my royal ramblings my loyal subjects how I spend my royal days about my overall brilliance my wishlist retreat.... retreat....
Ramblings of a Conuly
Believing in six impossible things before breakfast
Eva's in this hypersensitive stage.

She and Ana are playing a game where Ana is chasing her, Eva decides she's had enough, rather than tell Ana she barricades herself in my room.

She wakes up this morning, her hair is tangled, when I point this out she screams at me to GET OUT, tells me her hair was COMBED and BRAIDED and somebody must have snuck in and UNBRAIDED IT, and storms off into the basement.

Ana comes back from the doctor (early appointment) and wants to take a nap, Eva demands to know why SHE has to do work while ANA sleeps, I suggest she can work on her new puzzle or read a book, she bursts into tears and slams her door.

I offer them each a lollipop after lunch, I cannot find the lollipops (in no small part because people have been stealing them from my room for the past week and a half), I suggest I pick up some other candy for them later, Eva collapses on the floor, sobbing.

If Ana is humming while Eva is reading it is TOO LOUD AND SHE IS THE WORST SISTER EVER. If Ana is doing math and Eva is kicking her feet and singing loudly and Ana asks her to close the door Ana is MEAN AND THE WORST SISTER EVER. (Cue the tears.)

This is all within the past week, so I'm hoping hard that it passes and fast. I'm tempted to blame homeschooling, but the sane part of me knows that's ridiculous. We had periods with just as much drama when they were in school, except it was all compressed into the afternoons instead of spread out through the day. Not actually an improvement.
The Hong Kong Protests Are Creating a More Ethnically Unified City

Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections, leader says

Medications mistakes common among young children

Paralysed man walks again after cell transplant

Officials warn 500 million financial records hacked

Syria tribal revolt against Islamic State ignored, fueling resentment

Turkey clears way for Iraqi Kurdish troops to battle Islamic State in Kobane, Syria More

Cheap African solar energy could power UK homes in 2018

1,800-Year-Old Roman Multitool

Explosion rocks rebel-held Ukrainian city as fighters ignore cease-fire, death toll rises

Ukraine crisis: Army accused of using cluster bombs

Ukraine, Russia, EU energy chiefs meet to finalize gas deal

As Ebola patients vanish in Liberia’s health system, survivors go on a desperate search
We are doing less science than I thought... and waaaaay more history. Turns out I think history is the most important subject ever. I don't think I knew that about myself before starting out on homeschooling.

The girls are somewhat less enthused than I am, though they are certainly learning a lot about prehistory. We're actually just emerging this week from the pre- part of history into the more established ground. I haven't told them yet, but this probably signifies that we're going to be spending even more time on history.

Now, if I could only combine science and history in an effective manner, I would be a very happy Connie.
So, Ana was having some tightness of breath. Now, she really, really hates going to the doctor and getting a nebulizer treatment and having that awful steroid medicine afterwards, so when this happens she copes as best she can by simply breathing a little shallowly until one of us gets suspicious and corners her and demands she prove she CAN take a deep breath without wheezing.

She's a trooper, really. Kinda wish she'd be a little more honest about things.

So today she couldn't hide it any longer, but she wanted to go with my mom to the doctor instead of me. As it happens, Mommy is home today, she had her own doctor's appointment this morning. So I say, fine, when she gets home I'll call the HIP center* and make an appointment, but in the meantime let's at least get math out of the way. I'm very proud of the consistent progress we're making in math.

So she sits on the radiator to do her math, and as it's a little chilly out the heat is on and she gets nice and toasty and by the time she's done, 45 minutes later, her breathing is perfect. Like, really perfect. Like, it makes logical sense that warmth and dry air would help her, but still, I never would have dreamed of these results. Like, I can't even see the point in taking her to the doctor now because she's fine.

Holy shit.

We have to see if these results hold up, but if they do we just won't go to the doctor today. Which will make her happy.

* They haven't been the HIP center in over a decade. They were Staten Island Physician Practice for a while, and now they're some other name, but regardless, if you call them anything other than "the HIP center" people won't know what you mean.
People often explain why it's necessary by talking about a party which includes "two strippers, Hitler, and Stalin" (as compared to "two strippers, Hitler and Stalin").

The trouble is that no matter how I work at it, I can't really picture what kind of party is going to invite two of recent history's most notorious dictators, especially when they weren't buddies. It's just not a realistic example.

Of course, whatever party they're both invited to probably involves copious liquor and, yes, strippers, so that's all right, but nevertheless it is hard for me to get behind that example. Best to just stick with thanking "my parents, God and Ayn Rand".

Sure, that dedication to an apocryphal book is a little silly and bland, but anybody who is likely to think both God and Ayn Rand is exactly the sort of person to make a bland dedication and flub the commas anyway, so no harm, no foul.
And tomorrow or the day after I can sign them up for new classes. Ana has moved up, she is now a fish, which is the first intermediate level, so go Ana!

Eva's report card... was completely not filled in. So I sent Eva to ask her teacher what she still needed to work on, and her teacher came into the locker room clearly prepared to be patient, only to burst out laughing when she saw that nobody had filled in the inside of the report card! Apparently, Eva is doing great, she just needs to work on her breaststroke and rotary breathing.

Now that Ana's a fish it is time to do what I have said I'd do from nearly the beginning and find her a swim team to join. She'd've had to do it anyway, she ages out of the Y program this year, and for whatever reason their teen program only offers beginner and intermediate lessons, no advanced lessons, so she could only go so far in there. (I find this to be a real problem in all sorts of classes. Lots of stuff for kids, lots of stuff for adults, nothing for teens. Ugh. Chelsea Piers is the exception, but they're pricy and also have no pool.)

They were sick the last two days, so we didn't do much school today, we'll have to make it up over the weekend. However, today we *did* manage to finally talk about why the skillet lid kept on breaking! And watch the video. By an amazing bit of serendipity, the science we're doing had us talking about energy and the creation/destruction thereof today anyway (and if you're about to say you can't create or destroy energy, don't bother, that's what we discussed), so I managed to tie in the stored energy in the glass with what was on our schedule. I do not have any gold stars to give myself :( but that's okay, I don't need them to know I am awesome.
Apparently, Zilpha Keatley Snyder died last week.

