Tweets for 11-23-2007

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Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks for chaos and logos
and impli­cate order;
for dark mat­ter, bright galax­ies,
and non­lo­cal con­nec­tions; for crys­tals and con­ti­nents;
for Lucy’s skull and Mary Leakey’s
foot­prints in vol­canic ash; for Thales’ water,
Her­a­cli­tus’ fire, and Pythagore­an forms; for the
Indi­an zero, alge­bra, and algo­rithms; for the
oscil­la­tions of the Yin and the Yang; for
acupunc­ture, Su Sung’s astro­nom­i­cal clock, and
Huang Tao P’i’s tex­tile tech­nol­o­gy; for Ara­bic
alchemists on the Old Silk Road and Ibn Sina’s
Canon of Med­i­cine; for Euclid and New­ton and “God
play­ing dice”; for Kepler’s snowflake and Kekule’s
dream; for Mendel’s monastery peas and the genet­ic
Tetra­gram­ma­ton on the spi­ral stair­case of life;
for frac­tals, ferns and fall foliage; for
cater­pil­lars and cocoons; for the infant’s first cry;
for Pachebel’s canon; for stained glass win­dows,
Leeuwenhoek’s micro­scope, and the Galileo
probe; for the World Wide Web to help us become
con­scious of cos­mic inter­con­nect­ed­ness; but most
of all, let us give thanks for the twin pas­sions
which make us ful­ly human–the yearn­ing to
tran­scend the bound­aries of time and space by
learn­ing and by lov­ing.

Invo­ca­tion, by Ingrid Shafer
For the open­ing of the Okla­homa Acad­e­my of Sci­ence on 7 Novem­ber 1997

A friend emailed the piece to me sev­er­al years ago. I want­ed to link to it, but couldn’t find a copy of it on the web, so I made one (with Dr. Shafer’s per­mis­sion, of course). Today seems a good time to move it from the old ver­sion of my site into Word­Press.

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Reading

So, the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas want me to talk about what read­ing means to me or my child. How about both?
Katie reading
You might have noticed that I talk, a lot, about read­ing. I think Now Read­ing shows at least four five of the books that I’m read­ing right now, and that’s a fair­ly nor­mal num­ber. I don’t include my text­books, because they’d be there too long!

Read­ing is one of the things that I can still do, most of the time, despite the fibro and oth­er crap. I can’t always man­age to read on a screen, or fol­low some­thing like a text­book. For­tu­nate­ly, though, fic­tion by some of my favorite authors—especially an old favorite nov­el, like Part­ners in Necessity—is eas­i­er, and is a very good way to dis­tract myself from the pain for a while.

I haven’t talked about it much, but Katie has had increas­ing health prob­lems over the last year. Her migraines are no longer man­aged, despite tak­ing high lev­els of pre­ven­tive med­ica­tions. The res­cue med­ica­tions aren’t work­ing well because she has to take them too often. She had anoth­er round of sleep stud­ies, too, and a new neu­rol­o­gist has been try­ing dif­fer­ent med­ica­tions to help her get a decent night’s sleep (which should help the migraines and oth­er prob­lems). So far, any­thing that helps her sleep despite severe rest­less leg syn­drome leaves her zomb­i­fied the rest of the time. Provig­il, even tak­en twice a day, can’t keep her awake and aware enough to func­tion in school. She’s lit­er­al­ly sleep­ing like a cat, 14–18 or hours a day, just nev­er deeply. Her dark cir­cles have cir­cles, now.

But she can still read, too. Slow­ly, some days, and going back to re-read some pages, but she gets the same com­fort from it as I do. You know she’s mine when you real­ize that she’s nev­er with­out at least one, and often two, books in her purse.

I start­ed read­ing to her dur­ing my preg­nan­cy, along with talk­ing and singing and play­ing music for her. I read out loud to her from her first week out of the womb, too, some­times while breast­feed­ing, oth­er times while just being with her. She talked at an ear­ly age, and was very clear. She learned to read quick­ly, too, and has always been very opin­ion­at­ed (where did she get that?) about her choice of read­ing mat­ter. One of her favorite things about leav­ing the pub­lic school sys­tem was being free of that damned Accel­er­at­ed Read­er pro­gram and its ridicu­lous restric­tions!

It’s no sur­prise that I hope my nephews and niece are read­ers, too—although that’s far less like­ly, since their par­ents aren’t, real­ly. My broth­er used to brag that he’d nev­er read any whole book, even those assigned for class­es. (I nev­er under­stood that being a point of pride, even if he did get good grades.) My sis­ter has nev­er read any­thing that wasn’t required. I don’t know their spous­es very well, but I’m fair­ly sure they aren’t recre­ation­al read­ers, either. At least the grand­ba­bies have our moth­er (their Nana), who got me start­ed read­ing, and will sit for hours with any child, read­ing book after book (or the same book, over and over) patient­ly.1 I’m not close to my sib­lings, geo­graph­i­cal­ly or oth­er­wise, so I don’t have many chances to influ­ence the babies. I can give them books, though, and hope to catch their fan­cy so they ask to have them read!

