redbird flower

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K-Drama: Don’t you need to go to the hospital?

Have you noticed that? The smallest injuries or minor illnesses and somebody asks a character why they aren’t going to the hospital, and it seems to weird to me.  Talk about drama!

I came across this while reading Culture Shock! Korea (this version published in the 90s, so some things are a bit out of date):

“Most hospitals in Korea have outpatient offices on the ground floor, so if you go to a large hospital you can probably get outpatient care for some medical problems when your Korean friend says needs to go to the hospital, he is probably referring to the outpatient offices, not the emergency room.”

So it seems “Don’t you need to go to the hospital” is really more like the English equivilant of “Are you sure you don’t need a doctor to look at that just in case?”

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Ice at both poles growing, contradicting Global Alarmist Predictions

Expect this not to make a lick of difference, since global warming alarmism is motivated by political greed for power and control, not by science, and they have an army of brainwashed, very zealous dupes.

“In the Southern Hemisphere, sea-ice levels just smashed through the previous record highs across Antarctica, where there is now more ice than at any point since records began. In the Arctic, where global-warming theorists preferred to keep the public focused due to some decreases in ice levels over recent years, scientists said sea-ice melt in 2014 fell below the long-term mean. Global temperatures, meanwhile, have remained steady for some 18 years and counting, contrary to United Nations models predicting more warming as carbon dioxide levels increased….

…As The New American reported last month, virtually every falsifiable prediction made by climate theorists — both the global-cooling mongers of a few decades ago and the warming alarmists more recently — has proven to be spectacularly wrong. In many cases, the opposite of what they forecasted took place. But perhaps nowhere have the failed global-warming doom and gloom predictions been more pronounced than in the Antarctic, where sea-ice levels have continued smashing through previous records. For each of the last three years, ice cover has hit a new record high.”  Read more.


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1907: ‘The Day of the Electric Kitchen…’

Good Housekeeping, Volume 45

Front Cover
C. W. Bryan & Company, 1907

Written at a time when electricity was still fairly new and not always a given, I find this article interesting for the things it brings up that we might take for granted today, so much so it doesn’t even occur to us (the lack of heat! the promiscuous use of matches in closets!).  It also kind of makes me think of the architect in the movie Christmas in Connecticut and how he wanted his own column in the housekeeping magazine.
To Keep Down the Light Bill By Ralph S Mueller

IN planning your house do not stint on the amount set aside for electric wiring. Any additional money spent while building for the purpose of arranging the wiring circuits and switches for the economical use of the electric current will pay a handsome return on the investment with each monthly service bill. Electric lighting is desirable not only because of its cleanliness, its comparative freedom from heat, and the safety in its use, but principally because of its all round convenience. When burned as freely as other illuminants electricity is expensive, but because of the ease with which it may be controlled it is possible so to wire and equip a house that all the features of its convenience may be enjoyed at a very reasonable cost. Most architects are not fully alive to all that may be done in this direction, and it is the purpose of this article to point out certain wiring provisions that should be embodied in one’s plans and specifications when building, as the work can be done at that time with a comparatively small additional expense.


In the first place, every hallway stairway and closet in the house should be wired for at least one lamp outlet, not forgetting the attic. This is worth while from the standpoint of fire protection alone as it does away with the promiscuous lighting of matches especially in closets full of inflammable clothing. The location of lamps in stairways and hallways, particularly cellar stairways, is further worth while as a means of preventing accidents. Under a flat rate system of charging the expense of operating such a general installation of lamps would be prohibitive but the flat rate system is now practiced only in comparatively few of the smaller towns. Under the straight meter system or the maximum demand system of charging it would work no hardship on the householder. In some cities the premises of each subscriber are given a rating which is in direct proportion to the number and candle power of the lamps installed. A certain price per unit is charged for up to a consumption equal to the subscriber’s rating and a certain reduced price per unit for all current in excess of the rating.  But even under this system hallway and closet lamps and any other lamps in similar locations are not considered when arriving at the rating. As the lamps in these locations may be of low candle power and as they are used so infrequently and then only for a moment practically the total expense of the pleasure they give is the cost of the original installation, certainly a small price to pay for the convenience and the fire and accident insurance they afford.

