Monday, August 22, 2005

Raising Boys

a) For those with no children - this is totally hysterical!
b) For those who already have children past this age, this is hilarious.
c) For those who have children this age, this is not funny.
d) For those who have children nearing this age, this is a warning.
e) For those who have not yet had children, this is birth control.

The following came from an anonymous Mother in Austin, Texas...Things I've learned from my Boys (honest and not kidding):

1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.
2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
3.) A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a
paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.
5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a
long way.
6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.
8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
9.) A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.
10.) Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old Boy.
11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
12.) Super glue is forever.
13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
15.) VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.
19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.
20.) The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.
21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.
23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
24.) 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.
25.) Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

100 Things About Me

Thanks to Gina and Heather for the inspiration to do this!

1. My name is Katie.
2. I was born in Phoenix, AZ.
3. I grew up in two houses in Tempe, AZ.
4. I left Arizona when I went to college outside Boston.
5. I always thought I’d return to Arizona after graduating from college.
6. Instead, I met my husband at college and we settled in Massachusetts near his family.
7. I lived and went to school in New Zealand for three months in 1982 (6th grade).
8. I toured China for 4 weeks in 1984 in areas that had never seen white tourists before.
9. My grandmother instilled in me a love of travel and learning about other cultures and societies.
10. My parents are my personal role models.
11. I have two children, both boys.
12. I’ve always wanted a daughter.
13. I wouldn’t trade my sons for anything.
14. I grew up with dogs and always assumed I’d have dogs as an adult.
15. With my husband, we’ve always had two cats! ☺
16. My family is scattered across the country.
17. I often wish I lived closer to my parents, brother, and sister.
18. I would love to have a retirement home on Nantucket.
19. I am a Leo, though I doubt anyone would guess that.
20. I can sunburn while sitting in complete shade.
21. I prefer the heat of an Arizona summer to the cold of a New England winter.
22. I enjoy quilting.
23. I’m working on cross-stitching all five of the Celtic season designs by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum.
24. I love taking tons of pictures.
25. I don’t enjoy scrapbooking at all.
26. I made my own baby announcements when my second child was born.
27. I hated my given name as a teenager, but I love it now.
28. I played violin in a concert at Carnegie Hall.
29. I often wish I still had time to play my violin.
30. I love musical theater.
31. I’ve seen Into the Woods on Broadway.
32. I’ve seen Les Miserables four times.
33. I’m addicted to buying baby things.
34. I’d buy every pair of Robeez available in every size if I had unlimited money.
35. I also have an addiction to buying coats, both for me and my kids.
36. I bought a house at 25 years old.
37. My first car (in 1993) was a 1986 Toyota Camry.
38. My current car is a 2001 Honda Odyssey.
39. I have way too many pictures done at The Picture People.
40. I was born in the year of the pig.
41. I want to have breast reduction surgery.
42. One of my dreams is to go back to school to become a labor and delivery nurse.
43. I already have a Master’s degree in Training and Development.
44. I went to graduate school at Lesley University.
45. I have a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations.
46. I went to undergraduate school at Tufts University.
47. I won several Math and Science awards in high school.
48. I’m a stay-at-home mom and love it.
49. I have no desire to go back to the work I was doing before having kids.
50. The last big splurge my husband and I made before getting pregnant was a 10 day vacation to London and Scotland.
51. I hate wearing pantyhose.
52. I love buying shoes.
53. I own way too many books.
54. I am the first-born in my family.
55. I am celebrating my 9th anniversary this month.
56. My one regret about our wedding is skimping on the photography.
57. I can’t imagine being married to anyone else.
58. I was 25 when I got married.
59. I started dating my husband my junior year of college.
60. I love playing card games.
61. I need some alone time most days or I get really grumpy.
62. I love to cook.
63. I don’t get to cook as often as I’d like.
64. I often subject my family to experiments with new recipes.
65. I collect funky serving dishes and bowls.
66. I had braces from the age of 10 until 13.
67. I need them again.
68. I got glasses in the 6th grade.
69. That was probably a couple of years after I actually started needing them..
70. Fresh strawberries are my favorite fruit.
71. I love my husband’s beef stew.
72. I manage the budget in our household.
73. I have a hard time making new friends.
74. I hate being at parties where I don’t know anyone.
75. I wish I had more time to do my nails each week.
76. I’ve breastfed both my kids.
77. I’m a borderline lactivist when it comes to my own kids.
78. I’d never presume to tell others how they have to feed their kids.
79. I just want to be able to nurse my own kids without hassles from anyone.
80. I can’t pump very well, so my kids don’t often get bottles.
81. I refuse to ever buy any formula.
82. My favorite color is purple.
83. I collect teddy bears.
84. I actually like most of my family.
85. I like most of my in-laws, too.
86. I have a fake eardrum in my right ear.
87. Because of that, I have a very mild hearing loss on the right.
88. I have an acoustic neuroma in my left ear.
89. Because of that, I have a severe hearing loss on the left.
90. I will lose all hearing on the left after the surgery to remove the neuroma.
91. I’m addicted to email.
92. I actually enjoy grocery shopping.
93. I use a Palm to keep my life organized.
94. I also have paper lists all over the house to help me remember things.
95. My favorite book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
96. I’m currently reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
97. I enjoy historical novels.
98. I read every opportunity I get.
99. I’ve recently rediscovered our local library, which is saving my tons of money.
100. I’m proud of the person I am.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Jonathan Alter - Newsweek, 8/15/05

