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Posted inDeath & Dying, Parenting & Family

the long habit, part I

Reading Time: 4 minutes What, me worry? Epicurus of Samos, philosopher The long habit of living indisposeth us to dying. Thomas Browne, dead person If you haven’t visited The Death Clock, you really must. Enter your date of birth, height, weight and Body Mass Index — a measure of fitness, or more to the point, fatness — and the […]

Posted inParenting & Family, Science

carl…is that you?

Reading Time: 3 minutes I can’t remember the last time I was so delighted by an essay that I actually sat down and recopied it. Probably something by Carl Sagan. Here’s an excerpt of something that’s very much up Carl’s alley — an alley that happens to run smack-dab into my own. From Sky and Telescope, August 2007, p. […]

Posted inEducation, Parenting & Family

i’d like to buy a consonant

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s not that I’m spoiling for a fight. Like I said, I’m not about to start shooting my mouth off about church-state boundaries here in the dawning months of our entry to the Deep South unless my kids come home from school with John 3:16 tattooed to their foreheads. In permanent ink. A little temporary […]

Posted inParenting & Family

love and law

Reading Time: 4 minutes Jiminy Christmas! What were you thinking, letting me ramble on like that in the last post! 2100 words! Speak up when I do that! But somewhere in among the concordances and Schenker graphs and my Aunt Diane’s potato salad recipe back there, I made a promise to look at the concordance for another kind of […]

Posted inParenting & Family, Science

The distiller’s art

Reading Time: 8 minutes Distillation’s been on my mind lately — the art of condensing something ungraspably large into a graspable essence. I mentioned Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar a few weeks ago, a distillation of universal history that instantly focused my understanding of just how recent we are — and how small we are, and how deep and silly […]

Posted inParenting & Family

mythed it by that much

Reading Time: 2 minutes I’m working on a pretty complicated entry for later this week — you’ll see what I mean — so here’s a quickie to fill the gap. My daughters (5 and 9) are currently eating up Greek myths as bedtime stories. Friday was Dedalus and Icarus, yesterday Pegasus and Bellerophon. Tonight I told the story of […]

Posted inEducation, Parenting & Family

choosing your battles

Reading Time: 4 minutes I’m all Southern now. For proof, see last post, in which God and football are mentioned in the same breath. Somebody emailed me to ask why exactly I’m not girding for battle over the inclusion of God as one of the four team values for my son’s public football league. Let’s suppose for a moment […]

Posted inParenting & Family

mirror, mirror, in my head

Reading Time: 6 minutes My kids hate getting in trouble. They also hate actual punishment, of course, which is why we keep careful track of the things they love so we can yank them away when the time is right. It’s what parents and all other petty gods do. But we don’t often get to the punishment, actually, or […]

Posted inCritical thinking, Parenting & Family

the iWord

Reading Time: 4 minutes [Creepy cover image from The Manipulated Mind: Brainwashing, Conditioning and Indoctrination by Denise Winn.] There’s a smart and funny dad-blog across the pond (no no, the other pond — veer left and go long) at the Sydney Morning Herald called “Who’s Your Daddy.” Author Sacha Molitorisz blogged about parenting and religious issues in WYD the […]

Posted inParenting & Family

Rubbernecking at evil

Reading Time: 6 minutes Any kid knows there’s only one way to view evil: Notice the difference between the Venetian blinds, above, and the blackout curtains, below: The second girl is playing hide-and-seek. The first one is looking at something forbidden — or maybe playing hide-and-seek the way I always did. I always admired Lot’s wife for peeking. Turning […]