Go Ask Your Father: Days and Nights, TIE Fighters, Vaccines, and Flight Fees

Why is there night and day? 

globespinThere are nights so we parents can get a break from being parents and just be adults. We can drink alcohol and watch shows with bad words. We can use the bathroom alone. We can eat junk food without having to share it. There days so you kids can drive us bonkers again.

In truth, there is night and day because the Earth is rotating. It takes the Earth 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds to make one complete rotation. It rotates counterclockwise at about 1,040 miles per hour at the equator. But why does it rotate? The Earth spins because it formed in the accretion disk of a cloud of hydrogen that collapsed down from mutual gravity and needed to conserve its angular momentum. It continues to spin because of inertia. WTF? Seriously?

Don’t worry. I didn’t understand that either. What it means is that when our solar system was first forming, atoms were colliding. When they would collide they would stick together and average their movements. Imagine rolling two magnetic balls toward each other. When they collide they stick and spin. This collection continued building and continued spinning until this thing we now inhabit and call Earth was formed.  No one knows why it’s called Earth.

What does T.I.E. stand for?

Ah, yes! A Star Wars question! T.I.E., as in T.I.E. fighter, stands for Twin Ion Engine. It’s tiefightertwo engines that created positively charged particles (called ions) using a gas (like xenon) then accelerating the ion through an electrically charged field. When the ion is accelerated from the back of the fighter, due to Newton’s 3rd law, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Hence, the ion is shoved backward and the fighter is pushed forward. This is real science, not science fiction. NASA has it’s own ion engines currently in use! They’ve just upped one on Mr. Lucas though. The probe used in the Dawn mission to study two protoplanets in the asteroid belt , Vesta and Ceres, do one better than TIE fighters. The Dawn probe uses three ion engines.

What’s a vaccine?

The vaccine debate! I’ll keep it short. Some believe that vaccines cause autism and therefore do not vaccinate their children. PLEASE! Check out this fantastic study on how vaccines cause autism. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Bang had to get two shots (by needle, not by gun. That’s a different debate) before he could go to “big kid school”. DW and I also realized our tetanus shots were out of date so we got our vaccination as well. Vaccines prepare your body for an illness without exposing it to the disease’s symptoms. Immune cells, called lymphocytes, respond by producing antibodies to combat the disease and thereby making you immune to it should you come in contact with said disease. Your immune system recognizes the foreign body and is able to kill it before it can make you sick. Much like you recognize broccoli on your pizza before you eat it and thereby saving yourself from horrible pizza toppings.

How much does it cost to fly on an airplane?

An arm, a leg and a blood oath.

Depends on where you’re going. Are you flying domestic or international? Are you flying near or far? When I bought DW’s (back in 2003 she was DG – Dear Girlfriend) first plane ticket to come visit me in Virginia I paid $297. Today I could get it for $393 on a seat sale. Otherwise it would cost $479.

However we are not just one person any more. We are four. If we were to fly to BWI (Baltimore/Washington International) from YHX (Halifax) it would cost $2,734 for the four us according to one travel website. We can drive the 1,100 miles in our truck, as we did last summer, for $500.

Fuel prices, airport landing fees, supply and demand all play a role in driving the cost of flights.

Unfortunately, to fly to Hawaii for a week would cost us over $6,000. If only we had twin ion engines…

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Here I Go Again

My brother left the hotel at 3:40 this morning for his flight to Atlanta to Detroit to South Korea. All thought it’s a 16 hour flight, because of the time change he’ll get in 36 hours later than he started. He’s 13 hours ahead of our parents and 12 hours ahead of us.

Now it’s my turn. I’m on my flight to Atlanta (technically, this will get posted when get into the Atlanta airport). Unfortunately, my brother will be taking off from Atlanta at the same time I’m landing, so I won’t get to meet up with him like I did on my trip down. I’ll have a 3 hour and 45 minute layover there before flying to NY where I have a 3 hour layover before flying to Halifax.

It was an awesome trip. I tried to document some of it: the 6 legs on the trip down, the baseball game, the trip to Florida, my grandmother’s service.

I was home with my parents and now I’m heading home to my wife and kids. It was tough hugging my parents good bye. Just as it was tough kissing Crash and Bang and DW goodnight before coming. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make a trip down with the kids this summer. I really would like to see more family and give Crash and Bang a chance to see their cousins. Crash was only 3 the last time he went (he’s turning 8 soon). Bang hasn’t been to the States, yet.

Thank God for technology to help us keep in touch! Facebook. Skype. Google Hangouts. We make the most of them!

Leg 3

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Well, here I am on leg 3. I completely forgot about the time change and I panicked. My flight landed at 8 and my connection was departing at 8. I asked the stewardess if I would make my connection and she said “Yes, you have an hour.” Ooops. Crisis averted. However, we then had to wait and wait for another plane to leave our gate before we could taxi to it and finally disembark. I was off the plane and trying to get internet to let DW know I was here and heading to leg 3 safely. No luck because at this stupid airport you have to pay for wi-fi. They did have courtesy iPads so I was able to send off a quick email before being hearded on to my next plane.  Unfortunately,  I didn’t get to talk to anyone or say hi to Crash before he went to school. I was really hoping for that. I’ll have a 3 hour layover at my next leg. They just told us our  plane weighs about 180,000 pounds! Anyway, hopefully with a long layover I’ll be able to call or video chat. Oh my God! The leg room is incredible! There must be a solid four feet in front of me.
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This is going to be awesome! It’s a 2 hour flight so I’m going to watch a movie. Man of Steel or Noah? Up up and away!