Henry’s drawing

Henry brought home an awesome drawing from school yesterday. I’ll try to describe it accurately.

Below are close-ups of the right and left sides. Look at the range of colors! His composition is good, too (if I do say so myself). He did not write his name (obviously).


On the right, we have a car in purple and orange – wheels along the bottom, humans visible inside. The blue field above the car is the car’s bed. Standing on the car’s bed is Henry, and next to Henry is mama.


Big area defined by black crayon with the brown stripe on the far left is a seal. Across the top (visible on both close-up shots) is another seal. The representations in the middle of this area of paper were not conclusively defined for me. The figure in front of (or behind) the car is a person, but I’m not sure who it is.

One of Henry’s favorite books is The Day the Crayons Quit, and I feel that this drawing really draws on that work.

I’m really proud of him.

Train tale

Yesterday Henry and I played trains. Both kids are getting very actively into imaginative play.

In this story, you’re just going to have to understand that any blue train is Thomas (including his Thomas train), any green train is Percy, and any red train is James. (Although, I think only an off-brand Thomas features here).

So Thomas was rolling through the mountains and oh no! The track is out!


In the big catastrophe that took out the bridge (aka, Hurricane Henry), Percy needed Cranky the Crane to rescue him, so he could get hitched up to Thomas.


While the salvage crew (me) was working on the bridge, Mavis (The Strongest Train on Sodor, according to Henry), rushed to shunt Thomas. It is not clear why Thomas needed shunting, but (not pictured) we ended up with 6 engines, 3 coal cars, and two coaches coupled up on the mountain at one point.


Here you can see that Percy has fully recovered and is going to help. A second Thomas trundles through the background, delivering nothing, to nowhere (typical Thomas).


Success! Thomas is freed and continuing on his way with his coaches (he needs to deliver people to Knapford Station).


Finally, a day on the rails is not complete without a thorough turn about on the turntable (Henry’s current track configuration currently features two turntables, but zero microphones), in order to be uncoupled from the coal car / coaches and backed into Tidmouth Sheds.


A truly responsible railroad baron.


Original dance composition

Dressed as Ariel, singing as Elsa, dancing as Eleanor. Cameo by Henry.

Artificial Intelligence

The past few weeks I’ve been slowly working my way through a pair of articles on artificial intelligence from WaitButWhy.

Here’s part one, and here is part two.

I don’t usually post about articles I read – I’m not sure it would be that interesting, honestly – but I feel unsettled by the ideas here. As Tim Urban (the author) writes,

reading about AI will make you reconsider everything you thought you were sure about—including your notion of death.

And he’s not kidding. A point Urban returns to over and over is that the brightest minds don’t disagree with things that seem science fiction to us right now (nanotechnology as red blood cells, re-arranging molecules basically as an anything-goes alchemy, eliminating the aging process); however, where most of the contention comes from is whether developing artificial intelligence will lead to our extermination or our immortality.

It makes me want to lie down and close my eyes, and simultaneously very interested to see what comes next.