The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Friday, October 13, 2006

Education: what education? Teachers who can't.

Last night my wife complained to me: "Ainan's grammar is no good."

This was a little bit of a surprise to me but, sure enough, there on the book in front of her, crafted in Ainan's handwriting, were the red corrective markings of his teacher.

Curious, I took the book from her and had a look at what the teacher had written. As I read, I found myself unable to understand her use of tense. She had "corrected" his work, which had all been written in the past tense, into a nonsensical mixture of present and past perfect, which in the context had no meaning at all. Quite simply, the teacher was writing rubbish. It was not Ainan Celeste Cawley whose grammar was dodgy, it was his teacher's.

If I had not already become tired of the state of education in the world, I would have been angry at this. How can a child learn when the teacher does not know? This is a universal problem for all children, everywhere: if your teacher is ignorant, so, too, will you be. However, the problem is more severe for gifted children and, in particular, prodigies, or child geniuses. For they may know more than their teacher already. The teacher is, therefore, clearly unable to teach the student anything, which, in itself is of concern - but there is a greater concern, for if the teacher knows less than the student, and "corrects" work that is actually correct, in every way, already, then the teacher is creating confusion in the student. The teacher is teaching the student to be as ignorant as the teacher is.

Ainan is already bored by the lack of stimulation at school - am I to tell him too that his teacher doesn't know what she is talking about? I didn't...for now: but perhaps I should, for otherwise I give her the power not to teach him, but unteach him. Without a proper perspective on the situation, she may succeed in confusing him as to what English grammar is all about. I wonder what his other teachers may be instilling in him: more ignorance?

(For more on Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, a scientific child prodigy, and his gifted brothers, go to: )

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 3:11 PM  2 comments

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Gifted Community: togetherness is all.

We live in a competitive world. We are trained from an early age to compete, compete, compete. Yet, what effect does this have? We lose - or never learn - the ability to co-operate. That is sad for without togetherness we are much less than we could be.

Why do I speak of this matter? Well, it pertains, most tellingly, to the gifted, to geniuses, to prodigies and even to savants, few though they are. No-one is more alone than the brightest child in the school. If, that is, they are truly much brighter than the others. You see, the brighter a child is, the fewer are their peers - and for the very bright indeed, they may have NO peers in their acquaintance at all. If your gift is at the level of one in a thousand, you may well be the only person in your school at that level. If your gift is at one in ten thousand, it is almost certain that this is the lonely situation. For those whose gift is rarer still, it is likely that they will never meet a peer in their entire lifetimes. That is truly tragic. No wonder the gifted tend to be introverted - for what choice do they have but a watchful silence? That was my way as a child, and I am much the same as an adult: I have no peers to relate to, in my acquaintance. This is the way of life of many gifted people, geniuses or otherwise.

So, what are we to do? First of all, anyone who is moderately gifted, highly gifted, exceptionally gifted, profoundly gifted, academically gifted, scientifically gifted, creatively gifted, athletically gifted, musically gifted, artistically gifted or indeed any other kind of giftedness I have not identified, should co-operate with, befriend and nurture all other gifted people of all kinds. Why is this so? Because any gift sets one apart - but it also gives you something in common with all other gifted people. You may be different in your difference, but you are alike in that you ARE different from the mass of Humanity.

Therefore, set aside competition and think of co-operation. How can you better the lives of the other variously gifted people you encounter in life? Being friends with them costs you nothing and gains something you may not have had before: a peer, in the one very important sense that they, too, are different, they too, are set apart. You may never find a peer with your gifts and interests, special abilities and personal gifts - but you may find a friend or companion who can share with you an understanding that only a gifted person can have: what it is like to be apart from the common stream of Humanity, what it is like to be different to your very core. In doing so, you will improve two lives: yours and theirs.

(For an overview of the blog site and an introduction to Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, a scientific child prodigy, please go to: )

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 3:20 PM  4 comments

The Cawley Family, Singapore

This photo shows Valentine Cawley and his wife Syahidah Osman Cawley, along with their three sons, Ainan Celeste Cawley, 6, Fintan Nadym Cawley, 3 and Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley, just eight months.

In case you are wondering, I, Valentine, am of Irish origin, though born in London. Syahidah is Malay/Bugis and the children, therefore, are Eurasian.

(For more on the Cawley family, in particular Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, a scientific child prodigy, and his gifted brothers, please go to: )

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 2:03 AM  1 comments

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Scientific Child Prodigy - a guide

Welcome to those who are new to Scientific Child Prodigy.

It has come to my attention that some site visitors are not familiar with Ainan's story. Ainan is a prodigious young scientist. He has demonstrated this in public examinations and is the youngest person ever to have passed an O level, as verified by the Singapore Book of Records. He is at work on higher level material, presently. Indeed he has been a student of Chemistry, at Singapore Polytechnic, for over a year.

