Children

Category archives for Children

Jules Verne at Disneyland

Though I really enjoyed my late 70s childhood visits to Disneyland and Disneyworld, I am no friend of disnification, and I’ve always seen the Paris Disneyland as a bit of a joke. But my mom wanted to treat my kids to a visit last week, and so I came along too. The Paris Disneyland has…

I’m weeks late to the party here. If you pay attention to atheist issues you’ve probably heard that a recent major meta-study* concludes that at the population level, atheists are a bit smarter than religious folks (mainly Protestant Americans and English in this case). Not dramatically so, but in a statistically significant way. The difference…

Recent Archaeomags

Current World Archaeology #58 (April/May) has a seven-page feature on the 8th century mass graves in ships at Salme on Saaremaa in Estonia. This astonishing find interests me greatly as the ships and the dead men’s equipment are Scandinavian, and so I mentioned it here back in 2008. One of the sword pommels is an…

Choose Your Ethnic Slurs, Kid

Juniorette’s best buddy Betty looks a lot like Juniorette and is almost like a second daughter to me. Her mom is Korean and her dad is Turkmen, great people both. The other day Betty got into a fight at school with another girl who started calling her names. (Betty, by the way, is a very…

Ridiculous School Funding Drives

A perennial annoyance for me as a parent is the many odd ways in which schools force parents to organise the funding for trips and stays at camp collectively. The general idea is sound: it would not be fair to make the parents pay up front, because then the poorer families might not be able…

Odd & Annoying Survey Methodology

Our municipality has contracted a survey firm to evaluate the after-school activities for children that it supports. Circus school, piano lessons etc. Questionnaires have been sent to (some? all?) enrolled children. My kid is in three of these activities. I got three almost identical questionnaires, interpreted them as a mail-merge glitch, responded to one and…

Annushka

I found this lovely portrait on Wikipedia. 18th century portraits almost exclusively show people with European looks. But here a Russian painter has painted a Kalmyk girl in 1767. The Kalmyks are a Western Mongolian group living in south-west Russia. The girl looks just like Juniorette’s buddy whose parents are from Afghanistan and Korea! This…

The former Swedish state church has been reasonably independent for twelve years. Now Juniorette’s school plans to send the kids walking in festive procession with flaming torches to the Swedish church’s local branch for an “Advent gathering”. Good fun no doubt, and Juniorette would probably be most displeased if I made her stay in school…

The Protectionworthiness of the Cuddly

Facebook is swamped with pictures of cats at shelters that face imminent euthanasia. Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund has an ad on the Tradera auction site that says “Soft, Orange and Homeless” and invites me to support orangutan shelters. There’s a reason that these campaigns don’t feature fish or lizards. And that reason is that…

Easter Cryptogram

In order to find her easter egg, my daughter first had to solve a +1 transposition cryptogram with appended translation table. It gave her the location of a note with a +9 cryptogram where she was given the offset but had to write her own translation table. This led to a +9 cryptogram that resolved…