Weekendish: The best of the week's reads

Cartoon Nemo with dad Marvin Image copyright ALAMY

A collection of some of the best reads from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.

Poor old Marvin the clownfish from Finding Nemo. So scared of the dangers of the wide open ocean, he tries to shelter his son Nemo from ever experiencing it. Then Nemo gets lost. Can parents learn anything from the movie? "I think the film shows this style of parenting is not great and still not a guarantee of accidents not happening," parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith explains. How about tips that parents can glean from other films? On the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins, Lucy Townsend looked into the lessons learned from flicks including Mrs Doubtfire, The Sound of Music and Home Alone. Readers were quick to chime in with their own lessons - most of them obviously very serious:

  • Carlos: "Never let kids play board games found in the attic" (Jumanji)
  • Wordluster: "never take your kids to a natural theme park" (Jurassic Park)
  • Paul Hamer: "if you make yr nephew sleep in a cupboard under the stairs it will end badly for you" (Harry Potter)
  • Karl Turner: "It's not safe to go back in the water" (Jaws)
  • Belinda Bauer: "ALWAYS hide the keys to the garage" (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
  • Paula Deane Traynham: "I tried to follow the advice in Bringing Up Baby but the leopard kept eating the children"
  • Francesca Stephens: "Never experiment with shrink rays" (Honey I Shrunk the Kids)
  • Jupiterup: "don't let your kid bike around empty hotel hallways" (The Shining)
  • Shalini Lachmandas: "I always told my kids if u can't say something nice don't say nothing at all" (Bambi)
  • Michelle Lightwood-J: "The idea that being different is perfectly acceptable" (The Addams Family)

Sheikhs and Sandhurst

Image copyright PA; Getty Images
Image caption Sandhurst alumni: King Hamad of Bahrain, King Abdullah of Jordan and Sultan Qaboos of Oman

Four reigning Arab monarchs are graduates of Sandhurst. There's King Abdullah of Jordan, King Hamad of Bahrain, Sheikh Tamim, Emir of Qatar, and Sultan Qaboos of Oman. But they're just a handful of the numerous foreign royals - particularly from the Middle East - who have learned how to be military leaders at the UK's famous officer training academy. But is it such a good idea? asked Matthew Teller. Some say that it gives future world leaders a strong connection to the UK, earning it more attention than similar-sized countries and facilitating trade relationships. But others say the UK is delivering militarily-trained officers to Middle Eastern monarchies where the onus is often on defending the ruling family, with little regard for democracy. Adeel Hassan ‏@adeelnyt tweeted: "This feels...icky." Naz Ahmed @Monty_786 merely said: "Shocking..." And Michael Theodoulou ‏@MichaelTheodoul tweeted: "Good BBC piece on Gulf royals at #Sandhurst One Brit says helps us 'punch above our weight'. I hate that phrase."

Etiquette of reclining

Image copyright Thinkstock

Heard of a Knee Defender? It costs $21.95 (£13) and it also cost recent passengers one uninterrupted plane journey. Their plane had to be diverted after one passenger used it to stop another from reclining her seat, which caused a bit of a stir. So when is it acceptable to lean back at 30,000ft, asked Jon Kelly. Ashley in Penang, Malaysia, emailed: "As someone with a reoccurring back issue, I need to recline seats on some airplanes at least an inch, otherwise it's too painful." Ivanhoe Trousers ‏@ivanhoetrousers was meanwhile undeterred by the consequences on the US flight: "Will have to buy a Seat Defender. Such a good idea!" Others viewed the issue in economic terms. Free2SaySo ‏@ikwan_01 overcame a dodgy caps lock key to tweet: "YOU PAY, yes PAY for Reclining Seat ..... so USE IT .... or get Refund from those who Whinge!" Parvez A. Khatri was more equivocal when he emailed: "Everyone have the right to do (what is allowed) but I am totally against reclining. I never recline and feel in trouble when other in front reclines in full."

A Mormon apostate?

Image copyright George Frey
Image caption Kate Kelly shows a digital copy of the letter which informed her of her excommunication

"We're talking about an Inquisition," says Kate Kelly. "The men who punished me think they are kicking me out of heaven." Kelly thinks she's an obedient Mormon. But her church leadership clearly does not - she's been excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) for founding a campaign to ordain women to the priesthood. Jane Little spoke to human rights lawyer Kelly, who said: "Excommunication in our Church is for really grave sins like murder and child abuse. I was excommunicated for stating a fact, which is that men and women are not equal in our Church." A spokesman for the Mormon Church - which claims 15 million members worldwide - insisted that women already have a lot of responsibility in the Church. Currently any male from the age of 12 and "in good standing" can join the priesthood. No female can. i ‏@i4Media tweeted: "Why are men so fearful of women being powerful?"

Addicts behind bars

This is Pablo Marroquin. A former drug addict who's been clean for 22 years, the born-again Christian now operates a private faith-based rehabilitation centre in Guatemala City. But many of the internees there - as in many other similar centres in Guatemala - are locked up behind bars against their will. The Guatemalan state does not provide for drug addicts, and these private centres have proliferated to fill the void. Linda Pressly even heard claims that in some areas addicts have been swept off the street and into these centres by "hunting parties". Otherwise they may be turned in by worried friends and family with nowhere else to turn. The strong religious foundation offers salvation for some but the strict discipline and lack of freedom raises questions for others. Zach Kump ‏@vangoghslover tweeted: "Fighting addiction with punishment has not historically yielded many positive results." Angelique Rockas ‏@A_Rockas stated: "Probably Guatemala is too poor to offer social services care !!!! Have you in yr rich land thought of this????"

Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:

Did I get away with felony drug-dealing charges because I'm white? - Vice

Why It's So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos - Wired

How I explained porn to my 9-year-old son - Quartz

Why Chinese patients are turning against their doctors - New Yorker

10 Historic Canal Towns to Visit That Aren't Venice - Smithsonian

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