At 7 years old, Ainan was accepted into the GEP, Gifted Education Programme, after passing all their tests. They advanced him about a decade in Chemistry by placing him in classes at Raffles College and other institutions. However, the GEP had a different vision for Ainan than us. They wanted to focus on theoretical education, whereas Ainan was more interested in experimental Chemistry. We were doing all the theoretical work he needed at home. Their offer was, therefore, redundant. Thus, within a year we gave up working with the GEP. It was our decision and a good one.

I feel it necessary to point this out because some people don't take the time to find out the facts. This has led to misunderstandings by them. I hope that this clarifies matters for those who have shown they need that clarification. Thanks.

You may be looking for our IMDb listings. IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals. If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at:

There are many posts and it is easy to overlook some that would be of interest, given the simple linking structure of this site. Therefore I am going to point your attention towards some pages which could be of interest:

For the first words of my scientific child prodigy son, Ainan Celeste Cawley:

For his precociously early physical development, crawling at four months, walking at six:

For his ability to see future developments of present science and technology:

For Ainan's tendency to challenge himself with huge projects demanding attention and ingenuity:

For one of the signs of genius Ainan shows, and your kid may too:

For the early physical development of his younger brother, Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley:

and more on his baby athleticism:

On why the gifted, geniuses, prodigies, and savants are important:

On the peer group of prodigies: who do they relate to? Who can they best communicate with?

On the scepticism that the gifted sometimes face, when others learn of their abilities:

On leadership and the way it shows in my son Fintan Nadym Cawley, 3.

Why we need more gifted education for children:

Musical gift and how it may show itself in a baby, from Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley's example:

On Tiarnan's talkative nature and precocious speech development:

Syahidah Osman Cawley, the mother of my three sons, including prodigy Ainan Celeste Cawley:

Ainan Celeste Cawley's like of writing science books mainly in Chemistry and Physics:

The socratic questioning of Ainan Celeste Cawley, as teacher of his father:

The tragic neglect and waste of human gifts, that is a global problem:

On the possibility of photographic or eidetic memory:

On the need for homeschooling for gifted children:

On helping grow the audience of Scientific Child Prodigy - a new blog:

A photo of Daddy Cawley, and a little introduction to my life:

On the difficulty of finding quality teaching in modern schools, particularly for gifted children:

On the need for mutual support in the gifted community:

On the adult reactions to a gifted child, a prodigy or a genius:

The artistic works of Ainan Celeste Cawley's uncle, Hafiz Osman, a Singaporean artist:

An introduction to Hafiz Osman, Ainan's artist uncle:

The problem of plagiarism that faces all creative people and how it affects your creative child:

Making time for creative work: genius needs its space...a tale about not wasting creative gifts:

The value and limits of iq testing: should you test your gifted child or not?

The interior designs and designed objects of Ainan Celeste Cawley's artist uncle, Hafiz Osman:

Hafiz Osman's birthday surprise from an idea by Syahidah Osman Cawley:

The truth about whether the parents of prodigies are pushy or not:

The relationship between the iq of the parents and the children and how this relates to the inheritance of genius iq:

More of Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley's athletic progress and a discussion of Ainan's baby prowess in earlier days:

The internet conversation, the merits of posting a comment and the value of sharing:

The natural confederacy that exists among the less bright, against the bright:

Who is the biggest bully in the school? An eye-opening discussion of a rarely recognized problem:

Are celebrities gifted? Do stars really shine intellectually or is it just the gloss of their make-up?
Get the truth on Hollywood stars and iq:

Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, likes to invent his own scientific experiments, here is one:

Moderation in changes in the environment of a gifted child, preferred to address problems:

Heroism in children: how young does it show itself. Here is Fintan Nadym Cawley's own show of bravery:

A brief description of my blog and its range of contents, far and wide in the realm of genius:

How young do babies show high emotional intelligence? Here is Tiarnan displaying high EQ:
What is the teacher's point of view on gifted children? Can they see a gifted child for what they are?

We all search the internet. Some do so with prejudice in mind. Here is one example:

Copyright protection is vital to all who create. Here is a discussion of Copyscape, a tool to protect against copyright breach and a mention of the financial penalties for breach:

The prodigy paradox: the child prodigies view on educational challenge:

Fatherhood brings much beauty into one's life: here is one such moment with Tiarnan:

Child prodigies find it hard, in some countries, to get an education, the UK provides an example:

Sometimes it is hard to know where to go for information on the internet - here are some links to useful gifted resources. This will expand over time.

True success is rarely found by people - because they approach it the wrong way, here is a better way:

Are all children gifted? Some PC spokespeople would have you believe so. Here is my take:

On the value of patience when searching an internet site - blog or not:

Child prodigy is a little understood and little studied phenomenon. The academic authorities speak with little actual knowledge of the breed. So who is best to consult on the matter?

