A best friend is a commodity that is hard to come by. To find somebody who accepts you for who you really are, quirks and all, is what we are all looking for. How blessed I must be to have found my best friend and married him. Love is simply friendship caught on fire.
Today is our anniversary but everyday is precious. We have made so many memories together over the years. We have brought new life into the world. My hope for our daughters is that they find this, somebody who makes them happy, who will be there when they are sad, who thinks of them often, and accepts them for exactly who they are.
Happy anniversary to my loving husband and best friend!
In an article published last week in Science, psychologist Alison Gopnikreviewed the literature about the way young children learn, and she finds that the way preschoolers play is very similar to the way scientists do experiments: Kids come up with general principles, akin to scientific theories, based on the data of their daily lives. Gopnik argues that the research should steer educators and policy makers away from more-regimented, dogmatic kinds of preschool instruction.
Scientists have known for a while—as do most new parents—that babies and small children are phenomenally quick on the uptake. Little ones spend most of their time systematically exploring the world through trial and error, and they grasp what seem like complex concepts very quickly. Babies, we know, have an intuitive grasp of probability: In one experiment, researchers showed babies a box filled mostly with white balls and a few red ones, then drew out a sample of balls and showed it to the baby. If the sample was mostly red balls, the baby looked longer at it than if it were mostly white balls. The infant knew that drawing several red balls out of the bin was unlikely, and therefore noteworthy. Toddlers, multipleexperimentshaveshown, can test hypotheses about how machines work—for example, they can figure out which blocks made a machine play when some but not all blocks trigger the toy.
We have to be careful, though. This exploratory, quasi-scientific approach to the world doesn’t last if adults teach kids to do something else: Kids will let adult instruction override their natural curiosity. Gopnik cites an experiment in which a teacher bumped into a toy and made it squeak, as if by accident, then left the kid alone to play with the toy. The child made the toy squeak, but also figured out several other things about it. When the teacher said, “Here is my toy,” and then made the toy squeak, the child left alone with the plaything only imitated what the teacher had done. Researchers titled the paper about the squeaky-toy experiment “The Double-Edged Sword of Pedagogy.” After the “lesson,” the kids ended up learning less about the toy than they would have if left to simply play.
All this research, Gopnik concludes, argues against adding more instruction to preschool curricula. Let the little scientists play and the world will teach them what they want to know.
It’s always nice to put a face to a name—and not just in the case of humans. Paleontologist Paul Sereno just introduced the world to Pegomastax africanus, a small two-legged dinosaur that lived 200 million years ago, traipsing through what is now South Africa armed with a pointed beak, unexpectedly sharp canine teeth, and a bristling coat of quills. Calling to mind an image of such an unusual animal is difficult (I come up with a sort of parrot-wolf-porcupine-raptor mix which, while intriguing, is certainly not correct). Luckily, however, there are people like Tyler Keillor, a paleoartist who builds lifelike models of ancient animals, letting us see them face to face rather than as a list of features. In the video above, he reconstructs P. africanus layer by layer, starting with a resin skull and adding clay muscles, all the way up intricately painted silicone rubber skin and fishing-line quills.