You don’t need a calendar to know that Christmas is approaching. There are Christmas decorations and Christmas baking. There are Christmas concerts, Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, Christmas songs, Christmas sweaters and Christmas socks. There are also kids (and dads) around the world bouncing off the walls, quite literally, with excitement. There are also Christmas questions…
1. Why is everything purple?
Once upon a time purple was Bang favorite color. He had purple shorts and purple shoes. He loved to color with the purple crayon. We could have named him Harold (bonus points if you know Harold and his purple crayon). The answer to everything being purple isn’t because of a crayon, though. Thank God. Purple is color of everything churchy these days. It is the color of advent (and lent). In the Catholic church purple is the sign of penance, sacrifice and preparation. Purple is also the color of royalty and wealth as it was once very expensive to produce. In the story of Jesus a purple cloak was draped over his bleeding shoulders to mock him as a king.
2. How do ships know how deep the water is?
Did you hear about the paddle sale at the boat store? I heard it was quite an oar deal! Boats know the depth using sound waves (a lot like ocean waves except smaller, invisible and made of sound). Since we know the speed of sound through water (roughly the same speed Christmas morning will be over), we can determine how far it travelled before being bounced back. There’s a lot of science involved, but all you need to know is the material’s density, compressibility and temperature. We know all this about the ocean, so a ship’s sonar bounces sound waves off the bottom of the ocean and measures how long it took the echo to return and presto bango, you know the depth.
3. How much does the Earth weigh?
Nevermind the Earth for a minute. A butcher is 6 feet tall with blue eyes. What does he weigh? Meat. He weighs meat! Now imagine if you had a scale big enough to set the Earth on, how much would the Earth weigh? Nothing, nada, zip, zero, zilch. It’s weightless in the near vacuum of space. However, using math, science, the laws of gravity, fancy formulas and figuring the densities of the various materials we know the Earth weighs 1.31668×1025 lbs. For those of you who aren’t quite sure what that means, its 13,166,800,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds. Say it with me: 13 septillion 166 sextillion 800 quintillion pounds. It also happens to be the same weight of all the junk food I plan on eating over the next two weeks…
4. You had TV when you were a kid?
First, the backstory. The boys are into this cartoon called “Teen Titans, Go!”. Apparently it’s based on a 2003 show that is based on an ’80’s comic book. In this show, Robin, Raven, Starfire, Beastboy, and Cyborg battle numerous “bad guys”. In one of the episodes they revisited the old ’80’s Robin cartoon and children we’re witness to watch TV animation used to be. This question arose when I informed the boys that that was what my cartoons looked like when I was their age. Yes, heathen, I had TV in the 80’s. TV was actually available in crude, experimental form in the late 1920. It became widely popular after improved black and white broadcasting became available after WWII and during the 1950’s. The first televised sitcom (according to Wikipedia) was Mary Kay and Johnny in 1948. The first televised football game occurred 9 years prior in 1939 by NBC. It was a college game Waynesburg vs. Fordham and it’s estimated that it reach about a thousand television sets (scientifically that’s 1×10^3). That’s how many M&M’s I can fit in my belly. In case you were wondering, the Fordham Rams won 34-7.