Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Mysteries of Space, with The Boy
DD (from the book): The sun has another 5 billion years left to burn.
The Boy: Daddy, will all the people be gone by then?
TB: Well then who will watch the earth?
DD: God will.
TB: Will God make new people to watch the earth?
DD: I don't know. That's up to God.
Later in the same book....
TB: What is water made of?
DD: Hydrogen and oxygen.
TB: What are those?
TB: Oh. Is it easy to make water?
TB: It sounds easy, but I think it would be hard. Gases are hard to catch. They're like air!
Still later in the same book...
DD: Jupiter is a gas giant.
TB: Like Daddy! (roars with laughter)
I'm just glad he doesn't know enough yet to make Uranus jokes.
We are indeed a family of gas giants.
On a recent visit, my husband asked our two year-old niece a riddle:
How can you tell if an elephant has been in your fridge?
She looked at him for a long time and then told him, in a long, barely comprehensible answer, how to tell if an elephant had been in the fridge. And it had nothing to do with footprints in the butter.
Very observant! The amazing thing is how much H2 and O2 want to make water, even though they the start as gases. Given the right amount of H2, O2, and a spark, the water is created in an explosion. The product is usually steam (i.e. water vapor), and to make it liquid water you need to cool it down.
A different gas, ethylene, can be converted into plastic bag material (polyethylene) just by using the right catalyst. No explosion is required, but that may make it less exciting for a young audience.