10 Facts that People Don’t Know About Mongolia

Cool article. Thought I’d share it here.

http://itsgracejacobsen.com/2014/02/28/10-facts-people-should-know-about-mongolia/

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Answer to the Riddle (and 3 Literary Books for Expectant Dads)

Dear mediocremeg14, guydreaminglife, honkinggoose, and Batzorig Begzsuren

Thank you all for giving answers to yesterday’s riddle post. Two of you guessed it right, and the other two had it pretty close. [To others: Don’t know what I’m talkin’ bout? Click here.]

Since the next Blogging101 assignment is a letter form, I thought I’d appreciate your feedback and write you four back a letter.

The answer to the riddle is: his son. As explained here:

The portrait is of the man’s son. Many people mistakenly argue that the man is looking at a picture of himself. If he had said, “… that man is my father’s son.” then this solution would be correct, but he said, “… that man’s father is my father’s son.” One way out of the confusion is to substitute the word “me” for the more cumbersome phrase “my father’s son.” Then the statement becomes, “that man’s father is me.”

The reason I posted the riddle yesterday was because my fiancee went into labor and gave birth to a beautiful boy. You might also notice that I put “Important Day” in headlines with a parenthesis. I was waiting outside a maternity hospital.

Yes–I’m a father now! 🙂 It was a lifetime event for me, but since I like to keep things not-so-personal, I’ll spare you my emotional speech.

But, how about you guys? How was your experience of fatherhood/motherhood? It’s a totally unique thing, isn’t it? Expecting a child is a unique experience for the mother, but also for the father. I have been clueless and often counseled the omniscient Internet.

And naturally, I sought advice from the most unexpected resources–literary fiction. Here are three literary books that also helped me shape what expectant dads should and should not do.

Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Yes, it’s about World War I, but it’s also about tragic consequences of what harsh conditions do to a pregnant woman. After reading the book I asked my fiancee to get an ultrasound, because I was afraid for the baby. And as if to warn us, the baby had an umbilical cord around his neck and had high contraption. He needed more calcium. My fiancee consumed dairy products more often since then, focused on resting more and our baby boy came by fine (knock on wood).

Rabbit, Run by John Updike

I think I read it before my fiancee was pregnant, but this book told me what not to do as an expectant dad. It’s about a father who runs away and leaves his pregnant wife for some soul-searching. Not every expectant dad considers leaving his pregnant wife (not me, of course not), but fatherhood has a scary side, too. I couldn’t really relate to this tall, high-school star protagonist (I was recommended this book for its style), but I finished it knowing what not to do as a soon-to-be-father.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Don’t tell anyone, but I cried like a goddamn baby at the end of this book. You know why? Because this book is what being a father is all about: knowing your child is your legacy and sacrificing yourself to protect him and/or her. If you have a baby on the way, read it (and make sure to read the end alone, so no one can see you crying). If you know someone who’s going to be a father soon, give it as a present. They’ll thank you for life. Oh, and also give them a tissue. That’ll be extra thoughtful.

Would you agree with these books? What else would you recommend for dads? My blogging101 assignment was to flip a book at page 29 and pick up a word that caught my eye and incorporate it into my new post, in a letter form. My word was “three”, hence only three books. There’s more though.

Sincerely,

Natso

Different Post Format (Important Day)

My blog posts are usually articles–paragraphs of text. Not today. Ladies and gentlemen. Today, you have a riddle to solve. Intrigued? Read on.

Riddle me this:
A man is looking at a portrait. “Whose picture is that?” someone asks, and the man replies: “Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” At whose picture is the man looking?

Let me know what you think the answer is in the comments section below. I’ll post the answer tomorrow.

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction: Which one should I read?

This is a question that comes to my mind often. Obviously I like reading fiction. It lets you have an adventure, or a catharsis at least. Non-fiction? Not so much. Here are their quick pros and cons.

Fiction: Pros

Fiction gets consumed easily, because our brains are wired to listen to stories. Thanks, evolution!

By reading character descriptions, reader actually learns to decode human behavior and improves social skills.

Good novel re-wires the reader’s brain into an altered state, at least for few days. I think it lets you keep the author’s narration voice for a while.

– By reading classics, you can learn of intimate details of people from different time and place, and realize how common idiosyncrasies of human nature are.

– Because the story grabs you, you’re highly likely to read it in bed without dozing off.

Fiction: Cons

– There are so many fiction books that it’s hard to find good ones.

– OK. With all that said, to what extent is reading a book different than watching a movie? I mean, some films are better than the books, because one author can overlook some aspects. (Some books, not all)

– Fiction doesn’t give much factual or insightful information like non-fiction.

Non-Fiction: Pros

– Made under rigorous research, so usually gives you in-depth knowledge of a particular field.

– Can contribute to the economic, entrepreneurial aspect of your life. When’s the last time Anna Karenina helped you earn more?

– Personal development and autobiographical non-fiction lets you learn from the giants and get inspired.

– Timely research from cutting-edge field catered to the mass. And still better reads than research papers.

– If you sell it after you read it, there’s a higher chance someone will buy it.

Non-Fiction: Cons

– Damn it, fell asleep reading Bill Bryson’s Short History of Everything again.

– Is text really the right medium to explain scientific concepts? Mendeleev proved even tables can do better–in his dream.

– Speaking of tables, the only protagonist to tie all these mumbo-jumbo is — the Table of Contents.

What do you think? Agree with my list? I’m, of course, going to uncharted water when I talk about non-fiction. I don’t read them much. So I’ll appreciate your input on non-fiction or general feedback. Muchos gracias.