Two Different Worlds – we are reading about the extraordinarily weird Grigory Rasputin and the extraordinarily brilliant Albert Einstein. The two were born only 10 years apart (Rasputin 1869, Einstein 1879), but WHOA, what different worlds they lived in. After each night’s reading, my son and I have much to discuss – first the family background, the education, and the character of each man (we haven’t gotten to their contributions yet) and then the comparison between cultures. Grossest tidbit from last night’s reading – Rasputin’s teeth were brown. Yeecks. BTW, both sources of information are well researched, well written, and captivating.
Thinking about Letters – last night I brought out the old family dictionary, so my son could see that there is a non-electronic means of finding the definition of a word. Then, I asked my son to guess which letter of the alphabet is at the beginning of the greatest number of words (he guessed “E”), and which letter is the beginning of the fewest number of words (he guessed “Z”). Thus begins a 13 day miniature side-study. We are counting the number of pages for each letter; two letters per evening. So, in 13 days we will know!
Focus on Pluto – we are keeping abreast of the New Horizons spacecraft that was launched nine and a half years ago with the task of flying by Pluto, sending back images and information. So exciting! After traveling some three BILLION miles, the FASTEST spacecraft ever is due to pass Pluto NEXT WEEK. It is already sending images. We marvel once again at the brainpower that can successfully manage these far-reaching projects with such precision.
Story problem from Le Fictitious Local Diner – The diner is gearing up to make some big bucks at the county fair – their plan is to sell 3,000 Rice Krispies Treats at their booth during the weekend-long fair. The diner chefs are working from the recipe on the back of the Rice Krispies box, which uses 6 cups of the rice cereal to make 12 large square cookies. How many cups will the diner use to produce their goal of 3,000? If a regular sized box of Rice Krispies can make two batches of the treats, how many regular sized boxes will be needed? Delving into the arena of common sense: is it likely that any grocery store would have this many boxes of Rice Krispies?
Our music theme a few nights ago – “The Sad Song Scale”. We listened to, and ranked these tear-jerker compositions on a sadness scale of one (“bummer”) to ten (“unrecoverable heart-crushing despair”):
- “Symphony No. 3 in F major” (third movement), composed by Brahms in 1883. We ranked this a most worthy 10 on our sadness scale. SO much desolation. This piece has been well positioned in several movies.
- “What’ll I Do”, by Irving Berlin, composed in 1923. Earns an impressive 6 on our scale. Sad AND clever. That is sort of hard to pull off. Kudos Mr. Berlin!
- “Serenade”, by Franz Schubert. A solid 9 on the scale. Written in 1828, during the final year of his life, despondent because he knew he was dying of Syphilis. Blog followers know that my son and I are enthusiastic Itzhak Perlman admirers and this performance is another reason why. Perfection.
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH