Reading to the Pre-Born and the New Born

During the last year I have talked to many women who read to their child when in the  womb. They had positive reports on how well the child is doing post birth. Current ages ranged from new born to in the teens.

If you read to your child in the womb please share your story to encourage other mothers to do the same. Did anyone have a negative result?

(If we get at least 20 good stories we will have a drawing for a free copy of “The Deer with the Purple Nose”.)

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Early Reading pays Dividends

With recent riots occurring in various cities the reality of poor education is brought to light yet again. Over 90% of eighth graders in Detroit public schools are below grade level in reading. This is not unusual in large cities. These students go on to high school with an inability to read or drop out. So where did things go the wrong directions?

More and more evidence is showing that infants are more capable than Piaget understood. A recent article in the LSA magazine (Spring, 2015, pp50-52) from the University of Michigan highlighted the work of Heinz Werner Distinguished University Professor of Psychology Susan Gelman who has shown that children are far more aware than Piaget gave them credit. Indeed, many mothers find that reading to their children from birth has great dividends. Many mothers are also reading to their unborn child. One mother reported that she read a certain book to her child during pregnancy. Now that the child is born she reads the same book  to her when she cries with the result that the child stops crying. Definite evidence that reading to the unborn child has a positive affect on the child. Another mother reported singing to the unborn child had a similar effect when she sang to the child post-birth. The mechanics of why and how this happens is the topic of a later blog; but for now, reading at an early age is vital to having a population with most students above grade level in reading instead of most being below grade level as is the current status.


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Dept. of Interior Wants No Differences of Opinion

Today’s Washington Examiner broke the story on a recent speech August 1 by the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. She stated  “I hope there are no climate-change deniers in the Department of Interior.” She also indicated “that no one working for her should challenge the idea that human activity is driving recent warming.”

When people do not have facts on their side they resort to “bullying” which has also been in the news lately, but in a different context.  It’s “OK” if it’s the government doing the bullying.  If Ms. Jewell had read recent findings (from both pro- and con- global warming proponents) she would know that there has been no warming for the recent period of 16 years which is the minimum length to determine trends.  Perhaps she should check the charts for the last 2,000 years to see the trends of warming and cooling. How could humans have caused such variations back then? Check the data at .  With CO2 levels rather high the warming should be taking place, but it isn’t. So high CO2 isn’t the (only) cause.  There’s still a lot to learn about our environment. An important point to remember is this: the current models that predicted global warming were wrong when they did not predict the steady state of the last 16 years. Therefore they cannot be trusted. They need new prediction models that accurately predict trends.  Then they will have a tool to rely on. Currently they only have their hot air as a basis.  Maybe that’s why the CO2 levels are so high. Hmmm.

Read the whole Washington Examiner article here:

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Ramping up – Help us Win!

At last we have a ‘store’ on Sales of the Hard Cover edition of “The Mystery at the Birdfeeder” will go live on Presidents Day, February 18, 2013! We would like to sell enough copies on that day to get to the top ten, or top 25 for the day in the children’s books category. To enlist our many customers who have enjoyed “The Mystery at the Birdfeeder” with their children (or just enjoying the photographs themselves!) we are having a contest that everyone can win. Just refer a friend who purchases the book on that day from See the website for the contest rules in the upper right corner. Thanks for your support!

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Let Common Sense Prevail

It seems that whenever a significant catastrophe occurs there is an element of our population that glories in being able to declare a solution which, if it had been implemented, would have had no impact on the event at all. The current crises are the events involving people being killed by guns. By creating hysteria those with an agenda attempt to gather the emotional anger of the masses and prevent any common sense thinking.  “Ban the guns” is the current cry with hopes of creating a registry of all gun owners and the eventual eradication of guns of the average citizen thus depriving them of their second ammendment right to bear arms. One case in point is the person who visited the Batman movie and shot many.  He had three theatres to choose from. He did not choose the one close to his home. Instead he chose the one in the state with the strongest gun control laws. That way he knew no one in the audience would shoot back. The gunmen who visit schools with ill intent know that schools generally have no armed guards which makes those in the schools an easy target.  There was a reason for the old saying that “the gun made every man the same size”.  There are always a few sick individuals who deviate from normal behaviour. They do not obey the laws and will find a way to get a weapon to fulfill their evil objectives. Laws don’t stop them. In response we have threats of retribution and jails. When a person of deviant behaviour knows that others have concealed weapons he/she is less likely to carry out an attack. A trained teacher with a gun would be a great deterrant to an attacker wanting to visit a school. We can call that protection – not over reacting. Do we owe it to our children to have them protected? A gunman may get off a couple shots, but there wouldn’t be a large massacre. People in hysteria don’t often consider reason. Evangelistic type people with their anti-gun agendas use “hot dog” (a skin of truth filled with a lie) misinformation to rally their supporters to create unnecessary laws. 