Do not fail to provide for a light in the ceiling of the front porch. It should be controlled by a switch placed just inside the front door. Such a light enables the departing guest to get safely down the porch stairs, and in the case of women being alone in the house they can size up a night caller before opening the door and refuse to open if he looks at all suspicious.  In the library, living room, and dining room one or more outlets should be wired in the baseboard to take the plugs of portable reading lamps, electric fans, and electric candelabra for dining table or sideboard. In the kitchen,  in addition to a drop light from the center of the ceiling, a bracket light near the sink is found to be very convenient. While the day of the electric kitchen is hardly at hand it would at least be well to plan for and conveniently locate an outlet for an electric flat iron.

For a night light in the bath room or upper hallway it is a good plan to use a two candle power lamp. One of these gives plenty of light for the purpose and when burning alone does not take enough current to start the mechanism of the meter so that nothing is recorded. No one now plans a bedroom without providing suitable locations for the bed dresser and chiffonier . These pieces of furniture being located the wiring can be planned. Bracket lights on each side of the dresser and chiffonier are an unending source of comfort. An outlet in the baseboard near the bed should not be overlooked. Frequent use for this will be found for a number of devices which are used with extension cords such as

 an electric hot water bottle or heating pad, an electric fan, electric massage machine, or an extension lamp with shade for those who read in bed. For the closet light the automatic door switch has not been found satisfactory. The lamp should be suspended from the ceiling by a cord and a socket containing a switch should be specified. The basement room into which the cellar stairs open should be illuminated by means of a lamp which is controlled by a switch at the head of the stairway. Such an arrangement renders it possible to make both the up and down trip on well lighted stairs. The lamp in the reception hall should be wired to switches which permit of turning it either off or on from either the head or foot of the front stairway. With these provisions a considerable economy may be effected as it is not necessary to let the lamp burn all evening yet the convenient switches save one from stumbling up or down an unlighted stairway.

Do not forget the telephone. While your electric light wiring is being installed, call in the telephone company to whose service you expect to subscribe. The company will gladly put in its wires at that time without charge and the advantage to you lies in the fact that they may be entirely concealed in the walls. If you are to have a combination front and back stairway locate the telephone if possible at the common platform. The bell may then be heard from any point in the lower or upper floors .  The maid may readily answer the calls from the kitchen and a trip only half way up or down the stairs is all that is necessary to reach the instrument.  In the case of a physician’s home wiring for an extension telephone set in the bedroom should be installed.

In some cities the annual charge for an extension set may be avoided by paying the telephone company a nominal charge for installing jacks at the respective downstairs and bedside locations. Then the one desk set type of telephone may be used downstairs in the day time and carried upstairs and plugged into the jack in the bedroom at night. A bedside telephone to call the police is much appreciated by a timid woman.

Clusters of lamps on electroliers should be divided into two or more groups and each group controlled by a separate switch. In the case of all lamps controlled by a switch in the socket the chain pull type of socket switch will be found the most convenient. Direct rays from an electric light with a clear globe are very irritating to the eyes For this reason frosted lamps should be used on all side wall or bracket lamps which are not to be fitted with shades. The frosting cuts down the efficiency of the lamp by ten or twelve per cent but the mellow restful light resulting makes the sacrifice well worth while. One of the most effective means of keeping down the monthly light bill is the judicious use of low candle power lamps. In the basement attic and closets eight candle power lamps will be found sufficient while ten candle power lamps may be used in the kitchen, hallways, bedrooms, and the bathroom.  The present day fashion calls for a large heavy ornamental shade hung directly over the dining room table.  While an ordinary thirty two candle power lamp is generally seen in this fixture it is better to use one of the reflecior type lamps which the electrical supply stores are now offering.  In this particular use downward light is all that is desired, any upward light is wasted. These reflector lamps can be had which give thirty two candle power of downward light but consume only as much current as the ordinary sixteen candle power lamp.

Another point to watch is the efficiency of the lamps you use. Of two lamps giving sixteen candle power one may take twenty five per cent more current than the other. It is well worth while to buy the better grade of lamps even though they may cOst a trifle more and will not last as long. The reason is that the saving in meter bills with the use of the high efficiency lamps more than offsets the extra expenss for the lamps. In some cities the electric light company furnishes renewal lamps free. But even in cities where they do not they offer lamps for sale and it is always best to buy of them because with what has been called enlightened self interest they offer only lamps that give their rated candle power with the least practical consumption of current TO KEEP DOWN THE LIGHT BILL

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What if we just do not enjoy that book?