Some famous people attack child prodigy, using poorly constructed arguments, and weak reasoning. It is one element of the anti-gifted agenda that is found in many places. Here is my refutation of Malcolm Gladwell's recent attack on child prodigy:

Many of my blog readers read in detail each and every post and spend quite some time on the blog site. Here are the details of the present record-holders, stars of the blog reading world:

Malcolm Gladwell believes that only adults are gifted doers, and that gifted children are just "gifted learners". Ainan shows otherwise. Here I ask you to share your experiences about your gifted child:

The Boy Who Knew Too Much: A Child Prodigy - how my blog got its name:

Gifts run in families. One of my relatives has the gifts of a mathematical savant - but is profoundly gifted, as well. Here I tell a story about his savant-like gift in action:

For a discussion of what goes into an actor's talents, thespian genius and the difference between stage actors and film stars, please go to:

There are two basic types of thinker, the high IQ convergent thinker and the creative divergent thinker, here I discuss the differences and their uses in life and society:

I live in Singapore. This is a city about which people have a certain view - but it has other traits, too. Here I talk of two observations of Singapore - the people and the weather.

Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley is my nine month old son. He speaks at the most surprising moments, his little voice emerging from silence, without warning, as if to say: "Surprise!" Here I write of one such surprise:

All gifted children are special. Sometimes we are led to believe that they are just like the other gifted children. Not so. Here I speak of a fallacy in the way gifted children are viewed by psychologists:

My site is read by many different kinds of people, but one particular group is obvious: academics and their spouses at Universities and research institutes across the world. Here I speak of something I have observed about them:

Baby Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley is nine months and counting. Literally. (Though he began to do so some time ago, actually, this is my first post about it).

Sometimes it is the teacher who is the bully in school. Here is a success story of a gifted child whose parents took action:

Rembrandt is probably the greatest Dutch painter of all time. Here I take a brief look at him and his artistic gifts for reasons that will become clear in a later post:

Here I discuss two gifted cultures: America and Singapore and examine the differing emphasis placed on achievement and IQ in the two nations:

You can earn $20,000 USD per gifted family by appearing in a TV show on gifted children in the US. You must be a US resident to appear. Details follow:

A TV show documentary on gifted children and their families contacted me: here is a further post on the $20,000 USD opportunity for your family:

Differing educational cultures welcome gifted boys or girls in different ways. Here I write of how my gifted child, scientific child prodigy, Ainan Celeste Cawley has been welcomed, in Singapore:

President George W. Bush came to Singapore to give a speech addressed to the whole of South-East Asia - and to have pleasant dinner at the Istana (the Palace of Singapore):

Often gifted adults are not well treated in the work place: they are greeted with jealousy by their less gifted brethren - or sometimes worse. Here is one story of what can happen to a gifted working adult (example in Singapore):

Ainan Celeste Cawley is shows not only the nature of a prodigy, in being prodigious, but also the nature of a genius: in being creative, and thinking of new ideas, beyond what he knows. Here he invents the principle of optoelectronics, without prior knowledge of it:

For an account of Ainan Celeste Cawley's tendency to write pages and pages of chemical equations daily, in fullest detail:

Ainan Celeste Cawley has an interest in the history of science: how and why science came about

Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley, is a relatively verbal baby. Here he shows an understanding that different languages may be semantically equivalent, in a trilingual conversation:

Baby Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley is quite precocious in his movement, here he tackles walking upstairs, at nine months old:

Singapore is obsessed with science and technology. Here I write of a public science education initiative:

Ainan Celeste Cawley has been six for one whole year. This is an account of his seventh birthday party, with a space adventure theme:

Happy Thanksgiving America: I hope you had a great day!

Ainan Celeste Cawley is an incessant inventor of all things electrical, mechanical and chemical. Here I discuss his regular drawings/blueprints of new machines and devices:

One reader wondered in his search terms, how to tell if a child is a prodigy, here I answer him:

Creativity is the foundation of genius, but is it appreciated in the education system?

Genius is a mysterious and wonderful human attribute. It is the rarest of gifts - but is it correlated with IQ? Here Rembrandt is used as an example, to examine the issue:

Some see the wonder in our story and question whether the Cawley family is real. Here is my answer to those who puzzle at the tale of a prodigy and his family:

Every child dreams, but of what does a genius child dream? Here I tell of one dream of a child genius - or at least, a single remark from one:

Syahidah Osman and Valentine Cawley met by chance, ten years ago: here I comment on this anniversary.