Being a flu­ent read­er gives one more of an advan­tage that any oth­er skill you can give your child. Read­ers can use that skill to learn absolute­ly any­thing else. They can explore math, sci­ence, crit­i­cal think­ing, his­to­ry, cur­rent events, art—you name it. If you teach them to read, get them in the habit of doing so, and teach them to judge their sources well, you’ve giv­en them an incred­i­ble start on life.


1 Mom (and I!) did read to my sib­lings, but nei­ther of them ever want­ed to sit still long.

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What do you think?

Hmm — what do you think of this PED3 rotat­ing iPhone/iTouch stand? We aren’t about to get any iPhones, but Sam has been drool­ing over the iTouch.

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Ooo, I Want! New Putumayo CD

I love Putumayo’s CDs, and we have at least ten or so. I’ve yet to hear one of their com­pi­la­tions that I didn’t enjoy.

Celtic Dreamland CDBut I real­ly, real­ly adore their Celtic col­lec­tions, and I’m a big goofy nut about lul­la­bies. I don’t know why—maybe it’s because nobody sang them to me—but I can’t get enough of them as an adult.1

With that in mind, you can bet­ter under­stand why I just went nuts over the ecard with snip­pets of three songs from Celtic Dream­land that just arrived in my email. And ooo! There are more sam­ples over here!

And hey, I like you peo­ple, so I’m shar­ing the joy with you.


1 Be warned: I do sing to babies. Anybody’s babies. I can’t resist snug­gling a sleepy baby and lul­laby­ing away.

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Some of Today’s News in Atlanta

I man­aged to avoid the crime news, which is always hor­rif­ic. Okay, I most­ly avoid­ed it. The three boys under 10 who are being charged with kid­nap­ping and rape1 is get­ting to me. That poor lit­tle girl!

Transgender candidate misled voters, suit alleges2

Actu­al­ly, these guys seem to be suing every­body but the dog­catch­er down there in Riverdale.

What does Ms. Bruce’s gen­der have to do with how she’ll per­form as a city coun­cil mem­ber? Noth­ing, of course Ir’s been brought up because a cou­ple of sore losers just won’t let go. Ass­hats!

Trumpet the news: Elephant is going to be a mom3

But she won’t deliv­er until some­where around April 1, 2009! 22 months of preg­nan­cy. Dum­bo nev­er men­tioned that lit­tle fact.

In metro Atlanta, profile of those in need during the holidays has changed4

It isn’t just dur­ing the hol­i­days, either. Food banks across the coun­try are see­ing more and more work­ing peo­ple who need help. They’re hav­ing to reduce the amount of food giv­en to each per­son or fam­i­ly because the demand has out­paced the sup­ply so much.

I can’t say that I’m sur­prised. I know too many peo­ple who are just bare­ly scrap­ing by, and it isn’t because they’re irre­spon­si­ble. It’s just how the Amer­i­can econ­o­my is, and some­thing needs to change very quick­ly.


1 http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/cobb/stories/2007/11/19/assault_1119.html

2 http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/clayton/stories/2007/11/19/riverdalesuit_1120_web.html?cxntnid=amn112007e

3 http://www.ajc.com/living/content/living/stories/2007/11/19/elephant_1120.html?cxntnid=amn112007e

4 http://www.ajc.com/holiday/content/holidayguide/stories/2007/11/19/food_1120.html?cxntnid=amn112007e

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Study: ADHD kids’ brain areas develop slower — CNN.com

Expert: Find­ing shows bio­log­i­cal basis for atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der

Cru­cial parts of brains of chil­dren with atten­tion deficit dis­or­der devel­op more slow­ly than oth­er young­sters’ brains, a phe­nom­e­non that ear­li­er brain-imag­ing research missed, a new study says.

ADHD Brain Maturation

Devel­op­ing more slow­ly in ADHD young­sters — the lag can be as much as three years — are brain regions that sup­press inap­pro­pri­ate actions and thoughts, focus atten­tion, remem­ber things from moment to moment, work for reward and con­trol move­ment. That was the find­ing of researchers, led by Dr. Philip Shaw of the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health, who report­ed the most detailed study yet on this prob­lem in Monday’s online edi­tion of Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences.

I’ve gone from seri­ous­ly not believ­ing that ADHD exist­ed at all, to being forced to under­stand its real­i­ty because my life part­ner, his kids, and my daugh­ter all have it. These find­ings are a major advance!

I still know that plen­ty of peo­ple (par­tic­u­lar­ly bad par­ents) use ADHD as an excuse, but that can hap­pen with any dis­or­der, real or imag­ined.

There’s fur­ther infor­ma­tion at the Nation­al Insti­tute for Men­tal Health, where the research was done.

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So Cute! But What Is It?


I’m in love with this lit­tle pup­py, thanks to Pre­cious Jen. But what kind of dog is it? Any­body know?

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Happy Birthday James!

I hope you have a great day! Y’all go wish James (word­can­dlemage on LJ) a hap­py birth­day, please?

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Sam Fixed It!

Before caf­feine, even. I had a nekkid GeekHero!

Thanks, sweet­ie 🙂

Now to see if I can focus long enough to get this new tem­plate work­ing through­out the site.

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