Pope Quotes about Dante, Oliver Sacks and Chemistry Sets, & Pam Barnhill's Podcasts about Homeschooling: Hanson's Week in Review for April 23, 2016

What's going on here? It's a list of things I've read, looked at, watched, thought about, or picked up this week.

Maybe you'll find something you'd like.

Duhigg's Smarter Faster Better

Brad Zupp — A Memory Man — on the Productivityist

  • Productivityist Podcast with Brad Zupp — Mike Vardy interviews a memory guy. There was some stuff I liked:
    • Vardy used the line: "The mind is a factory, not a warehouse."
      • I like the line, because it's a fun rephrasing of the GTD principle: "Your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them."
    • Zupp said something about the importance of "making your mind sweat" — exerting mental effort.
      • I liked that: good sticky phrasing.
    • Vardy mentioned David Robinson — a former NBA player — that he uses mind maps for presentations.

Pam Barnhill's Homeschool Snapshots Podcast: Heidi Scovel & Allison Burr

  • Homeschool Snapshots — Alishia started playing this in the van on Sunday, when we were driving to a friend's house for a birthday party. I was impressed, and I liked what I heard. We're thinking about homeschooling one of our kids, and the discussion was good material for my thinking. I listened to two more podcasts during the week. I was even impressed by the format and production of the podcasts — Pam Barnhill does good work. 
    • Home School Snapshots — Pam Barnhill's interview with Heidi Scovel — Heidi Scovel blogs at Mt. Hope Chronicles. She mentioned some things that caught especially caught my attention:
      • Homeschool and efficiency — she said something about becoming convinced that homeschooling is the most efficient way to instruct a child. I'm open to that idea, since last week I both (a) dropped the kids off at school and (b) picked the kids up from school, on a single day. The amount of preparation and transportation time that goes into hauling young bodies to school struck me as wasteful.
      • Classical education as the imparting of certain tools — This struck me, because I'm thinking about tools lately (e.g., this). Give a kid the tools for learning, and let the kid learn on his or her own.
      • Deconstructing Penguins — I hadn't heard of this book. I'll add it to the list.
      • Adam Andrews — I had never heard of him or the Center for Lit. I like the looks of it. A Hillsdale family whose kids all went to Hillsdale. Nice.
    • Home School Snapshots — Pam Barnhill's interview of Allison Burr — Allison Burr blogs at Truth Beauty Goodness. She used to be congressional aide. She dumped the news of homeschooling on her husband; he didn't react well at first. I identified. Here's some stuff she mentioned:
      • "Life is about the present participle" — I liked that: working, playing, cooking, eating, cleaning, praying, loving, thinking, drinking.
      • Andrew Kern — I'd half-remembered Kern's name, because Alishia had gotten the Circe Institute's publication delivered to our house. It's impressive. I need to check it out in more detail.
      • Christopher Perrin — I hadn't heard of him before, but evidently his is a name to be conjured with in certain homeschooling circles.

O'Donnell's Edition of the Confessions

Kendra Wright's Website

  • Hey Kendra — Kendra Wright does things she's afraid of. She did this for a year. It's an interesting project. She should babysit my six kids — that's scary.

Joe Buhlig's Website

Marc and Angel Hack Life

  • Marc and Angel Hack Life — I have six kids and therefore own a 12-passenger van. Marc and Angel appear to have neither that number of kids nor that kind of vehicle. A middle-aged father of half a dozen isn't their target demographic, but I still enjoyed browsing their site.

Tim Minchin & Arched Cartesian Eyebrows

  • Tim Minchin — I had never heard about Tim Minchin, but I came across a link to a commencement address he gave, and the following caught my eye:
    • I’m sorry, you pasty, pale, smoking philosophy grads, arching your eyebrows into a Cartesian curve as you watch the Human Movement mob winding their way through the miniature traffic cones of their existence: you are wrong and they are right. Well, you’re half right – you think, therefore you are… but also: you jog, therefore you sleep well, therefore you’re not overwhelmed by existential angst. You can’t be Kant, and you don’t want to be. Play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run… whatever… but take care of your body. You’re going to need it.
    • Minchin was mentioned by James Shelley.
      • I don't know if Shelley coined it, but he uses the phrase "micro ambitious."

The Pipeline Interview of Joshua Topolsky

  • The Pipeline — Episode 2 — Dan Benjamin interviews Joshua Topolsky, the dude who started the Verge. Good podcast, good interview. It's about starting things and changing dramatically and unexpectedly in your career.

The Entreleadership Podcast of Todd Henry

  • Entreleadership Podcast —  Episode 143, Interview with Todd Henry, author of a book called The Accidental Creative.

    • I liked the interview — at least the part I listened to so far; haven't had time to finish it. Todd Henry mentions David Allen, and I'm getting a strong GTD vibe from him, which I dig.
    • Todd Henry says creative types need to be (1) Prolific, (2) Brilliant, (3) Healthy.
      • The health comes from having an "infrastructure" — an underlying system for getting work done in a sustainable way (there's the GTD vibe).
    • Todd Henry uses the acronym FRESH to explain what's important for the creative type: Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli, Hours (you only have so many of them; don't fritter them away on emails).
      • The "stimuli" caught my attention especially, because it's what I'm capturing in this review.

The Hunt for Vulcan

  • The Hunt for Vulcan by Thomas Levenson — I picked this up at the library in a browse.
    • The Hunt for Vulcan is an attractive little book. It's fun to hold and read.
    • There's a story about Einstein working out his calculations on Mercury's orbit. I liked it because it jibes with my sense, influenced by Polanyi, that knowing and emotion are intermingled:
      • Einstein, usually a fairly phlegmatic man, felt this one to the bone. When he completed the calculation of the orbit of Mercury and saw exactly the right number fall out of the long chain of pure reasoning, he told friends that he felt "beside himself with excitement." Seeing Mercury's motion simply fall out of his equations pierced him to his heart, he said. He felt palpitations, a sensation "as if something had burst within him."

Rework — with illustrations by Mike Rohde

Pope Quotes about Dante

On the Move: The Memoir of Oliver Sacks

  • On the Move, a memoir by Oliver Sacks — I also picked this up in the library, browsing in the audiobooks section. I'm listening to the CDs on the way to work. It's good. Sacks is an honest man and a brilliant mind. Here's some of the miscellany I've pulled out:
    • Sacks liked chemistry sets as a kid. It makes me want to get a kick-ass chemistry set for my kids. Maybe someday.
    • Sacks describes browsing the libraries of Oxford as part of his intellectual stirring and awakening. In that description, he mentions Sir Thomas Browne.
    • Sacks starts his memoir with this Kierkegaard quote: Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    • Sacks talks about his love for motorcycles and joining a motorcycle group, going from a solitary rider to "sharing an enthusiasm." I liked the phrase.
    • Sacks talks about his medical studies, and the very hands-on approach medical students were encourage to take, and he speaks of his hands becoming "a therapeutic tool." That caught me because of my recent thinking about tools.
    • Sacks talks about his time in a kibbutz. I need to learn more about those.

Ursula K. Le Guin's latest book of poems: Late in the Day

  • Late in the Day, poems by Ursula K. Le Guin — Again, I picked this up browsing the library's new-books section. I am enjoying the poems way more than I thought I would. Le Guin has some great phrases in there.
    • The poem that convinced me to take the book home was Orders — the poet poses a question to Andromache, the wife of Hector. Simple, powerful. Very good stuff.
    • It's published by PM Press.