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27 years ago I accidentally ran the hardest, strangest Easter egg hunt (twitter.com/griner)
364 points by tosh on April 16, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 90 comments

> One little girl had 6 eggs in her basket by the end. That kid terrified me.

I took our six year-old to an indoor climbing venue last year. She'd never done any kind of climbing before (although always seemed to be "climbing on" anything/everything at playgrounds and in kindergarten, particularly things that aren't really designed to be climbed. Had had a few interactions with gravity, including landing on her face at a playground, one of the reasons that prompted me to check out options for some proper climbing instruction for kids)

We pitched up, she met the trainer, she's the youngest in the group and also the last experienced, they get kitted out and head out to warm up then start climbing, I did what any HN parent does: fired up my laptop to catch up with work and stopped paying attention...

About 15 mins later another parent came over to me and asked "is that your daughter right at the top?" (about 16 meters/50 feet up, at the top of the wall)

Me: "err ... yeah"

Kids can have good strength-to-weight ratios and be flexible. Their problems are likely to be not being able to reach as far, being potentially a bit uncoordinated, and not being able to get much stronger with training (so eg struggling with things that require more strength or finger strength). And maybe not being great at being coached though adults can have that issue too. Overall, climbing is pretty kid friendly though a climbing parent probably helps a lot.

Put ‘em in gymnastics. Some of those girls id be afraid of.

While gymnastics is a great all-around sport, it's sadly one of many which is not viable to do your whole life. Gymnastics is very hard on your body with tendon and ligament injuries being commonplace. Most gymnasts retire in their early twenties at the latest, often when faced with the medical reality of either giving up the sport or having joint pain for the rest of their life. While the sport is a marvel to see as a spectator, it comes at the cost of wearing out the body of the performer over a fairly short period of time.

What would be a good target for someone who wants to get out of the house and be a bit more active than just generically going to the gym, and doesn't want to anticipate winding up with "oh no I'm awake" pain later in life?

In terms of what the minimum and maximum baselines would be discipline-wise.

You don’t have to try and excel at everything you do. Kids should do gymnastics to gain the spatial and body awareness, and ligament strength that they would not otherwise get from other sports. Climbing, parkour would also teach more practical application of balance, awareness and different movement patterns.

From what I’ve seen, gymnastics tends to have some weird cultural… quirks… that aren’t as common in climbing.

Go on…

Or circus. Aerial silks, hoop etc

> and not being able to get much stronger with training

Actually, the problem is the opposite. Their muscles get too strong too quickly and then they blow a pulley because their tendons aren't strong enough for the forces that their muscles are easily capable of producing. This happens in adults too, but AFAICT it's more common in kids and adolescents (but perhaps that's because most adults who get into the sport later don't ever climb as hard). Growth plate injuries are less common but devastating.

Avoiding these sorts of injuries is probably the biggest reason why training or a team is worth the $.

I am a fan of the philosophy "don't tell kids what they can't do, because they don't know any better, and will surprise you".

Let kids discover their limits instead of purposefully (or accidentally) imposing your own.

I’ll try to remember that the next time my 3 year old insists he can drive my car

A 3-year-old could start learning to drive a car if the controls were adapted to their physical size. Driving a car is designed to be easy enough for anyone to do it, and kids routinely learn more difficult skills. The main reason we don’t have kids driving cars is because of poor decision making and impulse control, not poor reflexes or untrainable motor skills.

If you want to teach a kid to drive a car you should probably stick to video games or low-speed go karts though.

Yah, I know… my kids have a little electric car they drive around. They run into things all the time, they stop paying attention and run off the road, etc….

I’ve seen three year olds do pretty well at Mario Kart, sometimes even reaching first place where you’re not just wildly colliding with things. Perhaps real driving just isn’t interesting to them ;)

You’re just going to have to tell your toddler you can’t afford the insurance and crush his dreams.

Can I ask why you wrote this comment? It’s a dig at the other person and it’s not terribly funny, just sarcastic. I didn’t think he meant to allow kids to do anything they want, just not to tell them what’s impossible before they have a shot at it. Do children normally drive cars where you are from?

Sure, I don’t mind you asking.

I wrote it for a few reasons. One, to be funny… clearly the commenter was not thinking about something like driving when they made the comment, so I thought it was kinda funny to shift the perspective to think about something where it is clearly a bad idea to just let a kid try something they think they can do.

