Weekend reads: Barbershops, sustainability, and robot dogs

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Weekend reads: Barbershops, sustainability, and robot dogs

In this week's Weekend Reads, kids are practicing their reading at barbershops, robot pets are providing the companionship we all crave, and you can start practicing your sustainability this weekend!

NPR barbershop reading

NPR

Choose A Book And Read To Your Barber, He'll Take A Little Money Off The Top

Hey parents: what if there was a way to get your kid's hair cut, save money on it, and help them in school? That's like a dream on par with your kids actually coming with an instruction manual. But this one is true. Some barbershops, like Fuller Cut outside of Ann Arbor, offer discounts on kids' haircuts if they read books aloud while they're getting a trim. This is a really cool way to keep kids engaged and learning. And some parents go the extra step, putting the money they save toward their child's allowance. Like we always say, it's never too early to start teaching kids about money!

Leila Janah sustainability

Leila Janah

Where Did All the Wild Things Go?

How often do you think about what you're eating? Maybe a lot, depending on your level of health consciousness. But how often do you think about the things you don't eat? The things you can't eat, and can never eat again because they're already gone? Leila Janah dives into this dilemma, citing that an estimated 40% of phytoplankton species have disappeared. Now, can you eat phytoplankton? I don't know. But the point stands: we're doing a lot of damage -- irreparable damage -- to our planet. Who knows what else we're wiping out? Janah gives some sustainability tips that you can start doing right away, like buying from B-Corp certified businesses and donating to environmental nonprofits. It'll be a fun weekend project. I promise.

Recode Hasbro robot pets

Recode

Who needs grandkids? This robot dog wants to be the new companion for the elderly.

People have long been enamored with fake pets. Pet rocks, Tamagotchis, Furbies: if it's not alive, we've tried to imprint a personality on it and treat it as a member of the family. Well, we're at it again -- with robot dogs. But not like those clearly robotic dogs that populated toy stores circa 1999. No, these fake pets are designed to look like real pets, right down to the fur. It reacts to motion, it reacts to touch, and it can act as a companion to people, especially the elderly, who need it, so who am I to judge? Besides, anything is better than putting googly eyes on a rock, right?

Do you have any tips for getting your kids to read? Are you looking into robot pets? How do you promote sustainability? Let us know!