Personal

Category archives for Personal

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…

Science-y Gifts for Kids

One of the questions from a caller when I was on the “Think” show was about how to keep kids interested in science. As I said, the issue isn’t so much creating in interest as working to not squelch the interest that’s already there. Taking kids to cool places like zoos and science museums is…

SteelyKid, Future President

We flew down to Florida Friday afternoon, on a Southwest flight to Tampa. While waiting to board, SteelyKid of course struck up a conversation with basically everybody in the vicinity, but mostly an older Asian woman who was behind us. That woman also ended up in the seat directly behind SteelyKid. As this was a…

Me Dot Com

You may not know this, but I have a book coming out in about a week. I know, I’ve been pretty quiet about it… Anyway, this being the modern era, I thought there probably ought to be some sort of central web presence for the book, but unfortunately, it shares a name with a vacuum…

Thanksgiving 2014

SteelyKid’s first-grade class has been doing a bunch of Thanksgiving stuff. A lot of this is the lies-to-children version of the first Thanksgiving, and some of that is a little dubious (they had a dress-up “feast” on Tuesday, where SteelyKid was an Indian with a construction-paper vest and feathered headband, and oh, the parental eye-rolling…).…