Monday, June 25, 2007

Marshall says Thanks

I donated a percentage of my sales during the month of May to my friend's son Marshall to help buy him a therapy swing. For those who are interested, here's the video of Marshall in the swing.

My efforts were part of a larger fundraiser which eventually resulted in Marshall getting not only the swing, but also a Listening Program and possibly a trampoline too. These are all great things for his family and will help them a lot in meeting his sensory needs. Thanks to all who helped!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tooele Is A Potential Gold Mine

Check this out! Wind power!

Tooele is constantly home to high winds. It's a potential gold mine!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Innumeracy Touches The GOP Presidential Debates

Mitt Romney needs some "sets education."

(As if that's not the very, very oldest set theory joke in existence. But it's still funny.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Lack of Hand Skills

Instapundit has been leading a discussion bemoaning the lack of hand skills in us young'uns (well, OK, maybe not me-- the crowd he's talking about is around 10 years younger than me). I have some theories as to why today's youth lack hand skills. I blame foreign trade.

My husband's an "old-school" kind of guy. He grew up playing with broken electronic devices, taking them apart to see how they worked. When he got out of the military, he went to work at an audio/video repair shop fixing VCRs TVs, and DVD players. But he didn't actually fix most items, just took them apart to see what was wrong with them. That wasn't because he was incapable of fixing it-- it was because it wasn't cost-effective to fix. Most of the electronic equipment that came through his shop was cheaper to replace than to order a $10 part and pay him to install it. With DVD players on the market that cost less than a shop's minimum labor charge, there's no point in fixing anything anymore.

Myself, I have the ability to make over a dress, taking it apart down to its component parts and re-making it into a different dress. Back when dresses were not cheap, this was a valuable skill. Not so much anymore, when you can go down to the dollar store and buy spangly knit things off the rack. Who would pay me a couple hundred dollars to make over a dress, when for half that they could have a new one? And who would even want to make over a dress for their own personal use, when wearing such a dress would result in them being the object of scorn?

I agree, I think it's ridiculous when people can't use a screwdriver or hammer to put a drawer pull back on or hang a picture. But our youth, following in the footsteps of their parents, are foregoing the use of hand skills for... whatever it is that today's youth specialize in. (I'm not sure what that is, but it's gotta be something.) I think that if you are unabashedly for free trade, you can't turn around and decry people letting those with hand skills in foreign countries use their comparative advantage-- and losing our local hand skills in the process.

Perhaps some protectionism is in order here.

UPDATE: OMG (or should that be OMH* since I'm in Utah?) I got an Instalanche! And I thought it was exciting when Pejman linked to me that one time... Wow!

* In Utah they say "Oh My Heck."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

More Parentnoia

Yet another story about a tragic incident, now criminalized For The Good Of The Children (tm).

Link via Instapundit, who calls it "The Criminalization Of Napping".

UPDATE: Evidently there's more to the story than that: the babysitter was drunk.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

It's Not Paranoia If They Really Are Out To Get You

From the DDI Vantage (Early Intervention) newsletter:
Children fall and get hurt. Whether it is from learning how to walk, run and jump or tripping and falling on the ground, it is a fact of life. Some situations naturally leave more opportunities for children to get hurt. A few of those situations are:
  • When parents are busy or absent.
  • When children are not involved in planned activities.
  • In the early morning or other times when they are sleepy or tired.
  • During field trips in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • When unsafe equipment is available.
  • When potential poisons are not stored properly.
Here are four ways to prevent injuries:
  • Create a safe place for children to play
  • Use prevention strategies
  • Prepare for emergencies
  • Teach safety to children and parents

See, things like this are why I'm so paranoid that people are judging me and my parenting skills by my kids not being perfect. The mere fact that they would lump in not storing poisons and not supervising your child with innocuous things like sending your kid on field trips, or even things out of your control like it being early morning, and then make suggestions how to prevent these things, makes me scared that they're judging me for every little thing I fail to do, whether I can do it or not. And this isn't a parent newsletter written by ignorant people. This newsletter is written by early education specialists and social workers. People who have not only the power, but the duty to turn you in to the state if they think you're neglecting your kids. That someone like that would lump the time of day in with active neglect troubles me deeply.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go talk to all the clock-makers to persuade them to take out early morning, for the Safety Of The Children.

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Someone You Should Know

I would drive a hundred miles to see a lecture by this guy.

He came to USU when I was a grad student and I attended his lecture. It was amazing. The guy took his pants off. At a MATH lecture. I don't think I've ever had another occasion to see pants taken off associated with math. He's the kind of performer that female mathematicians would take their panties off (without removing their pants) just to throw them at the stage.

If he comes anywhere near you, you have to go attend his lecture. (Just don't get too close if he's taking off his pants.)