Recipe Sunday: The Absolutely, Positively, Best Way to Make a Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich

Makes however many you would like to eat….

What You Need

Ingredients

  • Cookie dough, which in my world means chocolate chip
  • Ice cream, any kind but obviously vanilla is best
  • Equipment
  • Baking sheet
  • Ice cream spade, large metal spoon, or spatula

Instructions

  1. Bake cookies. Bake a batch of cookies, but it’s key to slightly under-bake them. For chocolate chip cookies, bake the cookies for about 14 minutes at 350°F, or until just set.

  2. Cool the cookies for no more than 5 minutes. Let them cool for 3 to 4 minutes; they should still be quite hot but just firm enough to handle.

  3. Take your ice cream out of the freezer. Do not remove your ice cream from the freezer until this moment. It should still be quite hard.

  4. Shave the ice cream in strips, not balls. Here’s an important part of the process: Scoop or shave your ice cream in long strips — not in big round balls. You want chunky, thin blocks or strips.

  5. Construct the sandwich. Don’t spread or scrape the ice cream onto the cookie. Gently lay your thin strips in layers (quickly now!). Press another cookie on top.

  6. Eat your sandwich! Don’t delay. Eat immediately.

  7. Repeat. Have another one.

Advertisements

Week In The News: Zero Tolerance At Border, U.S. Leaves U.N. Human Rights Council, Trade Tensions

New York Times: “Trump Retreats on Separating Families, but Thousands May Remain Apart” — “President Trump caved to enormous political pressure on Wednesday and signed an executive order meant to end the separation of families at the border by detaining parents and children together for an indefinite period.

‘We’re going to have strong — very strong — borders, but we are going to keep the families together,’ Mr. Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office. ‘I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.'”

Bloomberg: Trump’s Tariffs Could Deliver a Sizable Hit to China’s Economy” — “Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese imports could cut as much as half a percentage point from the nation’s economic growth, according to economists.

The warning comes amid signs that the world’s second biggest economy — and biggest contributor to global growth — is already slowing down as a simmering trade dispute with the U.S. risks spiraling into a protracted trade war. China’s economy grew by 6.9 percent in 2017 and the government has set a growth target of 6.5 percent for the current year.”

The Week Ahead In The News…

New York Times: “Leading Republicans Join Democrats in Pushing Trump to Halt Family Separations” — “Leading figures of both parties demanded on Sunday that President Trump halt his administration’s practice of separating children from their parents when apprehended at the border, as the issue further polarized the already divisive immigration debate in Washington.

Republican lawmakers, the former first lady Laura Bush, a conservative newspaper and a onetime adviser to Mr. Trump joined Democrats in condemning family separations that have removed nearly 2,000 children from their parents in just six weeks. The administration argued that it was just enforcing the law, a false assertion that Mr. Trump has made repeatedly.”

Politico:Manafort jailed after alleged witness tampering” — “A judge has jailed former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort after prosecutors claimed he attempted to tamper with the testimony of two potential witnesses in a criminal case he faces over a Ukraine-related lobbying campaign.

The move marks a striking, although somewhat expected, turn in the government’s long-running case against Manafort, who is facing a series of financial fraud, tax and lobbying charges in cases spiraling out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

Sending the 69-year-old Manafort to jail could boost the pressure on him to cut a deal with Mueller, whose main task is to determine whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow on its election meddling efforts. However, it’s unclear what information the former Trump campaign chief could provide that would interest prosecutors enough to offer significant concessions.”

The Guardian: UN rejects plan to demand immediate ceasefire in Yemen port” — “Yemeni pro-government forces have closed in on a rebel-held airport as they pressed ahead with a sweeping offensive on the key Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, despite warnings from aid agencies that the attack could jeopardise vital aid supplies to a country on the brink of famine.

The swift advance was an important early success for the Saudi-led coalition, which launched the operation in Hodeidah three days ago and says it can seize the city quickly enough to avoid interrupting flows of aid to millions facing starvation.

