Afternoon InquisitionParenting

AI: Skepchickal Time Capsule

So… what’s new with you guys? Not much going on here with me. Just the usual…

Oh, well, there’s one thing — I did have a baby this week, so I guess that’s news.
Delaney Hyla Anders was born Thursday morning at 1:24, and weighed in at a totally unremarkable 7lbs 5oz. If you remember, I had a hunch that she would show up before her scheduled delivery date. She was supposed to be born May 26, but instead showed up a week early. Which was fine with me… I was sick of being pregnant anyway. So now we’re in a mad scramble to finish up all those last minute things we thought we could put off for another week. We just ordered a carseat Thursday morning and had it overnighted to us. My husband just picked up our crib this morning, and it’s sitting in Delaney’s room, still in the box.

But D and I are going to be here at the hospital for a few more days, so we’ve bought ourselves a little time.

Anyway, now I am not only a Skepchick, but I have also created a skepchick. And it’s my job to raise her to be brilliant and funny and to question everything around her. And the skeptic community will be looking on as I do it. And I’ll be live tweeting it the whole time… or until no one uses Twitter anymore.

So I’m handing you this time capsule. You can set it to be open whenever you want… and even set it as a time-release so Delaney will get the contents on a schedule.

What would you put in that capsule for my future Skepchick? What advice would you give to her? When should she open it? What do you think the next generation of skeptics needs to know? What should Delaney do to save the world from pseudoscience?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.

Warning: Gratuitous gloating after the jump


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. Nice one! What an adorable little girl! Congratulations.
    No idea what I would put in a time capsule….Deep frozen seeds of an endangered plant? She could be known as the savior of a whole species in the future!

  2. Although to me, all babies look like a doll’s head stuck on a bag of suet, I’ll bow to conformity and agree that she’s beautiful.

    My time capsule contribution better be a few cases of Dawn dish soap, since by the time she grows up, all the world’s oceans will be replaced by crude oil by the apparently unstoppable Gulf leak. Plus Season 1 of (insert favorite TV show here) on DVD which will suck for her, because there’ll be no DVD players by then.

  3. You give us just the _picture_ of her birth certificate and expect us to believe she’s your baby? I’m going to need the real thing.

  4. Aaaah! :) What an adorable little human! Congratulations!

    7lbs 5oz – for my uncanny European eyes that looks like l33tspeak, or maybe they bring their own gmail passwords these days? Cool. ;)

    As for the time-capsule: In there go Seasons 1-7 of Star Trek TNG, a complete moral compass for the growing-to-be skeptical humanist.

    Furthermore, let it be known, that from this day forward I will only ever sign anything by footprint.

  5. Congratulations!
    I suggest you create mini capsules starting at age 5 and each birthday after. Each one should have a discovery about Science, info about Her heritage (pics and the like), and a message for her that you write now.
    If you are really together (which I am not, but I have great ideas) you keep a scrapbook of the opening of the time capsules for her to keep.

  6. First of all, congratulations; she is beautiful.

    Second of all, when you are capable of choosing, surround yourself with good people, intelligent people , kind people , then explore your world physically and mentally, and enjoy your evolution.

  7. She is gorgeous Elyse.
    Congrats and well done.

    As for the time capsule…
    a newspaper of the day she was born, a bottle of water, a box of matches, and energy bar, and a question: Now what?
    To be opened at 21.

  8. Maybe a note that says “you don’t have to wear that Pittsburgh Steelers stuff your dad got you… at least not all the time.”

    Congrats :)

  9. Wow – she is beautiful! Congratulations.

    I don’t know what to put in a time capsule. A picture of badly spelled tea party signs, to show her that despite the right wing nut insanity good things happened, like she was born?

    She’ll be skeptical because she’ll grow up listening to brilliant parents asking questions and marvelling at the world. Write down what she says. Kids are hilarious, once they stop being complete drains on your sleep. My favourite? Son asking what does this say? Made in China. What does this say? Made in China. Was I made in China?

  10. Congratulations.
    Time capsule? A copy of the hospital bill, since she will not know what one is. A newspaper and magazine from today and this week. A couple of pictures of you pregnant with her.

  11. Congratulations on a beautiful baby, and thank you for bringing more sanity, reason and logic and most importantly, love, into the world.

    In a time capsule, I’d put a copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy, a book of XKCD comics, a printout of this page, and a special note from your family writing about your hopes and dreams for her.

  12. Take good care of that birth certificate so if this one becomes president… we’ll know. *shifty eyes*

  13. Awe she’s sweet! Congratulations!

    I would put a little something in that time capsule that would remind her to play, play, learn, and play as much as she can.

