Thursday, January 26, 2006

Late night variety pak

It's late, I'm tired, and this is all ya get. Helen Wheels left one looooong response to my Sunday blog on the rise of fascism in America. I thought about reprinting it here, but it turns out Helen posted the more detailed version on her blog, yesterday. She quotes Lawrence W. Britt's article on fascism at length, to chilling effect. Here it is. Consider that a mighty shout.
Many thanks to Kate and her hubs for turning me on to Campbell & Reece Biology, Seventh Edition. Looks like this is going to be a great experience for my home schooler AND his dad. This beautiful textbook includes a CD with useful material (how rare is that?), and the online resources rock. Tests! They have tests! They sure know how to make home schooling easy. Jake dove into it with both feet. Right away, the book stimulated a useful discussion on embryogenesis, haploidy, diploidy, gastrulation, and neurulation. We had to backtrack a bit to talk about gametogenesis and fertilization, but I didn't mind. Damn it, if there's one thing I'm qualified to teach, it's biology. No, really, I have a PhD in this stuff (didn't know that, did ya?) I warmed to the discussion, eager to share my knowledge of meiosis and mitosis, spermatogenesis and seminal vesicles, ovulation and the menstrual cycle. Then, suitably enlightened, I guided Jake back towards the subjects of fertilization, implantation, and early embryonic development: initial cell divisions, morula (what the Germans call zellballen, IIRC), blastula, morula, gastrula, neurula, embyro. Me: Any questions? Jake: I still don't get how the sperm get up there. Me: Their tails spin round and round, like little motorboat propellers. They swim up there. Jake: But how do they get up there? Me: Well, during orgasm, muscular contractions in the uterus help draw the sperm upward. Jake: But how do they get up there? This clearly called for a visual aid. Moral of the story*: never take anything for granted. D. *That part of the story is false. Of course my ten-year-old already knows the basic mechanics of intercourse. He's my son, for heaven's sake. Moral of the story: never discount my willingness to pounce on a cheap visual joke.


Blogger Pat Kirby said...

Glurk. I child whose parents actually discuss, honestly, sex and all that squishy stuff.

Yikes. This might leave to rampants bouts of responsibility and good sense.

I recommend the time honoured Catholic method. "What is sex?" "Shush. Just don't have it. That's all you need to know."

1/27/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Pat Kirby said...

"A" child...

Can't type.

1/27/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger mm said...

Sex and all That Squishy Stuff

A title waiting for a book...

1/27/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Better title: Squishy Stuff

Of course, then you'll get a bunch of pre-teen boys buying up copies ;o)

1/27/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Abbamondi said...

I'm post-teen and I'd buy Squishy Stuff.

1/27/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...

hub says "you're welcome. Yeah, it's a pretty good deal per pound. Tell him you can't dive in feet first."

my word verification is "upgod."

1/27/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Waddya mean, ya can't dive in feet first? Just watch us, Ms. Upgod.

1/27/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug, you're so funny. I *heart* your blog.
Angela 0>:)

1/27/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Thanks, Angela. When are we gonna get you to join the blogosphere?

1/27/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger amanda m. said...

hey, doug, have i told you i have a hand and wrist fetish?
yours are yummy.
and my word verification is
i dunno, why penn when thomas jefferson is just down the road?

1/29/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Doug,
I'm afraid I don't have much time for a blog, although my son has one.
Angela 0>:)

1/30/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Amanda, you're cracking me up. I don't have a half bad butt when I'm in shape, but hands and wrists? Short pudgy fingers, pudgy hands. In surgical glove sizes, I have an 8 1/2 palm and size 7 fingers.

In med school, pelvics were always a challenge.

Angela, I'll rope you into this yet.

1/30/2006 09:33:00 PM  

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