Loverly Song, Loverly Sentiments

Nobody sings it better than Julie Andrews…

Of course you recognize the tune from My Fair Lady. The original London cast paired Julie Andrews, as Eliza Doolittle a spirited Cockney flower girl, with Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins, an avowed bachelor and general all around curmudgeon.

Sadly, too few My Fair Lady fans realize that the musical was inspired by the Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion a far more sophisticated theatrical critique of the British class system. And in turn, Shaw uses the Pygmalion myth from Ovid’s Metamorphoses as his muse.

I have always liked Wouldn’t it Be Loverly and when in private I give my best attempt at imitating Eliza’s Cockney accent. The message of the song is loverly as well—a wish for a simple and secure life.

So, here’s the question… How do we guide our children to discover what is truly valuable for a happy life? seemingly simple necessities such as shelter, warmth, and food in an increasingly materialistic world?

Posted in Character Development | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Morality without Religion (with plenty of chimps)

TEDxPeachtree – Frans de Waal – Morality without Religion:
Human morality is older than our current religions, and may go back to tendencies observable in other mammals. In a bottom-up view of morality, this talk is one man’s road to discovering an array of positive tendencies in animals at a time when competition and aggression were the only themes.

Bio from TED:

Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch-born ethologist/biologist known for his work on the social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982) compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. Ever since, de Waal has drawn parallels between primate and human behavior, from peacemaking and morality to culture. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialized in animal behavior. His popular books – translated into fifteen languages – have made him one of the world’s most visible primatologists. His latest books are Our Inner Ape (2005, Riverhead) and The Age of Empathy (2009, Harmony Books).

De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, Time selected him as one of the Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today.


So how do we define morality to the hitchlings? Is morality universal? What are the identifiable traits? We’d love to hear your cute and amusing stories about your children struggling with forming a moral sense.


Posted in Miscellanea, Monkeys & Apes | 1 Comment

Monday Monkey Mayhem (Gorilla lured by iPhone- How-To Demo!)

Make your next trip to the zoo one you won’t forget. Watch the amazing footage this guy was able to catch with just his cellphone and an eight dollar mirror! Truly, this is so simple you can put a “gorilla cam” together with you kids in minutes. (And yes, these are technically orangutans.)

h/t: Michael Fisher
From MF [note the cute baby monkey & the humans at the end are really monkey-like ~ sublime!]

From the clever chimp who invented “gorilla cam,” Mark Rober:
A simple trick to get you some AWESOME zoo footage with only a camera phone. If you love or hate (or are ambivalent towards) gorillas you are gonna really like this.
See how to make the gorilla cam here:
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This is also a GREAT example of critical thinking and problem solving to share with the hitchlings. The first problem was how to get the monkeys to interact with the zoo visitors. The second problem was how to improve the filmed footage of the monkeys. Mark Rober found simple and elegant solutions to both problems. Finally, in the true scientific spirit he published his results (on YouTube) and demonstrated how others could reproduce them for themselves. Brilliant.


Posted in Activity, Animals, Monkeys & Apes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Sunshine- Puggles Teach Baby to Chew

Adorable Puggles and a teething infant! Cuteness overload.

h/t: Michael Fisher

Admit it. How many of you tried your baby’s teething ring. I did! Please share your clever solutions for relieving teething pain.


Posted in Animals, Babies, Just for fun | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!- Sir Walter Scott

Oh what a tangled web we weave,

When first we practice to deceive!

Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.

Scottish author & novelist (1771 – 1832)

 This week’s quote for the hitchlings. Print the PDF and post it up where they can see it. Find examples during the week that support the quote and remember to have fun!

Oh what a tangled web we weave (PDF)

Posted in Quotes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment