Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's Day and Other Rambling Thoughts

I hope all the moms out there are having a great Mother's Day weekend. We are having a mother's day brunch for our families-there will be six moms here, including me, so it should be fun. Lord knows, my mother deserves something for having had five kids--four of us before the age of 25 (I am in the middle). My siblings and I each have one child--I guess none of us could stand the thought of having two kids who would fight with each other and create chaos the way we did. I often think that the number of kids that people have is correlated with the size of their original family, in addition to how well that family managed with it's size.

For example, I know a woman who was an only child and had children later in life but was determined to have two children so that the first would not be an only child like she was. Apparently, she and her mother had a very symbiotic relationship and this woman felt that another child was needed to keep that smothering bond from rearing its ugly head in her new family. I, on the other hand, was always afraid to recapitulate my early years where noise was endless and uncontrollable, and privacy nonexistent. Of course, many people who come from larger families see their childhood as idyllic and go on to have large families themselves, like one law professor from a family of six who went on to have seven children. All the more power to those like her!

Anyone else notice that the size and function or dysfunction of the family you were born into shaped how large or small your current family is?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Medtees in the News and Study on Men and Guns

ABC Chicago has a story and video about Dr. Wes Fisher, an electrophysiologist and blogger, and his wife, Diane, a clinical psychologist, who run Dr. Fisher was the star of our Cardiology podcast which is one of our most popular. The Fishers' site displays and sells various t-shirts that help patients feel better about their illnesses and can bring some laughter to a bad situation. I know they helped me.

Oh, and check out this post by Dr. Wes in which he makes fun of a "scientific" study on men and aggression from (who else?) the New York Times. The title of the study says it all--"In Men, Trigger-Happy May be a Hormonal Impulse."

Handling a gun stirs a hormonal reaction in men that primes them for aggression, new research suggests.

Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., enrolled 30 male students in what they described as a taste study. The researchers took saliva samples from the students and measured testosterone levels.

....The "taste sensitivity" phase of the experiment was in fact intended to measure aggressive impulses. After the writing assignment, the young men were asked to rate the taste of a drink, a cup of water with a drop of hot sauce in it. They were then told to prepare a drink for the next person in the experiment, adding as much hot sauce as they liked.
And this aggression is bad how? If you handle a gun to ward off an intruder, isn't the willingness to be aggressive necessary? The researchers found that those men who handled a gun later added more hot sauce in a drink for the next person who was going to do the experiment. After they found out the aim of the experiment, the subjects were found to be disappointed when the next student was not going to drink this wicked brew. Frankly, I would be disappointed that I was not serving it up to the anti-gun lobbyists who cooked up this little trigger-happy experiment.

Update: Jonah Goldberg has more on this aggressive absurdity.

Podcast with Ken Mehlman and Michael Barone

Articles such as this one make it sound like Conservatives are fleeing the Republican Party in droves. However, some are just disenchanted with the GOP and want to know how the party will address their concerns. Today, we are talking with Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican National Committee and Michael Barone, Senior writer for US News & World Report and principal coauthor of The Almanac of American Politics. Chairman Mehlman discusses what the GOP is trying to do to keep the constituents happy and touches on topics of immigration and spending. We then turn to political expert, Michael Barone, for a discussion of the possibility of a third party in the 2008 Presidential election--he thought Oprah might have a chance! I sure hope not.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here or subscribe via iTunes. You can listen to our previous podcasts at the podcast archive here, and there's a dialup version here.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Carnival of Homeschooling

The 19th week of the Carnival of Homeschooling is up at the Why HomeSchool Blog. I like the post by She's Right in which she talks about her disdain for the NEA.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

White Guilt

I have a column up at TCS about the new book, White Guilt, by Shelby Steele. Here is an excerpt:

While listening to the radio recently, I heard the writer Christopher Hitchens' riveting description of Shelby Steele's new book White Guilt : How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era. I promptly ordered it and have not been disappointed.

White Guilt is a powerful essay that (as George Will says in the cover blurb) "braids family memories with an acute understanding of national policies." Will says Steele "demonstrates what went wrong when whites for their reasons and blacks for theirs, embraced the idea that white guilt explains blacks' problems and can be the basis of polices for ameliorating them."

But what happens when our national policies are derived from white guilt and black anger rather than the universal principles that free societies aspire to -- freedom for the individual, rights for all individuals, equality under the law, equality of opportunity, and an inherent right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"

Read the whole thing.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Dave, at The Crisper Blog, thinks french fries should remain legal.

Update: I see here that there is talk of banning french fries in schools. Do you think we could get them to ban the fruit pies and candy the schools manipulate our kids into selling every year to raise funds? I sure hope so, because I am tired of my kid looking pathetic and sad that she did not win a party in class because of her poor ability to sell this artery clogging fare endorsed by her principal. Why is it okay to be selling expensive fattening pies "for the good of the school" when it is not okay to provide cheap fattening fries "for the good of the children?" Who do the schools think are buying these fattening pies and candy? Uhhh...could it be the same parents who will serve it to the same kids who are not supposed to be eating this type of food at school? What kind of hypocritical message does this send to kids?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Carnival of the Insanities

The Carnival of the Insanities is up at Dr. Sanity's blog. She filed one of my posts under Breaking Medical News, stating that "men are living longer and the opposite gender will just have to suffer!"