Grow a Gardener, or At Least Influence a Future Eater

March 11, 2011

Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). I visited a flower and garden show a couple of weeks ago, where there were beautiful blooms inside while it snowed outside. I am itching to get out and play in the dirt.

I have been leafing through a nursery catalog (ooh, I think I’ll try a potted peach tree on the deck!), I have some seeds and at the garden show I bought lilies, and seed potatoes (where I’ll be trying the trashcan potatoes again).
Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Awareness Week!

March 2, 2011

Coming up later this month is Brain Awareness Week. Started in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives to educate kids and their families about the brain and brain science.

If you are near Washington, DC check out the exhibits and activities at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. If you can’t (like most of us) see what activities there are for kids at the Neuroscience for Kids website.

Also, download this week’s Parenting Within Reason podcast where Colin interviews Dr. Joanne Deak about her book Your Fantastic Elastic Brain.

Diversity and Engineering Week… A Bit of Rambling

February 20, 2011

Last week I decided to visit my daughter’s high school to check out the food options that were being offered on the last day of “Diversity Week.”  The various student groups were selling food to help finance their activities and I wanted to try it out!  I got there at about the time lunch was supposed to start, but it turned out that was delayed due to the assembly, which highlighted the various groups and clubs in the school (I heard some, but did not go in since it was ending).

So I sat in the cafeteria/commons area trying to read a book, but was distracted by the activity around me.  There was the table of PTSA moms of seniors who were going sell tickets for the prom and graduation parties, then there were the pair of kids who were signing (the school has a deaf ed program), plus the various groups setting up for food. Read the rest of this entry »

Tools for a Poopy Day

February 8, 2011

The past week has been a week of Mondays. It started with the Linguist rushing to get to school and the printer not printing. Then when I pulled the car out of the driveway and put it into drive, it decided to stay in neutral and start rolling down the hill. Fortunately it did get into gear! Oh, and the Linguist came home in full Katie Ka Boom mode (which lasted the whole week, and she never did tell us what was bothering her).

Then there was the issue with getting a prescription for BigBoy, for some reason even though it was called in by the office the day before there was no record when I came to pick it up. I had to have it called in again, and the pharmacy got it to me quickly.  Plus they had to put in the new insurance information in twice before it took.

A few weeks ago I took a tumble on the stairs and hit my head, plus bruised my ribs.  I gave the emergency department my spanking brand new insurance information, only to find out last week they sent the bill to the old insurance company. Of course they can’t process it!  (I am okay, it is just that due to inflammation bruised ribs actually hurt worse than broken ribs, which I have had in the past) Read the rest of this entry »

The Wonderful World of Statistics

January 29, 2011

We as parents stumble along trying to make sense of the world as we make sure our kids grow up healthy and educated. One thing that we often encounter is the mysterious world of statistics. Read the rest of this entry »

Extreme Parenting? My Reaction to Amy Chua

January 15, 2011

Another update: This is the Gwen Dewar article link that Elyse and Julia talk about in the 44th Episode of Parenting Within Reason podcast.

A parenting book review has caught my attention, and I just finished reading reactions about it a the New York Times. This started out as a comment there (not posted), but it became blog length. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast Updates!

December 30, 2010

It is a busy busy time. Even though kids are off school there seems to be less time for anything. This morning we dragged MathMan from his apartment and made him deal with some financial issues, and The Linguist was awakened from her sleep sometime this afternoon. BigBoy actually took it upon himself to take the bus to the mall and spent the cash he got from his grandmother on video games (note to newcomers: BigBoy has some developmental issues, and this is a big step towards independence… hubby was very worried that BigBoy was not home until he saw him walking towards the front door with a big grin on his face!).

So I am a bit slow to publish something because I am actually reading a very long paper… so there!

So while you are all looking for after Christmas/New Year’s bargains load up your mp3 players with the most recent “Parenting Within Reason” podcasts. Trust me, they are all wonderful! Colin is great at interviewing, and Rob is a great pod producer (and trust me, both take lots of hard work).

Let me introduce a few in the past month or so:

Monty Harper’s album the “Songs from the Science Frontier”

This is the entire album on podcast. Do not miss it… and do buy the album for your kids and play it!

Let Your Geek Shine Through!… The new regular podcast host, Julie (who started the RationalMom blog), reveals ultimate geekhood with a tour of Skywalker Ranch. Awesome! Plus the first part of an interview with Ken Denmead, editor of’s Geekdad blog.

That is followed by the continuation of that interview here, which includes book selections from Dale McGowan.

Whatever you do, always check for new podcasts, because they will always be interesting! One future podcast promises an interview with Evan Bernstein, one of the Skeptical Rogues from the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, which should already be on your mp3 playlist!

Edit: The Roundtable with Evan Bernstein is now available. Enjoy!

Bats are Cool!

November 27, 2010

Bats at Chris' dad's hummingbird feeder in Arizona

Colin interviews Mary Kay Carson, author of The Bat Scientists and Dr. Merlin Tuttle, one of the subjects of the book: Episode 36 of Parenting Within Reason.

Catch up with other episodes here.

Please visit Elyse at Skepchick

November 21, 2010

Read what she wrote today. She is one of the contributors to the Parenting Within Reason podcast. Read the rest of this entry »

Make Your Own Homeopathic Remedies … and Play Dough!

November 18, 2010

My fellow blogger, littlez2008, posted on how to respond on forums to those pushing homeopathy. So I suggested using the following recipe from a Usenet posting submitted by a “Naturally Cheap” person (who was actually me, but don’t tell anyone!). Just cut and paste into any discussion (you don’t need to tell the source, and you are quite welcome to also be “Naturally Cheap” anytime!): Read the rest of this entry »