Kaya is full on into the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ questions these days.
Which has made me realize that though I have a rudimentary knowledge of the answers, I am sorely lacking in the specifics. Kaya wants the specifics.
Which makes me very grateful for Google.
So Kaya knows that rainbows come from sun and rain together, but now she wants to know about reflections and refractions. I can explain this (to a point) but once we get into the angles and wavelengths and bending light, I’m slightly less adept at explaining. I did explain light entering the water and then reflecting out, dispersing the colours that make up light into a rainbow. I even made the connection between our paper towel felt-pen experiment, where water dispersed the blue colour into all the colours that make it up. Love science projects! But the absolute joy of her questions is that it ignites my own questions.
Why is the rainbow always an arc then?
But wait, it’s actually not an arc? Rainbows are actually a full circle which some people have seen from an airplane. So that’s why I never could find that bloody pot of gold!
Taught my daughter something today. Taught myself too. So cool!
The other big question I stumbled through answering was the “Who made the whole wide world?” question.
I mean, nobody knows this answer but it’s too easy to say “Nobody knows” and leave it at that. Suddenly I want to know more than I know now. What exactly does Big Bang mean and if the world started with a Big Bang, could a God have initiated it?
Listen, I am a huge Sci-Fi fan. Watched Star Trek back in the day, became obsessed with Battlestar Gallactica and presently adore Fringe. Little did I know I’d get as much entertainment reading the reality behind the fiction!
After Kaya asked me this question I started looking up books to read. You know, something along the lines of Big Bang for Dummies. Fortunately, our library had the brilliant Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time.
148 pages of stimulating math and physics.
In the words of my daughter “Whaaatt?! That’s CRAZY!” Stimulating and math do not go hand in hand. Like science and a supreme being.
Or can they?
Why didn’t any of my teachers have us read this kind of book? Why a text-book filled with statistics.
Cue boring textbook sentence here: Our galaxy is called the Milky Way. We can see about 5,000 stars but there are many, many more.
Why not have me read this instead?
We can see about five thousand stars, only about .0001% of all the stars in just our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The Milky Way itself is but one of more than a hundred billion galaxies that can be seen using modern telescopes- and each galaxy contains on average some one hundred billion stars. If a star were a grain of salt, you could fit all the stars visible to the naked eye on a teaspoon, but all the stars in the universe would fill a ball more than eight miles wide.
Freaking cool right?
And dudes, it gets better! Well, if you’re a Fringe/Sci-Fi fan anyways. There are parts about protons and neutrons and quarks, and then with these there has to be an antiparticle, the opposite charge. Blah, blah right? But then he goes on to talk about how there could be whole antiworlds and antipeople made out of antiparticles. If these two worlds meet, the antiparticles and particles will annihilate each other. So not good for Olivia my fellow Fringe fans!
And did you know that travel to the future is very possible? We don’t have the actual technology yet to do it, but relativity tells us that it can be done.
Upon finishing the book and being wowed throughout, it occurs to me that all these Sci-Fi shows I adore are based more on reality than reality TV.
This world is some crazy, mysterious place.
No matter which space-time continuum you are operating out of.