Being an adult is like a long marathon of watching your favorite authors die. It's not as much fun as you were led to believe it would be when you were a child.
In answer to the skillet question, I went to look on wikipedia. And that's how I found out about Prince Rupert's Drops.

Isn't that just the coolest thing you've watched today?
I need to buy new lids now. Siiiiigh.

Interesting thing. After it shattered on the floor, she observed that the individual shards kept on shattering, popping just like, well, popcorn. This kept up for over a minute. Why is that?
ISIS states its justification for the enslavement of women

Kurds hold off Islamic State in Kobani; fighters strike in Iraq

Turkey agrees to let U.S. planes use its bases for attacks on Syria

U.S.-led air war in Syria is off to a difficult start

California Aquifers Contaminated With Billions Of Gallons of Fracking Wastewater

Mechanism that repairs brain after stroke discovered

Russia says it's pulling 17,000 troops from near Ukrainian border

Slippery When Coated: Helping Medical Devices Resist Blood Clots

Some Mormons pushing church on gay marriage

Watch Marriage Equality Go From Minority Issue To Majority Right In Just A Few Years

Beyond marriage, other gay-rights challenges loom

Now hunger threat shadows Ebola in West Africa

The stunning cuts to America's budget to fight disease outbreaks

The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class
Fatal shooting of 18-year-old by off-duty police officer ignites protests in St. Louis

Here's How Much It Costs to Vote in States With Voter ID Laws

Reports of Witchcraft-Related Child Abuse On the Rise in London

World economies warn of global risks, call for bold action

Scientists create breakthrough recipe to grow insulin-secreting cells by the billions

Kurds urge more air strikes in Kobani; monitor warns of defeat

Young girl snatched by ISIS tells of her escape

Syria: Kobane siege death toll 'passes 500'

Ebola screenings begin at JFK; four more airports start next week

Creepy robots help researchers understand the mysterious sidewinder snake

Report: Wal-mart owners throw their weight behind anti-solar groups

U.S. and UK to test big bank collapse in joint model run

Banks accept derivatives rule change to end 'too big to fail' scenario

When sea levels rise, high tides will spill into communities far more often, study says
That has always sounded like the funnest holiday to me. Well, so long as it's not too cold. Or rainy.


Americans Can Save More Money by Not Burning It: Study

Artificial arms get closer to the real thing

Homeless Bill of Rights aims to protect life-sustaining activities

Let Your Kids Ride the Bus Alone

Students accept healthier lunches, school leaders report

West Virginia has had the highest jump in youth incarceration since 2001

Once you’ve dehumanized drug offenders, it’s easy to steal their identities

The Explosion of Crayon Colors Since 1903

Oceans Are Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized

Small Spills at Gas Stations Add Up

When ‘Redefining Marriage’ Meant That Women Had To Be Treated Like Human Beings

Is There an Arc of Instability?

The Outrageous, Unjust Rule That Lets New York Drivers Who Hit Pedestrians Off the Hook

The Safer, More Affordable Abortion Only Available in Two States

Cameroon flies freed Boko Haram hostages to capital

‘I’m American too’: Undocumented students wait for Obama action
I keep telling myself that it's okay if we take a lighter week, at least we are moving forward. I mean, I took an average of one day off a week in middle school (no, seriously, I remember being surprised at the number on my report card, which is how I remember it), and I still got 100s on all my tests, so how demanding am I really supposed to be with 4th and 6th grade work?

This slower week coincides with the milestone of hitting every major topic every day, which is a bit strange, but there you go. It also coincides with the middle of the start my Sooper Sekrit plan to sneak writing into my day without making us "do writing", because, seriously, I think Ana needed some serious recovery period about writing. She's taking it in stride, which is all I asked for.
Up to Union Square, to the bookstore. That's bus, boat, train, and then back again.

I know that technically I was doing the same thing at her age, but I was a lot taller then! And, and, and older! When I was eleven, I was already twelve! SHUT UP!

So, yeah. It went well, except for how she forgot to bring a book with her and was stuck on the boat with nothing to do, but that's her own fault.
Because caffeine, right?

Now, we're lucky, the corner store - not our usual one, the other one - has a thriving stock of Mexican coke. So I went down there and bought some, and when I got back the girls asked why I got the coke in the fancy bottles. So I explained about sugar and corn syrup, and said the only other way to get coke with sugar is to stock up around Passover, which led into a long discussion of Passover, detailing as many of the plagues I could remember, matzoh, the fact that God is kinda a jerkass for "hardening Pharoah's heart" (and the related fact that many people, having never actually read Exodus, don't believe you if you say that happened, but I swear, it's totally in there), the whole shebang.

So, yeah. That was the day's educational moment. We also did other things.
I hate you, and I hate your breakfast.

She didn't even know what I'd made for breakfast yet! It was all downhill from there.

Casualties: 1 glass skillet lid, shattered on the floor
1 benadryl for me (hives)
1 aspirin for Ana (headache)

She eventually calmed down enough to get through two pages of math. Then we took a reading break, and I decided, as it was mostly calm, to struggle on through history. We were actually doing this set of lessons, Lesson 2. (PDF)

So we read the handouts together. So far, so good. We look at the pictures. No problem! We identify Ukraine on the map, and connect the location to current events, because why the heck not. (I get a little jolt, incidentally, every time I read a news article that mentions the Tigris. It's like it's in this little compartment in my mind labelled "Fertile Crescent" and it ceased to exist in real time about 6,000 years ago!)

Then I look at the discussion questions, and we've basically already discussed this during our examination of the various handouts, so I ask the kids to just write down two paragraphs, one on what conclusions they can draw from this evidence and the other on things they don't know about these people (because of lack of evidence).

OMG! It's so unfair! It's mean! It's too hard! She ALWAYS has to do MORE work than EVA! AND her work is HARDER. At this point I try some logic - they're doing the exact same assignments! If anything, it's too hard for her sister! Oh, she says, but she had more math! First of all, that's not even true today, Eva did three pages to Ana's two, and she had word problems instead of straightforward exponents like Ana, but secondly - math's over, kiddo!

