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!

On Thin Ice

When in Canada…
Since we’re frozen what seems more of the year than we are thawed, we make use of that slippery stuff. Hockey season starts in the fall. It’s already started. Therefore, our local hockey rink is already flooded and frozen. 

The boys have been asking to go ice skating. Two years ago Crash sort of learned to skate. He can stay vertical (mostly) and move forward (mostly) and turn (mostly). He didn’t go at all last year. I figured he’d have to learn all over again. I was afraid it wasn’t like riding a bike…

Bang has been skating before, too. DW and I took him once last winter while Crash was at school. It was a “Mom and Tot” skate. This dad went. 

We got him all bundled up in snow clothes. Falling on ice hurts so we wanted to give him as much padding as possible. Snow pants. Snow coat. Mittens. Helmet. Skates. We have a skate trainer, too. Basically, just an L shaped piece of tubing to give support to those with Bambi legs. Well, he hit the ice just like Bambi and went down. I picked him up and helped him get his feet under him. Down he went again like a drunk at closing time. After that he was done. He refused to even stand up again. I carried him off the ice. He lasted 10 minutes.

You can now understand our tentativeness to take him skating again this year after the debacle of last year. However, after hearing his brother’s excitement it was difficult to say no. But you can’t go skating without ice skates and the boys feet had grown 19 sizes since we last went.

Skates for Bang: $10
Skates for Crash:$40
Skate sharpening: $5 per pair
Admission to public skate: $5 per family

Spending a full hour skating: Priceless

By the end of the hour Bang was running skating. It looked like running, though. He fell many, many times. He’d laugh it off, get back up, and motor on. He used the skate trainer. He used tall pylon (think road construction cone). He used nothing. 

With 10 minutes left, a security guard joined us on the ice. I thought he was coming to tell us that Bang wasn’t allowed to use the skate trainer (it’s happened before). I was wrong.

He was coming to kick DW off the ice.

Once upon a time she was a rink rat, but DW hasn’t skated for a jillion gazillion years. Since the last ice age, probably. Not trusting herself on skates, she remained in shoes. The nice security man was coming on the ice (ironically, in his shoes) to tell DW she couldn’t be on the ice in shoes, she needed skates. Apparently it was for saftey and insurance reasons. So off the ice she went for  a 10 minute shoe penalty. 

When the buzzer sounded for us to get off the ice to make way for the zambonie both boys were disappointed. They weren’t ready to leave. So I guess it was a success. Guess we’ll be going back more often. 

Sure beats vegging out in front of the TV or on some form of electronic device.

Crash and Bang being Canadian.

The First Day

I gave you fair warning yesterday

Yesterday was our last day of summer. It passed much like the rest of the summer in it’s slow yet too fast kind of way.

Today was not a sleep in, lazy day. On the contrary, it was quite the opposite of a sleepy, lazy day.

5:50 am – Crash woke to use the bathroom then went back to bed to read for a bit. Too excited to sleep, I was later told.
6:00 am – Fitbit buzzed me awake. F***ing Fitbit.
6:10 am- Crash, DW and myself head downstairs to start the day.
6:15 am- Crash eats. DW makes her smoothie and eats. I start making lunches.
6:45 am – I wake up Bang. Bang says his “jitter glitter”* didn’t work. It must have because it’s all over his face. DW makes signs for the boys to hold for “First Day Pictures”
7:00- Feed Bang and pray Bang eats the first thing prepared for him.
7:10- Thank you God for answering my prayer!
7:15- Make sure boys dress as nice as one can knowing the day’s temps will climb to 30 (86F) and a heat index of 38 (100) but not so comfortable they resemble a hobo or Pigpen.
7:30- Brush teeth to prevent fur coats and dragon breath.
7:45- Load backpacks with lunches, indoor shoes and water bottles.
7:46- Wait 14 minutes until it’s time to go to the bus stop

