Monday, March 31, 2014

Hooray it's Opening Day!

Too bad the Dbacks lost though. :(

But yay! I get to watch baseball again!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane E. Muldrow

Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane E. Muldrow is a little montage of Little Golden Book illustrations through the years paired with words of wisdom.

Although I had a lot of hand me down books from my sisters, most of the illustrations were from stories older than the ones I had. It still put a smile on my face. You will really like it too if you enjoy cute vintage illustrations like these:

This would make a good gift and would also be a good coffee table book.

P.S. This counts as my Book That I Discovered on an LT Thread in 2013 for the Take It or Leave It Challenge.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Darwin: Portrait of a Genius by Paul Johnson

I read Charles & Emma in 2011, and although I learned some of Mr. Darwin's life, a lot of the focus was on his family and their reactions or connections to his work. This year I read Darwin: Portrait of a Genius for Darwin Week to learn a little more about his scientific life.

I really liked how the information about Darwin's life was laid out in this book. It wasn't too dry and it seemed to hit all the high points and spaces between concisely. One interesting fact was that he was a wealthy man, and if he had paid someone to read and gather other scientific papers from the time, Darwin would have had the crucial missing piece of his theory of evolution. "Darwin showed the what of evolution and the why, natural selection. Now Mendel had produced the how, genetics." The irony is that Mendel was a priest! Yes, a priest completed Darwin's theory of evolution by trying to grow the best peas for the other priests in his monastery. Mendel's Laws, that rang a bell.

The other big aha for me in this book was the chapter about Social Darwinism. I had heard that term before but never put too much thought into it. Darwin loved using the term "struggle" when referring to how living things adapt to survive. ("Survival of the fittest" is actually Herbert Spencer's term, which Darwin liked and added in his fifth edition of On the Origin of Species.) As time went on, people chose to misinterpret and misuse his scientific work and apply it incorrectly to the economy or sociology. Hitler's a good example of using Darwin's theory of evolution in a terrible way. Mein Kampf...My Struggle. Yikes. Or others who believe poor people deserve to be poor because they are obviously not fit enough to survive like rich people. Poor Darwin. If he knew how people misused his work he probably would have been horrified, although the author suggests that he was somewhat culpable by, "...always [carefully steering] clear of politics as such."

Reading about the true genius of Charles Darwin was fascinating. I recommend this biography if you love science or are in a creative rut. The man is an inspiration, and born on the exact day as another great thinker of the time, Abraham Lincoln.

P.S. This counts as my Book You Received as a Present for the Take It or Leave It Challenge. (I got it for Christmas from my nephew Kyle.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

quote of the week

Even though I'm on Spring Break this week I still got my first grader fix when my friend, Tanya, brought her daughter, Maddie, to lunch. Maddie loves sci fi just like me so I think we'll be BFFs.

Maddie talked about how she likes to dress up like Princess Leia so her mom asked, What's your favorite scene in Star Wars?

Maddie thought for a moment and said, "When Princess Leia met the mini-Chewbaccas...the Ewoks!"

I love it! The force is strong with that one.

P.S. Ewok Star Wars Poster was made by Glenn.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

Today I'm reading Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. The stories are pretty horrific so far, quite in contrast to this photo.

What are you reading?

P.S. Wild Flowers is by Su Blackwell.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I celebrated by day drinking with my friend Erin and watching Leprechaun's Revenge. Good times!

P.S. Grumpy St. Patricks Day came from Grumpy Cat.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Snowy Owl Classroom Fun

Tuesday on my way to school I heard a cool story on NPR about how all these snowy owls are suddenly showing up in the USA, which is uncommon. Why? the biologists wondered. Climate change? No. Crazy weather? No. The answer is a plethora of delicious lemmings.

I was excited to share the story with my class. We were reading a fiction story about a bird learning to fly this week, The Story of a Blue Bird.

I sat my students down at the rug and started summarizing what I had heard, our luck in having snowy owls visit our country. I was just about to tell them the reason why they are here and stopped myself. Instead I asked, Can you figure out why they're here all of a sudden? Think about what you know about living things. (In first grade we learn that living things need food, water, air, and shelter.)

My little sassy girl raised her hand and said, "Maybe they're here because there's a lot of food, like, I don't know, a bunch of mice or something?"

Take that biologists! I have a future candidate for you!

P.S. 1920s GIRL SCIENTIST Looking into a MICROSCOPE came from sandshoevintageprint.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Project Life May 2013 continued

I really like how this week turned out. It includes Corey meeting Grumpy Cat, a pack walk, buying flowers for 2 of my favorite people, 2 students watering our class garden, Mad Men, Star Trek Into Darkness, a funny hat bike ride, and The Preakness Stakes.
A closer look...The Born in the USA thing came from the packaging Corey's flowers came in. I also wanted to note that Corey meets celebrities constantly at his job and rarely takes pictures of them for himself, but he couldn't resist when Grumpy Cat came to the station.
Another post card saved from advertising days used for finishing season 2 of Mad Men, mounted on a junk mail card:
Vellum and patterned paper:
Star Trek pic printed off the internet, and Liberty Market sign pic taken by me:
The sign pic goes with a bike ride my friend Stephanie organized with her bf. I added a sticker to the pics on the left and used part of their invitation for a caption on the pic on the right:
Here's the whole page, mostly about the bike ride but I fit the Preakness from the previous day in too:
Again I used the invitation as my background here. Saved me from journaling the who, what, when, where...
Coincidentally the canal we rode along was constructed exactly 100 years before. It says, "WATER FROM THE SALT RIVER RUNS THROUGH THE CITY":
This pic from the Preakness is from the newspaper. I just added journaling and a sticker:
Again, you can be creative with the materials you find around you to scrapbook with. The only traditional supplies I used were 3 stickers, 4 scraps of patterned paper, a post-it note, and a vellum die cut.