Changes to The Socratic Project

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Cindy Moy

My goal for The Socratic Project was to create safe avenues of conversation about difficult subjects, and for 2 years, you’ve been kind enough to take part.

Thank you for your support and your encouragement along the way. Now it is time to begin a new chapter, and I hope you will be a part of that as well.

My first novel–Suraiya Jafari, An American President-about an Indian-American Muslim Congresswoman who accidentally becomes the U.S. President, is now available here.

Suraiya, a Republican and former Marine lawyer, is serving as the House Minority Leader in 2022 when the vice president is charged with fraud and forced to step down.

Suraiya is tapped to be vice president in an effort to rebrand the party. Then the president dies, and Suraiya moves into the Oval Office.

Thereafter she deals with distrust from her own party, sabotage from her political rivals, and even the threat of a third world war, all while coming to terms with how others try to define her and figuring out how she defines herself.

Also, visit me and my friends anytime at cindymoy.com. We talk about books and politics and random musings.

Are we afraid of Mexico?

By Cindy Moy: I grew up a country girl, with my car radio tuned to two different country music stations. I’m also a Toby Keith fan, so when one of his songs came on the radio, I turned up the volume.

One line in the song, American Ride, gave me pause: Tidal wave comin’ cross the Mexican border.

My guess is that the line refers to illegal immigration from our southern neighbors. Thousands of illegal immigrants from other countries (Canada and Germany, for instance) live in the U.S., though, but those countries did not make it into the song.

Are we afraid of illegal immigration, or are we afraid of Mexicans? Continue reading

What is happiness?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: Researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania set out to discover whether people found more happiness in extraordinary experiences or in ordinary experiences.

For example, would a week long vacation to Hawaii give a person as much happiness as a frappucino? Apparently, yes, which makes me wonder who the heck the researchers talked to for the survey.

The study showed that for younger people, extraordinary moments caused just as much happiness as ordinary moments. But for older people, the ordinary moments were more highly valued. Why? Continue reading

Lessons Learned: Parenting

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: Parenting is hard, and it doesn’t get easier after doing it for 20 years, so here are a few tidbits of wisdom I’ve gained along the way. Please share any things you’ve learned in the comments section below.

Lessons Learned From Adopting a Special Needs Baby

When a doctor tells you that the best you can hope for is that your child will be slow, and that you should turn down the adoption referral, carefully consider what adopting this child will mean for your life.

Special needs babies can grow up to be math prodigies that tell math jokes that you–a reasonably intelligent person–do not understand.

Babies are babies. Adopted or biological, you never know what you’re going to get. And neither do they.

Lessons Learned From Being Elbow-Knee in Diapers Continue reading

Do words have power?

By Cindy Moy: The Husband, an American of Chinese descent, and I attended a wedding in a small town in Ohio.  Everyone was wonderful to us for three days.  One night we were walking back to our car with my in-laws and passed three teenage boys, sitting in a doorway along the sidewalk, drinking beer.  I knew what was coming.

They took one look at my family and began making karate chop noises.
My husband ignored them.
My in-laws ignored them.
I was upset.

When we got back to the hotel my husband said, “I can remember this weekend for the dozens of truly nice people we’ve met, or I can remember it for three drunken idiots on a sidewalk.”

The Husband was able to take away the power those teenage twits had used to try to intimidate him. Continue reading

What’s in your DNA?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: The best part of being adopted is that when my family annoys me, I can disclaim any part of the gene pool.

You wouldn’t believe how often I give thanks that my siblings and parents and I don’t share genetics. The downside is that my true genetic makeup is a mystery. That’s where the National Geographic Genographic Project comes in.

The Project traces DNA markers from volunteers such as myself back 180,000 years. All women alive today can be traced to one woman in Africa, nicknamed by scientists as Mitochondrial Eve, and all men can be traced to one man in Africa, nicknamed Mitochondrial Adam. (The website goes into quite a bit of detail, some of which I can’t even pretend to understand.)

I ordered a DNA kit, which requires two cheek swabs, sent in the saliva samples, and awaited word on where my ancestors originated. Eight weeks later, the results were ready. Continue reading

When is there too much?

How it began.

By Cindy Moy: When my dad was serving in the Army in Korea in the 1950s, he and a buddy went to Tokyo, Japan, on leave. Dad bought a few souvenirs, including a decorative teapot for my grandmother.

It’s a lovely and delicate little thing with a Geisha Girl pattern (pictured to the right), and when my grandmother died, it passed to me.

A few years later, I came across some pieces of Japanese porcelain from the same era, with the same pattern, at a garage sale, and I bought them to set next to the teapot (see left).

Then I stumbled across a few more pieces at a country junk shop, and I bought those.

How did this happen?

Then a box with more pieces showed up at our church garage sale, and before you can say rabbits in springtime, I had accumulated a collection of porcelain without really meaning to do so.

For years, the pieces looked lovely in a narrow cabinet in our dining room. Continue reading

Who defines ‘science’?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: On February 18, 1930, Clyde Tombaugh discovered a large chunk of ice and rock orbiting the sun. This chunk was categorized as a planet and named Pluto, after the Greek god of the underworld.

In the ensuing years, further study revealed Pluto to be one of several large chunks of rock and ice in the Kuiper belt.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted on the definition of ‘planet.’  Part of the planet test is that the object “must have cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.”

Pluto did not meet this definition, and therefore it was no longer a planet.

Except in New Mexico and Illinois. Those states disagreed with the IAU’s definition, and passed resolutions declaring that Pluto was indeed a planet in those states. (Tombaugh was born in Illinois and spent his adulthood in New Mexico. He is lauded as a hero in both states.)

Other scientists also cried foul at the IAU’s decision. Dr. Alan Stern, who has been involved with dozen of space missions, pointed out that Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune do not meet the IAU’s definition of a planet either, as they share their orbit with asteroids.

Let’s sum this up, shall we? Scientists who devote their lives to the study of planets do not agree on how to define ‘planet.’

Yet, they are taking votes on how to define what they are seeing in space, and these objects are being defined by a majority. What if the majority is wrong? What if the minority is vindicated 100 years from now?

Science–things we know for sure–is debunked regularly. We know the earth is not flat. We know gravity exists. Or do we?

If religion is faith, and science is fact, and scientists can not agree on the facts, then is science not, in fact, a form of faith?

How can we be confident in science, if the scientists do not agree?

Will you marry me?

By Cindy Moy: I’ve heard many proposal stories. Some are elaborate (to the point of being obnoxious,) and some are heartfelt and sweet. The Husband proposed to me by giving me a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas. When I put the puzzle together, it was a photo of a sign that read, “Will you marry me?”

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing a cookie recipe titled “I Want to Marry You” Cookies. One woman claimed this recipe is so good that you need to be careful who you bake them for, because after one bite the recipient will declare that s/he wants to marry you.

For the record, no one declared their undying love for me after I made these cookies, but it did bring everyone from their respective corners of the house to the kitchen to see what was baking.

So here is the recipe (make at your own matrimonial risk): Continue reading

Are looks important?

By Cindy Moy: Recently I posted a link on my Facebook page to a MasalaChica blog post titled What Do Looks Have to do with Love?

This post brings up a lot of interesting questions, and I was surprised at the response I received when I posted this comment:

Sometimes I’ll meet people and think they are really attractive, and then I get to know them and wonder why I ever thought they were good-looking. And some people seem pretty plain and then I get to know them and I wonder why I didn’t realize sooner how beautiful they are. Continue reading