Coalition warplanes bombed Houthi rebel positions on Friday, while rebels said in an official statement that they fired a ballistic missile on fighters’ gathering, but gave no report of causalities.”-KS

Untitled

He was a contrarian disillusioned by love…and what had been.

Entered change like the wind from a distant shore…

A look, a glance and it was…her. All that mattered was now and the past of loves lost was a thought no more…

His future…her future was now worth living for…

She had his heart for love had opened him and she loved him to his very core.-KS

Battling Misinformation And ‘Bad Advice’ About Science And Your Health

Science is under attack from quack experts and self-appointed activists, warns a top doctor who has been caught in the crossfires. He makes the case.

The New Atlantis: “Saving Science” — “Science, pride of modernity, our one source of objective knowledge, is in deep trouble. Stoked by fifty years of growing public investments, scientists are more productive than ever, pouring out millions of articles in thousands of journals covering an ever-expanding array of fields and phenomena. But much of this supposed knowledge is turning out to be contestable, unreliable, unusable, or flat-out wrong. From metastatic cancer to climate change to growth economics to dietary standards, science that is supposed to yield clarity and solutions is in many instances leading instead to contradiction, controversy, and confusion. Along the way it is also undermining the four-hundred-year-old idea that wise human action can be built on a foundation of independently verifiable truths. Science is trapped in a self-destructive vortex; to escape, it will have to abdicate its protected political status and embrace both its limits and its accountability to the rest of society.”

The Atlantic: “The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?” — “Humanity is now in the midst of its fastest-ever period of change. There were almost 2 billion people alive in 1918; there are now 7.6 billion, and they have migrated rapidly into cities, which since 2008 have been home to more than half of all human beings. In these dense throngs, pathogens can more easily spread and more quickly evolve resistance to drugs. Not coincidentally, the total number of outbreaks per decade has more than tripled since the 1980s.

Globalization compounds the risk: Airplanes now carry almost 10 times as many passengers around the world as they did four decades ago. In the ’80s, HIV showed how potent new diseases can be, by launching a slow-moving pandemic that has since claimed about 35 million lives. In 2003, another newly discovered virus, sars, spread decidedly more quickly. A Chinese seafood seller hospitalized in Guangzhou passed it to dozens of doctors and nurses, one of whom traveled to Hong Kong for a wedding. In a single night, he infected at least 16 others, who then carried the virus to Canada, Singapore, and Vietnam. Within six months, sars had reached 29 countries and infected more than 8,000 people. This is a new epoch of disease, when geographic barriers disappear and threats that once would have been local go global.”

For everything from weight loss to mental illness, it’s not hard to find self-purported experts peddling snake oil cures. Sometimes, these products are a waste of money. But sometimes, they can have serious consequences for your health and the health of your family and friends. Science should be the antidote to superstition, but the scientific community often has trouble communicating with the general public.-KS

It’s Saturday And We All Probably Went Out To dinner…LOL! But, Is Raising Wages for Tipped Workers Worth It?

Is Raising Wages for Tipped Workers Worth It?

Restaurateurs warn that forcing them to pay higher wages will put them out of business; others feel waitstaff will receive higher incomes.

Waiters, waitresses and other hospitality workers that rely on tips for income take part in a rally at the Massachusetts State House in Boston to convince lawmakers to raise the $3.75 minimum wage for restaurant workers on June 12, 2018. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

New York‘s Department of Labor is considering raising the minimum wage for tipped workers, joining seven other states that have abolished the subminimum wage for waitstaff and others who rely on tips. Michigan activists say they have collected enough signatures to put the matter before voters as a referendum this fall. And District of Columbia voters easily passed a referendum Tuesday night to raise tipped workers’ wages to $15, D.C.’s minimum wage.

Tipping – an emotionally charged issue for restaurateurs, servers, chefs and diners alike – is under scrutiny across the country, as both businesspeople and policymakers bicker about what’s fair, what’s economically doable and what’s acceptable to a consumer public that is used to tipping, even if customers sometimes resent it.

