Plus don’t forget to check out books I have for sale…not too soon to be thinking about Sacramental Season 2014…and I will be out of town a lot from mid-March through mid-May, so…just sayin’.
A rather chaotic week, school, wise. There was so much extra stuff going on, it was a challenge to buckle down and focus, even with the little that we do. But there was Art!
The 9-year old finished this, which he’s been working on in his art class. (A copy of this) It took three sessions – one of drawing and two of painting. The teacher helped him draw the bed, and I’m sure advised him on his color mixing (that’s what she’s there for after all!), but other than that, it’s all his. I like it, but I’m more astonished that he had the patience to sit for an hour at a time carefully mixing colors and painting…..
One of the extras was a special science center class on dissection. The 9-year old’s conflicted with basketball practice, so I let him choose which he would attend and since his class would be dissecting a flower and an owl pellet – both of which he has done before – he voted for basketball. The 12-year old did an earthworm and a frog, and as per our tradition, taught us about it the next day.
I do think that we’ll tackle a cow’s eye at home at some point. I may have written about this before, but it’s an experience I remember very clearly from 5th grade – the inky vitreous humor and the lens that surprised us by being, well, a lens, whole, coherent and clear.
Back in the podcast business this week. I finally got a new mp3 player and once again, I’ve cunningly associated exercise with listening to BBC Radio 4 podcasts in my subconscious, thereby making exercise something I actually look forward to. Since my last burst of energy a couple of years ago, they have put all of the fantastic In Our Time online, available for downloading. This should take me through a few years. This week, I listened to:
Social Darwinism (Very balanced, did not exculpate Darwin himself, as is often done)
Battle of Tours (Rather mythbusting, and a subject I would like to explore a little further, as the scholars on the program unanimously declared the Battle of Tours to be No Big Deal – any presumed impact being something created by later historians, beginning with Gibbon. Their argument was that the incursion was essentially a booty-seeking action – that this was how the Muslims supported their holdings in Europe at that point, before they had developed a system of taxation and so on. That it – there was no greater imperial, territory-aggrandizing purpose. They say. But as I pondered this later I thought – well, what they didn’t really consider was the question of what would have happened if, indeed, the Muslims had won the Battle of Tours – are they saying that they would have simply looted and returned across the Pyrenees to Iberia? Hard to believe.)
I also like The Food Programme, Making History and several others. One of my favorite BBC radio programs, The Early Music Show, isn’t available to listen to as a podcast, only on demand, I suppose because of rights issues.
Speaking of The Food Programme, I was telling the boys that from one of the shows I’d listened to, I’d learned how differently the British pronounce “yogurt” – it’s more, “yaw-gurt.” My 9-year old didn’t say anything and then looked at me. “You listened to a whole show about how “yogurt” is pronounced?”
Er, well, not exactly. Not really. But to his ears, probably about as exciting.
(Edited to add – this blog post points out, via a Catherine Tate sketch, that pronouncing it with a long “o” is a part of British pronunciation – if you’re posh, apparently.
I was first introduced to Aga Saga woman by my daughter, who said “She reminds me of you!”
We finally watched the Nova special on the dome of the Florence Duomo – I highly recommend it. Quite interesting discussion of solving the mystery of how this enormous edifice – the largest brick and mortar dome in the world – was conceived and designed by Brunelleschi, a goldsmith. Among various experts, the program features Fr. Timothy Verdon, the American priest and art historian who is a Canon of the Cathedral.
Many dome-related rabbit holes were pursued as a result.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!