1 0 Archive | March, 2010
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how to get kids to do their chores

Optimus Prime meets Ronald Reaganhow to get the kids to do their chores in the Crawford household:

  1. Issue the order something like this: “Autobots, <perform action>!!” (some viable examples: ‘roll out’, ‘clean room’, ‘eat dinner’)
  2. The kids will ask you, “what Transformer are you?”
  3. You answer, “I’m Optimus Prime!” (authoritative voice optional)
  4. Chain of command is established. The kids will defer to your authority and complete requisite action, unless either or both of them happen to be Decepticons, in which case:
  5. Chore will not be completed. Laser battle will ensue.

it’s not perfect. But it’s better than bribery.

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28. Mar, 2010
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Callum and his violin

Callum and his violinCallum, who is 6 (now almost 7), has been taking weekly violin lessons since last fall with some music teachers who give lessons out of their home in Mt. Pleasant. He’s been practicing (nearly) every day, and seems to really enjoy playing the instrument – not only that, but he’s getting quite good at it – he’s not a pro by any means, but his practice has been paying off. His note reading has been improving, and he’s been learning a lot about music theory.

Callum's songthe other day Callum was completing a writing assignment in his notebook – as part of his schooling we often give him a set of words to write about, and he’ll write a story about the words, or describe them, or something similar. At any rate, on this day he was writing, and started to hum to himself, and ended up composing a little song. He wrote the song from his head on his writing paper – not by using the actual notes (A, B, C#, D, E, F# etc), but by indicating how many fingers to put down on each string of the violin – so A1 is the first finger down on the A string, A2 is the first two fingers, etc. You can see the song he wrote in this picture.

when I got home from work Callum got out his violin and played the song he’d composed for me. It wasn’t the Magic Flute, of course, but I must admit I was pretty impressed, mostly at the fact that he had the gumption to go ahead and think up a song and write it down. When he asked Yvonne if it was okay that he included that as a part of his writing assignment, she said “of course!” – and I agree, I wholeheartedly encourage this sort of experimentation. I think it is a great sign – and if he keeps it up, his skills and creativity in this area will certainly improve.

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Vancouver 2010 Olympics medals per capita, final tally

Sidney Crosby at the 2010 Olympicsa few days ago while the 2010 Olympics were in progress I posted this tally of how many Olympic medals countries were earning per million people, to help to gauge how countries were performing compared to the number of potential athletes available to choose from. Now that the Olympics are over I’ve updated the tally, and here it is:

  1. Norway: 23 medals, 4,769,274 population, 4.823 mpm (medals per million)
  2. Austria: 16 medals, 8,344,319 population, 1.917 mpm
  3. Sweden: 11 medals, 9,220,986 population, 1.193 mpm
  4. Canada: 26 medals, 33,311,389 population, 0.781 mpm
  5. Germany: 30 medals, 82,140,043 population, 0.365 mpm
  6. Korea: 14 medals, 48,607,000 population, 0.288 mpm
  7. France: 11 medals, 62,048,473 population, 0.177 mpm
  8. United States: 37 medals, 304,059,724 population, 0.122 mpm
  9. Russian Federation: 15 medals, 141,800,000 population, 0.106 mpm
  10. China: 11 medals, 1,325,639,982 population, 0.008 mpm

and just for fun, here’s a quick chart that gives a graphical representation of how it turned out:

2010 Olympic medals per capita

I realize that the results are skewed – some countries have a lot more snow than other countries, and therefore a lot more of an interest in winter sports – but regardless, I found this an interesting exercise. At any rate I’m pretty pleased at Canada’s performance on a per capita basis during these Olympics, though you can see from the chart that Norway totally crushed it!

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02. Mar, 2010