In most states, tipped workers are entitled only to a subminimum wage ($2.13 an hour nationally, but higher in some areas), on the theory that income will be made up in tips, often well beyond the standard minimum wage ($7.25 an hour nationally, but as high as $15 in some places).

People feel quite passionately about what tipped workers should be paid, says Virginia Commonwealth University political science assistant professor Michael Paarlberg, who writes frequently about labor issues. The tip line on restaurant credit card slips represents a cauldron of conflicts ranging from labor rights and business liability to sexual harassment and racial bias.Restaurateurs warn that forcing them to pay what some labor activists call a “living wage” will put them out of business – or at least lead them to raise menu prices or lay off workers. Such opposition led Maine‘s legislature last year to undo a 2016 voter referendum raising tipped workers’ wages to the regular minimum wage. Tipped workers, too, are worried they will make less money, if people stop leaving an extra 15 percent to 20 percent on their meal bills.

Experts say that has not happened in the seven states (Alaska, California, Montana, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) that have eliminated the separate minimum wage for tipped worker. Restaurant owners have raised menu prices in some cases, says Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University‘s School of Hotel Administration and an expert on tipping. But he notes that California in particular has retained its reputation for a thriving, trendy restaurant scene despite the uniform minimum-wage rules.”Will it hurt restaurants? Sure. Because they’re going to have to raise prices, and that means they’re going to lose some customers.” But since the law applies uniformly in states that adopt it, “at least there’s not a competitive disadvantage,” Lynn says.Servers, meanwhile, might do better, he says. “People are still going to tip,” he says. Lynn’s research shows that people might still leave a smaller tip when minimum wages are higher. But the difference was very small, he adds.New York’s labor department is finishing up hearings this month on a proposal by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to eliminate the subminimum wage (now $7.50-$8 in New York, depending on where the restaurant is located). The agency can make the change without legislative approval. In Michigan, advocates have collected enough signatures to put the measure before voters this November, but state elections officials must determine that the signatures are valid before putting the question on the ballot.

There are inherent complications and fairness issues in tipping. Employers are required to make up the difference if a worker’s income does not meet the regular minimum wage per hour, and must pay payroll taxes on an employee’s tipped income as well, Lynn says. Many customers calculate tips according to the quality of service, but tips are often pooled to share among wait staff, busboys and bartenders, defeating the “reward” purpose. Cooks and chefs, for example – the people who are crafting the very product people are paying for – don’t get tips, meaning a waiter could make more than a chef. Some restaurants have added a “kitchen tip” line, drawing ire from customers who feel they are being hit up for too many gratuities. Then there are the tip jars at coffee shops, and requests for tips for takeout and counter service meals – even though employees there are entitled to regular minimum wage.

And others say America should stop the whole practice of tipping, which studies show tends to favor better-looking servers. Female workers, in particular, may feel reluctant to report sexual harassment by either customers or managers, worried about losing a good tip or a lucrative work shift, critics say.”All the evils of tipping – sexual harassment, racism, ageism – these are things employees shouldn’t have to deal with,” says Berkeley, California, restaurateur Andrew Hoffman, who has eliminated tipping at his sit-down restaurant Comal and its counter-service companion eatery, Comal Next Door. “Compensation should not be based on how people look,” Hoffman adds.

[RELATED: 25 Years Without a Raise]

Tipping as a custom came to the U.S. from Europe, Paarlberg says, although ironically, tipping is not common now in Europe, where service people are treated like professionals and paid accordingly. “It’s a different culture,” he says. In the U.S. and places where tipping is essential to workers’ incomes, “You’re expected to put on a show. It created this weird system where basically employers have outsourced their responsibility to pay their employees a living wage onto customers. From the perspective of people in other countries, that’s weird.”

Restaurateurs warn that forcing them to pay what some labor activists call a “living wage” will put them out of business – or at least lead them to raise menu prices or lay off workers. Such opposition led Maine‘s legislature last year to undo a 2016 voter referendum raising tipped workers’ wages to the regular minimum wage. Tipped workers, too, are worried they will make less money, if people stop leaving an extra 15 percent to 20 percent on their meal bills.

