A few months ago, a friend of mine on the-site-that-is-not-Twitter posted this article: “Good Dog, Smart Dog,” a look at changing ideas about the cognitive abilities of the canine set. The short version – hey, dogs might be smarter than those brainiac science-types thought. My layperson reaction? “Finally, some scientists who actually live with dogs.”
A beagle I once knew (not a breed that ever makes the “smartest” list, by the way) would purposely sit and stare intently at our French doors and squeak frantically to go outside, allow the then-frantic male mutt to assert his dominance by rushing out first as the door opened… and immediately drop to the ground to indicate that she wanted to stay in, thank you. Continue reading →
I drove my son to school this morning, and I felt guilty about it.
Hardly an event worthy to dissect on a blog devoted largely to weightier matters of politics and economics, right? There are, however, definite political and economic dimensions to how my child – or anyone else’s – gets to school.
Our community, like most, is served by school buses. Last year my son, then a freshman, rode it each day to his high school, 5.5 miles away. He left the house at 6:40 a.m. to walk a third of a mile to the street corner where he caught the bus 10 minutes later. The driver would pull ahead a few yards to meet him where he climbed through a fence on a shortcut across the pasture behind our house. Such customized service is the norm when you are one of two kids who regularly rides – or used to ride – this route. Continue reading →
Way back in 2002, we were visiting the US for Thanksgiving, and it was an extraordinarily depressing time. We couldn’t turn on the television, because all you got there was the non-stop and relentless drumbeat of COUNTDOWN TO IRAQ or some such, and it was really bumming me out. I distinctly remember thinking, “I want to go home,” and that was something of an epiphany.
So Mrs W, in an attempt to cheer me up, said “Hey, Elliott Spitzer is going to be in town at the Kennedy Library.” And, sure enough, he was, as part of a panel discussion on corporations and social responsibility. The line-up looked a lot more impressive than it turned out to be—Spitzer, who had just gone after Wall Street in no uncertain terms, and won; William Donaldson, who had just been appointed to head the SEC the previous week (and therefore had to decline); some muckamuck at Starbucks, and a former Kennedy aide muckamuck at Nike (or maybe the reverse—I can’t remember); and some blowhard named Elizabeth Ross Kanter from Harvard Business School. Continue reading →