So she stormed off. Now Eva comes in, crying, she can't do it. I say "You can't think of anything that you know about these people?"

Ana: Wait, what? Is THAT what you're asking us to do?
Me: Uh... yeah? What did you think?
Ana: Something else! Something HARDER!

Casualty: $4 on ice cream. Because boy, did I ever need it.

Somehow it turned into 6 pm when I wasn't looking. The day dragged on forever, but I still don't know how it became 6:00. Dinner's not even started. Geez.
Gosh I love salmon. Mmm. Makes up for all the rain we had today.


Research from UCSB and Penn demonstrates how iridescent structures in giant clams could have implications for alternative energy research

The Supreme Court That Made It Easier to Buy Elections Just Made It Harder for People to Vote in Them

Three women pass Marine Corps endurance test, paving way for possible first female graduates of infantry school

Kurds clash with Turkish security forces on Syria border

In rare alliance, Shi'ites join Sunnis to defend Iraqi towns

With Kim out of sight, North Korean top brass pay snap visit to South

Ukraine’s refugees in Russia are there to stay, in new twist for conflict

As Swaziland's economy struggles, Africa's last absolute monarch faces a growing chorus of critics.

America’s sex abuse surprise: Why our search for “monsters” is blinding us

Ebola Healthcare Workers Are Dying Faster Than Their Patients

Detroit judge throws out manslaughter charge against cop

Amazon Warehouse Workers Want to Be Paid for Waiting in Line

Swedish woman world's first to give birth after womb transplant

New York moves to limit federal deportations of undocumented immigrants

Megabanks Have The Federal Prison System Locked Up

Scalia: It Is 'A Lie' That Government Cannot Favor Religion Over Secularism

The Walmart Heirs Are Worth More Than Everyone in Your City Combined
For the firstest time ever!

I was beset by a few fears, though:

1. We would find nothing to say! (Didn't happen.)

2. Her name isn't really Emma after all, I just kinda made that up in my head and really, her real name doesn't start with an E and I was going to embarrass myself by calling her the wrong name after all this time. (Also didn't happen.)

3. I would get lost on the way to the museum. (This DID happen. Directions said to walk south. I looked at the sun and thought I was doing just that. The sun lied to me, guys!)

So all and all we had fun, and I got to try new-to-me English candy, and Ana got to try out her fake English accent (not that she needs much of an excuse), and it turns out that the New York Hall of Science is worth the two hour trek to get there! When I pointed that out to Jenn she said that makes sense, because everything in Manhattan is half an hour from the boat, and then you assume it takes another half hour to get to Queens. Which is funny, because that's how I count it up too. 81st Street? Half an hour. Canal Street (seriously, never ever transfer at Canal)? Half an hour! Doesn't matter how far uptown you're going, just kinda assume half an hour, and if you guessed wildly wrong and are incredibly late, shrug vaguely at the other end and say "Staten Island" and they'll believe that's a valid excuse. (Shh, don't tell people that it might not be. The idea of Staten Island being impossibly far away from everything is our get out of jail free card for any and all situations. People think we're in, like, the Himalayas or Siberia or Jersey or something.)

This post now looks incredibly self-centered, but it's midnight and I'll fix it tomorrow.
Overcast and ugh.


Advanced iOS virus targeting Hong Kong protestors

Standoff in Hong Kong on China's National Day

Taliban bomb Afghan army vehicles in Kabul, seven dead

When all cigarette packs look the same, fewer people buy them

New York mayor orders higher minimum wage for thousands in city

Living through a recession may delay motherhood -- permanently

Ocean Health Gets "D" Grade in New Global Report Card

The dried-up Aral Sea is now a post-apocalyptic playground More

Billing for rape: Louisiana sex assault victims often face hefty bills for medical care

Our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment

Where does the phrase 'boots on the ground' come from?

Fantastically Wrong: Why People Used to Think Beavers Bit Off Their Own Testicles

Chimps with tools: Wild ape culture caught on camera

As Top Tax Rates Dropped, Top Incomes Soared

History’s largest trade agreements are being negotiated in secret

Louisiana Is Disappearing Into the Sea, and guess who's blocking efforts to save the land

Australia passes security law, raising fears for press freedom

Sam Brownback tried to create a conservative utopia in Kansas. He created a conservative hell instead.

We've Lost So Much Antarctic Ice It's Causing A Dip In Earth's Gravity

Saudi overhaul reshapes Islam’s holiest city Mecca

Argentina deposits debt payment in defiance of US ruling
Dallas hospital diagnoses first patient with Ebola Yes, in the US

Ebola-stricken Liberia is descending into economic hell

Bad medicine in Tennessee for pregnant and drug-addicted women

Donetsk airport shelling violates east Ukraine truce

What toppled Lenin statues tell us about Ukraine’s crisis

EU to keep Russia sanctions in place over Ukraine

Global Survey Says We're Eating Better, But Our Diet Is Still Unsustainable

Closure of South Dakota rural schools sparks fears of the end of an era

Et Tu, Jet Blue? The Airlines' War on the 99%

There Are So Many Tiny Animals in the Sea That They May Affect Currents

Woman Takes Short Half-Hour Break From Being Feminist To Enjoy TV Show - LOL

Meet the Prison Bankers Who Profit From the Inmates

Iraq Pilots Mistakenly Gave Food, Ammunition to ISIS Militants

Kurds seize Iraq/Syria border post; Sunni tribe joins fight against Islamic State

Iraqi Arabs Claim Persecution by Kurds

Turkey, with Islamic State on its doorstep, is expected to authorize troops in Syria, Iraq More

Islamic State uses grain to tighten grip in Iraq

Lower IQ in Children Linked to Chemical in Water While in Utero

NASA Is 3D-Printing a Better Rocket

Human genome was shaped by an evolutionary arms race with itself

Dolphins May Use Magnetic Sense as GPS

Stanford scientists say greenhouse gases worsen California drought

Iran 'to militarily assist' Lebanon army

Why Hong Kong’s protests are a very big deal

Hong Kong protests approach potential National Day flashpoint More

Another Study Proves That Only the Richest Are Gaining Income From Economic Growth

Police Want to Get Rid of Their Pentagon-Issued Combat Gear. Here's Why They Can't.

Can We Map State Instability?

Green movement embracing more radical tactics as desperation grows

Your medical record is worth more to hackers than your credit card

The Case for Kill Switches in Military Weaponry
Kurds say Turkey not doing enough to stop Islamic State

Turkish tanks face ISIL near Syria border More

U.S-led raids hit grain silos in Syria, kill workers

Afraid of EV-D68? Another Deadly Virus Is Actually Killing Kids in U.S.

Studies criticize U.S. medical device approval process

World wildlife populations halved in 40 years

12 Killed in Worst East Ukraine Shelling in a Week

Death toll rises in Japan volcanic eruption

Record number of migrant deaths at sea, in deserts this year

Spanish court suspends Catalonia independence vote

Antibiotics Before Age 2 Increase Risk of Childhood Obesity

Ebola outbreak: 'Thousands of orphans shunned'

Chinese Media Say Hong Kong’s ‘Radical Activists’ Are Doomed

Justice Department tells Ferguson police to stop wearing bracelets in support of Darren Wilson

Americans Have No Idea How Bad Inequality Really Is

A boy was accused of taking a backpack. The courts took the next three years of his life.

New documents show legal basis for NSA surveillance programs

Here's Yet Another Rage-Inducing Scam in the American Health Care System

Benjamin Dix and Lindsay Pollock tell the disturbing story of a young Ethiopian woman abused by her employers in Saudi Arabia.

Military Leaders Urge Staying the Course on Healthier School Food

Chart: Half of All Income Goes to the Top 10 Percent

The big “middle class” rip-off: How a short sale taught me rich people’s ethics

Why Voting Machines Are About To Wreak Havoc On Another Election

The World War II Campaign to Bring Organ Meats to the Dinner Table
Pausing Over Pronunciation

Air strikes said to hit Islamic State oil refineries in Syria

Lebanon refugee-camp raids fuel resentment

Syria’s al Qaeda leader warns West of retaliation for air strikes

The amazing (and bizarre) homemade Kurdish armor fighting ISIS in Syria

Russian suspicions of U.S. motives in Syria make cooperation unlikely

Hong Kong: Fresh clashes as pro-democracy protests spread More

Ukraine: 2 Killed in Clashes Despite Cease-Fire

Precision toolmaking arrived independently in Eurasia and Africa, say scientists

Chart: It's Never Been a Better Time to Be Rich

Chart: You're Working More But Earning Less

Chart: Big Gains for the 1 Percent of the 1 Percent

Sticky Nanobeads that Can clean Bacteria, Viruses From Blood

Mantis shrimps can see cancer, and scientists have now created a camera that does the same

Floods, forest fires, expanding deserts: the future has arrived

Study: Allowing blood donations from gay men could help save over a million lives in U.S.

Taiwan leader rejects China unification terms

California protesters block Israeli-owned ship

More French Jews drifting to National Front party

Brazil releases 'good' mosquitoes to fight dengue fever

Arabs in Israel decry racial discrimination

Obama: Mistrust of Police Corrodes America
At CIA Starbucks, even the baristas are covert

US Veterans Send Fox News An Open Letter About 'Boobs On The Ground' Joke

Hong Kong: Tear gas and clashes at democracy protest More

Police officer shot in Ferguson, two suspects at large

Another casualty of war in the Arab world: Education

Catalonian leader orders referendum on independence from Spain

Scientists have determined that Earth's water could not have formed after the birth of our solar system, and instead was inherited as ice from interstellar space.

Birds Evolved From Dinosaurs Slowly—Then Took Off

Scientists grapple with ethics in rush to release Ebola vaccines

Ebola deaths in West Africa 'pass 3,000' - WHO

CDC Evaluating Limb Paralysis Associated With Enterovirus D68 Outbreak

US-led air strikes hit IS on Syria's border with Turkey

Kidnapped By ISIS, One Woman Tells How She Saved Her Sisters

The FBI and NSA Hate Apple’s Plan to Keep Your iPhone Data Secret

Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine are in a gas dispute as winter approaches

Russia, Cuba give views on Ukraine, Syria

Pakistani opposition keeps up pressure on prime minister to resign

Islands, embargoes, and lizards

Boko Haram 'leader', killed repeatedly, continues to threaten Nigeria
Where some brat stole Ana's boots. When she told his mother what had happened, in an attempt to get them back, the woman said (according to Ana) that it wasn't a big deal, after all, he doesn't know better because he's only eight.


Ana also had to contend with a woman who wanted to know if her wig was her real hair, did not accept the answer of "yes", and actually tried to pull it off her head. She showed remarkable forbearance. I told her afterwards that she has standing permission to bite people next time they try that. I mean, seriously!

We walked to the boat at this point, stopping to pet no fewer than 22 dogs on the way. This is all Eva's fault.


The amazing art on these Communist-era houses was a rebellion back then

Life in Timbuktu: how the ancient city of gold is slowly turning to dust

Nanotechnology leads to better, cheaper LEDs for phones and lighting

These artists turn ocean trash into really classy art

New York State starves schools of money. In East Ramapo, Orthodox Jews—and special-needs children—get the blame.

Deported Vets: Life in ‘the bunker’

Translating technological terms throws up some peculiar challenges

The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

The Yahoo Directory — Once The Internet’s Most Important Search Engine — Is To Close

One in four Americans want their state to secede from the U.S., but why?

Pseudoscience I was taught at a British creationist school

Celiac disease: A wriggly solution to a first-world problem

U.S. Creates Largest Protected Area in the World, 3X Larger Than California

The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.

America Has More Low-Paying Jobs Than Any Other Developed Country

Teaching the Children: Sharp Ideological Differences, Some Common Ground

This Device Lets Fully Paralyzed Rats Walk Again, and Human Trials Are Planned
It was, of course, Rosh Hashanah (and belated l'shanah tovah, guys!), so public schools had two days off, soooooo we all went to see The Box Trolls with some friends.

Jenn had six free tickets to the movie of her choice. I suggested in the morning that we go to the theater in Battery Park City, because there's some nice playgrounds near there and we wouldn't have to take the train. She said that her tickets were for Regal, and that's an AMC theater. I said I thought it was a Regal theater. I was right, it was Regal... but it turns out that her tickets were for AMC the whole time, so we had to pay full price!

Ah, well. I have been waiting for this movie since I saw a commercial for it back in May or June. I'm a real sucker for stop-motion animation, and from then until now, every time I was watching TV and fast forwarding through the commercials, if that one came on I'd rewind and watch it in full, mouth open like a little child.


Plus, something to be proud of, Eva only needed to sit on her mom's lap once due to scary scenes. We kept waiting for her to come back during some dramatic ones spoiler within!Collapse ), but she did not.

One note: After the beginning credits (and the credits has a special section for all the kids born to the production crew during the making of this movie, aww!) there's a special meta scene. Which is awesome. You definitely have to stay for that scene, or you'll end up standing frozen in the aisle like all the people in the theater yesterday who hoped to make a fast getaway.
Ana needs some massive review of geometry. Geez.


How a Squad of Ex-Cops Fights Police Abuses (I may have posted this before)

How Gangs Took Over Prisons

Interactive: China's Uighur unrest

MIT hosts a hackathon to "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck"

Sierra Leone: 130 Ebola Cases Found in Lockdown

Ebola 'contained in Senegal and Nigeria'

4Chan’s latest, terrible ‘prank’: Convincing West Africans that Ebola doctors actually worship the disease

Thousands More Hostages Taken By ISIS Remain Forgotten

Airstrikes ‘Successful’ Against ISIS Targets in Syria, US Military Says

Kurds Say They Have Halted ISIS Advance Near Syria-Turkey Border

The US is bombing Syria: What we know and don't know

Hospitals of the future could be covered in shark skin

New mushroom species discovered in London grocery store

World on track for worst-case warming scenario

Google will stop supporting climate change science deniers, calls them liars

Dozens arrested as police face off with Flood Wall Street protesters

Chimps raised as pets and performers suffer long-term social handicaps, study finds

Liberia signs 'transformational' deal to stem deforestation

Turkey allows girls as young as 10 to cover hair at schools

Libya asks chemical weapons watchdog to remove stockpile

Billionaires are hoarding piles of cash

The American Middle Class Hasn’t Gotten A Raise In 15 Years

Explaining the Rapid Rise of the Xenophobic Right in Contemporary Europe

The Scattering of Ukraine's Jews

Yemen president warns of civil war
Physically, that is. I loathe being sick.


When no gender fits: A quest to be seen as just a person

Tracy Lewis becomes second black woman promoted to lieutenant in FDNY history

Absurd Creature of the Week: The Parasitic Worm That Turns Snails Into Disco Zombies

Longer distance quantum teleportation achieved

Syria refugee flood to Turkey hits 100,000 More info here. Pictures here and here.

Turkish forces fend off Kurdish protesters. More here

Iran seeks give and take on Islamic State militants, nuclear program

Islamic State recruiting women to 'have kids and cook'

Who's Funding ISIS? Wealthy Gulf 'Angel Investors,' Officials Say

Why the US Government's Counter-Terrorism Tweeters Are Finding it Tough to Fight ISIS Online

U.S. Says Other Countries Willing to Launch Air Strikes in Syria

Anti-Islam ad campaign to run on New York City buses and subways

The Gulf of Alaska is unusually warm, and weird fish are showing up

How Gorilla Poop Could Help Stop Ebola

Ebola could infect 500,000 by end of January, according to CDC projection

Ninety-two bodies and at least 56 new infections have been discovered in Sierra Leone during a nationwide ebola lockdown.

With Ebola crippling the health system, Liberians die of routine medical problems

How stress tears us apart: Enzyme attacks synaptic molecule, leading to cognitive impairment

One Dose of Antidepressant Changes Brain Connections, Study Says

Police Have a Much Bigger Domestic Abuse Problem Than the NFL

Jailed, some mentally ill inmates land in lockdown

The number of U.S. prisoners age 50 and over has increased 330 percent since 1994.

Feds censure local police, yet give lethal weapons

The Sahara Is Millions of Years Older Than Thought

Yemen government signs peace deal with Shiites

Ukraine Is On The Brink Of Total Economic Collapse

Thousands March in Moscow Against Ukraine Fighting

Why Reducing Antibiotic Resistance Is Harder Than It Seems

India and China Cement Trade Deal as Troops Face Off Across the Border

Two Chinese Warships Arrive In Iran For Unprecedented Visit

If Fixing Global Warming Is Free, What’s the Holdup?

Rural homeless, with dramatically fewer options than in urban areas, forced to camp outside or sleep in cars

Why dentists are speaking out about the plastic beads in your toothpaste

More drought forecast next year across West

UN warns Israel against relocating Bedouins

New Reports Offer Clearest Picture Yet of Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Professors on food stamps: The shocking true story of academia in 2014
I'm stuffed up and groggy and I think I may have an ear infection, but I'm gonna try to make it anyway. In honor of that, I've got a ton of articles on climate change! I'll toss them behind a cut. There's not as many as my usual round-up (I admit it, my name is Connie and I'm a news addict...), but since it's all on one subject it might be a little boring if you, for whatever benighted reason of your own, do not think climate change is a subject that affects you.