A passion for numbers defines many who go on to become highly adept at mathematics, here I observe my child prodigy son, Ainan Celeste Cawley's response to numbers:

Genius is allied to social isolation and solitude. Are geniuses solitary figures? Here is my view on genius:

Leonardo Da Vinci may well be the greatest Universal Genius of all time. Here are his last words:

Ainan Celeste Cawley has an interest in geology, minerals and stones in general:

Ainan is replete with rare knowledge - and beautiful thoughts about it. Astronomy is one of his interests. Here is Ainan on our Sun and its hidden nature:

Fintan Nadym Cawley, three, is a boy of personal gifts. Here is a tale of how he took the role of a motivational speaker, one day, showing that he has social gifts that evidence emotional intelligence at work:

Tiarnan is an athletic baby. Here I write of another milestone in his motor development: walking downstairs unassisted - and an acrobatic feat that he does with a wall, a sofa and a split-level apartment:

Ainan Celeste Cawley, seven years, and two weeks, is a scientific child prodigy, with a liking of designing chemicals: here I speak of a recent molecular design:

Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley is a ten month old toddler - he is also rather quick of hand and eye. Here I tell of one example of his quickness - and his poor taste in food:

As babies grow, they gradually come to assert their own personalities. Here, Tiarnan shows that he knows what he wants and knows how to tell Daddy what to do:

Babies are usually unaware of the dangers of the world. Tiarnan, however, is different. Here he shows his alertness to what is dangerous - and does something about it.

Some parents over-timetable their children. Here I discuss the importance of play for a child's development:

If you have arrived off a search engine, in search of particular information, here is some advice about finding it, on my blog:

What is the difference between a "gifted child" and a child prodigy?

What is a genius? Is genius just high IQ?

How is a child prodigy perceived by the general public? How do they react to a prodigy's abilities?

The Pioneer 10 anomaly is a modern scientific mystery. Here is Ainan's first thought on it:

How is genius received by women?

Why do I write this blog?

Kindness: how valuable is it? Is it the greatest virtue?

Advice on the early speech of her child, at six weeks - and how to handle it:

Some people have misunderstood my question on Rousseau's observation, here I try to correct that:

My wife observed one good reason to marry a Caucasian (if you are Asian):

A true gift should emerge naturally from the child:

Some people are polymathically gifted: is this better than being of a single gift?

My policy on comment posts on my blog - a necessary good:

Fintan and the "Crocodile"

Merry Christmas everyone:

Fintan, three, is a very sweet boy. Here is his reaction to Christmas.

Is it better to be gifted and isolated or part of the "gifted community", well that depends...

Tiarnan is a perceptive child and a visual one, here we see him interpret a shadow:

An earthquake in Taiwan has disrupted internet connections in South-east Asia:

Ainan likes to build things - mini civil engineering projects. Here we learn of the fate of one project:

Fintan is ever the brave boy, here is a tale of his undauntedness:

Ainan is a molecular designer. Here he discusses one problem with his molecules:

Here is how we saw in the New Year with our three boys:

Tiarnan, eleven months, hails a taxi:

Back to school, for Ainan: some thoughts on primary school and the gifted.

On being a father of three:

Tiarnan, eleven months, goes vacuum cleaning:

Is education necessary for success?

Tiarnan has an eye for Art and an understanding of representation:

What is the demeanour of a young child prodigy like?

Is a big family bad for the IQ of its members?

Leonardo Da Vinci: did he see the world differently to others?

Tiarnan, in training:

The American and UK style education are different, here I look at some of the ways they differ:

Tiarnan's seeks out music - and reacts to it, emotionally:

Are online games an education...or a threat to it?

Tiarnan's first birthday party:

Some people get stressed easily, others are cool under pressure: which is Ainan?

Fintan shows his sweetness of nature in many ways, most days:

Are there any advantages to being a child prodigy?

How young can a child feel a sense of loss when someone is no longer around?

Tiarnan often manages to surprise with his understanding of the world, here is one example:

Prodigies and savants both possess remarkable abilities, but what is the difference between them?

Fintan can be wise in surprising ways, here he makes a social judgement:

Can a baby tell the time?

Who is the brightest child in the class?

The importance of a good teacher, for every child:

Elitism: a dangerous concept

How to go about homeschooling in a nation that has no tradition of it?

Some babies love to climb, a little too much, Tiarnan is one such:

Who does one turn to, to secure provision for one's gifted child? Well, how about one's Member of Parliament?

Singapore Parliament answers:

Are practical children and gifted children two different types?

What good is high IQ?

Who is a genius?

Ainan's admission into the Gifted Education Programme, Singapore:

Tiarnan invents the idea of an expletive:

How early can a child begin to read?

How do educational authorities behave towards parents? Here is Singapore in action:

The result of Ainan's Chemistry Conference:

Fintan sometimes says the unexpected:

The significance of the Year of the Golden Pig, for Singaporeans:

Raising a gifted child has unexpected costs:

Fintan has his own way of speaking and thinking - here is one anecdote:

Bestselling books for a genius boy:

At what age do children make alibis for themselves? Here Tiarnan does so:

What is President Bush's IQ? The IQ of leaders:

The Gifted Education Programme, Singapore, is interested in our son. Here are the latest developments:

The right to know about your child, in gifted education:

Tiarnan shows his personality when he meets "Sleeping Beauty":

The chemistry of charisma: Ainan at play

Do gifted children learn their observed quietness?

Ainan is to be "radically accelerated" - but is it really accelaration?

Fintan displays unusual social skills for one so young. Here he tries a bit of "personal coaching":

Tiarnan has developed an interesting view of his father:

Comparative education: how an American and a Singaporean High School compare:

Tiarnan is inventive in many ways. Here he invents the practical joke:

What does a boy genius read?