Secondly, it was a bit from exasperation from comments I see about the ‘right’ ways to raise kids without thinking about/understanding the limitations that actual parents are under when trying to raise kids. I have two young kids (6 and 3), and in my experience, parenting is so much more about circumstances than parenting advice ever seems to acknowledge.

For example, let’s take this advice. Whether I can just let my kids try something that I think they aren’t yet capable of doing is entirely dependent on the circumstances. Is it safe to let them try? Can I afford to spend the money it takes to let them try the thing? Do I have the time to clean up the mess that will happen if they fail? Is it legal to let them try? Will it prevent them from being able to do another thing that I think they are more likely to be able to do?

Basically, my response to advice like this is usually an exasperated, “yeah, no shit I’d love to do that if I can, but so many things stop me from always doing it.” Maybe that is harsh, but it is the gut reaction to this sort of advice as a parent of young children.

And I know I was guilty of this before I had kids. I had so many ideas about how I would raise my kids and do all of these things, but I learned quickly that you don’t have as much control as you would like to imagine as a parent. Before you have kids, you imagine you drive their growth like you drive a sports car, with precision and the ability to choose the exact path you take. In reality, it is more like sailing a giant sailboat in a storm, doing your best to keep the ship pointed in the generally correct direction without taking on too much water.

As a fellow parent of multiple small children, your driving example struck me as odd, too. I think any time you are making a joke that riffs on your own frustration at the expense of somebody else's aspirations to be better, it's likely to fall flat. Maybe just to me and that one other poster.

I don't think the advice is to truly let kids do whatever they want with no input. It's to seriously entertain it when a child wants to try something new, even if your first instinct is to think they are too young. You can still say no, but it should be for the reasons you followed up with, not because "they're not ready".

My response was under the assumption that when parents don't let their kids try something, it is almost always because the parent thinks it is too dangerous for them. By saying we should let them try stuff parents don't think they are ready for, it sounded to me like they were saying "ignore the danger" or that the danger is not as great as parents think. If they weren't saying that, then the comment seemed meaningless to me... basically the equivalent of saying, "make sure your kids eat the proper amount of food". It is a tautology, without any prescriptive advice.

I doubt many parents are just stopping their kids from trying things simply because they don't think they will succeed... it is always because non succeeding would have some negative consequence that is not worth the risk (e.g. the kid could get badly hurt, create a huge mess, destroy valuable property, etc).

I think there are certainly times where there is a negative consequence, and you should rationally say no. I disagree that it is always trivially easy to recognize and classify the situation, and for most parents, being unsure translates to No. Parent poster is encouraging people to do the work in those situations and decide whether there really is a negative consequence that isn't worth bearing, and encouraging them to raise their level of unacceptable risk.

I think you're engaging in black and white thinking by saying things are either dangerous or not. There's an in between.

You've constructed a strawman. It clearly wasn't "let them try anything, with complete disregard for the cost, consequences etc". Try to read it with the best possible interpretation and reply to that.

I appreciate your response! I wish you had written this comment instead of the other one or at least explained why. I think the internet at large encourages people to be snooty/witty/sarcastic in order to be the “winner” of the conversation. HN is a little smaller, smarter, and nicer. I hope that as a community we can stay that way despite being on the internet.

I also totally get where you’re coming from. There are so many people who have great ideas on how to tell you what to do and no willingness to discuss how it works in practice. That said, we are the ones who have to reach inside ourselves and instead of responding with something that wins you more internet points, it can be more beneficial instead to attempt being fair, insightful, and kind. That can be itself a simple benefit to reality.

And then maybe one day we won’t have advice given without context or insult with the same.

Be well.

I mean, I wrote the first comment while I was waiting for my daughter to finish pooping, so I only had a few minutes. I thought my joke/comment conveyed enough info to get some of my point across. I didn’t have time at the moment to write out the longer one.

I am not sure why you think the comment was so antagonistic towards the person I responded to; it was a light hearted joke pointing out a flaw in their suggestion, it wasn’t a personal attack or anything.

Your driving comment made me giggle and then I continued scrolling on. I think it was lighthearted and fine as it was, just my input.

FWIW, it didn’t come off as a personal attack to me.

On the other hand, it did seem to oversimplify and intentionally misinterpret the comment for the purpose of a shallow gag or unimportant edge case.