14 minutes later….
8:00- get “First Day Photos” taken by momarazzi.
8:05- Go to the bus stop and see friends you’ve been playing with all summer, except now you’re all getting ready to ride the cheesebox
8:15- Get on the Big Yellow Taxi
*race Yellow Dragon Wagon to school*
8:30- See Crash and Bang off to class. Basically get told to leave by the 5 year old.
8:40- Drop DW off at work and go home.
8:40-1:30- Enjoy the peace and quiet of being home alone. Get more cleaning done in one morning than normally gets done in a week while playing music unusually loud.
2:45- Watch boys get off the Boneshaker and get videoed and photoed by dadarazzi.
2:46- Ask a gazillion and two questions about their day.
2:47- Get answered with “I don’t remember”

Repeat 194 more times (minus the First Day Photo shoot)
*Jitter glitter is glitter Bang received from his teacher yesterday. It was to help calm nerves for a restful sleep the night before the first day of “big kid school”

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Go Ask Your Father: Hermit Crabs, Gas, McDonalds, and Clouds

As you know by now, Crash has been playing baseball all summer. Mosquito is what his level is called here. I’m used to calling it little league. Anyway, from his very first game on July 3rd he’s been wanting to pitch. So several times week, sometimes all seven days, I would practice with him in the backyard. I’d measure 44 feet, set down a Frizbee for homeplate and we’d walk through the steps on how to do it. Then he’d start throwing. In the beginning it was rough going. There were more pass balls than caught balls. Not because I can’t catch, either. His pitches would sail over my head. They would sail to the far right and to the far left like he was doing the “dizzy bat” before throwing.

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Over the weeks we kept practicing. His pitches started becoming more catchable. We watched a few “how to” videos on YouTube and after a couple more week of practicing he started throwing an equal number of strikes and balls. Mind you, we were using a shovel stuck in the ground for a batter.

Fast forward to the last game of the season last Tursday and he has yet to pitch in a game. Then there were two outs and runner on third in the final inning and his coach makes a switch! Needless to say he was excited. Really excited. He was the personification of happy.

The first batter he faced, he walked. The second batter he faced, he walked. He now had bases loaded and two outs. Can you guess what happened? He struck the third batter out! His teammates were great in supporting him and congratulating him. He was on top of the world.

So were his parents. You can watch him throw to his last batter here.

1. What do hermit crabs look like without their shell?

DW asked this one one day at the beach. The beach we like to visit is touted as having the warmest water in Nova Scotia. There are hermit crabs scurrying all over. We, the boys included, like to dive for them. Our marine hermits can live up to 30 years if they are fortunate enough to remain in their watery habitat and not become supper for a hungry predator. However, in captivity, they usually only survive a few months. They breathe through gills, too. Their shell is to protect their soft, vulnarable abdomen and will sometimes fight to steal another hermit’s shell. If you’re looking for a good book about a hermit crab’s shell, Eric Carle has one called, A House for Hermit Crab.

Do lawnmowers use car gas?

On our way to pick up DW from work, I stopped to fill up a gas can for the lawnmower. Nosey-hole Bang wondered why I was putting it in the can and not in the truck like I usually do. So I told him it was for the lawnmower. Hence the question. Before the mower even uses gas, you need to start it by getting the flywheel spinning (the pull cord). The flywheel has magnets on it that create a magnetic field once it’s spinning. This magnetic field creates electricity that sent to the spark plug. Most mowers have four strokes which is about a gazillion fewer than my golf game. The first stroke is the intake stroke. Here is where the gas is used as this stroke pulls in gas and air (I only emit gas). The second stroke is the compression stroke which is where the piston compresses said gas and air, like when I squeeze my cheeks to keep the gas in. Then the spark plug ignites and the air and gas mixture combusts creating the power stroke (I’ve never ignited my gas) (yet). The exhaust stroke releases the combustion gasses. Exactly how my exhausts exists (sometimes silent but deadly).

Can we go to McDonalds?

Sometimes when you’re having a bad day a simple indulgence can make it all right again. This was the case with Bang yesterday. His day overall was good. But just before supper he slipped on a slide and hurt himself. He was okay, but it hurt and there were tears. I told him to get in the truck, we were going to get supper. He didn’t even need to put shoes on (that in itself started to make his hurt go away). Afterward, he was the personification of happy…

happy meal

How do the clouds move so fast?