What is NUS High School?

The NUS High School meeting:

What people think of a child prodigy's father - one aspect:

How do people react to a child prodigy in Singapore?

Should child prodigies be given a chance to develop their skills?

Fintan has acute vision and powers of perception:

Fintan's powers of perception, further examined:

How should a gifted child be educated: broadly or deeply?

Ainan is ever experimenting. Here he surprises me:

Fintan, has many surprising qualities, here is one:

Ainan considers the future of science:

Who are the staff at NUS High School?

Life with Fintan is filled with funny moments, here is one:

The little Singaporean and the maid:

Tiarnan is beginning to show an interest in and ability for, Art:

Ainan has a solution to the Earth's environmental problems:

The great IQ con:

Tiarnan has good fine motor control, here he shows it, at work:

The Flynn Effect: are we all getting smarter?

I tried to comment on a Daily Mail story:

Tiarnan tries inter-species communication:

Of imagination and morality: a lesson from the classroom.

The Stanford University EPGY program comes to Singapore:

Tiarnan's speed of reaction, saves the day:

The Daily Mail censored my comment on their website. Do they have a policy of censorship?

There are unique difficulties in parenting a prodigy child:

Tiarnan knows his animals:

Fintan goes swimming, in his own way:

Raymond Ravaglia, of Stanford University's EPGY discusses the basic flaw in American education:

Fintan's perspective on the adult world:
Ainan experiments with walking on water, scientifically:

Child prodigies and the media, Ainan's experience:

Tiarnan invents a new way to climb:

The effect of fame on customer service:

The effect of fame: an encounter at a supermarket:

Tiarnan reacts to being in the news:

On estimating ratio IQ from developmental markers:

All examining Boards are not the same. Here's what happened when we found out:

How does ratio IQ estimation compare to IQ testing?
How to test for IQ, without taking a test for IQ:

Tiarnan is a brave boy, here he shows how:

How good is Ainan's comprehension of textbooks:

The gifted and the future of society:

Tiarnan tries Daddy's shoes:

Fintanism and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

Singapore's IQ distribution and giftedness:

Singapore shopping: a land of smiles...but why?

Fintan's creative perception - seeing the world with artist's eyes:

The incommensurability of education systems:

Fintan experiences someone's cowardice in the playground:

Do geniuses always get credit for their work?

Hwa Chong Institution:

Singapore's experience of the gifted:

Can a child's imagination ever be too much?

Fintan spots a dinosaur in Singapore:

Ainan explores mathematics, for himself:

Why: "The Boy Who Knew Too Much"?

Why: "Perhaps too many gifts."?

Fintan's cartoon watching. What is special about it?

A dinosaur in Singapore:

Fintan's reaction to my blogging:

Does everyone reach out a helping hand to a prodigy?

How fast can a man move when his child is in danger?

Fintan shows his internal aesthetic:

Raffles Institution offer to help:

All rounders and specialists:

Those who will never understand the imaginative:

Reactions to Ainan in Indonesia:

Leonardo da Vinci's view of Humanity:

David Beckham, footballer, legend - and brilliant guy?

Tiarnan arranges time with his mummy:

Ainan's gum arabic flow experiment:

Tiarnan, the defiant:

Malay translations of blog posts:

Front page news, Malaysia:

A quiet trip to Nanyang Technological University, NTU, for Ainan:

Ainan's charity work day - his first volunteer experience:

The tyranny of examination grades:

Fintan the athletic child:

On taking several IQ tests - which result counts?

Tiarnan's concern for his Daddy:

Ainan, an unconscious actor?

Fintan and the secrets of the Sun:

Tiarnan and the piano:

IQ and wealth: Zagorsky study:

Searching for a tutor:

Karl Benz, child prodigy:

Tiarnan, the little policeman:

Raffles and the laboratory:

The value of child prodigies:

Tiarnan of the smile:

Fintan's world of the imagination:

What would the world be if the jealous held the reigns of policy?

Brotherly love and solidarity: Tiarnan's demonstration.

The art of communication, Tiarnan style:

Careers advice for a gifted child: lessons from Syahidah's life:

Who does Valentine Cawley look like? A celebrity search:

Further photographic correlations of Valentine Cawley:

Intellectual stars and national success:

Leonardo da Vinci: musician:

Speed learning practical chemistry:

Welcome readers from Italy:

The importance of personality:

Child safety: window grilles are a life-saver. Here is Tiarnan's reason why:

Is sweetness of character innate? Fintan's example:

Berita Harian, Singapore: front page news, again:

Ainan invents mathematical theories and formula:

Babelfish translation:

A day out at Singapore Zoo:

Technorati ranking for scientific child prodigy:

A close encounter of the Bird Kind.

Albert Einstein on gifted isolation:

20 Minutos (the leading Spanish daily by readership) on Ainan:

Genetic discrimination against the gifted:

Are children image conscious?