Many years ago a burgler who had served his time in jail wrote an article for the Reader’s Digest on how to protect your home. Burglers go for the easy ones. One of his attempts was thwarted when he was crawling into a basement through a basement window one night. He was met by two green eyes four inches apart. He made a hasty exit and learned later the family owned a pet couger.  Criminals go for the easy ones.  When a newspaper prints a list of who has guns it lets the burglers (and others) know which houses not to visit with evil intent.  Then on the other hand, the hardened professional criminal will know where to go if they need to obtain additional firearms.  I make a distinction here since there are skilled gangs that could out manuever a single person with a hand gun.

Returning to the hysteria aspect it is to be pointed out that criminals will always find a way to obtain a weapon for their job.  Taking guns from private citizens makes them ‘sitting ducks’ for the criminals.  This past week a woman called her husband at work (if I recall correctly) to alert him that someone was trying to break into their house. He called 911 on his other phone and instructed her to take the two children and hide in a certain closet. With the help of a crowbar the attacker got into the house. Not satisfied with burglery he hunted down the family in the closet. She shot him five times before he finally got the point and left. (The 911 tape was played on the radio and may now be on YouTube. You can relive the story!) You may ask “Why didn’t she kill him on the first try?” but many of us hesitate to actually kill another human being if it can be avoided. Protecting your family is an important responsibility. Following Teddy Roosevelt’s motto “speak softly and carry a big stick” may not always work, but a gun is a good deterrent to crime.  Let’s cut the hysteria and have some common sense. Some people don’t think like us; they actually want to harm others. Not understanding this causes people to jump on the current bandwagon as if it would help. The strict gun laws have not prevented the recent killings and never will. It’s the people exercising their second ammendment rights that make it a “more level paying field” and help reduce crime. It’s similar to having life insurance. You hope you won’t have to use it; but when the time comes you’re loved ones are so glad you did. Wouldn’t it be awful to watch your children killed and not be able to stop it? Maybe it’s time to think of ‘bearing arms’ an important responsibility to your family, yourself and your community. Take the course. Be ready. Hope you never need to use it; but if the time comes you may save the lives of others or your own family…and maybe you. Your family needs you and so does your employer. We’re told to be healthy, to drive properly and now maybe it’s time to be responsible in case the unthinkable happens; and we have a chance to stop or minimise the damage.  Let common sense prevail.

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Breaking news – No Global Warming to Date

Yesterday the press discovered Met Office recently (quietly) released a report that global warming ceased 16 years ago. Since 2010 was such a warm year it appeared that there might be a warming trend; however, when the 2011 and 2012 (through August) data was released the overall effect was neutral. Professor Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research unit at the University of East Anglia said 16 years was too short a time to make a determination which contradicted a statement he made 15 years ago that 15 years would show a trend. Professor Judith Curry, head of the Climate Science at Georgia Tech University disagreed stating that the climate model that has been used to predict global warming is flawed. Since it did not predict this pause in warming everyone has to agree. Until an accurate model is developed the warming or cooling hype is just promotional and should not be taken as any emergency that needs our immediate attention. More on this at–chart-prove-it.html

Another big announcement by National Geographic also came out yesterday that ice in Antarctica is growing.  Although it is not growing as fast as the ice in the Arctic is melting there is a significant amount which helped neutralize warming over the past 16 years. More at

Finally, here is an additional article from today

So no need to get excited about global warming until the global temperature rises 2 degrees.  Since it has been neutral for 16 years it will be quite a while before the earth realizes that much increase.  So have a good life.

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Surprize Visitor – Red-headed Woodpecker

The red-headed woodpecker is the most aggressive of the woodpeckers and is found south of Michigan and generally east of the Mississippi River.  The red-bellied woodpecker is often confused with the red-headed woodpecker since it is much more common in Michigan and is found year round.  It has red on the top of its head. The red on the male extends all the way to his beak.  In contrast the red-headed woodpecker has a completely red head, not just on the top.  In the summer time it may be possible to find the red-headed woodpecker in Michigan and the plains states. There have been recent sitings of the red-headed woodpecker in the Muskegon, Michigan area. Herein is posted a photograph of a red-headed woodpecker ‘shot’ by Larry Houseman in Muskegon. Note its red head compared to the female red-bellied woodpecker peaking over the top of these blogs and the male red-bellied woodpecker posted here.

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MAY DAY- Beware of CO2 Misinformation!

Years ago in a super hero comic the code word for emergency was “MAYDAY”. In one episode a boy in danger sent a note to the superhero saying “Remember my birthday.” Finding it a little odd he checked his files and discovered the boy’s birthday was May 1. That’s how the secret code was used to get the super hero to respond and rescue the boy from his captors. It’s time to shout “MAYDAY” to alert everyone to the dangers of misinformation about Global Warming.
I must first appologize for the reports today on the findings of my A.B. alma mater, the University of Michingan on Global Warming. One of my favorite classes (taken at the University of California, Northridge) was in the analysis of research. We learned how to find the flaws in research to be able to determine the reliability of the conclusions.  Analysis of the U of M research was very easy compared to the statistical analyses required for some reports. This report is based on “estimates”. (Let me point out that the research was from the social studies, not the science department.) After the United Nations Intergovernmental Council on Climate Change admitted that Global Warming is not caused by humans (after their data was proven to be ‘estimated’) how can the University of Michigan repeat the same trick? Why bring discredit on the university? It’s supposed to be an institution of higher learning, not a platform for political manipulation. Other comments on their research indicate a political agenda to force people to abandon their current life style and be forced into a type of slavehood following their dictates on the use of carbon dioxide. We need more carbon dioxide for the plants, not less! Be sure to read “Earth Day is Coming” and “Save the Birds” on this blog.
To try to provide some sense to their report I’ll mention that promotions depend on new thoughts and concepts, not on repeating someone else’s research; but then, aren’t they just repeating what the UN did? I guess I can’t find an excuse for their lack of professionalism. It’s their religion. You just can ‘reason’ with that.

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Earth Day is Coming

As earth day is approaching it would be good to take a good look at “truth” since it seems to have taken flight in light of the hucksters who twist science for their personal gain. For thousands of years it seems that however good a people may try to be there are those who would pervert the truth to obtain personal gain.Since carbon dioxide helps maintain tolerable temperatures on earth there are those who decided to claim that humans are causing global warming by creating more carbon dioxide than previous generations.  Since the earth has been warming and cooling in cycles for thousands of years they find it difficult to explain global warming prior to the industrial revolution. (These are the same people who claimed the earth was headed for destruction due to global cooling in 1979.) They avoid issues that shed light on the truth and blaspheme those who disagree with them. By convincing the public that humans are creating the global warming they are able to focus public sentiment against any large corporation who does not cooperate. So we see all the automobile companies lowering their CO2 emissions to satisfy the public that they are helping to save the environment. Other corporations are threatened with bad publicity if they do not purchase carbon offsets. So the investors in the London, England firm G.I.F. are becoming millionaires as a result. Their president Al Gore enjoys his private jet, several homes and all those things he warns others not to partake of. The United Nations Intergovernmental Council on Climate Chage had created data falsely ‘proving’ that Global Warming was caused by humans. After it was exposed that the data had been manufactured to fit their conclusions they recently admitted that humans had little, if any, affect on global warming.

So the hoax has been exposed. But the media and others continue to promote the lies. Carbon dioxide is odorless and colorless. It is required by plants for their very survival. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. More carbon dioxide is needed to keep plants healthy, not less. The fresh air you get from a walk in the woods should convince you that the extra oxygen there is a benefit. Every time you exhale you provide carbon dioxide for the plants. So breathe on your plants to keep them healthy. They will return the favor with an output of oxygen to improve your health.

So celebrate earth day by learning the truth, correcting the lies, picking up some trash and make it just a little better than when we came. And don’t forget to thank the Creator for the beautiful earth we have!   (Also see ‘Save the Birds!’ Feb. post.)

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Saying Words is NOT Reading – It’s just “in one ear and out the other”


Or we could say: “In the eyes and out the mouth”. Does anything happen in between (the ears)? The purpose of reading is the conveyance of information. Reading provides information or may describe a scene. Emphasis is often placed on the words more than the subject matter. Is it then any wonder that students dislike word problems in math later on? They’ve been trained to handle the words rather than the thoughts to be conveyed. In the orient students are taught math with concrete examples – we call them word problems. Even though a student may know all the words he/she may not understand the problem, and hence cannot move forward to devise a solution. That is one reason the CAMIL approach to learning can be so valuable. Carefully devising some Curiosity to gain the child’s Attention induces the Motivation to become Involved with the task so that Learning happens as they resolve the issue. Focus on content may provide better comprehension. For example: Soppuse tehre rmaesne sveearl mspieslled wrdos in a snetnece. Colud you sitll raed the snetnece? Recently sentences have traversed emails and blogs with purposefully misspelled words. The comments with the challenging sentences propose that if the first and last letters are in place and all the correct letters are there, the average person can still read it. This may be a help to dyslexic children who don’t see the letters in the words normally. With a content emphasis initially the correct spelling can come later after confidence in reading is gained. Correct spelling is still important. It provides an ease of understanding and traversing the multitude of words for the learned. Published works (including blogs and facebook) need correct spelling. There’s too much to cover to have to figure out someone’s hieroglyphics. Twitter is a bit of a different matter. How can some people say anything in 140 characters? So they must use code. Before dismissing the above give it some thought. Without comprehension “reading” is mostly a worthless exercise. If the reading scores are not acceptable then it may be time to try something new. The CAMIL approach may just be the tool to use attention getting ideas to get students in ‘comprehension mode’ to satisfy their curiosity…and the teacher’s cognitive goals for the day.

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