Adventures in Ethics and Science

A conversation this morning:

Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, do you have any pictures you’d like me to scan in for today’s sprog blog?

Younger offspring: No.

Dr. Free-Ride: You mean to tell me you haven’t made any drawings at all this week?

Younger offspring: I’ve made drawings, but I don’t want to scan any of them for your blog.

Dr. Free-Ride: You’re not in negotiations with another blogger, are you?

Younger offspring: Not yet.

* * * * *


I’ve always been a candy sorter. Given a handful of M&Ms (or Skittles, or SweetTarts, or Spree), I cannot help but sort them by color before eating any of them. (Indeed, the eating order is often determined by the initial frequencies of the different colors in the handful.)

Similarly, the best part of Hallowe’en when I was a kid was sorting the candy-haul. But, to the best of my recollection, I never went so far as to make a Venn diagram of my Hallowe’en candy, like this one elder offspring made — completely unprompted by nerdy parents — on Hallowe’en evening.

There is a slight possibility that the construction of the Venn diagram (and the candy census accompanying it) was motivated by concerns about potential loss of candy to vermin (i.e., parents), but that’s just a hunch.

Today’s other image from elder offspring struck both Free-Ride parental units as a possible political cartoon, although the artist’s explanation sounds innocent enough:

Someone is painting the animals red, white, and blue. The animals don’t think this is a great idea.


Features that struck the Free-Ride parental units:

  • The elephant seems the most disgruntled — perhaps especially by the blue paint on his ear.
  • The donkey, on the other hand, might be looking a little bit gloaty.
  • The person doing the painting is wearing a beret (or, as we like to call it, a freedom chapeau). Who, really, is engineering the “lousy” time for this elephant?!

Given that this is a visual product, I don’t think we can lay this at the feet of too much exposure to NPR. Maybe there really is something in the Bay Area water supply.

* * * * *
There’s still time to send me your suggestion for the Brain-Friendly Gifts list I’m compiling. I’ve gotten some great suggestions already, but I have the sense that some of you still need to chime in.


  1. #1 Super Sally
    November 17, 2006

    Is Younger Offspring looking for an agent for those negotiations?

    I’m not touching the 2nd drawing/conversation with Elder Offspring, but I do have a certain appreciation for the method of candy cataloging. You gotta watch those parents!

  2. #2 ceresina
    November 17, 2006

    I sort M&M’s too! but I have a very strict color order.
    I love the venn diagrams.

  3. #3 Helen
    November 17, 2006

    Paul Conrad’s successor?

  4. #4 JM
    November 17, 2006

    I might have to print these out for my fridge. They crack me up.

  5. #5 Tom
    November 20, 2006

    I still remember hoarding all my easter chocolate, knowing exactly how much to eat so it would last me all year (i dont eat much chocolate), only to find a few weeks in it had all “dissapeared”, knowing full well mum and dad had been at it. As the years went on, i did manage to convert them from straight theft, to blackmailing me with chores and the like if i didnt let them “share” some chocolate with me.

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