also mean women would be more likely to spy, find things, and, perhaps most remarkably, write onscreen.”

[h/t The Pudding]

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