Go Ask Your Father: Hemroids, Sphincters, Constipation, and Seat Belts

It’s been steady going around here. In the last two weeks there should have been 10 days of school. There were only 3. Six of the seven missed days were because of snow. The seventh (today) was because there was a province wide teacher walk out strike. Thousands (I heard 20+ thousand) gathered outside of the Province House (where provincal legislation takes place). According to news reports the demonstrators (teachers and those who support them) were so loud that those inside the building couldn’t hear each other at times. 

#TeacherStrong to make the classrooms better for the students.

Plus all the snow, which was good snowman snow…

Notice the pine needle hair?

What are hemorrhoids?

Simply put, they’re a pain in the arse. According to Google they are a swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus. They’re similar to varicose veins. They are often caused by an increase in pressure during pregnancy (or labor) or from a strenuous bowel movement. Sometimes that can feel like labor, too. If they’re inside your rectum (I love that word because it sounds like wrecked ’em) they’re called internal hemorrhoids. If they develop under the skin around your stink eye/one eye’d pirate/starfish they are external hemorrhoids. Most times they are just uncomfortable and cause itching, discomfort and bleeding. Other times a clot forms which will need to be lanced and drained. I apologize if you are eating while reading this. I suggest you put your fork down until this post is over…

What makes our poop come out?

Simply put, muscles, but not the kind you can flex and admire in the full length gym mirror. In more specific terms it’s your digestive system. A series of tubes that connect your mouth to your anus move food along until there is nothing left but waste. The movement within the tubes (esophogus, stomach, and intestine) is called peristalsis. It looks like a wave moving through the muscle. The waves narrow the tube propelling it’s contents closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Your colon collects the shit waste that wasn’t absorbed by the intestine. After a day or so a good bowel movement expells it for a hole in one. 

Why won’t my poop come out?

Constipation. Kinda like writers block. When your poop become hard and dry you’ll have a rough go trying to pass it. It may feel like it’s the size of a bus. In the words of Bang, “No wonder it hurt. It was HUGE!” It could have been from eating too much fatty, sugary, or starchy food. A little more fiber (fruits and veggies and whole grains) should soften it right up. Perhaps it was from not enough exercise. The extra movements help move food through your system. I doubt it was from that, though. The culprit may be a lack of fluid. But with the rate at which I’m buying milk, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it either. Stress can cause backups, too. With recent events, that’s definitely a posibility.  Could it be IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? He has complained of belly pains before. IBS can cause diarrhea sometimes and constipation at other times. It also causes pains and farts. “Do I rot?” is a common question…

How do seat belts work?

One of these questions ins’t like the others. You can continue eating now. The shit’s over. 

The first thing is the buckle. Click it or ticket as we tell the kids. Buckle up for safety. When you put the buckle into the clasp, the hole in the buckle catches on a tab. Pressing the release button releases the tab and out pops the buckle. Inside the belt system is a retractor mechanism. This spool winds and unwinds any loose webbing (the seat belt). Inside the retrator is a spring that applies rotational force, or torque, to the belt. This is why when you pull gently to buckle up the belt unrolls smoothy. The locking mechanism inside the spool locks the belt and keeps it from extending when a sudden motion is applied. The webbing of the belt is specifically engineered to help you survive an accident. It can stretch which slows your forward momenum gradually instead of instantly like the dashboard or windshield would. It’s estimated that seat belts save 13,000 lives in the US each year. That’s why I never put it in drive before I hear all the clicks. 

Go Ask Your Father: Fat Lips, Vision, AEDs, and Undertows

Happy Thursday night or whatever time of the week it happens to be for you when you’re reading this. I’m settling in getting ready for yet another snow storm. School was cancelled Monday because of snow. It was cancelled Wednesday because of ice. It’s likely the kids will be home to drive me nuts again tomorrow because of more snow and ice. I’m putting them work if they’re home tomorrow!