Because I was a fourth grade teacher, I know all about clouds. Mostly. Everything from stratus to nimbus and cumulonimbus (basically, they’re classed by elevation). Even to how they form. Ever make a cloud in a bottle? Just put some warm water in a clear bottle then drop a lit match into it and screw the top on real tight real quick. Squeeze the bottle good and tight. This creates high pressure inside the bottle. When you release it the pressure inside drops and a cloud is formed. The match was create smoke particles for the water to cling to. Naturally, that cloud ain’t goin’ nowhere. But the ones in the sky move by the force of the wind. The jetstream is 5-7 miles high and rushes along at speeds up to 150-200 mph. Some of that energy is transferred to various elevations and the clouds will either rocket along like a boy on his bike down hill or mosey along like DW’s driving.

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One of Those…

Ever had one of those moments…

Perhaps it was just a moment
perhaps it lasted all day

or all week
or all month…

I realized this morning that my Taboo Word Challenge list is backwards. I didn’t mean to start the month the hardest word. I got my head in the game now and got it fixed. Check it out… The image is also on my sidebar. Feel free to add it to yours, too.

On another note…

If I’m not entertaining the boys then they are trying to kill each other
by annoying each other to death.

That’s not an understatement either.

Just this morning, after we dropped DW off at work we went and paid for the truck’s license plate registration. The boys were good as gold at the “DMV”.

The minute we walk in the door the little one is jumping on the big one.
The big one is making annoying sounds to make the little one scream.
The little one is screaming because he’s trying to get the big one in trouble
(and laughing when it works).

So I hollered at them…

Told them to get sock and shoes on because we were going to the beach. That quieted them because they were confused.
“Why do we need socks and shoes for the beach instead of Crocks?” they asked.
Then they got in the truck to go, and I hauled them out. I told them we were walking. Confusion set in again.

But at least they weren’t annoying and killing each other.

They eventually clued in that we were going to the across the street beach.
I know what you’re thinking,
“You have a beach across the street? How awesome!”
You can stop thinking it, now. It’s probably not the kind of beach you think it is.

There is no sand, just rocks.
The water is bordered by a dozen industries – NS Power which burns coal, a paper mill, a gypsum plant, a pipeline and terminal for oil and gas which, of course, brings the giant tanker ships.
So it’s not a beach for swimming and tanning and sandcastle building.

But it is ideal for beach glass hunting and metal detectoring. On a previous hunt we found 5 rusty bottle caps and a dime.

So we took a walk along the beach.
The boys walked together. They walked apart.
They walked with me and then they didn’t.
It didn’t matter. We were the only ones there.

Once we were back home though, all hell broke loose again. So I made them lunch and took them to play racquetball. They played for about a 1/2 hour when DW called to tell us she was done and ready for us to come pick her up.

The boys went up to her classroom and were back to killing each other again. This time they were fighting over who was going to get use the paper shredder.

Seriously?

I just now got my 45 minutes to sit and write because the little one is at the neighbor’s house playing with their daughter and the big one is at his grandparent’s for a sleepover.

Can I get an Amen? This adulting thing is frickin’ hard. I’m going to get some wine now…

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Good Morning Sunshine

How do you take your coffee? Or perhaps you prefer tea? Or orange juice? Or maybe just water? I’d like a Coke, but I’m on day two of cessation. So far no caffeine withdraw headache. But I’d still really like one.

I was hoping this morning’s run would summon my idea pallet. No summoning happened. Instead it was a quiet, foggy four miles with Crash cycling beside me. We set a goal of 34 minutes and beat it by 10 seconds. But it was never about the numbers. The scenery was picture worthy, but we were so enraptured by the it that I didn’t even think of it. I usually do my best brainstorming during my runs. This morning my brain was as quiet as Mother Nature. I was wracking my brain for some kind of juicy, meat and potatoes, awe inspiring post.

Sorry, this isn’t it.

The best words of wisdom I can come up with at the moment is

Nevermind the numbers.

What if your blog received one view every single day? No more, no less. Well, maybe less. Would you still write? Would you write differently?

Would I write differently? I’ve made my blog mostly about being a dad. Which, when I look back at previous posts, really isn’t any different than being a mom. Or perhaps I just write about being a dad like a mom would. With the exception of childbirth and breastfeeding, they’re nearly identical positions. While I wouldn’t mind the breastfeeding aspect, child birthing isn’t for me.

