Clutter: How to Manage the Junk in Our Homes
House & Garden
Marta Randall - 12:19pm Sep 2, 1999 PDT (#726 of 734)
Exciting news from the world of science!
Wilford's The Mapmakers discusses a French expedition to Peru in the mid-Eighteenth century, and says:
[Pierre Bouguer] noticed ... that the value of gravity in the mountains ... was less than that in the plains not far away. He had expected the opposite to be the case, thinking that the huge mass of Andean rock would exert considerable added attraction on his pendulum. ... Bouguer's obsrevation was the first hint that the density of the Earth's crust is not homogeneous and, consequently, that the Earth's gravity is not fixed but varies from place to place on the surface ... The difference between observed values of gravity at one place and the mean value are called Bouguer anomalies.
What does this mean for us? Everything! That section of the kitchen counter where everything lands, and stays? It's because there is more gravity and it's harder to pick things up. My daughter's bedroom floor is a HUGE Bouguer anomaly. They're all over the place.
We're not slobs! It's gravity that's to blame!
The Grandparent Factor
Mothers Who Think
Kelly Walters - 06:04am Sep 1, 1999 PDT (# 15 of 52)
My maternal Grandmother was awesome, to a kid anyway. She was a tall, classy looking woman who had been through a marriage of abuse with my alcoholic Grandfather. He was hit by a drunk truck driver while staggering down the street, drunk himself. Sort of poetic justice.
She pulled herself together, worked her way out of the typing pool at Purdue university to work for the vice president, dated the dean of students. drove a convertable (this was in the 70's) and on birthdays everyone got a present. She made all of the grandkids feel special and at one time or another we each probably thought that secretly, we were the favorite grandchild. We kids called her mom instead of Grandma for reasons I've never figured out. She was diagnosed with parkinson's disease and was in a nursing home by the age of 51 and died choking on an apple at the age of 52.
I remember visiting her at the nursing home and I think that it was best that she died, it was awful seeing such a vibrant woman in a lifeless, sterile, cold place with old people, when her life had really just begun. Its horrible to think that my mom or her two sisters didn't take her in. She was engaged to her dean by the time she was diagnosed with parkinson's and broke it off so he wouldn't have to go through another tragedy, since his wife had died of cancer. He loved her very much and was 100% willing to marry her in spite of the disease. This ran long, but I've never written anything about her, nor does anyone in the family say much abou her anymore, so this is a tribute of sorts to my Grandma. This is for you mom.
Are all "gifted and talented" students REALLY gifted, or are all the other students simply way behind and dealing with their mediocrity?
Jon Jude - 08:18am Sep 3, 1999 PDT (# 57 of 57)
I spent many years teaching students in theater, music and art programs. Most were very successful in traditional educational schemes. In fact, the discipline required to excel in the arts is the same discipline required in academics and athletics. That statement just feeds the myth that "when they shook the school, all the loose marbles rolled down to the arts."
Gifted and talented sees to be a misnomer growing from political correctness. Throughout my education we were labeled as "accelerated' by the schools and "those really smart kids" by the students. Sometimes it was a compliment, sometimes a pejorative, sometimes simply an adjective. It reflected an advanced level of understanding, discipline and study skills usually backed up by highly supportive and motivated parents. To call that a "gift" dismisses years of positive family influences and makes it seem as if it is a matter of predestination.
Truly gifted and talented children display their abilities without regard to academic success or failure. Most of the TAG kids would benefit from a system that didn't strictly correlate academic achievement with age and grade number.
A great "dope slap moment' in my life came when my design teacher and mentor in grad school one day before graduation sat me down and said he wished he had one-tenth of my talent. Then he said he wished I had one-tenth of his work ethic.