Why do we get fat lips?

chapped-lips2You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their lips. You can tell if they’re wearing lipstick, for instance. You tell how big their labial tubercle (that bump in the middle of the upper lip) is. And women, did you know the bigger your labial tubercle the easier it is for you to achieve orgasm? You can also tell if they’ve been in a fight. When the soft tissue of the lips is damaged it becomes inflamed and swollen. This creates what we all know as a fat lip. Bet you never look at lips the same way again.

Beside getting a taste of a knuckle sandwich, fat lips can also be caused by dehydration, an allergic reaction, from a food allergy, or sunburn.

How do eye glasses work?

DW and I are nearsighted (myopia). She wears her glasses all the time. I have a tendency to lose mine. One pair is at the bottom of a river. Being farsighted simply means that our eyes do not have adequate focusing power. In other words, the focus point falls behind the retina instead of on it. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is exactly opposite – it forms a focus point in front of the retina. So eye glasses and contact lenses redirect the light so that it focuses the image on your retina so you see a clear picture.

sight

The top image shows how light focuses on the retina.

What’s an AED?

While ice skating yesterday, Bang noticed an odd looking box attached the wall outside of the ice rink. Naturally curious he wanted to know what it was. It was an AED or Automated External Defibrillator. Automated because all a user needs to do is follow audio commands connect adhesive electrodes to the patient and from there the computer takes over to check for a pulse and heart rhythm. It will only deliver a shock if it detects a heart that is in ventricular fibrillation (Vfib), when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. The shock momentarily stuns the heart and gives it the chance to resume beating effectively. Essentially, it turns it off and turns it back on it again to restart it.

What’s an undertow?

Not to be confused with rip currents, an undertow occurs in all bodies of water where waves crash on shore. It’s strongest in surf zones where the waves are larger. After the wave rolls onto shore gravity pulls back toward the ocean and the water rushes back out collecting in the next wave. This outward rush of water and the inward rush of a wave creates an undertow. They are only dangerous to those who can’t stand against the backwash (outward rush of water) like children as the undertow only goes out to next incoming wave.

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Questions I Asked My Kids

These kinds of posts usually happen on Thursday. They’re my rules so I can break ’em if I want to. I feel like I’ve been watching education systems fall apart. DeVos, who has no experience in public schools and various other major skills, has become Trumps Education Secretary. Here in Nova Scotia, teachers are in their 3rd month of a work to rule strike because classroom conditions no longer meet students’ needs. But those are posts for another time on another day. Today we need a smile and a laugh. Who better to look to for that laugh than a certain 5 and 9 year old. Crash and Bang can deliver a laugh faster than a Superbowl commercial. 

1. How fast can you run?

Crash: I’d say… fast. 15 miles an hour
Bang: A million miles ahead of a car

2. Where does snow come from?

Crash: Comes from rain. Rain gets cold then it falls as snow.
Bang: Clouds

3. Why do birds fly?

Crash: So they can get around easier 
Bang: To get to their home because walking would be too slow

4. What’s something Guppie (their grandfather) always said?

Crash: I’ve got a surprise for you (Kindereggs)
Bang: I’m going to make stew

5. What is something that will remind you of Guppie?

Crash: His cottage, throwing rocks, teaching us how to curse
Bang: About talking to Nanny Sharon, throwing rocks, snuggling under the warm (electric) blanket, and lots of money – he gave me lots of money.

6. Can you tell me a story or a dream you had?

Crash: I had a dream. From that TV show Ghost Adventures except it was me and my friends and not the guys on the show. Rocks were being thrown horizontally at us from nowheres. I sat next this guy and felt this draft of really freezing cold air around us.(Guess we won’t be watching that show again)
Bang: I was playing on the new Nintendo Switch and I was playing Yoshi’s Wooly World and I got hit by a big ginormous metal spider robot.

7. Why does Dad love Mom?

Crash
: Because she’s beautiful and funny and has a great sense of humor
Bang: Because she’s his wifey

8. Why does Mom love Dad?

Crash: Because he has strong muscles
Bang: Because he gives hugs and kisses

9. How many TimBits can you eat?

Crash: one jillion ten thousand nine hundred ninety nine
Bang: 3,001

10. How do you know Mom and Dad love you?

Crash: Because they let us stay up late, they feed us supper, put a roof over our heads and give us clothes
Bang: Because we snuggle.