Giftedness and "palm-reading":

The meaning of a child who paces:

What is a savant?

Does water boil at room temperature?

Tiarnan's love of nature:

The need for greater empathy:

Delayed gratification and achievement:

Fintan sings his own songs:

Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss, Child Prodigy:

Tiarnan's hungry tummy - and his solution:

On being an academic reference:

La Vanguardia, Spain - coverage of Ainan:

A high IQ promotes longevity:

When advice, is not advice:

La Stampa, Italy on Ainan:

Speed of processing and exams:

The importance of attribution:

The tale of a cowboy hat:

Are geniuses ever satisfied?

News in the Philippines, in People Tonight:

Genius and academic success:

The tyranny of tests, UK style:

Encouraging and discouraging creativity:

Fintan's fourth birthday:

Tiarnan and the colours of the world:

Tiarnan and the meaning of Art:

Starting at NUS High:

Prodigies and their parents:

Educational testing and intellectual performance:

Tiarnan's taste in food:

The Universality of intelligence:

The problem with Universities:

NUS High: Is education appropriate?

Let children play:

Gifted people in Australia:

Is there news of Ainan in Venezuala?

Ainan on the origin of life:

Death on the roads, Fintan's view:

On haircuts and conformity:

The early signs of an artist:

NUS High School responds to Ainan's situation:

Volksblad, the South African newspaper, writes of Ainan:
Ainan counts calories:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ainan's and Fintan's reaction:

Ainan speaks out on scientific responsibility:

Tiarnan tests the temperature, in his own way:

IQ and testosterone in children, the correlations:

Tiarnan and the natural world:

Fintan on teaching reading:

The country where love is banned:

The Open University is closed:

Is school food junk food?

Fintan's school report:

Genius and long-term relationships:

Does Singapore value diversity?

Of bondage and educational servitude:

Language school, Singapore, Tiarnan style:

Ainan's recipe for Fish and Chips:

Mira Sorvino and scientific fame:

Teresa Hsu, Singaporean Supercentenarian:

Of genius, wealth and poverty:

Ainan's love of abstruse chemicals:

A life of achievement:

Genetic determination of all giftedness:

Can Britain survive trash culture?

International Left-handers' Day, August 13:

School food and allergy management:

Social skills in toddlers:

Left-handedness and divergent thinking:

Does College make you fat?:

Children and pet animals:

The infinity of chemical knowledge:

The mystery of the disappearing lettuce:

What does early college mean?

Self-perception of toddler:

Construction of the Grand Snail Hotel:

The gifted and the standardized classroom:
Does Singapore value copyright?

Odex and Pacific Net, Singapore - further comment:

Hafiz Osman, Syahidah's brother, wins the Winston Oh Art Award:

The closure of the Intelligent Singaporean, blog aggregator:

The true nature of personality:

The quality of memory - incidental knowledge:

Time Magazine: Are we failing our geniuses?

The fall of snail kingdom:

This is my five hundredth post:

Odex, Pacific net and Gamesmart:

Fintan knows his toys:

Tiarnan and the beetle:

High five, Tiarnan style:

The birth of scepticism:

IQ and the politics of science:

Changi Airport, Singapore: Hafiz Osman's flight

Tiarnan shows his athleticism:

It is never too late to live:

When education becomes abusive:

A science prodigy's comedic sense:

Child Prodigy Schools: an educational trend.

The pace of education for the gifted:

In homeschooling permission limbo:

Tiarnan's emotional response:

SMRT unfair taxi fare:

Natural hairstyle and individuality:
Was William Shakespeare a writer?

Tiarnan and the public bar:

The amazing Super Moths of Singapore:
Seeking a Chemistry lab in Singapore:

First anniversary of Prodigy Blog:

Childhood imagination and acting on the stage:

O.J. Simpson: fame and invulnerability:

Progress on homeschooling in Singapore:

The mysterious genius of Athens:

The study of geography:

The strange vocabulary of Tiarnan Cawley:

On accepting the testimony of others:

Artfriend and customer service in Singapore:

The value of Science in Singapore:

The No Child Left Behind Act: Is Bush One?

Kenji Nagai APF videojournalist in Burma:

Listen to the children:

Famous inventors, John Boyd Dunlop:

Lost and missing comment posts:

The brain of Neanderthal Man:

Daddy is on a roll:

Akiane Kramarik, a child prodigy artist?

