It's Saturday, which brings one of the highlights of my week.
Every Saturday morning, whichever members of the household are in town head down to the neighborhood Starbucks. We get breakfast and coffee and just chat. This morning, that was The Rocket Scientist, Railfan, The Red-Headed Menace, and me. We do not just talk about the weather, and all of us are old enough and knowledgeable enough in various areas (especially given what they may be studying in school) to be active participants.
This morning's discussion covered: live-action role-playing, names -- when they were popular and gender transitions, banned books, the difference between books meant for youth and meant for adults (Lolita, Dangerous Liaisons, the works of the Marquis de Sade), Evil and Decadence in Literature (a course I took in college), great literature and works thereof which we wanted to recommend (note to self: Railfan says you need to read Bless Me, Ultima and The Red-Headed Menace wants you to read The Kite Runner and everyone else in the family is aghast that you have not read To Kill a Mockingbird), how high school reading syllabi can be instrumental in introducing one to great literature, the usefulness of books such as the Captain Underpants series to create readers, Harry Potter and how Snape was right about things, middle-school and how damaging it can be, philosophy and how reading philosophy turns you into a cynic, how people end up in professions (such as bioethics) often through trying something else first, Monsanto, genetically modified food and how studies have shown it's not bad for you, the "Save Our Seed Movement" in India and why such a movement would be impractical in the United States, upcoming shortages of meat and other foods due to the current drought, how current global warming differs from historical trends in climate change of the past several hundred millenia, how global warming will affect the flora of the Eastern North America, how global warming will affect Florida, the state of Lake Okechobee, defects in the Clean Water Act, and agricultural bio remediation. At that point we figured we had been taking up a table for well over an hour and so should probably be moving along.
Whatever other issues I may have with my family or its members, I do enjoy these conversations.