It would be great if HN was a place for deeper commentary. There are other places on the Internet for the caliber of commentary that fits in the duration of a session of potty training. It would probably be better if we worked to maintain some of what made HN different: substantial comments based around ideas without sarcasm or insults.

Just one poster’s opinion…

[Another poster's opinion]

> it did seem to oversimplify and intentionally misinterpret the comment for the purpose of a shallow gag or unimportant edge case

I'm surprised that bringing up an "edge case" against an over-generalized statement is considered "intentionally misinterpreting" the original comment.

I think charitable reading of comments goes both ways - if we are supposed to read "Let kids discover their limits instead of purposefully (or accidentally) imposing your own." in a charitable manner, why should we assume that a short comment that brings up an edge case is (only) intended as a sarcastic dig at the original comment? It definitely forces the reader to think of beyond the "ideal" case, going into the realm of practicality. It is short, admittedly sarcastic (probably bad, but you complained about more than sarcasm), but I think it gets the main point across.

Alternatively, if we're not feeling charitable, I think it can be fair to say that the original comment paints a way too simplistic over-generalization of the difficult decisions in parenting, maybe even trivializing the hardships of parenting and blaming parents for not being more encouraging to their kids despite the parents having tried their best to manage practical difficulties -- in which case the reply still makes sense.

BTH I just think you (and others) were simply biased towards "positive" comments that you agree to. The long exposition by cortesoft was nice, but unnecessary once the edge case was brought up (I for one, understood what he/she meant). Do we really want to impose a minimum limit on post length just to make people feel less offended?

> BTH I just think you (and others) were simply biased towards "positive" comments that you agree to.

What evidence supports this claim?

If you think my comment was oversimplified, couldn't the same be said of your original comment?

I don't think what my comment was saying was about an edge case. Many things kids want to do before they are ready are dangerous

I don’t know what comment you are referring to as my original comment. I only have one post in the thread.

Regardless, it’s incorrect logic to point out that there are other oversimplified posts in the thread and justification. Just because someone did something bad, doesn’t invite us to do more of the same.

Maybe edge cause is the wrong word. It’s plainly obvious. No one read the OP and thought: I wonder about 3 year olds driving cars!

Of course, safety and exploration exist along a continuum. It’s good to let kids learn. It’s good to protect kids. So far, the thread has shed no light on the nuance. One poster has expressed an unjustified preference for kids learning their own limits and another has added the pointless rejoinder — “not 3 year olds in cars!”

Oh sorry, I mistook your comment to mean you were the author of the first comment I responded to, without actually checking if that was the case.

I think it’s worth considering not everyone will feel the same way as you. I found it amusing.

Equally your comment seems like a tear down attempt.

It was just a harmless bit of joking sarcasm. Some people on this site have the humor tolerance of a soviet accounting clerk.

Anyone who things we don't share common ancestors with apes should really visit a playground. I'm terrified at what my godchild and other children her age consider fun climbing heights, speeds... and drops.

When I was young and would visit my grandmother, the park there had some climbing structure made out of steel tubing with a big rope lattice inside. At the time it felt quite massive though trying to guess now it was perhaps 4.5-6m tall at the top. The ropes were pretty dense inside but it was this reverse-hourglass shape so it was pretty easy to go to the edge and not have a bunch of ropes underneath you.

I’m amazed as an adult that that thing was allowed but it was pretty fun at the time and I’d guess not actually that dangerous.

Remembering back those were awesome. Can't image what our parents thought.

I was curious and looked it up. In Germany climbing structures may have a "fall height" of up to 3 meters. They can be much higher, though, since the fall height is only counted to the next rope layer. Basically, the ropes will slow down your fall is safe enough.

I believge the name you're looking for is Jungle Gym (non-UK) or Climbing Frame (UK). In portuguese we call them trepa-trepa ("climb-climb") which I think is quite fitting.

I didn’t really want to give it a name because a climbing frame is something smaller than this thing in my mind.

Or simply a playground.

When I was 9 or 10 I went with some friends and their parents to a park that had a massive tree that was very easy to climb. Two of the boys and I hopped on and just kept going. Finally turned around either because we were shouted down by their parents or because one of us finally had some sense.

Later on that day, a girl from their family was climbing on a low branch (maybe 2m off the ground), fell, and seriously messed up her ankle or knee. She was on crutches for a while.

The boys and I must’ve been somewhere between 8 and 12 meters off the ground. In retrospect it’s one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever done, and I’ve done multi-pitch trad climbing.

