conuly: Fuzzy picture of the Verrazano Bridge. Quote in Cursive Hebrew (bridge)
Which is now several situations and counting.

Evangeline was somewhat interested in it because a classmate of hers moved to Egypt a few months into the school year. Ana mostly rolled her eyes, to which I said that although I know she doesn't think it's interesting now (or maybe she does - she can be SUCH a teenager sometimes about letting us know she's interested in ANYthing!) she'll be glad when she's a grown-up to be able to say she knew about this as it was happening. She doesn't believe me when I say this is a very exciting time to be alive, but I think she'll understand when she's older. (She doesn't have a friend in Egypt, after all, unlike her sister. Evangeline is torn between hoping her friend saw all the excitement and worrying that he and his family aren't safe.)

We talked about it, and we went over to our free Doctors Without Borders map on the wall to see where all these countries are, and it occurs to me that because I read my news online Ana is missing out on something important. She's not reading the newspaper. Doesn't watch TV news much either.

My father was a history and current events geek. I mean seriously. There is a reason I know more world capitals than is quite reasonable. (I can assure you, I have never in my life needed to know that the capital of Suriname is Parimaribo. For crying out loud, spellcheck doesn't even recognize it! I have found memorizing 7! to be more useful*, you know!)

So he read the paper every day, and we talked about it a lot, and he was always well-versed on what was going on in the world. If we ever had a question about the political situation or recent events in some small country nobody else had even heard of, he would be able to answer it.

But I read my news online, and Jenn does too I guess (saving trees, of course), and we haven't been talking about this at dinner, much less incessantly. Their education is lacking, and I need to find time for it. It's probably not that useful to know more capitals than you can count, but it *is* useful to have a basic understanding of current events. It's not something you do once a week on Friday.

*My sixth (or maybe seventh) grade math teacher believed in reviewing old material on every single test. This meant that after we learned how to do factorials, we got tested on them every few weeks, one question per test. For some reason she picked 7! several times in a row. This caused me to do two things. First, I figured out that my calculator had a factorial button and it wasn't necessary to work it out step by step. I'm not sure anybody else noticed this. And second, I learned that 7! is 5040. I'll know that to the day I die, and it has come in handy exactly once, in college, where I used that fact to accidentally make a professor (in Classics) think I was some sort of math genius. I'm not. The number is simply emblazoned upon my mind, and when he mentioned that one or another thinker thought 5040 was the ideal population, the phrase "Why, that's seven factorial!" popped out before I could stop it. Sure, it's only once that this random factoid has been useful, but as I never expected it could be useful to have that memorized I think I've beaten the odds there. Even once means it's come in handy far more often than I ever would have anticipated.
conuly: (Default)
First, let me say that I'm told the previous article in diabetes IS, in fact, really bad. My apologies.

One on the avoidance of the term "rape" for children who clearly WERE raped.

On the trend of diagnosing children with bipolar disorder - worth reading

A 1960s parody of commercials

The Pope has more or less approved condom use by male prostitutes to prevent the spread of AIDS. This is one of those situations where, if you can get inside the logic that leads to "condoms for male hookers = yes, condoms for married couples = no" it makes internal sense. I guess.

On good airport security

Canada wants more immigrants.


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For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived

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Cigarette Giants in Global Fight on Tighter Rules

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Catholics in Belgium Start Parishes of Their Own

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On Nov. 4, Anderson Cooper did the country a favor. He expertly deconstructed on his CNN show the bogus rumor that President Obama’s trip to Asia would cost $200 million a day. This was an important “story.” It underscored just how far ahead of his time Mark Twain was when he said a century before the Internet, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” But it also showed that there is an antidote to malicious journalism — and that’s good journalism....


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For Saudi Women, Biggest Challenge Is Getting to Play

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Small Cheesemaker Defies F.D.A. Over Recall

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I.R.S. Sits on Data Pointing to Missing Children

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conuly: (Default)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/world/middleeast/31children.html

I can't think of a way to sum it up, so please, just go click and read.

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Happy New Year.

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