    I would also put all the DVD box sets of Buffy and Angel in her time capsule, for when she becomes a teenager.

    Also, I would include all the episodes of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series, as well as Pale Blue Dot.

    And I would add a brief biography of William Shatner, and why he’s important.

  14. Put a magnetic bracelet in there. When she asks about it many years in the future tell her that the aromatherapist recommended she wear it to help with her aura.

  15. My one of those turned 18 today. He is making plans to move away to college in September. What a ride it has been. I expected that being a mom would mean teaching my child about the world we live in but it was completely the other way around. I doubt I would even know what a skeptic is if I had raised a less curious child. Put in something that reflects who you are as you are the one thing that is going to change the most from here on out. Enjoy the ride. I am jealous.

  16. You all act like the proper role of a mother is to educate her child. The time capsule should contain really embarassing baby picts, like sitting on her first potty, and be opened prom night when her date arrives.

    Congrats, she’s beautiful.

  17. Jumping in on the congrats. Beautiful little punkin you got there!

    As for the time capsule, I’m coming up blank other than the usual corny stuff. A letter from you, a baby blanket, her hospital bracelet, etc.

  18. Dear Skepchickling

    Welcome to Planet Earth. Advice I was given when I was 16 that I think people should have at the age of quite young:

    Ask questions. Never fear asking questions. No such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people who don’t ask questions. Asking questions can make things clear, or make the respondent change their mind. Asking questions can highlight reasons that were hidden from sight. Asking questions can lead to transformations of people, groups and cultures.


  19. Just drop her off at Auntie Surly Amy’s house at age 10. I’ll take care of everything and until then you can give her the advice my father gave me when I got on the school bus for the first time:

    Nomatter how big the other kids are, never let them push you around and always think for yourself.

    Love you guys! Welcome to the world beautiful little lady. :)

  20. @Ben: For those who lack the ability to work with non-base ten systems, you’re looking at ~3.3 kg.

    Since I can’t think of what to put in the time capsule, I’d suggest a “when” of “when you’re thirty.” That’s sufficient time passed for a lot of things to be somewhat shocking in their difference.

  21. Congratulations.

    For the time capsule, an autographed photo of the Skepchicks at TAM8? With words of wisdom.

  22. I concur with DavidW except to add hardcopies of Richard Feynman’s two autobiographical books, “What Do You Care What Other People Think” and “Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” and Carl Sagan’s “The Demon Haunted World.”

    Because who knows what the world may be like when she’s 18, 30 or whatever. I think we can guarantee her needing a baloney detection kit. I don’t see pseudoscience going anywhere yet.

  23. When my daughter was born, I asked my dad to get us a copy of every magazine and newspaper he could find at the hospital gift shop. This was not just to get him out from underfoot; I put them in an archival acid-free box and plan on showing them to my daughter soon. You could certainly still do this with magazines, and even daily papers would still be interesting if they’re from the same week. It’s fascinating to read these old periodicals and see how much has changed.

  24. Also de-lurking to offer congratulations!

    For the capsule I’d choose contrasts, like Ms. Magazine and Cosmopolitan; New York Times and the TV Guide. Also add a list of your favorite music today, a picture of you (Mom) in your favorite outfit (fashion change is always a hoot). Open at 10 years of age, and at the same time have her create a new capsule to be opened 10 years later. I think I might do that for myself!

  25. So beautiful! I used to have a couple of those. They’re kind of big and loud now, and their shoes are like rowboats, but I still like them.

    Mother and child are healthy?

  26. Yayyy! What an adorable little doll! Congratulations & good luck!

    For the time capsule, I’d gather together some of the most ridiculous scientific “controversies” being “debated” right now (i.e. climate change, vaccines, ID) so she can look back with disgust on the fact that it took everyone so long to come to their senses.. (hopefully, by then everyone will have come to their senses)

  27. Congratulations!

    I’d tell her to listen to the lessons her parents and community teach her and then to follow her desires.

    We can’t force our kids to be like us we can only expose them to the things that are important to us and then watch them as they discover the things important to them.

    Again congratulations, having kids was the greatest thing I’ve ever done.

  28. Why doesn’t your baby look like Churchill?

    Put in a photograph of the Gulf slick, so she can see what the earth used to look like on the day she was born.

  29. Woohoo! Hooray for Skepchick babies!Skepchibabe! Good on ya, Elyse. She’s adorable.

    Love what @MaxH: said. Do that.

    Not having chillun’ myself, I have to bow to the enlightened amongst us.

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