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37 percent of Americans think a free press is overrated

Hundreds of Gaza children permanently disabled by this summer’s conflict

Turks and Kurds continue to ‘non-encounter' one another

Sierra Leone burial team attacked despite lockdown

Rewilding Britain: bringing wolves, bears and beavers back to the land

Munitions factory hit in Ukraine's Donetsk, buffer zone to be set up

Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania form joint military unit

Six Russian fighter jets intercepted off Alaska

King Fire spreads as 7 blazes burn across state

Soft Bots Get Out of Tight Spots

Obesity in Pacific islands 'a colonial legacy' of settlers trying to civilize the locals

US school districts given free machine guns and grenade launchers

America's middle class: Poorer than you think

World population growing, not slowing

Computers 1,000 times faster? Quick-change materials break silicon speed limit for computers

Stonehenge Intricate Treasures Made by Children

Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

China Has Slowly And Quietly Been Seizing Disputed Territory Along Its Border With India

About 60,000 Syrian Kurds flee to Turkey from Islamic State advance

Kurdish fighters from Turkey join battle to save Syrian Kurdish town from ISIS

Alan Henning's wife appeals to IS to release him

Americans don’t care for Washington. New research suggests the feeling is mutual.

This "zero-waste" store got rid of all food packaging

Should Parents Who Let Kids Play Outside Unsupervised Be Arrested? (From The Onion)

California is (finally) taking steps to regulate its groundwater

Destruction of Brazilian Amazon spikes by almost a third

Furious Monkeys Rejecting Unequal Pay Explained

Boko Haram kills 'dozens' in attack on Nigerian market

Putting Solar Panels On School Roofs Could Dramatically Increase America’s Solar Capacity

Walmart finds a new way to exploit workers with a new dress code

Coal and Wood Heating Is Making Thousands of Americans Sick
Last week we added history, and despite all the appointments that went well. This week I'm thinking science. Then I'll have all the biggies out of the way.

Also, I think I finally found an optometrist that I like. I really liked the optometrist we had as a kid, but he moved offices after 9/11 and I don't know where. The optometrist at the doctor's office is only there two days out of the week, and it's impossible to get them on the phone. The only a block away from me, we went there last year and I wasn't terribly impressed.

But this one is close by (well, I don't have to take any buses or trains, just the boat), there's a nice playground nearby, the optometrist clearly knows her stuff, and those are the three qualities I need. (I'd sacrifice the first two for the last, of course, but it's nice when you don't have to.)


Fighting parents hurt children's ability to recognize and regulate emotions

Why Don’t We Have Pay Toilets in America?

Joint Over- and Underdiagnosis

Azerbaijan Is Arming Up Amid Territorial Dispute With Armenia

Fracking Advocates Allegedly Get Homeless People To Pose As Shale Supporters

Senators cave to industry, abandon unbundling of broadcast TV channels

Primal pull of a baby crying reaches across species

The Dancing Traffic Light

What it takes to live in poverty

Despite all evidence to the contrary, blaming black culture for racial inequality remains politically dominant.

Millennials Love Transit Most, Boomers Still Stuck on Cars

The anatomy of ISIS: How the 'Islamic State' is run, from oil to beheadings

Militant Gains Illustrate Plight of Syrian Kurds

49 Hostages Held by ISIS Freed

British journalist, now ISIS hostage, sends message from terror group

Tainted Measles Vaccine Eyed in Deaths of 15 Children in Syria

Ukraine leader gets support in U.S., but not lethal aid

WHO: 700 new Ebola cases emerge in one week

Eight bodies found after attack on Guinea Ebola education team

Ebola patients buying survivors' blood from black market, WHO warns

The CIA Used to Have a Commute-by-Canoe Club. One Member’s Memories.

Scotland Votes No to Leaving the United Kingdom

Here's How The Map Of Europe Would Be Redrawn If All The Separatist Movements Get Their Way

Record Amount of Retardant Used on California Fire

Chimpanzees are inherently violent. Don't blame the humans

Meteorite That Killed Dinosaurs May Have Led To Lush Green Forests

No one could have predicted Hobby Lobby decision would be used to protect FLDS against labor laws.

Artificial sweeteners may leave their users glucose intolerant

New branch added to European family tree: Europeans descended from at least 3, not 2, groups of ancient humans

Today was our *one day off* from appointments. No doctor, no dentist, no orthodontist or optometrist. Nothing!

Yesterday, Ana had a mild headache all day. Last night, she was itchy. This morning, she woke up with a sore throat. Headache + itchy + sore throat = strep test, and I have to go to the doctor. I was just freaking at the doctor!
Monday was a disaster, and we really struggled to get the work done I'd planned. Ditto Tuesday. Another day, another appointment, but I've smartened up! No plans!

The dentist visit was pleasant and efficient and we're left with nothing to do the rest of the day. Why? WHY?
Should I get Superman, Batman, or Spiderman themed? I'm getting fabric bandaids for me, and hopefully I can fob the girls off with superheroes. No matter how injured Baby Jill or Moosie gets, they do not really need bandaids!
Here's The Gruesome Way A Doctor First Proved The Heart Pumps Blood

Chief rabbi says French society has turned indifferent to anti-Semitism

ISIS targets evolution in Iraqi schools

Syrian Opposition Blasts Reports It Signed a Truce With ISIS

Turkey considers buffer zone with Syria and Iraq to contain Isis

US Will Retaliate If Syria Interferes In Airstrikes

U.S. leaders call for 'war' on Ebola outbreak, pledge troops

Ebola cases may be kept within tens of thousands, WHO says

World hunger: No reason for celebration yet, data masks real struggle – UN

Why the Economy Doesn’t Work for the 99%: Massive Payouts to Corporate Stockholders

“We can’t strain the entire ocean”: The horrifying truth about where our plastic ends up

Ocean Algae Can Evolve Fast to Tackle Climate Change

Teen drug and alcohol use continues to fall, new federal data show

Cell-Like Structure Found in Martian Meteorite

Slow to mature, quick to distract: ADHD brain study finds slower development of key connections

Smartphones Are Used To Stalk, Control Domestic Abuse Victims

10 Lessons From Real-Life Revolutions That Fictional Dystopias Ignore

Ukraine crisis: Rebels granted self-rule and amnesty

Ukraine Ratifies E.U. Deal That Triggered Russia Conflict

A Military Reenactment Group is Fixing the Ukrainian Army’s Decrepit Soviet Equipment

Poll: Most Americans no longer think a college education is ‘very important’
I managed to sign them up for swimming, despite having forgotten Eva's swimming report card to confirm she's in guppy (we agreed to sign her up for guppy under the condition that if the instructor decides I'm nuts she goes back to polliwog), to find several of our bathing suits, to MAKE A PHONE CALL (truly, this is a red letter day) and make an appointment with a new optometrist, having given up on the old one completely, to recite the atm card number from memory and thus pay for the orthodontist and to make a new appointment there (boy howdy, does Ana ever need braces), and to get some math and writing done.

