Saturday, February 26, 2005

Personality Tests

A while back (um... Ok it was about 10 years ago) there was a free Myers-Briggs personality test on the Internet (I won't say "on the web" becasue the "web", as we know it today, didn't exist back then.). And then it was gone. Copyright infringement, or something. And today I found a new one. Here it its:

Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs)

And here I am:

ISTJ - "Trustee". Decisiveness in practical affairs. Guardian of time- honored institutions. Dependable. 11.6% of total population.

I still test as 50/50 Introvert/Extrovert, but I know I am an introvert. If I am around people for too long, I have to go be by myself for awhile.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

How To Teach Your Four-year-old to Play Chess

  1. Start with a basic, Staunton-pattern chess board and pieces. No North-vs-South, Romulan-vs-Klingon, or clear-vs-opaque crystal games. No travel size, either.

  2. Put the pieces on the board one at a time and tell your child the name of the pieces. Use the proper name, but you should also tell him what it is, for example: "This is a rook. It is shaped like a castle."

  3. Show him how each piece moves. Try to relate the movement to the name or the shape of the piece. Create a mnemonic device. Knights, Rooks, and Bishops are shaped like the way they move.

  4. Remember that chess is warfare! Pawns' movement in particular need to be related to their function. Imagine a pawn as a footsoldier who moves forward one step at a time holding a big shield and a spear. He moves forward but can only attack on the diagonal because his shield is in the way of his spear.

  5. Start playing a game. Don't worry much about your child having memorized everything yet. At each turn, tell him what his possible moves are, then let him decide which piece to move.

  6. Don't try to teach any strategy right off the bat. That comes later, when he has a good grasp of the moves.

  7. Be patient! Remember that a four-year-old's attention span is shorter than the amount of time it takes to play a normal chess game. It is fine to quit in the middle. Try to stick to the rules, but if occasionally the King sprouts wings and flies to the other side of the board to knock the other King over, that's fine. Game over! Time to watch Barney.

  8. If your child likes to use the computer, download or purchase a chess game where he can play against the computer. Computer games have the added bonus of not allowing you to make an illegal move; thus helping teach the child the moves

  9. It will be a long time before your child will be able to win, even if you are a beginner yourself. This can frustrate a child (to which anyone who has ever played Candy Land with a four-year-old can attest). Switch sides in the middle of the game. Let them win occasionally. Before you know it, you will have to work to beat them.

  10. Keep it fun! Quit if he becomes bored, tired, or frustrated.

  11. A great book is Chess for Kids by Michael Basman (Dorling Kindersly, 2001).

I was inspired to do the above after reading an interview of a judge in a law journal - I don't remember which journal, or which judge - who mentioned teaching his grandsons to play chess whey they turned four. If you read the article and have a link or a cite, kindly email me.

Blogger Baby Bib

Next time I have a baby, I'm for sure putting this bib on my wish list.

10:50p.m. Edited to add:
Actually, I have no problem blogging and feeding the baby at the same time. Am doing it now, in fact.

Thursday Library Trip - 02/24/05

  • Book: Brand Sense, Martin Lindstrom
  • Book: The E-Myth Manager, Michael E. Gerber
  • Book: My First Time Board Book [DK Publishing]
  • Book: Numbers [DK Publishing]
  • Book: Secret at Dolphin Bay, Marie Birkinshaw
  • Book: Worldwise: Knights & Armor, Daisy Kerr
  • Book: The Knight's Handbook, Christopher Gravett
  • Book: Saint George and the Dragon, Margaret Hodges
  • Video: He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown!
  • Video: Bob the Builder: Can We Fix It?
  • Video: Blue's Clues: Blue's Big Treasure Hunt

Monday, February 21, 2005

Newborn Screenings

The HealthLawProfBlog has commented on a New York Times article about the ethics of newborn screenings.

BTW, Prof. Mayo of the HealthLawProfBlog was my Civil Procedure professor, and one of my favorites. I will never, ever, forget International Shoe.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Groundhog Day II

Jonah Goldberg of the National Review Online has published A Movie for All Time about the movie Groundhog Day (subscription needed to view the entire article).

Realted posts: Groundhog Day

What's the Guy in the Background Looking At?

People who think that a nursing mother sitting in the corner of a restaurant with a blanket over her shoulder is "breastfeeding in public" should really see this photo.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thursday Library Trip - 02/17/05

Hey, it just occured to me, one of the objections to the USA PATRIOT act is that it supposedly gives investigators access to a person's library records (to see if they checked out The Anarchist Cookbook, I assume). Well, here you are, no court order or subpoena needed.
  • Book: Midwives: A Novel, Chris Bohjalian
  • Book: Blog On, Todd Stauffer
  • Book: The Berenstain Bears Play T-Ball, Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • Book: James in a Mess and Other Thomas the Tank Engine Stories
  • Video: Bob the Builder: Bob's White Christmas
  • Video: Big Machines: Road Construction
  • Video: Play-Along Games and Songs [Sesame Street]
  • Video: Stuart Little
  • Video: Thomas Meets the Queen and Other Stories [Thomas the Tank Engine]

Epidurals and C-Sections

You may have seen articles in the news about the New England Journal of Medicine study on the connection between epidurals given early in labor and the risk of C-section. Many extremely misleading headlines have proclaimed "Epidurals do not raise risk of C-section", "Early epidurals do not increase risk of Cesarean delivery" and the worst: "Epidurals Safe Even if Given Early in Labor."

Just a minute.