Experts say that has not happened in the seven states (Alaska, California, Montana, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) that have eliminated the separate minimum wage for tipped worker. Restaurant owners have raised menu prices in some cases, says Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University‘s School of Hotel Administration and an expert on tipping. But he notes that California in particular has retained its reputation for a thriving, trendy restaurant scene despite the uniform minimum-wage rules.”Will it hurt restaurants? Sure. Because they’re going to have to raise prices, and that means they’re going to lose some customers.” But since the law applies uniformly in states that adopt it, “at least there’s not a competitive disadvantage,” Lynn says.Servers, meanwhile, might do better, he says. “People are still going to tip,” he says. Lynn’s research shows that people might still leave a smaller tip when minimum wages are higher. But the difference was very small, he adds.New York’s labor department is finishing up hearings this month on a proposal by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to eliminate the subminimum wage (now $7.50-$8 in New York, depending on where the restaurant is located). The agency can make the change without legislative approval. In Michigan, advocates have collected enough signatures to put the measure before voters this November, but state elections officials must determine that the signatures are valid before putting the question on the ballot.

There are inherent complications and fairness issues in tipping. Employers are required to make up the difference if a worker’s income does not meet the regular minimum wage per hour, and must pay payroll taxes on an employee’s tipped income as well, Lynn says. Many customers calculate tips according to the quality of service, but tips are often pooled to share among wait staff, busboys and bartenders, defeating the “reward” purpose. Cooks and chefs, for example – the people who are crafting the very product people are paying for – don’t get tips, meaning a waiter could make more than a chef. Some restaurants have added a “kitchen tip” line, drawing ire from customers who feel they are being hit up for too many gratuities. Then there are the tip jars at coffee shops, and requests for tips for takeout and counter service meals – even though employees there are entitled to regular minimum wage.

And others say America should stop the whole practice of tipping, which studies show tends to favor better-looking servers. Female workers, in particular, may feel reluctant to report sexual harassment by either customers or managers, worried about losing a good tip or a lucrative work shift, critics say.”All the evils of tipping – sexual harassment, racism, ageism – these are things employees shouldn’t have to deal with,” says Berkeley, California, restaurateur Andrew Hoffman, who has eliminated tipping at his sit-down restaurant Comal and its counter-service companion eatery, Comal Next Door. “Compensation should not be based on how people look,” Hoffman adds.

[RELATED: 25 Years Without a Raise]

Tipping as a custom came to the U.S. from Europe, Paarlberg says, although ironically, tipping is not common now in Europe, where service people are treated like professionals and paid accordingly. “It’s a different culture,” he says. In the U.S. and places where tipping is essential to workers’ incomes, “You’re expected to put on a show. It created this weird system where basically employers have outsourced their responsibility to pay their employees a living wage onto customers. From the perspective of people in other countries, that’s weird.”

And others say America should stop the whole practice of tipping, which studies show tends to favor better-looking servers. Female workers, in particular, may feel reluctant to report sexual harassment by either customers or managers, worried about losing a good tip or a lucrative work shift, critics say.”All the evils of tipping – sexual harassment, racism, ageism – these are things employees shouldn’t have to deal with,” says Berkeley, California, restaurateur Andrew Hoffman, who has eliminated tipping at his sit-down restaurant Comal and its counter-service companion eatery, Comal Next Door. “Compensation should not be based on how people look,” Hoffman adds.

[RELATED: 25 Years Without a Raise]

Tipping as a custom came to the U.S. from Europe, Paarlberg says, although ironically, tipping is not common now in Europe, where service people are treated like professionals and paid accordingly. “It’s a different culture,” he says. In the U.S. and places where tipping is essential to workers’ incomes, “You’re expected to put on a show. It created this weird system where basically employers have outsourced their responsibility to pay their employees a living wage onto customers. From the perspective of people in other countries, that’s weird.”