Get to Know Me Tag

No rules. Just answer the questions and tag a few people.

stomperdad

0. Share your profile picture if you have one.

1. Who are you named after? Lief Erikson, (HAHA Just kidding. I wasn’t named after anyone)

2. Do you like your handwriting? Most of the time.

3. What is your favorite lunch meat? Buffalo chicken

4. Longest relationship? Current one..will be together 14 yrs in July

5. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes

6. Would you bungee jump? Of course! I’m just waiting for the boys to be old enough to go with me.

7. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? My running shoes, yes. All my other shoes, no.

8. Favorite ice cream? Mint chocolate chip or Death by Chocolate

9. What is the first thing you notice about people? First their eyes. Then boobs or butt. Or for a guy, his hair.

10. Football or baseball? Baseball. GO O’S!

11. What color pants are you wearing? Greenish grey.

12. Last thing you ate? Iced donut with sprinkles….yum!

13. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Sunset orange.

14. Favorite smell? DW’s satsuma perfume or sheets dryed on the clotheline

15. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? DW

16. Hair color?  HAHAHA. Seriously?

17. Eye color?  blue-ish.

18. Favorite foods to eat? Chocolate and lasagna

19. Scary movies or happy endings? Both, but mostly happy endings

20. Last movie you watched? Finding Dory

21. Favorite Holiday? Christmas

22. Beer or Wine? Definitely wine…

23. Night owl or early bird? Both. I love the quiet after the kids go to bed, but I have to be up early to get everyone ready for school. So more night hawk than early bird.

24. Favorite day of the week? Saturday!

24 1/2. Which three of your favorite bloggers you would like to know more about? (link to their about page if they have one)

Green Grapes, Coach Daddy, Momma’s View, Grubbs-n-Critters (I cheated and named 4)

25. Who were the  latest three people to follow your blog (link to their about page)?
Letters from LockeThe Educational Rambler, and Homedecorh

100. Copy this link

Go Ask Your Father: Trains, Clouds, Supper, and Stars

How do steam trains work?
Like most little boys, and even some big boys, trains are amazing pieces of machinery. Bang came to me to the other day wanting me to look up videos of coal furnaces on steam trains. He wanted to see the coal burning. There were more than enough of such videos on YouTube to satisfy a five year old. Naturally, while watching the coal burn he wondered how it made the steam train chug.

That’s a busy gify. Upon closer inspection you can follow the chain reaction. We’ll start with that bright orange space in the back. The fire. That’s what Bang was originally fascinated by. The heat from the fire is carried through the boiler – the long, horizontal, yellow section. The heated pipes boil the water which rises into the dome at the top. As more and more steam rises it also rises in pressure. The pressurised steam then travels down to the piston. The piston opens alternating sides of a chamber. This alternation moves a larger piston which is connected to a shaft that turns the wheels. It’s this step that give the steam train its signature chugga chugga chugga. The steam is then released from the chimney.

Why are clouds white?
I didn’t really have an answer for this one, right away. I was stumped and had to admit that I didn’t exactly know. I know fog is white, too. But if water is clear, air is clear, why are clouds white? It turns out it’s because of the size of the droplets of water clouds are made of and how sunlight reacts when it goes through said large drops. Do you know what a micron is? It’s 1,000th of millimeter. A droplet of water in a cloud measure about 10 microns. This is HUGE compared to the rays of light passing through it. Like a hotdog down a hallway huge. The light gets scattered, but because the drop are so huge all the light gets scattered equally. When you mix all the colors you get white. So clouds are white because light is white.