I think and I say I wouldn’t write differently if I didn’t get the views. But deep down inside, I think I would cater to my readers. If that one view was always from my “Month in Review” post, I would write more reviews. I would provide more stats than the MLB. If it was my short stories that garnered the view I would join more photo prompt clubs.

I know parenting (mostly) and I know humor (mostly) and I know writing from the heart (mostly). Writing what you mean and meaning what you say is more important than the numbers. Especially if you’re professing your love of pigeons. Crash’s posts get 5-15 views each time he blogs. He still asks to write posts. He’s working on his next draft at this very moment.  He also sees that I get 50+ views and he thinks he isn’t getting enough. I see others getting 100+ and I think I’m not getting enough. I’m sure those 100+ people see others getting 200+, 500+ or 1,000+ views and think they’re not getting enough. What would be “enough”?

We write anyway. We parent anyway.

So my advice today is ignore the numbers. Whether you’re blogging and hoping to become “popular” or you’re running and hoping become “fast” or parenting and hoping to “survive” ignore the numbers and do what you love to do. Do what you do best. Do what is best for you, your blog, your kids, your whatever.

Just do.

just do

And while your at, please join us for a new, fun blogging challenge.

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Science Questions I Asked My Kids

Ahh… to view the world with child’s eyes. Nothing quite beats the imagination of our youth. The hows and the whys of our world might seem mind boggling. Except when viewed through the vision and mind of a child it’s all really quite simple. How else could one describe such complex intricacies so simply and so accurately.

I thought I’d try something a little different today. Normally, I ask my kids fun questions about life. Today’s questions are all sciencey (except for the dream question Bang was so eager to answer yesterday). This is their take on what happens in the world around them.

1. Did you have any dreams?

Bang: Yes. So like I don’t know where we were. It was sorta like the beach. It had lots and lots of sand but I don’t know where it was. There was a green train. It came toward us super fast. It didn’t need train tracks, it could go anywhere. On top of trees. In the water (the wheels go all gone and it rows). There was mean mom and she said “There goes your garbage”. I was swimming in the water and the train came on the sand. Then I woke up.

Crash: My friend and I were playing outside in the dark. Then someone jumped on my back. My friend was gone because he turned into a zombie Sponge Bob. So I ran away. A thing was hanging from a tree and it had a flashy button on it. I pushed the button and it exploded and I woke up.

2. Why does it rain?

Bang: Because the clouds go for a swim and suck up some water and when they go back in the sky the water comes out of little tiny holes and it rains.

Crash: Because when it gets hot some water from the oceans and stuff float up. It’s called vaporization. Then the clouds soak up the vaporization because they’re like sponges. They turn dark and the water falls out as rain and it all cycles through again and again.

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3. Why do bees make honey?

Bang: To make honey sandwiches, honey bread, honey toast, and honey strawberries (which are orange and taste like honey)

Crash: So we can eat it, obviously.

4. Why is it windy?

Bang: because wind clouds come and they make the wind blow around.

Crash: Because God blows through his mouth and makes it windy.

5. Why is the sun hot?

sun
Bang
: When you’re cooking something, the wires get hot so space gets hot and then the sun gets hot.

Crash: That’s an unanswerable question. Earth’s atmosphere is like a magnifying glass and the light from Earth heat up the sun.

 

6. How many bones are in your body?skeltw2

Bang: I would say a lot. I would say a really big number. 60 90 100

Crash: 163

7. What is the largest animal on Earth?

Bang: An elephant and rhino are bigger than all the animals.

Crash: The humpback whale. Whales are ginormous! Or is the beluga bigger?

8. Why is the sky blue?

Bang: Because there are blue snowballs that float in space and they make the sky blue.

Crash: Because of light. The sky is practically space, but the sun lights it up.

blue-sky-clouds

9. What makes a rainbow?

Bang: There are invisible balls inside the blue sky and it makes a rainbow when it’s ready to make one.

Crash: Rain and sun. Obviously the sun heats up the water and somehow it makes a rainbow in the sky.

double-rainbow

drewhopperphotography.com

10. How do airplanes stay up in the air?

Bang: They have 2 wings and really big propellers that spin super fast that they can stay up in the air when you count to a thousand.

