Saintly Sundays: All The Prayers of the Bible

A complete PDF list of all 650 prayers listed in the Bible. What a fascinating study this would be!

Advertisements

Science & Art: BBC Nature’s Tree of Life Poster

Scout Kid has been very interested lately in the concept of ancestors and how old species are. Trying to explain the phylogenetic tree of life to a four-year-old isn’t the easiest, but BBC Nature has this cool, free-download poster, which is a place to start. I think he might still be a little young for exploring the Tree of Life Web Project, but I have it waiting in the wings for when he’s a little more literate.

Film Fridays: Haute Cuisine

Haute Cuisine (based on the true story of Danièle Delpeuch) tells the story of Hortense Laborie, appointed to be personal chef to the President of France. Before we get to the nitty-gritty of the film, can I just say that the food in the movie was so beautiful? I wanted to cook the whole time I was watching it. And eat. I really wanted to eat.

Role of Women: I loved the main female character. She is gracious, competent, passionate, staunch. She’s unafraid of adventures, travelling from the President’s private kitchen to a remote Antarctic base. She’s an artist. She’s a little bit unruly, running the kitchen her own way despite the strict rules that surround her. She’s wise.
Sexualisation of Women: There are some coarse moments in the film, a few jokes from male characters about the only woman around. Broadly, though, Hortense is valued for her character, personality, and talent, not her body. And even when she is confronted with sexism, she is not intimidated by it– troubled by it, disdainful of it, but not intimidated.
Bechdel Test Pass/Fail: Pass. Hortense has conversations with the President’s secretary (not sure she was named; it was all subtitles so I might just have missed it), and with the journalist in Antarctica.
Male:Female Ratio: There’s only four or five female characters. This is part of the plot, of course, as Hortense forges her own path through the male-dominated world of the palais kitchens. I think they did a good job of not overemphasizing it; that is, the plot was more about the rules and restrictions of the palais versus Hortense’s passionate, artistic cooking style, but still.

 

Dark Skies

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NPP/news/earth-at-night.html#.Vsu_fHQrK2y
Composite map of the world assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

When we were on our honeymoon, the Partner in Crime and I visited a planetarium in Seattle one day. The show happened to be about light pollution, and it’s been nagging at the back of my mind ever since. The fixes are so simple, yet the scale of the problem is so large that it seems unlikely it will ever be addressed. Yet think of what we could all gain! Aside from the positive effects on wildlife and energy usage, what a magic to once again be able to look up and see the Milky Way from inhabited areas.

Here is the Internation Dark-Sky Association’s tips of minimizing light pollution: “To minimize the harmful effects of light pollution, lighting should:

  • Only be on when needed
  • Only light the area that needs it
  • Be no brighter than necessary
  • Minimize blue light emissions
  • Be fully shielded (pointing downward).”

That’s it! If I ever become mayor of somewhere, we’re definitely going to certify our town as an International Dark Sky Place. I can give out my campaign fliers on star maps…

Food for Thought: The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to eat more whole grains as a family (sorry, Partner in Crime, you’re along for the ride!) Overall, I felt like we ate healthy enough to keep me from worrying and unhealthy enough not to look like weirdos when we had people over to dinner 😉

However, I knew there were some areas we could up our game. One of the things I wanted to avoid, though, was unscientific nutritional advice. There’s so much advice floating around in the name of health that is unsupported or just plain wrong. *cough*GMOS*cough* I found Authority Nutrition, which links supporting studies through all it’s articles, and that helped, but they still sometimes get off-track, and they also focus way more than I’m interested in on weight loss versus overall health.

When I happened on the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate, though, something just clicked. So much nutrition advice can feel conflicting, or burdening, or restricting, but this just feels easy. Although we pretty much ignore the advice about bacon and butter, everything else has been easy and enjoyable to incorporate without feeling like I have to buy all kinds of unusual/expensive specialty items or demonise all the ordinary food at the grocery store.

Simple to remember, research-based, and freeing– our crisper drawers are full and we’re happy campers.

Homeschooling: DIY.org

How cool does DIY.org look? Kids do challenges and master skills to earn badges. You can access this part of it for free, or for a subscription (that can cover multiple kids) you can access courses on learning how to do the different challenges. I can’t wait to show this to the Scout Kid, and someday to the Feral Kid and their sister. What will we start with? Baker? Archer? Graphic Designer? I know Scout Kid will have some opinions once I show him the options. Our life just got way more fun.

Download the app here and let me know if you sign your kids up so we can follow each other’s progress!