Infinitely Happy and Grateful

I remember when my brother taught me about infinity. It was a concept that had me upset for some reason. And I couldn’t grok it. How could something go on forever and ever? In true big-brother fashion, Phil said: “Imagine that you ride your tricycle around the block and never stop.” I stared at him: “NEVER STOP?” This made me so sad. I’d never be able to sit at the kitchen table again? Never be able to hug my mommy and daddy? How could this be a good thing?

“That’s right, NEVER,” he said, possibly laughing menacingly, looking at my scared little face.… Read more

Happy 100th Birthday, Paul Erdos!

Today is the 100th anniversary of  the birth of mathematician Paul Erdos.

Check out this wonderful blog at The New York Times about Erdos and my book! 

I wrote here yesterday that today I would write more. I was wrong–at least for now. Yesterday I was making food for our seder. Today I am cleaning up from the seder. Paul Erdos, by the way, though Jewish, was not exactly the most religious guy. He referred to God as the Supreme Fascist. THAT is not in the book. 

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But I Still Feel a Little Guilty

There’s an article in today’s New York Times about how childhood guilt shapes us as adults, and that’s a good thing. It’s based on a study in which an adult gives a toddler a toy. The adult says something like, "I’ve had this toy since I was your age. It is one of my favorite things! Please be very careful with it. I’d feel terrible if anything happened to it." And hands the child the toy. Within minutes the toy breaks. Oh God! How guilty does that child feel! And how long does that guilt last? In the study the researchers give the child time to feel guilty, and then make it all go away by telling the child it wasn’t her fault.Read more

I don’t believe in Mother’s Day, but….

I really don’t believe in Mother’s Day. How can there be only one day to acknowledge the fact that I am a mother, when I am a mother in every cell of my being every day, actually every moment of my life, and have been since at least the day Aaron was born, and probably about 8 months before that? I am always a mother and I am always thinking about my own mother, who died 17 years ago last month. I am not exaggerating–it is not something that goes away, being a mother, or a daughter, just because you are writing, or at a movie, or playing squash, or paying bills, or speaking to a group of children in Bryant Park.… Read more

Caroline Kennedy and the power of reporters.

Today’s New York Times article about Caroline Kennedy shows the power of journalists, all the nay-sayers be damned. Go to http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/nyregion/28kennedy.html?_r=1&hp

She obviously pissed off these reporters by her “go work for a women’s magazine comment” among, I would guess other comments and perhaps her attitude. In the box where they give quotes directly from her they make no effort to clean up her speech. I had noticed listening to her on the radio that she has a verbal tic with “you know”–as in every other phrase is “you know.” If she had wooed those reporters they would have cleaned that up.… Read more