Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

“Mama, what would happen if all the kangaroos in Australia started jumping at the same time and flipped the world so that Australia was on top? “Well, I don’t know exactly. Do you think we would fall off?” “Nooo, silly. There’s gravity.” “Would we be upside down? No answer. “Mama, what would happen if I …

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We spent Saturday wandering around the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Faculty, students and a host of other volunteers filled the building with hands-on activities for the young and young-at-heart. The efforts that these people put forth to provide the community with meaningful experiences of science were amazing, all voluntary, …

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Friday night my daughter announced that she wanted to wear her blue velvet dress with the twirly skirt and her black patent leather shoes to the bug show at the Public Library on Saturday. My first thought was “Really? Blue velvet and bugs?” But then I thought again. “Why can’t a princess in a blue …

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The other night I was playing with my four-year-old daughter in her bedroom. She was the “Little Mommy,” and I was the “big sister”. She sat at her desk with her colored pencils and Kai Lan notebook “working”. “First,” she said as she donned her special, purple hat, “you have to put on a hat.” …

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Mathematics is the language of the universe, the foundation on which all things are built. If I had appreciated that in school, I might have paid more attention and worked harder to understand it. Lately I have been realizing that mathematical principles can apply even to the most mundane activities of everyday life. Proportionality is …

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[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=earthrise&iid=3812567″ src=”f/8/5/3/Earthrise_5623.jpg?adImageId=13046813&imageId=3812567″ width=”234″ height=”176″ /]It’s been almost five hundred years since Copernicus published his revolutionary theory that the earth revolved around the sun. This theory changed how man saw himself—removing him from a position at the center of the universe—and so was a radical and controversial idea at the time. Copernicus died …

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Recently my husband and I headed for an overnight in Chicago. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, ate at a wonderful restaurant, walked the Magnificent Mile (and spent absolutely no money), and took in a show at the Chicago Theater. We saw the comedian, Gabriel Iglesias, who is currently on tour. It’s been a …

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