California, like other states that got rid of the subminimum wage, does not ban tipping. But Hoffman thinks it’s fairer and more dignified to build the service charge into the bill and spare patrons from essentially deciding someone’s wages.

“What if the first table to the night stiffs you? It ruins you. Or God forbid it rains, or the San Francisco Giants are in the World Series,” Hoffman says. Without tips, “you can count on a real paycheck, like a real job, with your income decided by your employer.”

In Pursuit of Happiness

Neuroscientist Dean Burnett dives deep into what makes us happy.

IT’S HUMAN NATURE TO want to be happy, but people know relatively little about the science behind the emotion.

Scientists are only just beginning to grasp how the human brain processes emotion – the chemical processes and how they affect our thoughts and behaviors. What does it mean to be happy? And what’s actually happening in people’s brains when they are?

These are the questions neuroscientist Dean Burnett set out to explore in his new book, “Happy Brain: Where Happiness Comes From and Why,” an attempt to understand one of humanity’s most potent emotions.

It’s clear the brain’s process of forming emotions is incredibly complicated. Do you have a unified theory of what makes us happy?

The process itself is incredibly complicated, a reward pathway deep in the middle of the brain. We share it with lots of other species. It’s a small circuit, but it’s incredibly important and it allows us to experience pleasure. The brain recognizes that as a good thing, saying, ‘You should do that again, here’s some pleasure.’

And it can be anything. For instance, it happens when we experience something bad, where we experience fear or something scary, but then it goes away. People want to know why horror is so appealing. You were scared a minute ago and but now you’re not. Every experience can be traced back to that process, so many things that can determine how powerful it is and to what degree it’s triggered, like if something is familiar or not.

Novelty is a big part of that. Humans need money so we can purchase what we need to survive. And you’d think the more money we have the happier it tends to make us, but it’s not that straightforward. If you have $500 that goes into your account every two weeks in your paycheck, that’s nice but that doesn’t really excite you, whereas if you find $20 in the pocket of your jeans, that’s brilliant. It’s a lot more rewarding. But familiarity can makes us happy, too. There are a lot of things in the environment that lead to stress and fear and terror and anxiety, and the brain is primed for threat detection, but in our homes we’re surrounded by things that calm us down. We’re more content, we know what goes where. The brain goes, ‘I’ve been here before and at no point have I died.’

The ‘pursuit of happiness’ is in the Declaration of Independence as an inalienable right alongside life and liberty. Why is happiness such a powerful motivator?

The evidence that has accumulated is that happiness is a reward, the brain telling us that something has gone right or we’ve done something which is beneficial. The reward part of our brain identifies sources of pleasure in our lives. You want to do things that make you happy, and the quest for happiness is a big part of who we are, and it’s a way for our brain to tell us when things have gone right, what things are beneficial.

It all comes down to the fact that it’s a positive sensation. We have a lot of other emotions – embarrassment, fear, guilt – but they’re unpleasant, they’re meant to discourage us. At the most basic level, emotions are the shortcut the brain uses rather than having to think through a scenario every single time, weighing the pros and cons. The brain can think rationally and logically. Emotions are the shortcut we have to that. I tried something, but it made me feel guilty. Or there’s something we enjoy, we like, we want to feel good.

But happiness isn’t necessarily the most powerful emotion. Fear, for example, is about survival – we don’t want to be happy for a few minutes but then end up dead.

As for the pursuit of happiness, the pursuing itself is a good thing. In modern culture, we think happiness should be the default state, otherwise something is amiss. But that’s not how the brain works. The brain adapts to anything: You could have a favorite meal that makes you happy, but if you have it all day, every day, you’ll be fed up with it in literally every sense.

Your brain stops paying attention, it doesn’t idle well. So while you don’t have to do anything to make yourself happy, it loses all its potency. The pursuit is a good thing. It’s all about motivation. People who are born into wealth, great privilege and power, they don’t seem particularly happy because they don’t have to strive for anything.

