Archive for April, 2008

Unlucky Duck

I am listening to my husband make calls to window repair companies for estimates.

Last night while we were at a family event, a duck shattered our bay window. Yes, a duck. Poor guy. As #6 was standing over its lifeless little body feeling very sad, I was telling her that at least it wasn’t Harold (of Harold & Margaret, the duck couple that tried to nest by our pond). She reminded me (in her 7-year-old language) that he still had value.

It was an important reminder.

RIP, unlucky duck.

What the heck?

What the heck?

Is that a duck?!

Is that a duck?!

Yep, a duck.

Yep, a duck.


April 30, 2008 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

Natural Selection Requires Intelligent Design or Barry White

Scientists define “natural selection” specifically as “those mechanisms that contribute to the selection of individuals that reproduce.” That is, in most cases, individuals that have “heritable traits.” I suppose the idea is that if you have some “heritable traits” (i.e. reproductive organs, Barry White albums, cologne, etc…) you have more of a chance to get to the point where you reproduce more of, well, things like you. I get that. I’ve done that – well, not the Barry White part. Sure enough, me and my offspring are scientific proof of natural selection.

Now, it strikes me that natural selection, as a scientific theory, is an observed effect of certain physical laws proved by experimentation rather than a cause. As we observe natural selection in action – most notably how microorganisms mutate to the point where they can survive exposure to antibiotics – we see the natural selection laws are indeed at work. All good, it’s science.

But, what causes natural selection? Why does it work? That’s where things get tricky. Step aside Barry White.

Somehow this highly complex stuff called DNA came into existence that is at the core of every living creature. DNA carries these “heritable” and “non-heritable” traits that drive natural selection in very specific, non-random sequences – also known as genetic code. DNA has very specific behaviors like replication for cell division, and it is formed in the reproduction process. DNA is entirely non-random and full of purpose. And, while natural selection may at its core be driven by random selection, reproduction, which makes natural selection possible, is entirely a system which at its core begs the notion of design – and intelligence.

April 19, 2008 at 2:15 am 4 comments

Grammar Nazi

I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I am a grammar Nazi. My husband came up with this loving nickname after I corrected one of his IM’s. No one should be subjected to editing when IM-ing. It’s a little wrong, and I acknowledge it. However, it’s part of who I am.

I am good at so very few measurable things. Sure, I’m nice and I can reach things on high shelves and my kids are turning out okay. But on the other hand, I am pretty horrible at housekeeping and very horrible at organization. I suck at sports (thank goodness that doesn’t matter anymore), and I am a little flighty. Doggone it, though, I am one heck of a speller and – dare I say – gifted in the grammatical arts.

Heaven forbid I should ever spell a word wrong or commit a usage crime. Most people wouldn’t notice, but those who do would jump all over me.  I’d deserve it.

April 19, 2008 at 12:34 am 1 comment

It Never Ends

I don’t know how many times I have heard my wife say, “Ugh! It never ends!” She says this almost always at night, after the day’s activities have come to a close and it is time to go to bed. She surveys the house and sees most everything she had worked on that day undone by our horde of fairly well-behaved, creative and/or messy children. Dishes, clothes, homework, toys, you name it – whatever it is, it’s out of place – again. It’s a pattern that just never ends. Frustrating? Yes. Discouraging? Always. Fixable? Sure. Intriguing? Often!

While most things are simply out of place and need to be put away, there is often some strange creation or mystery mess that baffles us. Who was behind it? What was the purpose? When did it happen? Where were we? These are all fair questions.

For instance, when exactly did the jar of bees wind up on the dining room table? Whose idea was it to string 200 feet of yarn between every hook and knob in our bedroom? Where were we when the neighbor kids were “helping” paint a “stool” with oils?

So, while the messes never seem to end, neither does the creativity that goes with them. Which, I suppose is more than a fair trade-off.

April 18, 2008 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

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