A child's book shelf:

Irish roots go deep into history:

Computer software and the child:

Does anyone think anymore?:

The importance of creativity:

The best party in the world:

Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize for Literature:

Hogwarts Castle - J K Rowling sues:

Gerhard Ertl, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry, 2007:

The origins of the Irish people:

Eternal Child Hunger Pangs:

Freedom of Speech and the United States:

Little Boy, Big Heart:

Youth Olympic Games, 2010, IOC:

Tale of a zebra print:

International Olympic Committee blog visit:

Parenting a gifted child, anxious moments:

The dangers of mobile phones:

Recent UFO sighting Singapore:

Singapore Book of World Records:

Celebrity sighting on a train:

Chance meeting with a "family friend":

Jealousy at NUS High School:

Does anyone read anymore?:

Happy Birthday, Syahidah:

The Diamond Hope, VLCC, a Supertanker:

Happy Halloween, everyone:

The best students in Singapore:

Lost property in Singapore, Ainan style:

A successful children's party, the signs:

The beginnings of sibling rivalry:

A global search for a University:

Traffic surge from the Netherlands, Austria and Germany:

Friendship between species: a love of animals:

The flipside of reservation in the classroom:

The notationally gifted:

Noise pollution and modern life:

How to measure the world:

A little shop of horrors:

On the life of an expat:

The 2006 Pisa Survey on OECD education:

Does Japan have a future?:

Fast food and young children:

Life purpose for a genius:

Chimps' maths skills rival humans':

Heath Ledger, film actor, dead at 28, in NYC, some observations:

Is Singapore an uncaring society?

The luck of the half-Irish:

"Child Prodigy Veterinarian", Courtney Oliver, 10:

Lee Kuan Yew reconsiders population:

Chemistry experiments beyond the book:

Gong xi fa cai: Happy Chinese New Year!

Record Breakers Singapore Edition TV Show:

A toddler on working life in Singapore:

The super puzzle solver of Singapore:

Gary Gygax, inventor of Dungeons and Dragons, dies:
On sensitivity and toughness:

August Rush, Child Prodigy Musician:

Long term ambition for children:

The generosity of Singaporean education:

The David Beckham of Singapore:

Interdimensional travel for a toddler:
St. Patrick's Day Parade, Singapore:

Little Master Mischief:

Arthur C. Clarke dies:

The failure of the Copernican revolution:

China and Tibet: a conspiracy of silence:

Double standards in Singaporean education:

How to move an immovable object:

Signs of growing poverty in Singapore:

Rapid drop in iq of Thai children.

Racism at Nebraska Office of the CIO:

The Singaporean obsession with A grades:
Charlton Heston on genius and himself:

On the value of beauty:

Do child prodigies get rich?

Where every school is a military school:

The child who wants to grow up:

How to get Daddy's attention:

A world without the smell of flowers:

Talent will out:

The best student in class:

Of curiosity and criminality:

Homeschooling on the rise in Singapore:

California State Public School system in jeopardy:

Homeschooling in Singapore and the USA: a comparison:

Signs of a child artist:

What is said and what is done:

How to live a long time: be a parent:

The top 100 living geniuses:

Was William James Sidis a child prodigy failure?

The beauty of the molecular world:

Trading on another's success: Mr. Bean:

The secret happiness of fatherhood:

Albert Hofmann, Chemist, dead at 102:

The lack of entrepreneurs in Singapore:

How to console a little boy:

The passenger should be in control:

Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar: the true danger:

Mas Selamat Kastari in the eyes of a child:

Socially aware children: interpersonal intelligence.

Taking the credit for the goodwill of the world:

Ainan's Mother's Day Present for Syahidah:

Straits videocast on Ainan at Singapore Polytechnic:

My children's reaction to Ainan's news:

The size of a toddler:

The Berita Harian, Singapore Polytechnic News:

I am not a chemist:

Chicken Soup for a Singaporean Soul:

Strategic thinking about social situations:

Doris Lessing on Nobel Prize fame:

Drama at a restaurant:

Thanks to Google Webmasters Discussion group:

A child prodigy's acceptance by others:

Crime in the UK and in Singapore:

Equanimity in the face of adversity:

A young experimenter's decibel test:

A day in the chemistry lab:

What kind of intelligence do you have?

Singapore Daily blog aggregator moves:

Girls and boys in academia:

A chance encounter with an old colleague:

Knowledge of national flags:

Jeanne Louise Calment - successful aging:

What kind of country is this?:

Tiarnan's sense of mischief:

Is Japan a culture of misery?:

Career ambitions of Vietnamese students:

No freedom to play:

The language of a natural diplomat:

Miss Singapore Universe Beauty pageant: an end?

Singapore's stressful education system:

The education of a nation:

Father's Day gift from a son:

Terminal cognitive decline and death:

The value of an individual:

The beauty of a car:

Happy 5th birthday Fintan:

Plagiarism in the classroom:

Memories of childhood: the parents' view:

Two parties for the birthday boy:

Education should be free:

Stereotypes: age and liberalism, conservatism:

The Tower of Babel:

The decline in general knowledge:

The value of being gifted:

The amazing disappearing ERP cards:

How big is a toddler?:

The best colour in the world:

The shame of a nation:

Teaching a hamster to read:

What makes a favourite teacher?:

The perils of a room-mate:

Hollywood from a child's perspective:

Lee Kuan Yew's view on Singaporean education:

Where are all the world class writers?:

How to get to the Olympics, Singaporean-style:

