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Showing posts from March, 2011

Owen and the art of the jump shot

Owen loves playing catch with the football. He likes swimming. He enjoys the occasional game of soccer. But lately he's been all about basketball. This morning we went to the gym to practice our shots. While shooting around Owen said, "I think I know what sport I want to play when I grow up. I want to play basketball."

One problem he has been having lately is letting a few misses get into his head, which affects his next shot, and if missed affects his next shot, etc. It's a common problem for athletes, and the best players have the worst memory on the court. The old adage for good shooters is if you're hot, shoot. If you're not hot, shoot until you get hot. This was a bit too subtle for Owen, so the advice I gave him is, "Do you know what Kobe Bryant (Owen's favorite player) says when he misses a shot? He says to himself, 'I'll make the next one.'" Owen thought a bit and said, "Oh. Okay." Next I said, "Do you know what…

Thursday Music Break

Japanese-precision-infused Mid-western emo mathy post-rock with jazz vocals...in Japanese! Mercury Program, eat your hearts out!

(It starts slow, but builds quickly after the second minute.)



Toe - Goodbye

Swimming

Yesterday was the first in a series of swim lessons for Owen. On the advice of a friend, I signed him up now, so that by the time summer rolls around, we'll not be battling the crowds for lessons. Turns out she was right-on because a lesson that could take 10-12 kids in his group had only 2, making it a semi private lesson for the price of a group lesson! WOOT. Anyhow, my hope is that once Owen has a bit more independence in the pool, I can take both kids to the pool on my own. He was one of the first kids in the water, borrowed some awesome goggles, and may have a little crush on his teacher. He's diving down for toys on the bottom of the pool (4ft) and pushing off the side, then gliding about 5 feet. Multiple times I heard him ask "Can I try that again?" Super fun!

One more

Tonight at bedtime I read a family favorite to Marmar titled Bunny My Honey. We've recently quit sippy cups milk at bedtime (I know, we should've stopped a year ago), so Marcus was whining about wanting "more milky" at the turn of each page, and even pauses between some sentences.
In this story, Bunny my honey gets lost in the woods while playing hide-n-seek. He cries out "Mommy, mommy, I want my Mommy....Mommy, mommy, I want my Mommy". I read these lines aloud and Mar leaned over and almost grinning said "Bunny my honey is sad because he wants more milky".
This kid knows how to work it.

marcus' one-liners

the oh-so-quiet-one of a year ago has not stopped talking for two weeks. he's providing an ongoing commentary for everything from dialogue about going to the bathroom to spotting a race-car on the road. Needless to say, he's cracking us all up in the process. a few examples:
* last week, i'd made salmon with balsamic glaze, mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus, cauliflower & Brussels sprouts. once his hands were washed, Marcus raced to the table, climbed into his chair and smelled out the prospects. he quickly declared: "I thought you were making something delicious for me". wow, if the boy only knew how good he has it!
* in the last two days, he's gone from sleeping in the crib with a sippy-cup of milk at bedtime, to sleeping in a big-boy bed, and having water or nothing to drink. he's shed a few tears, but declared today, "I'm not a baby anymore, I'm a big-boy with my big bed and my monkey"
* "I don't want you to say t…

Student Athletes

I'm sitting here on the couch partaking in the Madness of March by watching the North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Washington Huskies. It's a thoroughly entertaining match-up of two top-notch basketball programs.

I was half paying attention during one of the many 3-minute media time-outs (or was it one of the many team time-outs?) when a commercial came on showing a bunch of college athletes doing their things in slow motion with dramatic music playing. It was an ad for some bank or another with a tag line about human highlight-reels. The commercial was followed by another selling beer, featuring, BTW, the guy who plays the mentally-unstable "Captain America" on Generation Kill, a miniseries well worth watching. But I digress.

The thought that came to mind is that all of the student athletes in the first commercial, combined, were paid less than Captain America in the second commercial. How do I know this? Because NCAA athletes are forbidden from accepting any type o…

Feature Article

Wow, it has been a while since I last posted. Sorry for the hiatus, but I've been on the road giving talks and observing, all the while writing papers and proposals.

Speaking of writing, last year I was invited to write a cover story for Sky & Telescope about the relationships between planets and their central stars. Different types of stars provide us with different opportunities to learn about planets. For example, stars more massive than the Sun are much more likely than dinky little red dwarfs to harbor a Jupiter-sized planet. This correlation between planet occurrence and stellar mass gives us clues about how planets form. However, if you want to find low-mass planets, the signposts of a planet's presence are much easier to read around M dwarfs (an eclipsing planet dims a small star more than a big star; small planets induce larger accelerations in smaller stars).

All this and more can be found in the April issue of Sky & Telescope. Grab a copy soon!

UPDATE: For some…