What’s for supper?
Seriously? I don’t know. Unless I’m in the mood to make spaghetti/lasagna sauce, I sometimes don’t know what’s for supper until about hangry o’clock. This morning I ask Crash what he wanted for supper and he said McDonalds. I said, “Nope, I’m cooking.” So he suggested shepherds pie. Unfortunately, we just had something similar last night so I made him pick again. He offered pork roast but I had to shoot that down because we’re cooking for DW’s mom’s birthday on Sunday and we might be having that then. The fourth try was tacos. We had taco Tuesday on Friday. Picky eater Bang doesn’t eat tacos. He requested scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon. I put on my short order cook hat and we all got what we wanted. Yummm…

Where are stars?
In DW’s eyes. There’s some on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, too. There are also billions of them in the sky and this is what Bang was referring to as he gazed out of his bedroom window at bedtime this evening. All of the stars you see are in our very own galaxy, The Milky Way. Looking at the night sky, distant galaxies will be confused for a single star. There’s only one star in our solar system – the sun. The nearest star to our sun is called Alpha Centuri. This is actually a 3 star system even though it looks like a single star in the sky. It takes light travelling at 186,000 miles per second four and half years to get here. If it were to suddenly explode we wouldn’t know it until 2021. For the stars even farther away, we see even older light. To compare, the galaxies photographed in Hubble’s Deep Field photo are roughly 13 billion years old (which is also the shelf life of Twinkies). Earth is only 4.5 billion years old so those distant galaxies are 3 times older than our planet! Incredible!

Go Ask Your Father: Dictionaries, Weekends, Playing, and Airplanes

How long does it take to make a dictionary?

Though it’s writing began in 1857 it’s first volume wasn’t published until 1884. It was estimated to take 10 years to complete but took 70 when a 10 volume edition was published in 1928. This is about the same amount of time it takes me to get DW’s to-do list done, aka the honey-do list. The second edition, twenty volume Oxford English dictionary contains 171,476 defined words. That’s almost as many words as a chatty, world pondering kid can say at bedtime. 

Is it the weekend?

It most definitely is. It’s the time of sleepovers, staying up late, and not sleeping in because kids never sleep in. However, it wasn’t the weekend at the time of this asking. It was a school day. Bang was either looking for a few more minutes of sleep or to sleepover in either his brother’s bed or at Nanny’s house. Most of the time he enjoys his sleep. We normally have to wake him for school. His brother is destined to be a farmer because it’s up at 6 am, sometimes earlier. I saw a FB quote that goes something like this: As a kid I couldn’t understand why parents wanted to sleep so much. As an adult I don’t understand why kids are never tired.

Who’s going to play with me?

Poor Bang. Nobody loves him and he always has to play all alone. Note sarcasm. Sometimes we build a hotwheels races track. Sometimes we play Mario Kart on the Wii. They boys especially love this because they laugh their little heads off when DW swears at her racecar. Sometimes we play Bug Trails. It’s a fun little matching game and I don’t even have to let him win. He beats me fair and square! Sometimes I call “Not It” and I go cook supper. Or I call “Bedtime”. Or I delegate it to his big brother. He’s been tired and cranky this week so playing with him has felt much like petting a porcupine.

Can an airplane fly with no roof?

DW and I watch Mayday, a show on the Discovery Channel that show how and why planes have crashed. While it’s informative and entertaining, it’s also nerve wracking. We have flown numerous times and it makes DW even more nervous to fly. I find it consoling knowing that these issues have happened in the past, they were thoroughly investigated and solved so they don’t happen again. Besides, statistics show that it’s safer to fly than to drive. In one recent episode we watched part of the roof of the fusalage ripped off. 

The plane landed safely and the only fatality was a flight attendent who flew out of the plane when the roof departed. If you remember once upon a time, planes were built with open cockpits. But a plane that’s supposed to have roof and suddenly doesn’t can continue to fly so long at the remainder of the fusalage can handle the stress load and the drag isn’t too great. It’s the wings and tail that provide the lift. Drag (the wind pushing on the plane) will slow the plane down. So long as the plane flies at speeds greats enough to provide sufficient lift, it will carry on soaring with the birds. Other planes have lost parts of it fusalage or cargo doors yet the entire plane went crashing down because it’s drag was so great it couldn’t get lift. DW and I both agree that it would be fun to investigate plane crashes, though it would be disheartening to know that what we were investigating may have caused many to die. I, myself, would love to learn to be a pilot!