Yea, verily, I am a rock star.
The dental insurance card
The regular insurance card (turns out we're not covered by that optometrist anyway)
The ATM card
The pita bread
The hummus
Upon leaving the orthodontist, the umbrellas (I'll swing by tomorrow and pick them up then)

Yessirree bob, I was on a goddamn roll today, one with butter and onions and some nice pastrami. Wait, lost that metaphor. Just add "my metaphor" to the list.

The children also forgot something:

Their manners

Seriously, they're supposed to know better than to roll around on the floor of the waiting room!
No, “Meatless Monday” is not an evil vegetarian plot to deprive our children of precious steak, pork, and chicken.

A Major Accounting Firm Just Ran the Numbers on Climate Change

Tricky operation to save sick goldfish

Pre-diabetes, diabetes rates fuel national health crisis

Artificial spleen cleans up blood

Device improves survival in rats after severe infections.

Schizophrenia is 'umbrella disease' of eight gene disorders, study finds

Fresh sanctions will freeze big foreign oil projects in Russia

Ukraine Sees The Worst Fighting Since Ceasefire Began

Britain says no rescue mission as does not know where IS hostages are

Ancient sturgeon in China's Yangtze 'nearly extinct'

The Mathematics of Ebola Trigger Stark Warnings: Act Now or Regret It

Secrecy continues to shroud killings by border agents

When 'Mistress' Meant 'Mrs.' and 'Miss' Meant 'Prostitute'

Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror

Every US president of the past 25 years has decided to bomb Iraq

5 Things I Learned as a Sex Slave in Modern America


Report: School Districts Are Receiving Free Military Gear From The Pentagon

Ohio’s anti-choice nightmare: How a purple state is pioneering how to shutter clinics

How well do you know the history of the Pledge of Allegiance?

Followers of Afro-Brazilian religions feel under attack
This was accompanied by both a boil AND a backache. I am not a happy pig :(
So, today we had Ana's follow-up doctor's appointment. And my mother also had a follow-up - she fainted a few weeks ago and was found to have high blood pressure.

So we all went together to the doctor. Ana's appointment was at 9. We were there at 9. By 10, I realized we had been utterly forgotten, and reminded the receptionist that we were waiting patiently, handing out crayons and paper to any child who wanted it. We finally saw the doctor at 11, and we were out of there in 5 minutes flat.

Now, my mother's appointment was at 11:30. This was great, as it meant she could keep Eva in the waiting room and I didn't have her jumping around while I tried to talk to the doctor.

We went down to my mother's appointment... and were told that this doctor "is no longer working here". We made the appointment less than three weeks ago. Now, to give her her due, the receptionist was more than aware that somebody had screwed up in not informing patients that they had to reschedule, and she made a heroic effort to get all of us with that same doctor rescheduled today, eventually calling one doctor and outright begging him to see my mom, as it'd be difficult for her to take a different day off.

Which worked, thankfully, and it's good I was there, as I'm pretty sure my mom would've bolted otherwise. I mean, I wanted to bolt, and it wasn't even my appointment!

So that was today. We'll try to finish up some math, and we'll try to finish up some history and current events, but it'll be remarkable if we get much done.
The Rise of Biblical Counseling

Proposed Texas textbooks are inaccurate, biased and politicized, new report finds

Russia and the Menace of Unreality

How Vladimir Putin is revolutionizing information warfare

Nato members 'start arms deliveries to Ukraine'

North Korea sentences US citizen Matthew Miller to six years hard labour

The Senate Tried to Overturn ‘Citizens United’ Today. Guess What Stopped Them?

Researchers Say the Ozone Layer is Recovering

Facebook Takes Down Page Showing How to Use a Female Condom

ISIS executes British aid worker David Haines; Cameron vows justice

An American in ISIS's Retweet Army

ISIS war chest grows by an estimated $3M every day

‘Hey, baby!’: Anti-catcalling crusade gains ground in New York City

Comfort Food Is a Myth

Scientists Develop Quick And Easy Method To Produce White Blood Cells From Skin Cells
That thought won't fill anybody with glee, but it simply has to be done. TOO MANY APPOINTMENTS.


UNICEF: Nearly half of girls in South Asia marry before age 18

Ant-sized radio runs on radio waves

Mysterious Men Dropping From Helicopters To Chop Down NorCal Marijuana Grows

Should Oil Barons Like David Koch Be Funding Our Museums?

Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy

These Wasps Built Their Colony On A Window – And The View Is Incredible

Soldiers defeat Islamic fighters in north Nigeria

Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?

'Islamic State' is a slur on our faith, say leading Muslims

Israel tells US it will act if IS reaches Jordan

ISIS Strikes Deal With Moderate Syrian Rebels

Syrian Kurds Ally With Rebel Groups To Fight The Islamic State

Syria refugees attacked in Lebanon

After Iraqi battles, residents choose displacement

Pope Francis warns on 'piecemeal World War III'

Ukraine: Peace Disrupted By Barrage; Russia Sends New Aid Convoy

Russian Soldiers Reveal the Truth Behind Putin's Secret War

U.S. military exercise with Russia canceled because of Ukraine attacks

U.S. warns its citizens in Uganda to stay home, await more guidance

Real-life Mexican superheroes give el Chapulin Colorado a run for his money

'Solid' light could compute previously unsolvable problems

Yahoo's NSA challenge documents shed light on secret process

American blue-collar workers disappear — from Congress

Scientists are perfecting a prototype of the exoskeleton equivalent of skinny jeans.

