Saving Lives, Not Just Solving Problems

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 2:27 PM Comments (9)

I don't go to Slate to find good news; but today, there was this.  A small group of students at Stanford's design school had an assignment for their "Design for Extreme Affordability" class.  As a classroom exercise, they were supposed to design a low-cost infant incubator for use in poor countries.  They discovered that

Each year, about fifteen million premature and low-birth-weight babies are born. A million of them perish, often within twenty-four hours of birth. The biggest preventable cause of death? Hypothermia. “These babies are so tiny they don’t have enough fat to regulate their own body temperature,” says Jane Chen, the MBA on the team. “In fact, room temperature feels like...READ MORE

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Should Catholics support UNICEF?

Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:44 AM Comments (57)

Did your child get an orange UNICEF box to solicit donations on Halloween?  If so, here are some things you should know about UNICEF:

UNICEF once did a tremendous amount of good, saving lives and improving health.  But in 1986, the organization shifted its emphasis from promoting survival to promoting rights -- to the detriment of the children and families involved. 
 

UNICEF keeps adoptable children in orphanages.

Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet told the Register that UNICEF and similar organizations are "the primary driving force for the elimination of international adoption."  The organization places a strong emphasis on a child's right to stay in his birth country....READ MORE

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Why I Love Having Teenagers

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:45 PM Comments (43)

It's an oldie but goodie:  last year's post from Katie Wetherbee is making the rounds again.  In Joy, or "Just Wait?"  the author describes how she winced when she overheard a women bitterly warning a young couple about their brand new baby.  "Just wait," the older woman said.  Just wait until that cute little baby grows up and turns into a terrible teenager.  Then we'll see how happy and proud you are!

Wetherbee says:

I remember hearing comments like that when I was a new (and overwhelmed!) mom.  It seemed that many parents were suffering from a chronic case of disappointment and dissatisfaction called ”Just-Wait-itis,” characterized by the inflammation of impending doom in...READ MORE

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Fear-Based Schooling

Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:03 PM Comments (99)

In his latest blog post, radio talk show host Matt Walsh explains why he is going to home school his two children when they reach school age.

I am going to assume that he has good reasons for making this choice for his own family.  I think it's wonderful when parents are willing and able to take on the gargantuan task of educating their kids at home, after thoroughly and prayerfully researching the choices available and deciding that this is what will work the best for their family.

It's somewhat less wonderful when parents who have zero personal experience with home school or public school whip their audience into a frenzy of fear.  Walsh says that he will no longer rant and rave...READ MORE

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Happy Feast Day, Papa JP II!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:57 AM Comments (9)

Happy feast day, Papa!    There are so many wonderful pictures of John Paul II circulating today, but somehow I had forgotten his voice.  I posted this video a while back, and am still surprised at how moving something so tacky can be:
 

 

I really do think John Paul II would have loved this video.  He was so open and joyful and ready to improvise.

For something not steeped in yesterday's pop culture, here is a little clip of him singing -- really, performing -- the Ave Maria in 1976:

 

 

I laughed, and then teared up, when I heard those theatrical swoops and quavers.  We belonged to a heavily Polish parish when I was growing up, and that's the last time I've heard such...READ MORE

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I'd Watch That

Thursday, October 17, 2013 7:41 PM Comments (21)

We watch plenty of dumb stuff at our house, but it's all on DVD or Netflix.  We don't get any TV reception, because we never got around to signing up for it when we moved several years ago; and now it just doesn't seem necessary.  One of the fabulous benefits of this broadcast-free life?  We would have to actively (if you can call pushing a button being "active."  And I can) choose to watch reality TV of any kind.  And we feel we'd be better served using that finger to pick our noses, than to choose to watch reality TV.

But I hear that I'm missing out.  Apparently the upcoming season has several new reality shows I won't want to miss.  They include:
 

HAM TRAP!

In a world!  Where...READ MORE

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Raising Villains

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 1:29 PM Comments (66)

I saw the oddest car decal this morning.  You know that tiresome meme of some rascally character showing his disdain for someone or something by peeing on it?  Sometimes it's Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes, peeing on a Ford or Toyota logo, or on the name of a politician or a sports team.

Well, this was a Star Wars storm trooper peeing on a Jedi logo.   Here was someone who was driving around town proclaiming, "Hooray for the bad guys!  Yay, evil triumphing over good!"  

Look, I know it's just Star Wars.  I was born in 1974, so have a fondness for the original trilogy, but I don't think it's comparable to the collected works of Chekhov or something.  But still, I can't think of another...READ MORE

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All Creation Rightly Sings Your Praise

Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:41 AM Comments (21)

 . . . and exults in Your glory, majesty and power. All creation sings your praises, whether it knows it or not.
 
Here is the sound of crickets, slowed down and down until they become a choir.  I listened, first skeptically, then fascinated, and finally almost in tears, waiting for the basso profondos to stake their claim, for the sopranos to vault in exultation above the rest of the choir.  When we say to God "All creation rightly sings your praise, " this is what we mean.   Do the crickets know they are praising God?  Oh, yes and no.  Just being what they are, doing what they are made to do, they send forth this glorious roundsong.

We are made to do the same.  When we are...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.