Friday, June 25, 2010

Thanks to the Internet

Where would we be without Google or Wiki or Bing or the many other engines that are available now? How else would I be able to answer the zillions questions that the children pose to me every day and make myself look like a mom who knows everything. If there was no internet, I would have had to resort to answers like Calvin’s dad used to give him to his curious questions. For a few of those questions that Calvin bugged his dad with…read on……


Calvin: How come old photographs are always black and white? Didn’t they have color film back then?

Dad: Sure they did. In fact, those old photographs are in color. It’s just that the world was black and white then. The world didn’t turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too.

Calvin: But then why are old paintings in color?! If the world was black and white, wouldn’t artists have painted it that way?

Dad: Not necessarily. A lot of great artists were insane.

Calvin: But… But how could they have painted in color anyway? Wouldn’t their paints have been shades of gray back then?

Dad: Of course, but they turned colors like everything else did in the ’30s.

Calvin: So why didn’t old black and white photos turn color too?

Dad: Because they were color pictures of black and white, remember?

Calvin: Why does the sun set?

Dad: It’s because hot air rises. The sun’s hot in the middle of the day, so it rises high in the sky. In the evening then, it cools down and sets.

Calvin: Why does it go from east to west?

Dad: Solar wind.

Calvin: Why does the sky turn red as the sun sets?

Dad: That’s all the oxygen in the atmosphere catching fire.

Calvin: Where does the sun go when it sets?

Dad: The sun sets in the west. In Arizona actually, near Flagstaff. That’s why the rocks there are so red.

Calvin: Don’t the people get burned up?

Dad: No, the sun goes out as it sets. That’s why it’s dark at night.

Calvin: Doesn’t the sun crush the whole state as it lands?

Dad: Ha ha, of course not. Hold a quarter up. See, the sun’s just about the same size.

Calvin: I thought I read that the sun was really big.

Dad: You can’t believe everything you read, I’m afraid.

Calvin: Dad, will you explain the theory of relativity to me? I don’t understand why time goes slower at great speed.

Dad: It’s because you keep changing time zones. See, if you fly to California, you gain three hours on a five-hour flight, right? So if you go at the speed of light, you gain more time, because it doesn’t take as long to get there. Of course, the theory of relativity only works if you’re going west.
Calvin: Why do my eyes shut when I sneeze?

Dad: If your lids weren’t closed, the force of the explosion would blow your eyeballs out and stretch the optic nerve, so your eyes would flop around and you’d have to point them with your hands to see anything.
Calvin: How do bank machines work?

Dad: Well, let’s say you want 25 dollars. You punch in the amount and behind the machine there’s a guy with a printing press who makes the money and sticks it out this slot.

Calvin: Sort of like the guy who lives up in our garage and opens the door?

Dad: Exactly.
Calvin: What causes the wind?

Dad: Trees sneezing.
Calvin: Why does ice float?

Dad: Because it’s cold. Ice wants to get warm, so it goes to the top of liquids to be nearer to the sun.

Calvin: Is that true?

Dad: Look it up and find out.

Calvin: I should just look up stuff in the first place.
Calvin: How come you know so much?

Dad: It’s all in the book you get when you become a father.

I am in awe of the creativity of Calvin's dad (with Bill Watterson) for coming up with such answers. The internet has made most of us lazy parent’s. We’ve hit the snooze on our creativity. Otherwise, parenting is a situation that screams of creativity, in any form.

Thanks to Google and Wiki and many other such search sites..I just have to type in the question to get a valid valid and the most valid answer. The above clip of Calvin and Hobbes were also found thanks to my vague memory of the questions and the search engine clarifying it for me. We don’t need to remember anything now-a-days.

1 comment:

GP said...

Why waste your creativity when one's child is asking such intelligent questions in the first place. I, personally, believe in telling Sid how stuff works for real.
I'd use my creativity to answer Gautam's questions on the other hand which are something like "which color is this?(all the while knowing the color)" or "what does a train run on?(for which my 'creative' reply is 'my head' and then he corrects me 'no. on pattri')"