If you’re constantly happy, you’re avoiding all sorts of experiences. The more emotions you experience, the more you develop emotional competence. Something bad will happen to you eventually. If you’ve always been happy, you don’t know how to deal with it and your brain gets really confused. It’s the same as if you were to only exercise one muscle – you might end up with a really strong leg, but you’d have trouble getting around. It’s not great.

A lot of our brain is set up for the purposes of survival. Most of us no longer constantly face mortal threats. How has that changed how our brains process happiness?

Modern life, counterintuitively, can actually cause more of a problem. Since survival isn’t necessarily a big deal anymore – we don’t really have life-or-death situations, no predators, no readily immediate fatal dangers – there’s so much more opportunity to indulge ourselves, our basic hedonistic instinct.

All of this stems from the fact that the human brain evolved very rapidly. The cortex was half the size it is now 3 million years ago. That is phenomenally fast for evolution. But the underlying parts of the brain – the reptile brain – is the same as it’s always been. It keeps us alive. The incredibly complex, highly advanced part of the brain and the more primitive part of the brain don’t always work together easily. It’s like trying to install Windows 10 on a 5-year old laptop – you can do it, but neither side really enjoys it.

As a result, there are lots of different parts of the brain that rival other parts of the brain. The basic instinct to seek out basic pleasures competes with the survival instinct – conflicts like that are often coming to a head inside the brain. The instinct to binge eat comes from the need for survival in the wild. When you came across a plentiful, nutritious food source when food was otherwise scarce, the instinct is to eat as much as you can beyond your fill. The pursuit of happiness can make us blind to more long-term advantages.

Why is so much of our happiness contingent on our relationships with others?

We are such a social species, perhaps the most social species of all, and that’s part of what drove our evolution. We don’t tend to kill each other. That’s a really strong selling point of the human race. In New York, there are 8 million people and relatively few murders. If you put 8 million chimps in New York, in a few days you’d have 4 million chimps, and then 2 million. They’re an aggressive species in that regard, whereas we can happily live side by side.

Other people are such a big part of how we experience emotions. Guilt and embarrassment only exist in the context of other people. So if your bathrobe falls off when you get out of the shower, no big deal. But if it happens in a hotel lobby, it’s terribly embarrassing because there are other people around to see and judge you. Rejection is such a huge part of our make-up.

We’re a pair-bonding species, and we seek out partners. Not everyone’s the same, of course, but it’s the human norm, as it were. When we find the one person who we want to settle down with, it causes all manner of reactions in the brain. We’ve evolved to encourage us to maintain a link with one person. It means that when you first fall in love, you spend a lot of time not aware of that person’s tics and flaws. Your hazard-detection system is shut down. That can be harmful, such as when people cannot recognize that their partner is awful. It can be really quite disturbing, when people are maintaining relationships they shouldn’t. The part of your brain that can recognize that is suppressed, and the longer you stay with someone the harder it is to leave. It’s a form of self-sabotage.

On the other hand, we’re able to form that kind of connection with more than one person. We’ve detached it from pure mating instinct. We can have friends now, a strong emotional bond with someone we’ll never mate with. Friends make us happy because we can form that strong connection.

There’s an impression that these things are straightforward, but the brain is so incredibly diverse that these chemicals can sometimes have radically different effects. We’re evolved to make friends but not necessarily with all other people. There’s an ingroup and an outgroup. The outgroup, who aren’t part of us, can be perceived as a threat.

We’re a tribal species. To a degree, the only thing that’s really a threat to a human is another human. Oxytocin enhances emotional bonds, romantic bonds, friendship bonds, familial bonds. But not every bond is helpful. It can make us more negatively predisposed to people in the outgroup, even racist.

We have a strong sense of status. We want to be top dog, respected, looked up to as much as possible. We have a strong instinct, rooted in the amygdala, which regulates emotions like fear, that anything that boosts our state, we seize upon it. If you have a goal, say, to be the world’s best sprinter, that’s fine as a goal. But it means nobody else can have it. It’s a zero-sum thing. A lot of what makes us happy is dependent on making other people less happy. We are a hierarchical species. For us to go up, someone else must go down.