Go Ask your Father:

Bang insisted on deep conversation this evening over fish, broccoli, and smashed potatoe supper. Where did the universe come from? Who were the first people on Earth? Can you think when you’re dead? Sometimes I’m not sure I’m the one who should be answering his questions. I do the best I can. Naturally, answering his question will create three more questions. 

Why do we swallow?

During a recent ride in the RAV4 Bang was fed up with constantly having to swallow his saliva. I wouldn’t allow him to spit in the truck, either.  I told him he had to swallow his spit so he wouldn’t choke on it. He also had to swallow food so he wouldn’t starve. To make matters worse, I added that he has to swallow liquid so he wouldn’t die of thirst. Said food and drink is technically called a bolus. Our tongue pushes food and drink to the back of the mouth where the pharynx moves it along to the esophagus which will deliver to our stomach. During this process the epiglottis (our airway) closes so we don’t asperate or suffocate.It came up again at suppertime. Food, apparently, takes too long is way too much work to swallow one bite at time. He wanted his supper in his stomach and it was to get there immediately.

What’s that blue planet?

I was nervous because I was afraid he wanted me say “Yer-Anus” (I say “Yer-uh-nus”) fortunately he was thinking of Neptune. Unfortunately, I don’t remember why he was asking. Discovered in 1846 (about the time I entered first grade), it has 14 moons and 5 rings. It appears blue because of methane found in its atmosphere. Even though it’s smaller than Yer-uh-nuh it has a greater mass because of it’s heavy atmosphere. It’s atmosphere encloses layers of water, ammonia, and methane ice while the core of the planet is rock. When I Google what methane smells like all I get are results that include sewer gas. Neptene smells like a sewer. Thank God it’s 2.7 billion miles away.

Who farted?

Around here it could have been anyone. We don’t have a dog to blame it on, either. Birds don’t fart, so we can’t blame Piper. Most likely it was Crash. He’s proud of the gas he passes. Though, Bang can be equally proud, he’s more of “Can I sit on your lap?” then fart and leave kind of kid. Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, two gasses created in the intestine during food digestion, are the culprits behind the stench that makes us gag, makes our eyes water and peels paint off the walls. Don’t be surprised if you get called a flappy-arse if you’re ever heard farting within our house.

Who’s going to play with me?

Mr. Needy likes when people play with him. He’s not so good at entertaining himself sometimes. The basement is creepy for him. He doesn’t like the blinky lights on the wireless router. He also doesn’t like how quiet it is. Never mind the amount of noise he conjures up while playing. It wakes the dead. So when he asks, “Who’s going to play with me?”  we all look at each other. If one of just played with him we’ll play the “your turn” card. Sometimes I’m able to play the “I’m cooking supper” card. Most times someone will go entertain him. Trucks. Lego. Mario Kart on the Wii. Trains. Racecars on the Hotwheels track. There are endless possibilities. Until someone farts and smells worse than Neptune. Then it’s game off. 

You know a relationship is serious when you can fart in front of the other person.

Quetions My Kids Ask: Bacon, Bears, Brains, and Wiggly Teeth

The winds are howling here tonight. If this keeps up we just may wake up in Munchkinland tomorrow. We’re battening the hatches and holding our hats. Knock on wood we don’t lose power. At least then I wouldn’t have to worry about the kids not turning off the lights!

Why does bacon shrink when you cook it?

God this stuff is good. Meat of the heavens. I’m sure you’ve all noticed that the final product is significantly smaller than the original. There are two factors at play. One is water. As the bacon is fried it loses water content. As it loses water content it shrivels right up. Store bought bacon most often has more water in it due to the way it’s cured (injected with brine – aka salt water). They use more water to make the bacon look better. It is also an abundant source so the processor is able to offer it at a lower price. They saccrifice quality for profit and we get what we pay for.