Crash: Because they have turbines usually. And they have big gliding wings.

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A Letter To My Oldest Son

Hey buddy,

I can’t believe you’re going to be nine in a couple weeks. It seems like just yesterday your mom and I were bringing you home from the hospital. You gave us a good scare there in the beginning. You don’t remember your open heart surgery when you were five days old, but we remember. Vividly.

Speaking of your heart, you’re our tenderheart child. You feel greatly. Your feelings can be hurt easily. Sometimes I pick on you and lightly make fun of you not to hurt those tender feelings of yours. I do it to help you understand the difference between people teasing to make you laugh and teasing to hurt you. I do it so you won’t be so hard on yourself. I do it so you understand that humor can be the best medicine.

You are our snuggler. Our hugger. Hugs hello. Hugs goodbye. Hugs because you feel loved. Hugs because you want someone else to feel loved. When your actions help others and gains you nothing, I know you will grow up to be a great person.

I would never tell you to stop feeling. Feelings are important in today’s society. It means you care for others as much as you care for yourself. They allow you to empathise. They allow you to not just understand what others are feeling, but to know what they are feeling. Especially those closest to you.

I would never tell you to “suck it up” because this world needs more people who care. That is what calls people to action. Many people complain about a situation, their own or one with society. However, it’s the ones who care who step up and do something about it. They are the problem solvers of the world.

I would never tell you to “grow a pair” because great leaders understand emotion. They understand people’s emotions are an important part of a skill set. The greater you can make someone feel the more productive they’re likely to be. Great leaders tap into their own emotions as well as the emotions of their colleagues to make them feel as equals, not as minions.

I would never tell you to “man up”. To “man up” signifies that you are not a man. Obviously, you are not a man, you’re only nine. But you are of the man species. Telling you to man up would signify that you can’t be a man because you have emotions, because you care, because you shed a tear. It signifies that you are less than a man. To be less than a man is less than human. Less than life itself. You are not. You never will be. I don’t care what anyone tells you or tries to make you feel.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll will tell you to quit your bitchin’. You are to quit your bitchin’ if you are complaining more about the problem than doing anything to solve the problem. You are to quit your bitching if you’re complaining about something that can’t be changed (aka, the weather). You are to quit your bitchin’ if you’re complaining about something that is your own fault.

You are our tenderheart and I hope that never changes. I know there will be some events that will try to harden you. They will try to break you down into a person who doesn’t care. I hope you only let them build you up and make you the man I know you’ll be.

Love,
Dad

emotion-quotes-1

 

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A Little Boy’s Dream Come True

Diggers. Dumpers. Dozers. Graders. Rollers. Brushers. Pavers. Most little boys I know absolutely love love love these machines. You can imagine Bang’s excitement when he woke at 7 am to find these machines working in our neighbor’s driveway. Except for the dozer and paver, they were all there. They were all working.

Several driveways in our neighborhood (including our own) are being replaced. The excavator ripped out the old driveway and dumped it in the dump trucks. The trucks hauled it away and brought back crusher gravel to lay the bed of the new driveway.

At 7 am last Monday Bang woke and heard the trucks. As predicted, we heard the thump thump thump of two little feet running down the stairs. Those two little feet carried him right out of the front door. We didn’t even get a hi, hello, good morning, or piss off. He was on a mission.

Unfortunately, he had school that morning so he couldn’t just hang out and watch all day. As soon as he got home at noon, though, he right out there watching.

The only difference on Tuesday was that he didn’t have school. It was raining, but like a true digger and dumper enthusiast he didn’t let that stop him from watching. He was an excavator spectator. Oh sure, I suppose mom and dad were excited, too. We were getting nice, new, flat, smooth, asphault driveways! Would I like to be running this excavator? My inner little boy would love it.

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a front row seat

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Go Ask Your Father: Teapots, Puddles, Holes, and Big Numbers

What a week it’s been. Nothing big happened, but we sure were busy. Or at least it felt like it. FitBit says I have walked the length of the Great Barrier Reef, 1,600 miles, since last June. In the last seven days I have averaged 17,052 steps. Crash is still ahead of me, little bugger. Maybe that’s why I’m tired. It has nothing to do with staying up until 11:30 reading a book only two other people in the whole world have read.

