By russellbradburycarlin

Russell Bradbury-Carlin has a theory that many scientists secretly want to be writers and many writers secretly want to be scientists. So far, his life has wavered between the two. He lives in Western Massachusetts. His writing has been published on the web at McSweeneys, Pindeldyboz, Yankee Pot Roast, Opium Magazine, The Big Jewel, Facsimilation and Uber.nu. He has print-published his poetry in Rattle. You can visit him online at http://www.allmyshoesandglasses.com.

PARENTS AS A NARCOTIC

Last weekend, Candace, Will and I visited my mother. And, while I was there, I realized I was very tired. Granted, I had not slept well the night before, but it suddenly occurred to me that I am often tired when I visit my mother. Then, on the way home, it also occurred to me that I often feel tired when Candace and I visit her father or mother. I brought this up to Candace. I asked her if she thought I had some kind of problem. “Have I developed a mental association with our parents…some self-imposed Pavlovian condition…is it…

SUGAR AND DEMONS: A SCIENTIST’S FIELD NOTES

Day 1: While changing my thirteen month old son’s diaper, he begins to spin around and around on the bed at an extremely fast pace and giggles loudly to himself, like a madman. This is not his usual behavior. I decide to investigate. Day 2: After spending all night breaking down the circumstances that led to my son’s bizarre behavior as well as pouring through numerous scientific journals on-line, I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities: 1) he ate too many Dannon Children’s Yogurts right before I changed him, thus consuming a high amount of sugar. Or 2) demonic possession.…

INTRODUCING: BABY TALK

– FROM THE ARCHIVE – Most parents are anxious to know the meaning of the various cries, groans, and sounds their child makes. Recently a Spanish electronic engineer named Pedro Monagas created a battery-powered device called “Why Cry”. This instrument about the size of a calculator is reportedly able to tell a parent whether their baby’s cry is indicating hunger, sleepiness or tiredness. Mr. Monagas states that his “Why Cry” is 98% accurate. Well I, myself, am considered a kind of “tinkerer”. And, as a new parent I often wonder what all the sounds that my baby makes might mean,…

HIERARCHY OF NEEDS FOR PARENTS

– FROM THE ARCHIVE – (In 1943 Abraham Maslow gave us his psychological theory of the Hierarchy of Needs. His theory, simply stated, posits that humans inherently seek higher and higher levels of needs, starting with the basic physiological and ending with self-actualization. One needs to meet each “lower” need in order to seek the next level (one needs food and shelter before seeking the security of employment and morality before trying to attain love, etc). Somehow I suspect Mr. Maslow was not a parent, otherwise he would have re-thought his infamous hierarchy. Physiological Parenting brings you closest to your…

THE SECRETS OF PARENTING THAT NO ONE WILL TELL YOU

– FROM THE ARCHIVE – Parenting can be very difficult. And when you become a new parent, people will give you hundreds and hundreds of books about how to be a good parent. But what they don’t tell you is that there are secrets to parenting that you will not find in any book, even one from a bookstore. These secrets have been handed down generation to generation, parent to parent for eons. I learned them from my mother and she learned them from her father, who learned them from his Great Aunt Larry. And so on and so on.…

PARENTS AS A NARCOTIC

– FROM THE ARCHIVE – Last weekend, Candace, Will and I visited my mother. And, while I was there, I realized I was very tired. Granted, I had not slept well the night before, but it suddenly occurred to me that I am often tired when I visit my mother. Then, on the way home, it also occurred to me that I often feel tired when Candace and I visit her father or mother. I brought this up to Candace. I asked her if she thought I had some kind of problem. “Have I developed a mental association with our…

SUGAR AND DEMONS: A SCIENTIST’S FIELD NOTES

– FROM THE ARCHIVE – Day 1: While changing my thirteen month old son’s diaper, he begins to spin around and around on the bed at an extremely fast pace and giggles loudly to himself, like a madman. This is not his usual behavior. I decide to investigate. Day 2: After spending all night breaking down the circumstances that led to my son’s bizarre behavior as well as pouring through numerous scientific journals on-line, I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities: 1) he ate too many Dannon Children’s Yogurts right before I changed him, thus consuming a high amount of…

LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND “POOPIE”

The way that human beings acquire the ability to understand and use language is a hotly contested scientific question. Often the various theories have fallen on either side of the usual nature/nurture divide: are human beings born with a built-in capability to use language? Or, do we learn most of our language use through interactions with parents and other people? Noam Chomsky, arguing for the “nature” end of the answer, believes we are born possessing a language acquisition device (LAD); a part of the brain that contains most of the major principles of language. On the nurture-end of the spectrum,…