Kids Book Corner

  • Goose Girl
  • Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH
  • Peter and The Shadow Thieves
  • Peter and The Star Catchers
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper
  • Stella Brite and The Dark Matter Myster
  • The Island of The Blue Dolphins
  • The Phantom Toll Booth
  • The School Library Journal
  • The Sisters Grimm
  • Tuck Everlasting


Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday, Eve

Eve is the birthday girl! I bought Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. The kids were so polite and excited.

Noah let Eve get on the bus first (without being asked). He also let her "win" getting to me at the bus stop this afternoon.

Tonight she has gymnastics and she requested mashed potatoes for her birthday, so we will have to see where she wants to go for those lovely carbs.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reading, Reading and More Reading...

I have thoroughly enjoyed the string of non-fiction books that I have been reading. There are several more awaiting an opportunity to be picked up and read.

Reading portions of this book gave me anxiety about how the manuscript came to be preserved. What a crazy road from find to preservation. The Gospel of Judas is a book about the Judas and his relationship with Jesus, not a book written by Judas. This point is important to note. Ehrman compares all of the available sources for what we can glean about the life and character of Judas Iscariot. Judas, the betrayer, is what he is considered to the Christian world. This Gnostic text portrays him as the only Apostle who had the spark of the divine and understood Jesus' role on earth.
Gnostism is not just one religion, but is made up of several groups with a similar philosophy about liberating ourselves from the material world and we can only do that by secret knowledge (gnosis). Our bodies are trapped in the world of matter and the material world came to be through a cosmic disaster. In the Gospel of Judas he is said to have a spark of the divine and that allows Jesus to give him the secret knowledge...that Judas help Jesus escape his mortal body by going to the Roman authorities. Thus, Judas is needed to help Jesus complete his mission on the earth.
The importance, according to Ehrman, of The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot, is the text gives researchers a glimpse into the diversity in the early centuries of the Christian church. The other thing that the text offers is the actual Gnostic teachings and how the secret knowledge led Judas to follow Jesus' request to turn him over to the authorities, so he could be released from the mortal body.
The research in this book is fascinating and thoroughly referenced for the lay person. There is a special available from National Geographic on the finding and subsequent preservation and translation of the text. The work is on-going as more pieces are put together of the damaged codex.

Another well researched and laid out book for the lay person, as I am, of the source material available for the claims in The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I accepted the book as a work of fiction, so I was not upset to have it debunked, so to speak, by Ehrman's book. Dan Brown uses his perrogative as a fiction writer to claim something is true, which gives a better foundation for his story. Ehrman enjoyed Brown's book for the work of fiction that it is. He was requested by people to write an explanation of the historical record to explain the actual source material available and what we can learn about the life of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. This book explains each point thoroughly. Ehrman bemoans the fact that the scholarship that exists doesn't have the page turning effects of a Dan Brown book. He is pleased that some people who have had their interests peaked after reading the book are seeking out the true source material on the subject of early Christianity. Brown got much of it wrong with a lot of tweaked interpretations of available material that still created a page turning book. I am one of those that books like Brown's peak my interest to know the truth behind the tale. If you are too, give this book a whirl.

Amy Stewart's website

Since plants can't pull up their roots and run away when a predator comes to call they have some dastardly defense mechanisms. Being a victim of toxicodendrons three years in a row makes one really pay attention to plant defenses. This is what I found out about Poison Ivy, "Poison ivy is not, technically, an ivy... urushiol, is not at all toxic, but does happen to be an oil that most people are highly allergic to...only humans are bothered by exposure to urushiol...each subsequent exposure is worse that the one before. The immune response gets stronger, so that the reaction gets worse with repeated exposure."
The book explains about the need to eat corn with lime, otherwise, the body can't absorb the niacin. People with corn diets are get Pellagra. The symptoms may have led to the European myth of vampires.
My favorite foods, potatoes and tomatoes, belong to the nightshade family, which contain the poison solanine. If the skin on a potato is green it reflects a greater level of solanine, so cook it longer.
Ergot, a parasitic fungus, may have been what the young girls had ingested that caused the symptoms that were blamed on witchcraft. Understanding the natural world could have saved everyone a lot of grief.
This book has something pretaining to everyone. We all eat, are around plants everyday. If you suffer from allergies, or like to garden...Yes! There is information in this book for you. It is a quick read and well worth the time.

Well, have a great day. I'm going to hang out with my peeps.