Go Ask Your Father: Mail, Pool Vacuums, Microscopes, and Supernovas

DW started her day at the park planting trees. She planted tree trees. That’s Cape Bretonese meaning “three trees”. Afterward, we went to finish splitting some firewood for my step-mom-in-law. We just call her Nanny Sharon. It only took about an hour and half to finish it as we already put in 4 hours splitting last week. Little Bang loved running the splitter and helping to throw the split wood onto the pile. Big Crash helped with that part, too.

After lunch we started stacking it in her basement. Her basement will hold a half a winter’s worth, or more, of wood. Our little work horse continued helping for another couple of hours. His big brother sat inside entertaining the cats.

Two kids with the same parents yet they have polar opposite work ethics.

1. How does a letter know where to go?

The owls just know. It’s magic.

It starts at the post office where you drop your letter off. Usually, the letters we mail are the ones the boys wrote to their cousins. A week or so later they get a reply. It’s like magic. Anyway, the post office sorts the mail by postal code (zip code for you Americans, except here in Canadaland we have letters and numbers). Once they’re sorted they’re sent to a processing plant that is nearest to that postal code. The processing plant has special cameras that can read the printed address and will sort the letters based on the postal code. This sorting enables the letters to be sent to the post office that handles that particular code. The post office receives the letter, and will either place the letter in the correct mail slot if it’s a post office box or send it on it’s way with the mail carrier who will deliver it to the correct mailbox. I’d send post by owl if I could just catch one.

2. How does the pool vacuum work?

This came to us over the summer where Bang learned to swim without a life jacket. Their pool vacuum looked like a giant ladybug. I won’t lie, it was pretty cute. Naturally, Bang was curious about it. Oddly, it works in much the same way as a household vacuum. A pump inside the unit creates suction. The water, dirt, and debris are sent by hose to the pool skimmer (where to look when you lose anything that floats, ie my wife). The pool skimmer will filter out the dirt, debris, and wife and send the cleaned water back into the pool. The little robot wanders around the bottom of the pool sucking up water and dirt like it’s their job.

3. Is this microscope powerful enough to see blood cells?

First off, you need to know there are two kinds of microscopes, compound and stereo. A compound microscope is good for magnifying the tiny details of the material being observed. It has one eyepiece. A stereo microscope generally has a lowered powered magnification for bettert view of whole materials – pollen, rock crystals, etc… – in 3D. It has 2 eyepieces.

Our little compound microscope that DW brought home from her classroom with a highest magnification of 200x? Nope, no blood cells will be seen with this. It would be the equivalent of SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) using binoculars. It’s just not strong enough. We can look at onion skin, salt, sugar, lettuce veins, fly’s wings, and a freezie wrapper. The printing on the wrapper reveals it’s printed with dots. You need a magnification of no less than 400x to see blood cells. You’ll need the same magnification to see sperm.

4. How big are supernovas?

In the night sky, they’re tiny. They look like stars, if you’re lucky enough to spot one. I have Googled the shit out of this one and the best I can come up with for an answer is “They are the largest explosions in space”. Thanks NASA for that generalization. We have no worries about our sun going supernova on us. It doesn’t have enough mass. However, once it runs out of fuel it will swell to a red giant and vaporize Earth before it shrivels into a white dwarf (Sleepy or Tyrion?). There are two types of supernova. In type one, a star collects matter from a nearby star until a runaway nuclear reaction ignites the explosion. In type two, a star runs out of nuclear fuel and collapses under its own gravity. They eject matter up to 25,000 miles per second. That’s around the Earth’s equator in one second. It’s also how fast I come running when someone hollers, “I’ve got chocolate!”

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I haven’t gone supernova yet, so you can still find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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11 thoughts on “Go Ask Your Father: Mail, Pool Vacuums, Microscopes, and Supernovas

  1. How does your wife fit in the pump to filtered? πŸ˜‚ Kids are all different . You’d think the stork brought them to the wrong house. My two girls are very out there ambitious and go getters and yet my son just does enough . Told mum today and all she said was he’s like your dad πŸ˜‚

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  2. Little Man’s grandparents got him a microscope for Christmas last year that we used to look at red blood cells, which was so cool! Looking at a strand of each of our hair was neat, too, although questions about why Baby Girl is blond when I have dark brown hair and my husband has black hair came up again. Maybe they can look at their hair if they haven’t already and compare it.

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