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Offering ID as an alternative to evolution is a cruel joke. It walks and talks like science but in the lab performs worse than medieval alchemy.


Aug. 15, 2005 issue - A teacher in Kansas, where war over Darwin in the schools is still raging, calls the theory of intelligent design "creationism in a cheap tuxedo." Great line, but unfair to the elegant tailoring of the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based think tank that has almost singlehandedly put intelligent design on the map. Eighty years after the Scopes "monkey trial," the threat to science and reason comes less from fundamentalists who believe the earth was created in six days than from sophisticated branding experts and polemical Ph.D. s who are clever enough to refrain from referring to God or even the Creator, and have now found a willing tool in the president of the United States.

Lest you think this is merely of academic interest, consider the stakes: the Pentagon last week revealed that it is spending money to train certain scientists how to write screenplays for thrillers related to their specialties. Why? Because the status of science has sunk so low that the government needs these disciplines to become sexy again among students or the brain drain will threaten national security. One of the reasons we have fewer science majors is the pernicious right-wing notion that conventional biology is vaguely atheistic.

Now President Bush has given that view a boost. When Bush was asked about intelligent design last week, he answered, "Both sides ought to be properly taught... so people can understand what the debate is about." This sounds reasonable until you realize that, as the president's own science adviser, John H. Marburger III, admits, there is no real debate. "Intelligent design is not a scientific concept," Marburger told The New York Times, committing a bit of candor that will presumably earn him a trip to the White House woodshed.

Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute claims ID uses a scientifically valid "inference to the best explanation" to back up its theories. That might be good enough for a graduate course in the philosophy of science (and the ACLU should not prevent it from being discussed in high-school humanities and philosophy classes), but the idea of its being offered as an alternative to evolution in ninth-grade biology is a cruel joke. Its basic claim—that the human cell is too complex to be explained by natural selection—is unproven and probably unprovable. ID walks like science and talks like science but, so far, performs in the lab worse than medieval alchemy.

It's not God who's the problem but ID's assault on Darwin. Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller (who attends mass every week) says the "unspoken message" peddled by the Discovery Institute is that evolution is the single shakiest theory in science. In fact, despite its flaws, it remains among the most durable theories in all of science.

Even as the president helps pit faith against science in the classroom, popes and other clerics have long known that religion and evolution are not truly at odds. Evolution does not, for instance, challenge the idea that the universe began with a spark of divinity. Darwin himself wrote movingly of God. Only the scientific process—not the scientist—must be agnostic. Long before Darwin, enlightened Christians understood that religion and science are best kept in separate realms. In the fifth century, for instance, Saint Augustine criticized other Christians who "talk nonsense" about the laws of nature.

The most clever thing about intelligent design is that it doesn't sound like nonsense. It conjures up Cambridge, not Kansas. The name evokes Apple software, the MoMA gift shop or a Frank Gehry chair. The scholarly articles are often well written and provocative. But the science within these papers has been demolished over and over by other scientists. As Miller explains, science is perhaps the last true marketplace of ideas. After a decade in circulation, intelligent design has failed the market test. So now its backers are seeking the equivalent of a government bailout, by going around their scientific peers to Red State politicians trying to slip religious dogma into the classroom.

While the Discovery Institute calls God the "designer," to appear less creationist, some of its biggest funders are serious fundamentalists. An internal fund-raising memo leaked in 1999 laid out its theological agenda and intention to use ID as a "wedge" to triumph in the culture wars.

Last week Fox News lent a hand. Bill O'Reilly says that the National Academy of Science is guilty of "fascism" for arguing that ID should not take up valuable class time in high-school biology. (Not to be outdone, Dr. James Dobson compared embryonic-stem-cell research to "Nazi experiments.") These are the same modest gents who decry relativism and curricular inclusiveness in the humanities, where it is far more justifiable than in the sciences.

Bush's policy of politicizing science—retreating from the field of facts and evidence on everything from evolution to global warming to the number of cell lines available to justify his 2001 stem-cell compromise—will eventually wreak havoc with his legacy. Until then, like his masquerade-ball friends, the president will get more clever at harming science while pretending to promote it. Monkey see, monkey do.

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.