Thursday, November 21, 2013


"Mom, I woke up to the scariest thing this morning!" #1Son told me as he came to hunt for his brother.  "I could hear a rustling of a plastic bag, and I didn't know where it was coming from, and when I opened my eyes there was Mikey, with his head through the handles of a grocery bag.  I mean it was wrapped around his head!  It scared me, and I yelled at him to come to me, and he did, and I got it away, but it really, really scared me."

Yes, that is scary, i noted.

"The thing is, I didn't know where he had gotten it, so I put him and Sissy in my room with food and water and litter until I can go figure it out.  I don't want that to happen again."

That's right, i said, you don't.  Animals have died from that.

He didn't answer, and i noticed he was looking past me, where sweeping had kicked up the dust motes into the sunshine streaming in.

"Wow, look at that!" he said.  "That always looks neat."

"It looks like a universe, like galaxies!"  Little Girl had walked up behind us and was seeing it, too.

"Yeah, like stars spinning around each other, galaxies circling the center of the universe, or stars spinning around the center of the galaxy and each other," #1 Son said.

"But there aren't any supernovas in it!" Little Girl said with a grin.

"Let's hope not!" he said.  "But really, it's like a galaxy.  What's really neat is that our galaxy spins around a black hole.  Not all galaxies do, you know."

No, i didn't realize that some do and some don't, i said.

"Yeah, ours does.  It would be really neat to go to the center of the galaxy and see the black hole.  As long as you stay far enough away from the event horizon, you're okay.  And did you know that if you watched a person go into a black hole, the person would appear to freeze at the point of entry?  He would stay frozen there until you look away, then when you look back, you wouldn't see him any more.  Is that weird, or what?"  #1 Son must have been reading up on this stuff, or something, and i asked.

"I've been watching "How the Universe Works," he said, with a grin.  "It's amazing stuff." 

"It is," Little Girl agreed.  "And have you seen the pictures they have now of the sun that's about to go supernova?  It's beautiful."

"Well, our sun isn't big enough to go supernova," #1 Son said.  "But you're right, those are pretty amazing."

"Atoms are a center, with electrons in orbit around it.  The solar system is a sun with planets in orbit around, the galaxy a black hole with suns in orbit around it, the universe some center with everything else in orbit around it -- it's all like universes within universes," Little Girl said.

That it is, i thought.  And all that from watching dust motes dance in a sunbeam.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Bangladesh

Beaujolais Nouveau Release -- France

Catholic School Principal Appreciation Day -- designated by the National Catholic Education Association

False Confessions Day -- internet generated, and not for the faint of heart

Fast for an Abundant World Harvest -- sponsored by Oxfam America
Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin -- Eastern and Roman Catholic Christian (those following the Gregorian Calendar)

Festival of Madonna della Salute -- Venice, Italy

Furniture Memory Day -- an internet generated test of your memory; see if you remember where you got each piece of furniture you own, how much it cost, and how its most precious scratch came to be; you are also encouraged to dust if you want to

General Framework Agreement Day -- RS, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Gerard d'Aboville Day -- marking the day, in 1991, he arrived in Ilwaco, WA, US, after departing Japan 4 months earlier in a rowboat!

Gingerbread Day

Great American Smokeout -- save money and your life, try not to smoke today; started by the American Cancer Society

National Stuffing Day -- various dates given on many sites, so if you enjoy stuffing, celebrate them all

No Music Day -- for the explanation

St. Gelasius' Day

Ugly Day -- Fairy Calendar

Use Less Stuff Day -- a great idea!

World Hello Day -- recognizing the importance of communication in world peace, say hello to people you don't usually greet today

World Television Day -- UN

Anniversaries Today:

South Carolina becomes the 12 US State, 1789

Birthdays Today:

Ken Griffey, Jr., 1969
Troy Aikman, 1966
Bjork, 1965
Cherry Jones, 1956
Goldie Hawn, 1945
Harold Ramis, 1944
Tweety Bird, 1942
Juliet Mills, 1941
Marlo Thomas, 1938
Joseph Campanella, 1927
Stan Musial, 1920
Coleman Hawkins, 1904
Rene Magritte, 1898
Hetty Green, 1834
William Beaumont, 1785
Voltaire, 1694

Today in History:

Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem; this is the event commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah, BC164
The Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, reach what is now called Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts, and sign the Mayflower Compact, 1620
Richard Johnson, a free black, is granted 550 acres in Virginia, 1654
In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes, make the first untethered hot air balloon flight, 1783
Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic, 1791
First Jewish Reform congregation in US forms, Charleston, SC, 1824
Moses F Gale patents a cigar lighter, 1871
Tom Edison announces his "talking machine" invention (phonograph), 1877
Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia takes the oath of office, becoming the first female United States Senator, 1922
First commercial crossing of Pacific by plane (China Clipper), 1935
The Alcan Highway is completed, 1942*
The British Natural History Museum announces that the "Piltdown Man" skull is a hoax, 1953
The first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI, 1969
Gerard d'Aboville completes his four-month solo journey to row across the Pacific Ocean, 1991
The Dayton Peace Agreement is initialed at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1995
NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members, 2002

*Not opened to general vehicular traffic until the next year


  1. Through the eyes of a child....

  2. A universe in swirling dust motes? Newton discovered the principles of gravity from watching a falling apple. Anything is possible.

  3. I love to watch How the Universe Works! Fun AND educational!

  4. I just love your kids. Yes I do.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  5. all it takes is a parent truly listening....your kids are great!