The second factor is fat and the temperature it’s cooked at. Fat rendering is when the fat turns from solid to liquid while cooking. So some of it will cook off and end up in the drain pan. When buying bacon, look for the package that has more pink than white. Also, cook it at the lowest temperature you can. Baking it best, but who their right mind wants to wait an hour for bacon? 

What do bears eat?

Whatever the hell they want. Then they poop wherever the hell they want. Who’s going to stop him? Surely not me. Most people think bears are meat eaters. With the exception of the polar bear, most bears’ diet consists mostly of vegitation. The black bear, for example, eats plants and berries about 85% of the time. The other 15% consists of insects, stolen meat, and small rodents like mice. In the Pacific Northwest they’ll hunt salmon on occassion. Meanwhile, their cousin the grizzly, eats a bit more meat and will hunt bigger game like deer, elk,  moose, and bison. Sometimes they’ll catch fish like salmon and trout. But when meat isn’t readily available they’ll fatten up on moths and other insects. The panda bear, of course, eats strictly vegitation. So, like I said, they eat whatever they want. Some are carniverous, most are omniverous, and a select few are vegans  herbivores.

What does your brain look like?

Once upon a time Bang thought brains looked like a spring. I don’t know why he thought that. I corrected him during our discussion of him wanting to be a neurosurgeon when grows up. They look like greyish, pinkish, wrinkly, sponges. There also seems to be a corrolation between the “hills” (gyri) and the “valleys” (sulci) and intellegence. It is thought that the more ridges an animal has the more intellegent it is. For example, mice have smooth brains while human and monkey brains are full of ridges. Though with some humans I truly wonder if they really do have ridges like a marble…

Do you have any wiggly teeth?

I do not, thankfully. Though with what the tooth fairy doles out sometimes I’m half tempted to start knocking them out myself. I have all my adult teeth minus the two wisdom teeth I had pulled. Crash and Bang on the other hand don’t have all their adult teeth yet. Crash still has about 6 more teeth to lose! Bang has his first new tooth coming in and it’s causing two teeth to start to wiggle. Sometimes we swear they’re sharks with multiple rows of teeth. Have you ever seen a kids x-ray of their teeth. You can clearly see their adult teeth up inside their head just waiting to move down and shove out their cute little baby teeth. Just Google “x-ray of kids teeth”. Either way, it’s great to have teeth that allow us to eat bacon.

21 Questions I Asked My Wife

I highly encourage you ask your spouse these questions. The laughs you get will make it well worth it. I’m not even sure where I found these, but here they are for your enjoyment (and mine). 

Q: Would you rather I be completely hairless or as hairy as a gorilla?
A: Completely hairless

Q: What actress would play you in a movie about your life?
A: Katie Holmes (or Emilia Clarke or Megan Fox if Katie isn’t available)

Q: Who would play your love interest (aka, me) in a movie about your life?
A:  Kelly Slater or 
Howie Mandel or Billy Zane (from The Titanic) (she also named Mr. Magoo)

Q: Would you rather our children grow up to be 8 feet tall or 3 feet tall?
A: 8 feet tall

Q: If you had to go a week without your phone, what would you miss the most about it?
A: Wunderlist (our grocery/to do list)

Q: What do you like most that I do in bed?
A: Scratch my head

Q: What was your first impression of me? Did you ever dislike me?
A: My first thought was “Wow, he’s really short.” and “Why’s he’s wearing a trench coat?”