The study cited did not study unmedicated birth at all. It only compared giving epidurals early in labor vs. systemic drugs (i.v. narcotics). Therefore, the only conclusion that can be made from the data is that early epidurals are not more likely to result in c-sections compared to i.v. pain meds. There is a connection between epidurals and increased c-section rates (a 1996 study found that "women receiving epidural analgesia were 3.7 times more likely to undergo a cesarean"). However the jury is still out on whether connection indicates causality (a long, hard labor is more likely to end in a c-section, and a woman going through such a labor is also more likely to request and receive an epidural).

Epidurals were also found to result in shorter labors compared to narcotics which by their very nature slow everything down. Even anaesthsiologists admit that "epidural analgesia has long been shown to be associated with a longer second stage of labor."

And epidurals are certainly not without risks. These include: headache, back pain (sometimes chronic), fever (mom and/or baby), fetal distress, nerve damage, increase in assisted deliveries (i.e. forceps), possible newborn feeding problems; and very rarely, epidural abscess or meningitis and paralysis.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Target T-shirt Brouhaha

All my e-groups were abuzz this week about Target's fortune-cookie-themed maternity t-shirt emblazoned with the words "An epidural is in my near future." Apparently, the shirt created such immediate negative feedback that Target quickly pulled the offending ad from its website. No word as to whether the T is still available in stores.

Mothering Magazine Activism Alert
Fortune Tee Shirt

Friday, February 11, 2005

You Go, Girl!

A nine-months-pregnant woman in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, killed a woman who attacked her with a knife, apparently attempting to steal her baby.

Link: Pregnant Ky. Woman Kills Attacker

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Belly Up to the Bar V

Belly Up to the Bar V is up, with a good explanation of what it is supposed to be.

Thursday Library Trip - 02/10/05

Every Thursday, I take the boys to the library; then I blog a list of what we checked out. It's a little like "what I am reading this week" except that it includes the books I am reading, the books my husband is reading, the books my kids are reading, videos they are watching, and books that we thought looked interesting but didn't read because they weren't, after all. It's mostly just to help us keep track.
  • Book: E-myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company, Michael E. Gerber
  • Book: Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready, June R. Oberlander
  • Book: Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency, Tom DeMarco
  • Video: Bob the Builder: Can We Fix It?
  • Video: The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show
  • Video: Fantastic Journey To the Farm

Birth Center Closing

The Cincinnati Inquirer has a story about the closing of a local birth center, Midwives Mourn Birth Center. Ohio requires licensed midwives to have physician backup, and the birth center's doctor was not longer able to obtain affordable liability insurance. (I suspect that the litigation rates, infant mortality rates, and so forth are less for the birth center births than for hospital births, but that's a story for another day).

Midwife Jackie Gruer accurately describes the situation which exists in many states that either do not license direct-enty midwives, or place onerous restriction on their practice, such as requring physician backup. She says, "it is not that people are not having home births anymore, it is just that (now) they are using unlicensed care providers."

Related Posts:
Don't Let the Sun Set on Texas Midwives
Unassisted Births
Midwives and the Law

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Welcome Conspirators

Greetings to those who are visiting this blawg from the link on The Volokh Conspiracy. You spiked my daily hit count from an average of about 5 a day to 53 yesterday and 14 so far today, a fact which matters to no one but me. I often joke that no one but my mother reads my blog, but I think even she has slacked off lately. But I am heartened by the words of Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds (in his review of Hugh Hewitt's book Blog): " the aggregate, the vast hordes of small blogs with a few dozen readers are more important than the small number of big blogs with hundreds of thousands of readers."

Anyhow, as the slogan says, it's more mommy than blawg, but I do try to include some legal content from time to time. Over on the right you will find a syndication feed link. Please come again!

Religious Freedoms

A client called my husband today. He said that his daughter, who attends Reuben Johnson Elementary School in McKinney, Texas, took a bible to school today, to read during free reading time, and her teacher told her she could not read it in class.

I emailed him the following links:

Student Rights Guaranteed Under the Constitution and Federal Law (ACLJ)
Rights on Campus (ACLJ)

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Happy Birthday

Well, Big Champion is 4 today! We are having a party this weekend and settled on a Bob the Builder theme. Wouldn't you know it, that pattern has been discontinued. So I was able to get plates, napkins, etc. at clearance prices, but no invites. My husband finally tracked them down at Garden Ridge, which aparently had a better selection (and better organized) than the party store. Thanks, honey!

Is Thimerosol the New Tobacco?

The Los Angeles Times reports:
"A memo from the drug maker Merck & Co. shows that its executives were concerned about high levels of mercury in children's vaccinations nearly eight years before federal health officials disclosed the threat"

Link: Mercury Levels in Vaccines Eyed

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Breastfeeding News

BBC News reports Baby weight gain 'over-estimated', pointing out the link between formula feeding and obesity.

US growth charts from the CDC were updated a few years ago; but I still wonder how many pediatricians are still using the old charts.

Anyhow, a false concern about "slow weight gain" is insidious, as it undermines maternal confidence, one of the primary indicators of breastfeeding success. If mom thinks she can make enough milk, she will probably make enough milk.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Thursday Library Trip - 02/03/05

  • Book: Jump In! Even if you Don't Know How to Swim, Mark Burnett
  • (yes, the Survivor guy)
  • Book: Manners: At the Restaurant, Alison Tharen
  • Book: Manners: At a Birthday Party, Alison Tharen
  • Book: Knights in Shining Armor, Gail Gibbo
  • Video: Bob the Builder: The Kinghts of Fix-a-Lot
  • Video: Wiggles: Wiggly Play Time

Wednesday, February 02, 2005