The most important cargo in the world:

A new meaning of pet food:

The dangers of a kiasu mentality:

No signs of sibling rivalry here:

Schools that forget their pupils' needs:

Not every change is a success:

The best student writer I have seen:

How not to secure a publisher:

Unexpected entrepreneurialism in the young:

The retro kid hippy:

The wistfulness of an expat:

Philosophy and the art of categorization:

On learning to be grateful:

A toddler and a baby:

Singapore Parenting Congress 2008:

The true nature of Singapore's bilingualism:

The importance of telling the truth:

Back to school: Ainan's welcome:

Where has fatherhood gone?:

Genghis Can - copywriting, editing and proofreading agency:

On silence and self-expression:

Superhuman Genius Documentary, ITV1 and ITV2:

On maternity and paternity leave:

Time to investigate the IOC:

How not to investigate a scandal:

Over 100,000 hits since this blog started:

The effect of chocolate on the young:

Is Made in China any good?

Wall-e, Hollywood and environmentalism:

Fintan resident fashion expert:

Bullying in the workplace:

A child's response to Wall-e:

Free healthcare for all: a basic human right:

The absurdity of Singaporean taxi drivers:

Baroness Warnock - unethical ethics expert:

Laziness in today's students:

Formula One Night Race and social status:

Why are politicians so stupid?

The philosopher of the wind:

An unkept Singaporean promise:

What Heng-Cheong Leong of Myapplemenu doesn't understand:

The Irish solution to financial meltdown:

The message and the messenger:

The world escapes from economic reality:

The imagination of a child:

F1 racing cars from the perspective of a child:

Prisoners' rights to vote in the United States:

On living a life of significance:

Space colonization and the survival of Mankind:

A peculiarly American tragedy:

Lee Kuan Yew on Assortative mating:

Cambridge University: an awkward truth or two:

The two-legged alarm clock:

The future of the Human race:

Old and childless:

The limits of the world:

Listen to the sound of the flames:

Elizabeth Alexander: Inaugural poet:
"Valentine Cawley": Stoned Tales, Stoned Poems:

China's confession of guilt:

Suicides of the rich and famous:

The consequences of blogging success:

The World's Cleverest Child and Me, Channel 4:

Of memory power and interest:

Lord Valentine the Misplaced:

Creative students in the classroom:

The miraculous power of selective memory;

Singaporean schools are destroying our children:

David Hartanto Widjaja: celebrity:

Is President Obama an ethical man?:

The cause of NTU's suicide habit:

On the verge of a new era:

Why can't the PAP find talent?

Barack Obama and the video store:

End the practise of bonding:

Dr. Allan Ooi Act:

A leader without a sense of morality:

The mysteries of Singlish:

More buses please:

The way children understand:

Madonna's adoption bid:

An unexpected dinosaur:

A literary mystery:

Bullying by teachers in Singapore:
The Singapore Kindness Movement:

An elephant for breakfast:

A mother in the eyes of her child:

The Super Secret PAP kindergarten:

Academic culture shock:

Phil Spector, Barack Obama supporter and murderer:

The madness of kiasu:

Portrait of the writer in the eyes of others:

The Great Singaporean Expat Exodus:

How to save money Chinese style:

Fintan's knowledge of animals:

The end of Great Britain:

An alternative to AWARE's war:

On having readers:

Tiarnan's way with the cmaera:

Antiviral stockpiles and value systems:

People's magazine 100 Most Beautiful People List:

Swine flu madness:

Wisdom and folly of Great Britain:

Career ambition of a young man:

The child who named Pluto:

Leonardo Da Vinci, the Genius, exhibition at the Science Centre:

The Lost Room - a lost sci fi tv series:

Brown Rice Paradise - or is it?

Conversations with PRCs:

The mortality and immortality of authors:

Too many gifted students in the world:

Hygiene and public toilets in Singapore:

Perceptiveness in a young child:

David Carradine, "Kung Fu" actor, dead in Bangkok:

On the acceptance of difference:

David Carradine's posthumous fame:

Copyright infringement in Asia:

The art of learning patience:

Privileges of the old:

Happy Father's Day, 2009:

Fintan turns down Superhero opportunity:

Who owns a blog?:

A child's curiosity about the world:

IMDb: the Internet Movie database:

Computer programming by a child:

He is not one of us:

Where is The Knowledge in a "Knowledge economy":

Differential support of the gifted:

I can't stop loving you:

On personal experience and scientific study:

Brotherly love vs. Harry Potter:

Where news is no news:

The New Paper and the order of events:

IMDb and Macaulay Culkin:

Mika - the boy who knew too much:

Sacha Baron Cohen and the lost accent:

Fintan invents his very own season's greeting for Xmas:

On making a written record of childhood:

Genius and obsession. A post on one of the keys to genius.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals. If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which may take several months to be accepted) please go to: As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at:

For the latest postings, please go to:

I hope that is some help in navigating the site. Thanks.

(We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:22 PM  28 comments

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