Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Gotta love him

I will contend that the reason we have children is to keep us laughing. Today I tell a tale of the male child, a curious creature with an insatiable appetite for knowledge. His mind works in a manner different from my own so while I admire the questions he asks, I find the manner in which they are asked to be amusing. Take last night ...

The usual bedtime routine around here involves sending p.j. clad, teeth-brushed children in to their rooms at 8 p.m. There, they read in their beds for a short while when, unprompted by an adult, the female child turns off her light and puts head to pillow. Somewhere around 8:15 p.m., one adult or another yells for the male child to put lights out. He complies and comes out for a round of hugs. Returning to his room, the male child then proceeds to toss and turn, and sometimes even, fall asleep. It is on the nights that sleep does not come easily that the adults often find themselves convulsed with laughter. After half and hour or so of the tossing and turning, the male child wanders out and asks a question that the adults are not prepared to answer. Two nights ago the questions were: how does a camera work? and how does a boomarang work? Not particularly amusing and easily answered the next day.

Last night, however, following a dinner conversation involving Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman, the questions were: How does an Atom Bomb work? What are the different types of Atomical (sic) weapons? and How did Albert Einstein's idea's lead to the Atom Bomb? The third question is directly from the male child's talking points in his presentation today -- he is portraying Albert Einstein, grey wig and all.

So, my project for today ... figure out how to explain the workings of the atom bomb. Forget about the caveat ... to an 8 year old ... I figure any explanation that I can understand, this kid can get his brain around.

By the way ... the answer to the Aquatic Socks puzzle is ... Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss ... possibly the finest work on the subject of turtle stacking.

And lastly ... what do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back? (answer tomorrow)


Janice in GA said...

Yertle the Turtle, eh? Been too many years since I read that one (no kids.)

I know the answer to your riddle (it's one of my favorites), but I'll let you give it away. :)

Elizabeth said...

There is a good explanation of an atom bomb's workings in one of Heinlein's short stories. Collected in his "Past through Tomorrow" future history stories, it was a story about a man trying to stop a takeover of Earth from the moon by destroying all the atom bombs the conspiritors meant to use. I loaned my copy out and never got it back so I can't tell you the name of the story but perhaps if you got the book from the library?