The opposite of that was a city run family egg hunt at a park we took our 4-year-old daughter to. It was a giant field with most the eggs mostly scattered in the open.

There were prizes if you found a certain number of eggs and 3 special metallic eggs worth bigger prizes like stuffed animals or one of those giant net stockings full of toys.

In the end she found two eggs.

But I remember some full grown dude bro waving a plastic bag and bragging how he'd scored like 30+ eggs. And I didn't see any family with him.

For some reason I imagined your daughter to be Masha from Masha and the Bear[0].

[0]: https://youtube.com/c/MashaBearEN

Children routinely out-climb adults because they're smaller and weigh less. Being younger is often an advantage.

Ashima Shiraishi was arguably the strongest female climber in the world when she was 13, Tommy Caldwell won a climbing competition against some world-class talent at 16, and it's not uncommon to see 10 year olds climb hard at gyms with good youth competition programs. Grades that used to be reserved for the best in the world (5.13+) are climbed nightly by kids at any number of gyms throughout the world. At my local gym, where a large number of former full time climbers get their fix, the competition high school kids are very often the strongest climbers in the room.

It's really only higher commitment graded climbs (multi-day) and alpine that remain the realm of climbing where age 25+ are often better than age 15-25, and then more because the primary challenges are skill (dialed-in rope systems and logistics) and danger (judgement, reading terrain, route finding) rather than any particular piece of actual climbing.

The speed record world seems something similar -- younger climbers are much stronger and much more brash; it's mostly much more experience with systems, logistics, and terrain that keeps older folks in the game. (This might also be why speed roped solo climbing remains a young person's game -- the systems are still in a period of innovation so there's less of an incumbent advantage. Or maybe older folks are just not interesting in playing.)

In many ways, it's very similar to programming. I couldn't do the sort of epic hacking or programming comps I did as a kid (but of course old me is a much better person if what you want is a system you can trust or a system that solves a truly hard problem).

> I did what any HN parent does: fired up my laptop to catch up with work and stopped paying attention...

Responsive to another comment to the effect of "let the kids get scraped knees":

Respectfully, as someone who has guided youth climbing trips, this is not an appropriate philosophy when introducing a child to rock climbing (indoors or outdoors). Climbing -- especially indoor climbing -- can fee lsafe but has unintuitive and EXTREME bifurcation points in its risk profile. Situations can change from extremely safe to almost certain death, and in many cases even most adults won't be able to perceive the difference.

"let an uneducated kid climb a choss pile" can become something close to negligent homicide in the not unlikely event that they rip off a death block and kill a party below them.

"Let a unsupervised kid climb 50 feet" is not dissimilar, because in case of a fall they are the death block for anyone walking below.

Gravity is not something one can effectively learn about via gradient descent on the side a cliff.

> Let a unsupervised kid climb 50 feet

no one suggested this happened except you though. It's clear the kid was supervised by the climbing instructor. Clearly top-roping with either auto- or human belay because that's the only kind of situation where you'd have a kid on a 50-foot wall. Kid could get injured sure, but it would be a tooth getting knocked out by slamming into the wall from a bad belay catch, not falling 50 feet to the ground.

> primary challenges are skill and danger

Also money

Climbing isn't that expensive if you stick to a gym - $150 for some good shoes is all you need to boulder.

Once you move outside, that's when you start to spend thousands of dollars on cams, quick draws, etc.

The context of that quote was alpine climbing.

FWIW though, the local gym here is $70/mo and a day pass isn't cheap either. I'd love to join, but that's just too much for me.

Yeah alpine climbing is what I was thinking about. That sport is too expensive for 19 year olds.

Our family hunts were epic. In good weather the eggs were outdoors - on the roof, in the car tailpipe, buried under a rock, up in a tree. they rarely found half.

One year we used camo eggs - and all three of our kids have red-green color issues. They found very few.

Just a month ago my wife found one in a decorative pot on top of a cabinet - where it'd been for 20 years. Each time we have one of these epic finds, we share it with a family text.

Red-green issues are a benefit against most camouflage. It took me a *long* time to understand what the nature programs were saying about animals hiding in situations where they were totally obvious to me. How can you say that tiger is hiding in the grass???

There's the story of using color-confusion soldiers to spot camo from the air. That was in WWII? I think they've solved the issue by now. But with camo plastic eggs- maybe not so much science. I only know they didn't find the eggs@!