It depends on the reason.  Is it a book nobody much could enjoy and never has?  Is it unpleasant because it is a bad story, poorly told, formulaic? Drop it.

Is it a book others have enjoyed over a wide span of time? Is it possible the attention span is lacking and not the book? Is it hard work?  Keep it.  Enjoyment is fleeting, and is not really the best standard for deciding whether or not to stick to a school book. Hard books that require a child to dig and labour are good material for growth.


Here is Charlotte Mason on the topic:

“I think we owe it to children to let them dig their knowledge, of whatever subject, for themselves out of the fit book; and this is for two reasons: What a child digs for is his own possession; what is poured into his ear, like the idle song of a pleasant singer, floats out as lightly as it came in, and is rarely assimilated.” (volume 3)

“Children must Labour.––This, of getting ideas out of them, is by no means all we must do with books. ‘In all labour there is profit,’ at any rate in some labour; and the labour of thought is what his book must induce in the child. He must generalise, classify, infer, judge, visualise, discriminate, labour in one way or another, with that capable mind of his, until the substance of his book is assimilated or rejected, according as he shall determine; for the determination rests with him and not with his teacher. (volume 3)

Perhaps it is not wholesome or quite honest for a teacher to pose as a source of all knowledge and to give ‘lovely’ lessons. Such lessons are titillating for the moment, but they give children the minimum of mental labour, and the result is much the same as that left on older persons by the reading of a magazine. We find, on the other hand, that in working through a considerable book, which may take two or three years to master, the interest of boys and girls is well sustained to the end; they develop an intelligent curiosity as to causes and consequences, and are in fact educating themselves. (also volume 3)

But boys get knowledge only as they dig for it. Labour prepares the way for assimilation, that mental process which converts information into knowledge; and the effort of taking in the sequence of thought of his author is worth to the boy a great deal of oral teaching. (volume 3)

It’s easy to be attentive when we love the book and cannot wait for the next part. It requires some more maturity and strength of character to stick to a book that is worthwhile, but we simply do not enjoy it.

“Hard ideas define a culture — that of serious reading, an institution vital to democracy itself. In a recent article, Stephen L. Carter, Yale law professor and novelist, underscores “the importance of reading books that are difficult. Long books. Hard books. Books with which we have to struggle. The hard work of serious reading mirrors the hard work of serious governing — and, in a democracy, governing is a responsibility all citizens share.”” (

It might also help your student to know if a  book was never written for children. Robinson Crusoe is like this. DeFoe wrote the story for adults, and he was as surprised as anybody when children took to it and called it one of their own. A number of books we think of as children’s books got their start that way, once upon a time. The book was published 300 years ago, and it is something marvelous to be in touch with one of the great literary minds of 3 centuries ago. It’s going to be a bit of work, but that work is well worth the effort, and your young scholars will find themselves stretched by it, but if one quits it because she doesn’t enjoy it, she will not get that stretching, and next year will be all the harder for it.

Something else that I think makes these works intended for adults by adopted by the children especially valuable to read is their outlook. Because they were written for adults, they have a grown up point of view, a mature way of looking at life and people. They stretch a child in a way that today’s books written for children just don’t, although certainly today’s children’s books are far more amusing and entertaining than yesteryear’s. There’s nothing wrong with reading books for fun, for entertainment. If I am hungry and it’s the middle of the day and I have an otherwise good diet, it’s not particularly harmful if I have a couple of cookies instead of a plate of raw broccoli. But if I eat only sweets because I have never learned to appreciate any vegetables or simple but nourishing foods such as pumpkin soup, roasted vegetables, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, or a nice bit of roasted fish, then that is a problem.

What children in the past enjoyed, they can be brought to enjoy again (and so can the adults)- stretch them a bit, give them something to grow on.

I will also share my experience with making a child continue with a book they are not enjoying- one of mine, when introduced to Plutarch, began the year by crying whenever I got out Plutarch. We changed how we approached it, but we did continue. I shortened readings, did some more careful background introductions before each reading (this was before Anne White’s lovely study guides), had her read with a bookmark with key names and definitions written down, and so forth. By the end of the year Plutarch was not only her favourite book, she didn’t even remember that she had hated it at the beginning of the year.


I am not saying that it is always a mistake to drop a book from your schoolyear.  Sometimes it is the right thing to do. I am saying the children’s  current tastes are not the best standard for school readings. We are seeking to educate, broaden,and inform those tastes.

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