Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lovely Looney Bin

"Hey, mom, have you seen that picture of a sun that's about to go supernova that they took with one of those space telescopes?  It's amazing, and so beautiful!  Come look!"  Little Girl was eager to show the picture, and then continued.

"They focused a telescope on a dark area of space near the moon, and left it focused there for a long time and took pictures, and it turns out the area is full of almost more galaxies than they can count!"

"Then there are the pictures of galaxies colliding, have you ever seen those?" #1 Son walked in and added to the conversation.  "They swirl around each other and combine, and it's really neat looking."

"Did you know the Andromeda Galaxy is going to collide with ours someday?" Bigger Girl added.

So i heard, i noted.

"Yeah, but isn't it so many light years away that the light we are seeing from it is actually what was happening there a million or so years ago?" #1 Son asked.

That's my understanding, i said.

"And there's no way to get galaxy insurance," Bigger Girl grinned.  "No one would underwrite it!"

As we laughed, Little Girl continued.  "Have you heard about how many planets that may have life they are finding?"

"Yeah, there has to be at least bacteria out there somewhere, even if there isn't anything advanced.  There's no way there can't be," #1 Son said.

As long as i don't catch that bacteria, i grinned.

"And even if we never see it because it's so far away, there probably is intelligent life out there," #1 Son continued.  "We may never meet them."

There is, i said, and like Calvin told Hobbes, i believe they have proven their intelligence by never coming here.  Besides, as Asimov said, the intelligent life out there someday may end up being humans in generational ships that get so far out there they lose the ability to communicate back to us and become their own species.

"That makes sense," #1 Son said.  "After all, that Pioneer craft has finally left the solar system, or will leave it within a couple of months.  They are still debating that..  It's amazing that we can actually make things that can leave our solar system now>'

"What are we talking about now?" Sweetie walked in from work and asked, as he had just caught a little of the last statement.

"Intelligent life on other planets," Little Girl said.

"We need the intelligent life here, to figure out how to solve our problems, like what to do with all of our garbage," he said.

"Well, don't send it to Mars!" Bigger Girl exclaimed.

"How about we blast it to the sun to be incinerated?" he said. 

"Except it's too expensive now," Bigger Girl said.

"Well, I know what to do with mine!" Little Girl said.

"What's that?" Sweetie asked.

"Hold out your hand!" she said, and when he did, she put her orange peel into his hand and ran off laughing as he threw it back at her.  They ran and chased each other, throwing that peel back and forth until it finally ended up in the garbage can.

That's another odd conversation in my lovely looney bin.

Today is:

A&W Rootbeer Mug Day -- see if you can frost your mug like they did

Birth of Baha'u'llah -- Baha'i

Birth of Sun Yat-Sen, Doctors Day, and Cultural Renaissance Day -- Taiwan

Chicken Soup for the Soul Day -- "Changing the world, one story at a time."

Constitution Day -- Azerbaijan

Dia del Cartero -- Mexico (Postman's Day; postal carriers are shown appreciation with small gifts left in mailboxes)

Journee Nationale Maore -- Comoros (Admission to the UN Day)

Khalkeia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (festival of smiths, associated with Hephaists and Athena; date approximate)

National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

National Youth Day -- East Timor

St. Emillian's Day (Patron of Spain, finding lost objects)

St. Josaphat's Day (Patron of Edmonton, Alberta; Toronto, Ontario; Ukraine)

Tewa Buffalo Dance -- Native American Tewa of the Tesuque Pueblo rites on the feast day of their Patron, San Diego, to honor Mother Earth, Father Sky, the four directions, and the elements; through the 15th

Triple Crown of Surfing -- Oahu, HI, US (3 separate events, through Dec. 20)

Anniversaries Today:

The Arches National Park established, 1971
Ellis Island closes, 1954

Birthdays Today:

Anne Hathaway, 1982
Sammy Sosa, 1968
Michael Moorer, 1967
David Schwimmer, 1966
Nadia Comaneci, 1961
Neil Young, 1945
Al Michaels, 1944
Wallace Shawn, 1943
Grace Kelly, 1929
Jo Stafford, 1918
Sun Yat-sen, 1866
Auguste Rodin, 1840
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The first Sunday American-style football game is held in Philadelphia, 1933

Today in History:

Tibetan troops occupy Chang'an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, for fifteen days starting today, 764
Plymouth, England, becomes the first town incorporated by the English Parliament, 1439
Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, is the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic, 1847
Jules Leotard performs 1st Flying Trapeze circus act (Paris); he also designed garment that bears his name, 1859
World's Fair in Paris opens, 1900
The first movie stunt: man jumps into Hudson river from a burning balloon, 1910
Norway holds a referendum in favor of monarchy over republic, 1905
Robert Scott's diary & body are found in Antarctica, 1912
Austria becomes a republic, 1918
The first underwater tunnel, the Holland Tunnel connecting NY to NJ opens, 1927
The first photo of whatever is in Loch Ness is taken, 1933
Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia join the United Nations, 1956
Equatorial Guinea joins the United Nations, 1968
The Comoros joins the United Nations, 1975
The NASA space probe Voyager I makes its closest approach to Saturn and takes the first images of its rings, 1980
The Space Shuttle Columbia becomes the first time a manned spacecraft launched into space twice, 1981
Crown Prince Akihito is formally installed as Emperor Akihito of Japan, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch, 1990
Tim Berners-Lee publishes a formal proposal for the World Wide Web, 1990
Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world speed record (501 kilometres per hour (311 mph)) for commercial railway systems, 2003
The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database is launched on the web and revolutionizes chemical-gene-disease information for research scientists, 2004


  1. What an interesting conversation. So much to learn from children. They just have a different take on the world.
    Have an inspired day :-)

  2. You have a more than lovely loony bin. I just love your kids.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺☺☺

  3. I love the give and take in the conversations you have with you kids,

  4. I like the idea of The Sun being a giant garbage incinerator. If I was in any position to hire that kid, I would.

    Thanks for the lovely comment on my piece at The Boston Herald. Much appreciated!

  5. I can only echo Stephen Hayes. I wish I had recorded some of the ones from my children all those years ago.

  6. Thoughtful, delightful, and fun! Intelligent life, ahhh, I wish there was a good deal more of it to be found on our planet, especially among the leadership of our countries!!