Or https://nitter.net/griner/status/1514810917908717577

Or install the Nitter Redirect addon! I forgot I recently did that, and was pleasantly surprised someone had the good taste of pasting the nitter one directly :D

This is pretty much the same as the original on Twitter.

I just tried opening twitter instead in a different container. It has 2 bottom bars, more wasted space between tweets. If I go one page down on Nitter, I can almost fully read the end of the final tweet. When I do the same on Twitter, there are 7 tweets not visible.

cant wait for elon to fix twitter

Oh Lord, that was much easier, thank you. If Musk gets Twitter, this is what threading should look like. Or, like, just remove the 280 limit?

Twitter could charge people $12/yr to be able to combine those tweets, and other $12/yr to be able to see the combined version. People would pay.

Running it wasn't really an accident. The accident was more the ridiculous and unintended scale.

This was unexpectedly terrific.

Do things that don't scale ;)

Were the eggs found by the girl the same eggs that the organizers had hid initially?

This is a great garden-path sentence. I had to read it like, 3 times.


curious because i can't find any alternative reading besides the question if the eggs that the girl found were the same eggs that the organizers had hidden.

While I agree that the sentence is not a garden path sentence, a garden path sentence doesn't need to have more than one reading. A garden path sentence is difficult to parse, but that doesn't mean it has more than one parsing available.

To be a garden path sentence at some point your parsing needs to do a substantial backtracking from the initially most likely reading. In this sentence, if you'd parsed the first seven words as "did the girl find the eggs?" you'd need to backtrack to the beginning on getting the eighth word (the).

it doesn't need to have a correct second reading but it does need a partial misreading at least.

The partial sentence "Were the eggs [actually] found by the girl" means something else than "Were the eggs [that were] found by the girl the same [ones as]...". Even if the semantic meaning of the words is largely unchanged, the sentence structure parses quite differently. I can confirm that this also took me for a spin when reading the comment.

Were the eggs found by the girl [that] the... oops, parse error, try again!

Agreed. Layer 8 error.

Don’t blame the hens!

It took me while to find the garden path, but the girl could have been hidden by the organizers.

Thank you SO MUCH for this. English isn’t my first language, and many times I’ve come across sentences like this. I’ve even been collecting them whenever I came across them, on Reddit mostly. I’ve always wanted to find out why this type of sentence only occurred in English (to my knowledge). I’ve always thought it was because a lot of words could be interpreted as either nouns, adjectives, verbs or even adverbs, while retaining the same spelling.

Anyway, I’m glad I finally found the term for these sentences. Many thanks.

the wikipedia page has examples in other languages too. i think the grammar and vocabulary has some influence over the ability to construct such sentences.

some sentences only work like that when written (like the german example) and others only when spoken.

being non-native speakers has the interesting advantage that often we don't know the default interpretation of a word, because we don't always know which meaning of a word is more common.

on the other hand we'll miss some because we are not even aware of the second meaning of some words.

Oops, sorry, rereading the sentence I tripped myself up!

So many participles at play here


One time for Easter, my friends and I went to the Liquor store and bought 1 of every kind of beer they had. We spray painted them all and hid them in the yard for a hunt that evening. Much fun.

I also like to post this video different places. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aERpL5IqqTo

Tangential: Monte Sano is a really beautiful park. I visited friends in Huntsville last year and they took me out there - it’s not only really good for hiking due to the elevation, it’s spacious enough to not ever feel super crowded. It’s also not far from Huntsville - 15-30 minute drive depending on where you’re at in the city.

Lovely. Genuinely super nice

Please blog on blogging platforms. The only thing worse than this would be reading moby dick via sms messages.

"Please don't complain about tangential annoyances—things like article or website formats, name collisions, or back-button breakage. They're too common to be interesting."



Sounds like a start-up idea...

"Don't have time to sit and read a novel during your busy schedule? Subscribe to receive carefully-curated and abridged novels via SMS. We will space out the texts during your busy day so you have the time slowly digest and experience the same novels your friends are talking about at the coffee shop, but on your own schedule."

If I remember this was a thing back in ~2007 Japan [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_phone_novel

Interesting, but that is about novels written on a cell phone.

As I remember, they were written on a cellphone and sent out to subscribers that way as well.


"Please don't complain about tangential annoyances—things like article or website formats, name collisions, or back-button breakage. They're too common to be interesting."




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