Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Dog Walking Diaries

Dog-walking-in-the-rain

A few weeks back my Daughter asked me to come with her as she took the family Shih Tzu for his regular walk.  I reminded myself that these opportunities won’t last forever, put down what I was working on and we set off in the rain.

She likes to chat and was quickly updating me on her latest craft projects, exploits of friends, books she’s reading and stories that she’s writing.  For my part I can’t help but look for lessons everywhere so, as she spoke, I asked questions such as how she thought she should deal with someone who was being mean or why things worked in a particular way.  Listening to her tales from school I then provided some stories from my school years and she was able to draw parallels with her own experiences.

Before I knew it we were deep into a discussion about a book I had just finished reading.  The book (Change of Heart) has a dilemma in it – should a dying eleven year old girl receive a heart transplant from the man who murdered her Father and Sister and, if she doesn’t want it, should her Mother force her to take it.   Despite being only ten we had a very mature chat about this, explored things from different angles and, in the blink of an eye, we were back at the house.

Since that first walk I’ve taken the opportunity to head out with my kids when I can and each time I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the one-on-one time together.  The talks don’t follow any particular theme.  Yesterday my Son and I started by talking about why salt melts ice, which lead to discussion about what he is learning in school about valance electrons.  Back at home we were taking the lead off of the dog when he said to me “Who knew that talking about chemistry could be so much fun!

I’m really enjoying these moments.  The lack of screens, phones and other distractions leaves us with little to do but actually talk to each other which, in today’s modern world, is a rare and precious thing.

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Filed under Children, Education, Life - or something like it

Why do fish swim upright?

Darwin_Fish

While running a design session this week I was suddenly struck by a strange thought.

Since fish live in a completely 3-dimensional environment and typically spend their time in a state of weightlessness (neutral buoyancy)…why do they swim upright (e.g. with their bellies facing towards Earth)?  

I posed this question to the team (a bit of a diversion from designing software I’ll admit) and, despite all being intelligent people with top-notch educations, none of them could come up with a plausible answer.

And then, while making some toast yesterday, another thought occurred to me.  Since I understand why land animals stay upright, perhaps the current thinking about life starting in water is incorrect and things actually started on land.  And would that mean that those creationist people actually have something right after all?

These were odd thoughts for several reasons:

  1. Well…they are just strange thoughts anyway.
  2. I normally get my strange thoughts in the shower.   (Hey!  You!  Get your mind out of the gutter)

Inquiring minds want to know…

Answers in comments below please.  A hearty handshake and a gold star to the first person with a plausible answer.

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Filed under Life - or something like it