Parents as Teachers

Today is National “Parents as Teachers Day” and I thought I’d take a few minutes to honor some fantastic parent-teachers by sharing the lessons I’ve learned from them over the years. So here’s a shout out to some parent-teachers I respect: -To my Mother: for teaching me that no matter what happens, a parent’s love and faith are unconditional, and that in providing that shelter a parent teaches children how to love and gives them the strength to withstand a world that sometimes treats us more … realistically. She taught me to believe in myself. -To my Father: for reminding

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Shiny Dinglehoppers: Tetsubishi

Today we’re talking tetsubishi (aka “makibishi“). In English, we call them “caltrops.” Whether you refer to them by their English or Japanese names, these small, spiked objects served to slow down pursuers and sometimes to alert defenders to the presence of spies or other invaders. One of the simplest designs consists of two metal wires sharpened on either end and twisted around one another to form an “X” with the arms all pointing in different directions. When laid on the ground or a floor, at least one spike always points upward, ready to pierce an unsuspecting foot, hoof, or paw.

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Do You Have Any Final Words?

November 2, 2011 is official “Plan Your Epitaph Day.” I’m not sure I want to know what they will say about me when I’m gone. I’m even less sure I can sum myself up in 50 words or less. Most likely something on the order of “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Yeah, make em wonder. In the spirit of the occasion, here are a few famous epitaphs you may or may not have heard: Sir Isaac Newton: “Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night: God said, ‘Let Newton be!’ and all was light.” (March 20th

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Tuesday Tank Day: Two Babies in Search of a Name

Several months ago, I lost my female seahorse, Sputnik, to complications from a parasite that probably entered the tank along with her. The male, Cygnus, pulled through but since then he’s been alone and increasingly unhappy with his solo status. (Seahorses are social creatures and do better in groups.) After a long quarantine to make sure I had killed the parasites, the day for new seahorses finally arrived, and last Thursday we welcomed two new babies to the tank, one presumed female: and the other presumed male: (Apologies for the slightly fuzzy image – I took the photos with my

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