Friday, February 19, 2010

The Girl (and the Billionaire) in the Glass

An interesting post by Kelly at the always interesting Reepicheep's Coracle stated the following:

Rational people who are trying to be happy should think about themselves first. "What do I want to do today?" should be the primary question we are asking ourselves.
That made me instantly recall one of the (many) sayings by Warren Buffett that I like:

"I have this complicated procedure I go through every morning which is to look in the mirror and decide what I'm going to do. And I feel at that point, everybody's had their say."

I agree with both that this is the right attitude to have. If you do too, you should love this poem--which ties both quotes together nicely.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good Morning, Merry Sunshine

In the comments section of my post reviewing Goodnight Moon, I mentioned a poem for the mornings that goes perfectly well. It's called "Good Morning, Merry Sunshine" and, without further ado, here it is:

Good morning, merry sunshine,
How did you wake so soon?
You chased away the little stars,
And shone away the moon!

I saw you go to sleep last night
Before I ceased my play.
How did you get back overhead
To shine on me today?

I did not go to sleep, dear child,
I just went round to see
The little children of the world
Who watch and wait for me.

I shine upon the little birds
And flowers on my way,
And then I come back overhead
To shine on you today.

This poem seems to be a variant of a song by G. Ambrose written at the turn of the century. A variant of it, found here, doesn't sound as pleasing--but it does provide a pleasing tweak to the original:

Good morning merry sunshine,
How did you wake so soon?
You scared away the little stars
And shone away the moon.

I saw you go to sleep last night
Before I ceased my playing.
How did you get way over there?
And where have you been staying?

I did not go to sleep, dear child,
I've been shining all the while.
But as you're world keeps turning 'round
It hides me from your sight.

But as it turns you back again
You'll find me waiting here
To shine a bright "good morning" down
On all the children dear.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Baby Book Review: The Very Busy Spider

The Very Busy Spider starts when a strong wind blows a spider from her web on a tree to a barnyard fence. The hard-working spider does not complain about bad luck, or ask other animals to catch flies for her. Instead, she immediately starts spinning a new web.

Then, animal after animal come by asking her to do something else. In each case, however, the spider doesn't reply. "She was very busy spinning her web," the story explains. By book's end, the spider has caught a fly and is sleeping soundly after a long day's work.

In working hard to achieve again what was lost, despite persistent pleas to do other things, the industrious spider is both enjoyable to read about and educational--without being preachy. Anyone looking for a children's book that shows the value of being virtuous should enjoy this book.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Baby Book Review: Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon is a short poem meant to be read to a child before going to bed. It begins by naming all the things in a room, from “two little kittens and a pair of mittens” to “a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush.” Following this, “good night” wishes are granted to everything previously named.

The illustrations match the book’s purpose wonderfully. For example, a bright green room greets the child at book’s start and then gets progressively darker.

Goodnight Moon is not the only bed-time storybook, but it is one of the most highly recommended for a good reason. The book prepares a child for bed in the best way possible: it gives him the comforting reassurance that everything is in its place and all is well—in his room and in the world outside.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Main Event Recap of Prager vs Reality

Last June it was my pleasure to interview Burgess Laughlin for the first installment of One Question, One Answer.

Mr. Laughlin's response to my question--asking what makes a biography good (or bad)--zeroed in on the proper standards for judging a biography, presented a well-chosen example to clarify one of the most important qualities a good biography has, and gave a remarkably concise one-sentence answer that I have since found helpful (in my work for The Objective Standard).

I was reminded of this recently after reading another interview--with Stephen Bourque. Bourque, of One Reality, presented a detailed response to a column by Dennis Prager (which argued that without God there can be no morality).

The interview with Bourque focuses on two points: "(1) His experience, as an activist, in thoroughly analyzing a sample of Prager's work; and (2) his reflections on Prager as an advocate of mysticism, including the general nature of Prager's arguments, their implications, and style of advocacy."

The interviewer? None other than Mr. Laughlin himself! Anybody who enjoyed his answers in my interview with him should enjoy this one. The questions are well-chosen and the answers by Bourque well-thought out. See for yourself.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Don't Play With Your Food!

In an earlier post, covering three ways to teach your kids to lie, I concluded that "for all the parents searching for the reason their kids lie, here's a possible answer: you taught them to."

While eating soup with my wife tonight, I pretended the soup was a train boom-chug-a-chuggin' up a hill and then choo-chooing before it is supposed to enter the tunnel. And then I made the connection that a lot of parents do this, along with the one where the spoon is a plane about a year before yelling at their kids for playing with their food.

I'm not complaining that my parents played these games--in fact, I think I remember enjoying them. Like before, however, I'm saying: if you're wondering why your kids always want to play with their food, here's a possible answer: you taught them to."