Q: What’s your favorite memory of our wedding day?
A: Seeing how excited you were when the bagpiper piped us into our reception

Q: If you woke up tomorrow as a man, what would be the first three things you’d do?
A: Stratch my junk, play with my junk, and pee standing up

Q: Would you rather use whipped cream or hot fudge?
A: Depends on what we’re using it for… 

Q: What do you think is your best physical feature?
A: My smile

Q: What do you think is my best physical feature?
A: Your bum

Q: If you could be on any reality TV show, which one would it be?
A: Gold Rush so I could drive a bulldozer or a big digger

Q: Have you ever obsessed over anything? (toys, movies, projects, people, problems)
A: New Kids on the Block

Q: What were your nicknames growing up, including the ones you didn’t want to stick?
A: Smurfette, Shit-heels, Pissy-Liz, Bimp, Boo, Snugglebum

Q: If I let you dress me, what would I wear on our next date?
A: Dark jeans, brown shoes, and a nice button up shirt (she knows I hate brown shoes)

Q: Would you ever role play in bed?
A: Yes.

Q: Yoga pants or skirts?
A: Yoga pants

Q: What song would you sing for your audition on The Voice?
A: As I Lay Me Down by Sophie B. Hawkins or The First Cut Is the Deepest by Sheryl Crow

Q: Is there a food that reminds you of me?
A: Hearty Chicken Bake

Q: Is there a memory you have or me that always makes you laugh?
A: Holey underwear

Go Ask Your Father: Heat Pumps, Fire Ants, Brains, and Bad Words

It’s been quite a while since I’ve answered some questions. I haven’t written many down either. I’m back on track now. Or at least it appears that way. I could be just running around in circles. It’s hard to tell.

How do heat pumps work?

DW asked this one and I can’t for the life of me remember why. I think she was talking to her brother and he was talking about the heat pump at their house needing replaced. Sounds right, anyway. Turns out it’s simple physics and science. When I say simple, I mean complicated. Imagine walking outside in winter naked as a newborn. It’s freezing outside and your body is warm (for a moment). Since heat flows from warm to cold, your body heat flows to the surrounding air and you cool off because you’re losing heat. This same process can happens in reverse in heat pumps to heat houses. Except to get heat out of cold air, you need to pass that cold air over something that’s even colder. In the case of heat pumps, it’s a refrigerant. Yep, exactly the one in your refrigerator. Another scientific part is that the “something colder” is a gas (CO2) filled coil. When gas expands it cools significantly. You probably felt this when spraying an aerosol can – a can of hair spray. So it passes through a compressor and allowed to expand again. Once it expands it gets cold. The heat from the air then flows into the cold CO2 warming it. The warm gas then flows by the fan that transfers the heat in the gas to the air and it’s blown into your house. See. Simple science.

Why do fire ants make our skin burn?

Because they’re little bastards that like to see humans terrified of such a small creature. I just read that most biting ants bite then spray the wound with an acid. Geez. I’ll pass, thanks. On the contrary, fire ants bite only for grip. Once gripped they sting from their abdomen. With the stinger they inject a toxic alkaloid (aka fancy pants chemical compound) venom called Solenopsin. For us human folk this fancy pants chemical compound gives a sensation of burning. To those sensitive to stings, this venom can be deadly.

What does your brain do?

Bang asked this one night at bedtime. For several nights he wanted to discuss brains. I tried to convince him to grow up to be a neurosurgeon. At first he said yeah, he would be one. The next night he had changed his mind because he doesn’t want to cut people’s heads off. Guess I didn’t explain it too good. Essentially, our brains are grey, wrinkly sponges that control our entire body. Everything from our senses to our organs to our movements to our thoughts and feelings and dreams. Though, in some people, we really do wonder what they’re using their brain for. Sometimes it does nothing more than keep our ears apart, right Ma?

Why do big kids say bad words?

Big kids say shit because it makes them feel like adults. It pisses me off when I hear “kids” saying bad words. These are adult words to be used during adult times. They are not to be just thrown out there like a common douche. Crash and Bang have been testing out the waters with a particular swear word. Arse. That would be the polite swear word for ass. One evening over their bowls of yogurt Crash tells us, “I farted in bed and it felt like my butt cheeks were flapping.” Bang responds without missing a single beat, “Flappy arse.” How could we not not laugh? Because we laughed, he continued. Now arse is nearly a household word. I’ve told them that’s an “at home” word and if I hear of them using elsewhere they’ll get their arses tanned.

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