One of my favorite sites:

There’s so many notable ideas, innovations, explorations of color, shape, light, and more in this site,  it’s difficult to pick. . .

For example, here’s one to start with:


Parenting Skills License ?

The idea of some kind of education, practice, and testing on parenting skills has considerable merit.  However:

The core problem with comparing a child license to a driver’s license is the “right vs privilege” clause.

Given variance in parental decisions, including circumcision, sleep and curfew times, home vs public or private schooling, use of leisure time, vaccination, food decisions, etc. ; having a bureaucrat in some agency decide that you were a bad parent, revoke your “license”,  and exercise its authority to A) Prevent your reproducing , or B) Take away custody rights,  could quickly and draconianly become a nightmare.

A less invasive system might be one based on rewards, rather than punishment by removal of basic rights.  For example, a discount on health care, free or discount/upgrade tickets to sporting or community events, membership in clubs or community pool,  after passing parental exam.

On the other hand, in cases where there has been abuse or neglect, especially if the kids have been put into the social services for some reason, having an available authorized official  parental class would give the parents a way to redeem themselves, get on track,  give some measurable way to “prove ” that they deserved another chance at parenting,  and provide a clear path toward getting custody of their kids back.

In Response to:

xpost of my comment: page-4/#comment-263345


Problem Solving – Cat Poison

Some of the elements in the Bole city problem-solving scenario work, other elements not so much:
  • Putting stray cats to work, instead of eating or euthanizing them: WIN
  • Effective method for controlling rat population outbreak:  WIN
  • Combo use of rat poison with release of cats into the rat area: FAIL
The common types of poison which kill or disable rats will also poison the animals that eat the poisoned rats.  So the most productive of the cats will die horrible internal bleeding deaths.
just sayin’
Re: Associated Press

Stray cat ‘army’ battles west China rodent plague

BEIJING (AP) — Stray cats rounded up in a remote west China city are being used to catch rodents that have infested surrounding pasture lands.

Some 150 strays — dubbed by Chinese media as the “cat army” — were turned loose on the range lands outside Bole city in May to fight what the government calls a plague of rats. The state-run Xinhua News Agency says that the cats were brought in, along with tons of poisonous rat pellets.

The Bole government said in late June that rat holes had decreased by more than half. The Xinhua report on Friday quoted a Bole official as saying the cats were proving valuable.

Rodents and other pests have grown more troublesome on the vast grasslands as a result of overgrazing and killing off traditional predators like foxes.

Talk to Him

Recently, someone died alone.

Some people say he should have been “involuntarily committed”.

What about just talking with him.  Maybe sit for a bit.  Invite him over to tea or coffee on your porch.

Maybe gently edge on over, weeding one’s own yard, and help him with his.

Ask him what he likes to do.

Read a book with him.

Work the conversation around to check on what meds he’s taking.  Maybe some had side effects or weren’t working out well.

Maybe just sit together for a spell.

Ask him about politics, philosophy.

Yeah, ok he had a hygiene problem. Maybe more than that.  That’s what front porches are for. (well, maybe not for some of the things he was doing on his front porch.) I meant getting out in the air – if someone has a problem, from med side effects or whatever, that’s too much in an enclosed space,  it could help to talk out in the air and upwind of them. . .

Figure it out people – help them extricate from the vicious circle of being lost, and not knowing how to make themselves useful and connect with others.

The Duck Paradox

Of all the riddles I heard (or told) as a kid, the one I remember best is:

” What’s the difference between a duck ? ”

As some of you know, a frequent answer to this is ” One leg is both the same. ”

What makes this funny ?

Is it true  ?

What answers does one find if contemplated as a Koan ?

When using the duck question in a clown act I used to do, I often added:

So, what do you get when you find two of them ?

You have a paradox [ducks]

Googling, found a surprising quantity of references to it. One writer presents an interesting paper on questions and consciousness, which [spoiler alert] adding to the paradox, also does not answer the duck question:


Doing it Once

With many projects and people attempting to grab attention,  deciding when to handle is often the first question.

Actually, a prior question could be ” Is this something that I want to do,  and/or is it something that I should do ? ”

Should is a loaded word for some people – in this context I mean it not so much about what others think I should do,  but as a definition of what my own choices are on what projects I am taking on, what I am investing my attention and resources in,  and whether something falls within my overall values and priorities.

Another important question – is this something, either in content or by the time it will displace, that supports a secondary value but interferes with a primary value, or will get in the way of accomplishing a higher priority item ?

Not to get bogged in thought on any of the above,  with practice a nanosecond suffices.

Additional inspiration: The Zen Habits tip for deciding to do something now:

If it passes my personal “should” test,  then decisively giving it my full attention, doing it now, not having to “move it around”, physically or in my head, multiple times, will be the way to keep things from piling up. Handle it once so it gets done sooner, with the results adding benefit to me and others.

If it doesn’t pass my want or should test, then just get rid of it, or return to sender so they don’t keep sending more.  Handle it once so it doesn’t take up more of my time and resources, remove the distraction to my priority projects, with the added benefit of potentially redirecting the other entity’s resources toward something more productive.