Have you ever received an email from your kid’s teacher and the subject line simply says “this morning”. There’s always a brief hesitation where you hope it’s good but think “Oh God. What did he do?” Turns out Crash had a great day at school yesterday. His teacher sent him to write by hand on lined paper to a table at the back of the room. This was to eliminate the distractions around him. It worked like a genie in a bottle. She said he wrote a play for two and half hours. The ‘by hand on lined’ paper is important because sometimes his handwriting can be atrocious. She said it was neat and on the lines! Ahhh… the little things in life…

1. Why’s he holding a golden teapot?

all_hearts___genie_by_lynxgriffin-d52g7ljHe’s holding a golden tea pot because a long time ago the Gods punished the Jinn civilization by scattering to the wind. The evil ones were imprisoned. The golden teapot referenced here, though belongs not to my grandmother but to a Genie. More specifically, Aladin’s Genie. And the teapot isn’t a teapot. It’s an oil lamp.  According to legend, Genies, or Jinn, date back to about 2400 BC, over 4,000 years ago. Ironically, that’s around the same time my parents met and fell in love. According to the Qur’an, God created jinn out of the “fire of a scorching wind”. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that Europe’s Antoine Galland, the translator of the original Arabian Nights, added a few self authored tales to the collection. His best sellers included Ali Ababa and the Forty Theives and Aladdin. Aladdin’s genie was stuffed in a bottle and has been there for the past 300 years. Or at least until NBC dreamed up a genie in ’65 Disney made him blue and sing about friendships in ’92.

2. Why do the puddles instantly disappear?

It was a warm, summerish day as we were driving down the highway when Crash pipes up with this question. There were puddles on the road up ahead that seemed to be moving faster than us. But, generally speaking, puddles don’t move. This is called a mirage. Or more specifically, an inferior mirage (not a superior mirage). It’s only inferior because the mirage is  located under the real object. A heat haze, such as the one Crash experienced, is a type of inferior mirage. Heat hazes are about as unstable as a Kardashian. Pretty much for the same reasons, too. Hot air. Light bends differently in different temperatures of air. This mixing of temperatures causes images to distort when looked at.

hot_road_mirage

3. What’s that hole for?

He nearly got his finger stuck in the hole in question. I was brushing the toast crumbs (and the rest of the day’s food) from his teeth when this one popped up. This is simply the overflow drain. If your sink (or your tub, because it has one, too) fills up too high, this overflow drain reroutes the water back down the pipes rather than onto your floor.

2223_water20overflow20in20the20sink

ignore the math here

This is a good thing because during one storm (hurricane) we started filling our bathtub in case we lost power. Naturally, we lost power while the tub was filling. We were on a well at the time so we lost water at the same time we lost electricity. We went out that evening after the storm but before the power was restored. When we came home the power was on and the faucet in the tub was running on full blast. Had it not been for that overflow drain we would have effectively flooded our own house (but not quite as effectively as kids in the tub can do it). Also, many damns have overflow drains to prevent their reservoir from flooding. It works in much the same way except it reroutes the water past the damn. It also looks creepy.

water-hole

4. What’s a big number?

I used to think infinity was pretty big. Doesn’t infinity last forever and have no end? Howblast-off-buzz-lightyear can anything be bigger than that? Apparently you can count past infinity. This means Buzz Lightyear had it right all along, “To infinity and beyond!” Michael of Vsauce describes how to count past infinity in this video. Be careful, though, it’s mind blowing. But the “big number” in question isn’t a number at all. It’s an expression. We use it describe damages, injuries, amounts eaten, etc… “Wow, he did get quite a number on his knee!” in reference to when Crash fell down while play outside at school. The number he did earned him an early dismissal. It was (and still is) gross. Or “She did a big number to your finger when she bit you!” in reference to when TimBit bit Bang’s finger. That was gross, too. If you eat many pizza slices you have done a number to it. If you smash your car you’ve done number to it also. If you give yourself a haircut and it looks like a toddler did, you have done a number. In any of the numbers (except maybe pizza) you’ll wish you had some genie wishes to take back your number.

albert-einstein-not-stop-q

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