This post contains affiliate links.
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Each year, I pick a Christmas novel to read. For seven years in a row, I read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. For the past three years, I added Jostein Gaarder’s The Christmas Mystery (which I highly recommend — it’s one of my favorites). But the children asked for something new this year, and who am I to deny them? Jenny Overton’s The Thirteen Days of Christmas is the latest addition to my ever-growing collection of Christmas books, and while it’d be fun to read it with the church calendar (there are chapters titled, for example, St. Nicholas’ Day and St. Stephen’s Day), I can’t deny that it fits almost perfectly into my schedule. DecemberTerm (my fancy name for our Christmas Circle Time) consists of 12 school days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there are 13 chapters. Is this providential? I think so.
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We had a rash of street hockey related injuries last week, which reminded me of the oft overlooked miracle that is magnesium oil. Do yourself a favor and keep some on hand! I make mine myself, though it can be purchased in prepared form if you prefer. The recipe is simple: equal parts purified water and magnesium bath flakes. Put in a cheap spray bottle.
What do we use it on? Anything achy. (Beware spraying this on broken skin — it’ll burn!) We’ve used it on sprained wrists and ankles, uncomfortable lower backs, tense shoulders, and more. It is one of my favorites from my medicine cabinet.
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Speaking of DecemberTerm, some years need to be review years. Or, at least, I have found this to be true for us. As younger children come up, it’s amazing what I think they know, that they don’t actually know. So, this year, instead of adding anything new to our stores of Christmas memory work, we’re doing all review: one poem and two songs per day, plus our daily recitation of Luke 2:1-20. Everything is kept in a binder, and when we get to the end, we begin again. (I use a post-it flag as a bookmark.)
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I was trying to think of a fun field trip for St. Nicholas’ Day this year. No, I don’t usually do field trips for the day. But I’ve always wanted to. And then I started thinking about how my oldest might not even be here for St. Nicholas Day two years from now, and so instead of getting depressed, I planned a field trip.
I’m taking all of my children to go see The Man Who Invented Christmas. As I mentioned above, I’ve read it aloud to them seven times so far. I think last year was the first year I didn’t read it since I’d begun. So they know the story well, which means they should have a deep appreciation for the movie. Or, at least, I hope so.
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This month in 2011:
I recently gave this post a little update at the end.
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This week’s links collection:
- Resurgence of Whooping Cough May Owe to Vaccine’s Inability to Prevent Infections from Boston University School of Public Health
- Important takeaway: the resurgence of whooping cough might be caused by the whooping cough vaccine.
- Lawnmower parents are raising a generation of kids who struggle with adversity from Dallas News
- “A newer, and in my opinion, more damaging parenting style has developed over the past decade and become kindly known as Lawnmower Parenting. These are parents who constantly clear all obstacles from their children’s paths so they never have to deal with problems for themselves.”
Aluminium in brain tissue in autism from Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
- Takeaway question: is autism actually aluminum brain poisoning?
- Physicists Just Found a Loophole in Graphene That Could Unlock Clean, Limitless Energy from Science Alert
- Basically awesome if it’ll work on a large scale.
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Bonus links on Net Neutrality:
Okay, okay. So the sky is falling and all that. That’s one side of the argument. If the panic over this issue has shown me anything it’s that many people have big passionate opinions and have done zero research to back them up. Most of the pro-Net Neutrality people I’ve encountered online (1) cannot make real arguments and (2) can’t actually define Net Neutrality. This concerns me greatly, and I’m pondering what to do to make sure my own children graduate understanding the value of having a well informed opinion rather than just parroting back what they’ve heard from others — and also understanding what does and does not make a real argument.
My experience was interesting to me. I started by asking questions in a couple blogging groups and when no one could answer them I asked different questions and at one point no one answered me but I was accused of being a libertarian jerk who doesn’t know what she’s talking about, all while I hadn’t yet done the research to develop my own opinion on the issue.
Naturally, since no one could share any research, I did my own.
So I’m going to share what I found most compelling. I’ll start with the simpler stuff and end with the most difficult. I know only a fraction of you will care, and that’s okay.
I firmly believe that the best kind of opinions are held by persons who can explain both sides of the argument in a logical and understandable way. We don’t always get there, of course, but I consider that the ideal. Since it’s so easy to find pro-Net Neutrality propaganda, and yet I ended up coming down on the “let it go” side of things, I’m sharing what persuaded me. I don’t expect all of you to agree with me. Please do your own thinking and develop your opinion accordingly.
- Title II is the key to net neutrality—so what is it? from The Daily Dot
- This was first written in 2014, which was before Net Neutrality was implemented, but it’s been updated. In order to understand Net Neutrality, you need to know a little 1930s legislation that Net Neutrality is based upon.
- It was funny to me that the “horrific effects” they predicted from rolling back the Title II classification looks like it would save me some money.
- Net Neutrality v. Title II: Explained from Medium (Tech Policy Corner)
- This article is a bit confusing because the author separates out the ideal of Net Neutrality from the actual law we call Net Neutrality (classifying broadband as a Title II public utility). You’ll have to pay attention closely to follow what he’s saying.
- Why I’m trying to change how the FCC regulates the Internet from The LA Times
- From the man himself! Find out why FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to do this in the first place.
- Net Neutrality, Reclassification and Investment: A Counterfactual Analysis from PHOENIX CENTER FOR ADVANCED LEGAL & ECONOMIC PUBLIC POLICY STUDIES
- This is an academic paper and therefore difficult to wade through (statistics and math, folks!). If you do wade through it, the author makes a good argument that Title II classification caused an investment reduction within the industry.
- Pai’s Right on Net Neutrality and Title II from Truth on the Market
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