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Inspector Columbo is my hero

Back in the 1970’s there was a popular TV show called “Columbo,” which starred Peter Falk as a fictional homicide detective. Columbo came across as a kind of lovable doofus, a kindly almost grandfatherly man, but not particularly bright, and certainly not smart enough to catch the criminals he was trying to catch. Every episode followed pretty much the same storyline: a criminal killed someone at...

Math conversations: The Maker explores division

In the car the other day, the Maker, currently in 4th grade, asked me what 100 divided by 3 is.  (Sometimes when he asks me arithmetic questions, I’ll just toss it back to him and ask him to tell me the answer, but I knew he’d been working on understanding division so I told him it was 33 and 1/3.)  “And what’s 100 divided by 4?” he asked.  “Twenty-five,” I said. When it...

Kiva loan update

Earlier this year I made a $25 loan thru Kiva to a man in the Congo who wanted to expand his biscuit-selling business. This week I got an email from Kiva with an update on the loan. It said: José vend des gaufres, galettes et beignets. Il est très content car le crédit qu’il a obtenu au mois de février dernier lui a permis d’acheter une friteuse pour fabriquer des beignets en grande quantité. Il faisait avant en...

I gave $25 so a kid could get cleft lip surgery

One of the charities I decided to support last Christmas (in addition to Kiva, which I talk about here and here) was smiletrain.org, an organization that provides free cleft lip surgery to poor children around the world who are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate.  If you can look at the “Before” photos on the smiletrain website without it breaking your heart, you’re a stronger man than I am. ...

More reading success stories

I’m about ready to declare the Maker an avid reader.  He just spent the last hour and a half reading “The Mask of Maliban” (#13  in the Secrets of Droon series) to himself, and he did the same thing yesterday with #12. I’ve written on the Maker’s developing love of reading before (including here and here), and am tremendously pleased that what had once been something of a distasteful...

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