Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Random Assortment

~ There's always more on Eliot:

Eliot insisted that the life’s work of a great writer forms a single piece. ‘The whole of Shakespeare’s work is one poem,’ he wrote, and ‘Joyce’s writings form a whole.’ It has always been tempting to divide Eliot into two: the anti-Semite and the great, humane poet; the young American and the middle-aged European. W.H. Auden wrote that Eliot was really two figures, a conscientious churchwarden and a 12-year-old boy ‘who likes to surprise over-solemn wigs by offering them explosive cigars, or cushions which fart when sat upon’. All these poems — casual, funny, flirtatious, severe — are Eliot.

~ The ambiguity in genetic testing is troubling, given the massive decisions people make based on those tests. But I think that the idea that we can get rid of ambiguity and can eventually have certainty through science is also troubling:

“Here’s what things will look like in ten years,” says MacArthur. “We find a variant in a baby born with a severe disease, and within seconds we can show that this variant has never been seen in 10 million healthy controls, but has been observed in 12 cases of the same disease. And just in case that’s not enough, we can look in another database for which a researcher has generated every possible variant in that gene and tested its effect, and shown that this specific variant has a catastrophic one. Boom: There’s no ambiguity here.” 

~ I wish we lived closer to my parents:

Another study by Ms. Compton and Mr. Pollak found that labor force participation by married women with children increased by as much as 10 percentage points when they lived near their mothers or mothers-in-law, and unanticipated child care needs seemed to play a big role.  

~ I am pro-swearing, although have been recently forced to cut back, due to Baby Leopard.

~ A woman seems genuinely surprised that the acts of giving and receiving care can provide benefits to each party:

I would not wish to be ill so that my husband could read to me. But I was ill and his reading showed me we were in this together. More than this, I fell in love again in a way I never expected and that I needed. Being love-full was one way in which I was more than my weak body and mind. In which we were more than our separate everyday selves.
~ In the midst of our own daycare changes, I give you "Preschool without Walls." Cool idea, although it sounds cold to me.

~ Stamp collecting and music: playable postage stamps!

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