Presumably, you get asked a lot for advice on how to be happy. What do you tell people?

There are two things I try to emphasize.

First, happiness isn’t the default – expecting it isn’t realistic. Happiness should be a goal rather than a permanent state. The brain has to work hard to be happy – to be happy all the time would be exhausting. High energy, extroverted people can be pretty tiring to be around. It’s nice to try to aim for happiness, but it’s not something we can ever get to permanently. The closer you get, the harder it is. Sure, there should be more times that you’re happy than you’re not, but you shouldn’t be happy all the time.

And, second, because it’s not easy to be happy, the theories about a secret to happiness aren’t realistic – or at least they’re a huge oversimplification. Anyone offering a quick-fix solution – and there are plenty of self-help books that do – should be taken with a massive grain of salt. For every person they help, there’s at least one for whom it won’t work, because the brain is the most variable thing in the world. There never will be any simple answer.

And one other thing: The cultural notion that you can find happily ever after, that when you find the one person you should be with, that’s it. That’s an ironically romanticized version of love, and it doesn’t really work that way. It sets you up to fail. It’s unhealthy, and it sets an ideal that isn’t going to happen. When you buy a car you’ve always wanted, you don’t just park it in the driveway and look at it, you drive it and put fuel in it and service it. The same is true in a relationship – it should be used and appreciated.

All these ideas of constant happiness, they’re culturally induced rather than biological. There’s no guarantee that you should be happy constantly.

Inside a Florida shelter for immigrant children

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracts Comprehensive Health Services Inc. to run the shelter in Homestead, Florida. The administrators repeatedly emphasize that it is not a detention facility despite its chain-link fences with unarmed guards and metal detectors at all entrances.

You won’t find any chain-link detention enclosures. A welcoming sign states the goal is to reunite the immigrant children with their families in this country.

There are currently 792 boys and 387 girls, ranging in age from 13 to 17, who live at the shelter. About 70 of them were separated from their families as they attempted to cross the border into the United States from Mexico.

Administrators are expecting more children to arrive at the facility, which can house up to 1,350 people. They say the “vast” majority of the teens come from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

The Department of Health and Human Services says the shelter is an “influx” facility that opens and closes as needed to accommodate larger numbers of unaccompanied children. On average, children remain there for 25 days.

The counselors and lawyers at the facility aim to locate a parent, family member or foster parent in the United States in order to place these children in homes as quickly as possible. HHS says 85 percent of the children will end up going to the home of family or friends in the country.

Each child receives two 10-minute telephone calls per week to call a parent or family member.

HHs says each child is assigned an “A” number during their original processing, which helps to track down their families later in the process.

Staff run the shelter on a strict schedule. The children wake up at 6:30 a.m., and lights out is at 10 p.m.

When a child arrives, their personal possessions are collected and they receive a five-day supply of clothes along with a hygiene kit.

The child will be assigned to live in one of four dormitory buildings reminiscent of college dorms, except there are 12 kids to a room. All of the children sleep in bunk beds and share two sinks, one shower and one toilet in each room.

Their day is very regimented with six-hours of education at the makeshift school inside a large air-conditioned white tent. They take classes in math, science, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), reading and writing, history, arts and crafts and physical education.

Disney characters as well as educational and inspirational posters line the walls of the hallways of the tent school. A poster featuring U.S. presidents does not include President Donald Trump. It stops after his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The boy and girl students are kept separate throughout the day. They eat at different times and go to class in different parts of the tent school.

There are no video games or daily access to television. The children are rewarded for good behavior with being allowed to watch TV on the weekend, including the World Cup.

“These really are good children,” the program director, Leslie Wood, tells me.

The cafeteria where the children eat three times a day is like any public school cafeteria in the country, decorated with inspirational posters. One hand-drawn poster shows North and South America with the saying, “Estamos Unidos.”