Personal

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Fly, Fly Away

Tonight’s bedtime stories included two books involving flying characters: Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond (in which the title character gets blown into the sky by a gust of wind), and The Magic Brush. The latter is a dead-grandparent book, but ends with a cheerful picture of the kids reunited with their grandfather in…

Ain’t No Party Like a SteelyKid Party

I’ve mentioned in a few places that SteelyKid frequently comes home from school/ camp/ day care singing garbled versions of current pop hits. So for the first time since about 1990, I added a Top 40 station to my car radio presets, so I would know what she was actually trying to sing. This leads…

Hiring Completed

Having made several mentions here of the two tenure-track faculty positions we were trying to fill, I feel like I ought to at least note the completion of the search. As of last Friday, all the papers have been signed with properly dotted i’s and crossed t’s, and we have two new tenure-track assistant professors…

The Sun Is Red Because The Sky Is Blue

SteelyKid missed the bus this morning– she was dressed and ready, but I was talking to Kate, and if there isn’t a person at the end of the driveway when the bus comes around the corner, they won’t stop. So I drove her over to school myself (which is faster, anyway). The GE research lab…

Thanks, Common Core

“Daddy, ask me a math problem.” “OK. What’s 18 plus 6?” “Ummm… 24.” “Correct.” “See, I just keep the 18 and then add 2 from the 6 to get 20. That leaves 4 from the six, and 20 plus 4 is 24.” “Right. Good work.” —— “Hey, SteelyKid. What’s 120 plus 180?” “Ummm… 300.” “Very…

French Toast in the Renaissance

As mentioned briefly here and on Twitter, I spent the past week at the Renaissance Weekend in Charleston, SC. This is a biggish smart-people festival, running for 30-odd years now, bringing together a wide array of people from politics, finance, science, and the arts. Bill Phillips has been going to it for years (though he…

2014 Was Just This Year, You Know?

So, it’s January 1, which means a ton of social-media traffic commenting on the year just concluded, most of it very negative– “Good riddance, 2014, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, etc.” I’m a little more ambivalent about the whole 2014 thing, and of course, being a good squishy liberal, I…

Ernest, the Purple Aardvark

Ernest, the purple aardvark Had a long and hairy nose And if you ever saw it, You would really say “Boy I bet you could eat some ants with that thing…” All of the ants in Tasmania Use to run away when they saw him Because if they ran to slowly, [Loud slurping noise] Ernest…

Holiday Card

Once again, it’s Christmas for those who celebrate it, and a really boring Thursday on the Internet for those who don’t. In keeping with tradition, we’ve taken the kids to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Scenic Whitney Point, NY for a few days. This will coincide with a big drop-off in social media use on…

Kids Love Breaking Stuff

I visited SteelyKid’s first-grade class yesterday with several liters of liquid nitrogen. Earlier in the fall, they did a science unit on states of matter– solid, liquid, gas– and talked about it in terms of molecules being more spread out, etc. Looking at her homeworks, I said “Oh, damn, if it wasn’t the middle of…