Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baby pictures

Baby pictures are posted at You can leave comments there.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Isn't new life amazing? A new human being is created. A unique personality. He inherits half of his genes from his mother and half from his father. Two small gametes combine to form a zygote, a single cell too small to see with the naked eye, that divides over and over again through mitosis. The first few times the cells divide, each copy is exactly the same (and, in fact, if you were to go in and separate the first four cells from each other, they would each become an individual and you'd have identical quadruplets). Eventually, as the embryo grows, cells are given separate jobs. Some become bone cells, some skin cells, some nervous tissue cells. Science understands this process fairly well.
Eventually a baby is born. He knows, instinctively, how to cry, how to breathe, how to eat.
It's night. The newborn baby cries very little, but he's crying now. I pick him up from his crib and he immediately calms. He looks around, curious about his new world. I stare at him in wonder.
Science can explain it. But that doesn't make it any less of a miracle.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baby boy

April went into labor sometime around 1:00 a.m. Monday morning and gave birth around 6:00 p.m. She took an epidural around 3:00 p.m. The long labor might have been due to the baby's position--he was turned the wrong direction until about 20 minutes before delivery, when the doctor turned him around and told April to start pushing.
Peter is 8 lbs. 5 oz., and just over 22 inches. He's good-natured, often awake, constantly hungry, and healthy. He nursed for a full 90 minutes just minutes after birth, and he would've nursed more if he could have.
He made my parents grandparents for the first time, and he made my four siblings uncles and aunts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why don't people get parody and satire?

Parody mocks an original piece of work by using humorous, satiric or ironic imitation. Satire itself is much broader.
Some examples: Swift's A Modest Proposal, some of Mark Twain's stuff, etc.
The Daily Show with John Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Simpsons, and the Onion can also sometimes be examples (although sometimes those productions are just plain silly).
Sometimes, satire or parody will show up on newspapers or blog. Every time that happens, readers, not understanding that what they're reading is satire, will post angry (or sometimes, sadly, complimentary) comments. It's clear from their comments that they just didn't get that it was satire.
Why is satire so often misunderstood? Has it always been misunderstood? Did the people in Swift's time really think he advocated eating children?
In any case, it's a powerful way of showing the ridiculousness of certain positions in a powerful way...but only if the reader/viewer understands that it's satire.

Baby Update

Still no baby. April was due on Valentine's Day...fortunately, our little boy won't have to celebrate his birthday on the love holiday. Unfortunately, he's taking his sweet time coming. He also missed his mother's birthday, his grandmother's birthday, and the 200th birthday of the two greats--Lincoln and Darwin.
April's going in for a doctor's visit Monday, and I'm thinking the baby will be here by Wednesday, at the latest.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Massive amounts of Jelly Flops

Jelly Bellys (one of the greatest candies in the world) has a mutant brother called Belly Flops. Belly Flops are the ones that just didn't make the cut--weird shapes, stuck together, etc. At Jelly Belly's website you can buy 24 lbs. of Belly Flops for a mere $50, and get free shipping. That's just over $2/pound, which is a fantastic price. Of course, then you have to figure out what to do with all that candy...
Here's the link.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Abortion rates

According to this article, abortion rates in Western Europe are significantly lower than in USA/Canada. The rates in the US/Canada are 57% higher. Any theories as to why?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Two 200 birthdays

Happy 200th birthday today to two incredibly important men:
Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.
They were both born on February 12, 1809. They both overcame enormous resistance from others; both were extremely unpopular in certain circles. Lincoln was responsible for keeping the states together and, ultimately, for freeing the slaves, although it took much much longer for African Americans to even come close to being treated fairly.
Darwin saw patterns in nature and made sense of them--had he not done it, someone else probably would have (in fact, before he published "The Origin of Species, he was contacted by another scientist who had also done extensive work and come to the same conclusion Darwin had). But Darwin was first, and he had impressive evidence to back up his claims. Like Lincoln, however, much has happened since. Genetics, molecular biology, geology, etc. add dimensions to evolution that Darwin never dreamed of.
Lincoln's acts eventually led to a more fair society; Darwin's ideas led to a better understanding of medicine and agriculture. BYU (along with numerous other universities) is hosting a Darwin week this week--I haven't heard anything about a Lincoln week, but he deserves to have a celebration to. So put on your top hats and your long white beards, and go celebrate.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my wife, who, for just a few weeks each year, gets to be the same age as myself (although she looks much younger).
Our baby is due in five short days (although we have no idea when his birthday will be, except to say that it will be sometime in February). April is a strong woman and is dealing well with the pregnancy. She certainly doesn't look or act 9 months pregnant.
So happy birthday!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Girls and jerks

Warning: Movie spoilers for "Becoming Jane" in this first paragraph:

A few months ago April and I watched "Becoming Jane." It's pretty good, for a chick flick, and, best of all, it has a happy ending. Like most modern chick flicks, the main man is a jerk. Girls who watch the movie may be too preoccupied with his looks to notice that fact, but it is still a fact. He is a total jerk. Anyway, the spoiler: he doesn't get the girl. Awesome! Finally, a chick flick with a happy ending!

Is this just a chick flick thing? Or is this a reality thing too? And why do so many girls (in movies and in life) fall for jerks?
Finally, a short comedy routine about this subject: Dwayne Perkins. (Play the movie.)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

"I screwed up"

It's always nice when the president realizes he's made a mistake and admits it. Here, President Obama admits it, and without undue delay. Here's hoping that he continue to be honest about mistakes he makes. And here's too a president that's aware that he makes mistakes.