Ceramics don't have to be brittle: Materials scientists are creating materials by design

Wildfires char more than 100,000 acres in Northern California

Yemen Troops Clash With Shiite Rebels in Capital

Ebola hospital workers walk out over pay

The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys

Want Your Crops To Survive Extreme Heat and Drought? Add Fungus
Monday: Doctor
Tuesday: Orthodontist and try to get a walk-in visit with the optometrist
Wednesday: Dentist
Thursday: Pick up the CSA
Friday: No idea, but I'm sure something will come up


The Biggest Robbers In America Are Employers

Liberal countries have more satisfied citizens while conservatives are happier individuals

Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce

Putin Looks to Asia as EU Tightens Sanctions

How Google’s Autonomous Car Passed the First U.S. State Self-Driving Test

Researchers search for genes behind intelligence, find almost nothing

Coming soon: 3D printable solar panels capable of powering… anything

Cop To Cameraman: 'If You're Invoking Your Rights, You Must Be Doing Something Wrong'

Workers Shut Down Chipotle Store Over ‘Borderline Sweatshop Conditions’

Is rape the price to pay for migrant women chasing the American Dream?

Researchers claim hydrogen energy advance

If Republicans want full-scale war, they should say so

ISIS Starts Recruiting in Istanbul’s Vulnerable Suburbs
Our neighbor came home, and the cat, Tommy, ran down to his van and started really pouring on the charm, rubbing up against the van and purring and everything. It was adorable.

Everybody is sleepy today. Yaaaaaaawn.


Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain

The moment a man enlists in the US armed forces, his chances of being sexually assaulted increase by a factor of ten.

Stonehenge secrets revealed by underground map

ISIS or ISIL? The debate over what to call Iraq’s terror group

Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations

10 birds your grandkids may never see, thanks to climate change

When Scientists Give Up

A defamation case against a man who claimed fracking polluted his water highlights free-speech issues

Japan, U.S. discussing offensive military capability for Tokyo

People near 'fracking' wells report health woes

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious

How the worst apple took over the United States, and continues to spread

Male Birth Control, Without Condoms, Will Be Here by 2017

The Forsaken: A Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Are Being Cast Out by Religious Families

What employers really want? Workers they don’t have to train

Ukraine says Russia withdrawing forces from east, sees boost for peace

Who Knew? All European Jews Are 30th Cousins or Closer

Jurassic squirrels: Fossils shed light on early mammal evolution

Libya’s exiled government is living inside a car ferry

Advice columns from decades past provide a chilling glimpse into the horrors of marriage counselling before feminism

Tempers flare as mass flood evacuations begin in Kashmir
Today it's asthma. Really, really bad. We had to make a nighttime trip to the ER, which is not my favorite spot.

However, I am not certain Ana really needed *six* nebulizer treatments, nor medicine to be taken every four hours for two days. The impression I got of this doctor, even before round six of the nebulizer (or round four, for that matter), was that he was a little over-eager and zealous. I mean, we'll do it, but I'm not gonna panic over it unless she starts wheezing again.

And we'll be back at the doctor on Friday. Sheesh. I ought to carry a sleeping bag with me!
When she wasn't clutching her stomach and crying she was pulling the blanket over her eyes and crying, and mostly she just slept. Like, the whole day, and then the whole night after. She managed to rally long enough to do 2 math problems so long as I did the work (she gets tunnel vision during migraines, and some other visual effects) and then passed back out. And that was all the schoolwork she did. Frankly, I'm amazed she managed that much. She's a trooper.

Now, I'm pretty familiar with migraine symptoms, although it somehow always takes until the tunnel vision appears for me to remember that this is what it's all adding up to. But this was so bad the only thing stopping me from taking her to the doctor was the fact that I didn't want to drag her onto the bus if it wasn't strictly necessary.

We eventually decided she might go when her mom got home, so she and Eva got dressed. Eva, in the course of this, realized she had to find her shoe. She thought it might be under the footstool, so she climbed onto the footstool to look under this. She didn't see it, so she kept leaning forward to see further under until she accidentally executed a handstand and then, as I leaned forward, a back flip. Too bad she couldn't stick the landing.

So we decided to take both girls to the doctor in the morning if they weren't feeling better. Well, they woke up and Ana said her tummy and head still hurt, and Eva insisted on hopping everywhere because she couldn't put weight on her injured foot. Three minutes after we walk into the doctor's office and they're both running in circles and bouncing off the walls. This happens every freaking time. They could at least have the courtesy to remain on death's door until after we're checked in! The doctor must think I'm a hypochondriac! I felt so stupid going "Well, we thought her foot might actually be broken, but she's stopped hopping" and "Well, it looked even worse than most migraines, but she wasn't jumping off furniture then AND SHOULD NOT BE NOW! SIT DOWN!!! ON YOUR BUTT NOT YOUR HEAD!" and the like.

Migraines and asthma are, of course, the other reason for homeschooling. She missed a lot of school last year due to either having one or the other in the morning, or having had one the night before (and thus not being in good shape come the morning), or having to go to the doctor for a follow-up after an asthma attack, and even when she was at school she wasn't always *there* because she was groggy or she was suffering from the lingering or beginning stages of asthma or migraines or both.

Anyway, yesterday we did pretty much bupkis, and today we did math, and we did history (creation myths from various cultures), and we even managed a little writing in the form of our own creation myths. And then... Eva asked me to assign her even more work. What is WITH this kid? So I gave her a research assignment, comparing and contrasting lions and tigers. That should keep her occupied. I really need to figure out the assignment(s) that will teach this girl to punctuate. A page and a half of the origin of the universe, and not a period to be found. Ye gods.
Under the feta.
Grand High Supreme and Mighty Empress Connie
User: conuly
Name: Grand High Supreme and Mighty Empress Connie
about my benevolent rule
Welcome to my world.

On your left you will see the musings, ramblings, and prevarications of me, your most Imperial Highness Herself, and Keeper of the Red Pencil of Doom. To the right... probably the edge of your computer monitor. *shrugs* What can you do?

Go! Read! Comment! Thy Empress commands thee!
my days....
Back October 2014
You should've read these already!