The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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i resent science a lot today
version one, frog love
Child is always an inspiration and a joy forever, but I also have a fairly elaborate system in place to hide from him when he's feeling especially curious and his prepubescent ass can't bother itself with Wikipedia (ie, all the time). This is not because his questions aren't awesome; it's because at the end of the day, physics is fucking up my life.

Most of the time, he's going on about space, which thanks to a lifetime of Star Trek and TOS I can get through with the quick addition of surreptitious googling or reference to Dr. Who and technobabble, which let me say, thank God for.

Today was not space; today he posited a hole that goes from one side of the earth to the other, and you're laughing because come on, that one's easy. Yeah, I did too until he started with how he'd do it and avoid the molten core of the earth (don't ask) while achieving escape velocity once the other side was reached (God I was stupid; I mentioned escape velocity and he didn't even frown in frustration that he missed something). We were okay until I realized this wasn't so much a question as a plan, perhaps more meticulous than I'm comfortable with, and I'm really not entirely copacetic with him wanting to know how big a hole we're talking about that wouldn't lead to the earth growing unstable or flooding the earth with the core through the mantle.

What I'm saying is, he's thirteen and has neither enough theory or like, supplies, to pull this off (or for that matter, a working way to bend if not break some physics in a really geological way), but I have an uneasy feeling I'm seeing the beginnings of a bucket list. I'm usually pretty comfortable with the fact technology hasn't caught up with his ideas of what to do with his life, and when that fails, there's always the immutable existence of say, reality to work with.

But put it this way; this not a black hole and there aren't any warp engines; I just spent way too much time trying to work out how technology or reality can actually stop him and I'm coming up just a little short. I think he sensed this; he went away with a grin and seriously, I'm tired of holes in the backyard.

If anyone tells him the thinnest part of the crust is actually in the ocean and he should start working on his scuba diving and pick up an interest in drills and pressure, I will so cut you. We're only five years away from a time I can no longer punish him with 4chan trauma macros, people. The future is coming, and apparently, it wants to find out if digging your way to China really is a metaphor.

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I don't know whether I would laugh or cry in that situation.

Then again, there are age and monetary restrictions when dealing with scuba diving and deep sea digging, so maybe it would stave off the inevitable until it gets to the point where you can let someone else deal with it?

I'm pretty much clinging to both with both hands at this point. The legality of locking him in the closet is under question, but I"m looking into it.

I can only hope that Little Small will turn out as intelligent and amazing as Child. Even if she does eventually give me lingering feelings of unease about the future of the world.

Might as well start workign on your addiction to coffee now. *hands over cup* You'll need it.


lol so I take it "The Core" is not and will not be on your Netflix queue? ::ducks::

It's ok, I think my comment was worse.

today he posited a hole that goes from one side of the earth to the other

You know, I once read a SF story in which such a thing exists. Clearly that means he's on the right track to the future! :D

Uhm, for all that is hotness, Watch Mortal Kombat II Annihilation. They actually travel the earth in metal cages that fly through earthen chords. Like little hamster balls on a subway track. Powered by Wind/Gravity. Yeah, Whatever. Just give me some Rayden (loved him on Sex and the City too)

(curse you interwebs for not having a bigger picture of his package)

a) Your son is awesome.

b) Your stories about said son are awesome.

c) It's nice to know we are not the only parents going through things like this. It's always frightening to hear Eldest tell Youngest things like, "Be practical here - just how much explosives are we talking about and where would you even get them?"

I have heard conversation c in my house before.

My 12 year old son has a notebook with a ever-evolving plan for world domination that starts with his military career. He has drawings, political thoughts - it is kinda scary tbh. He has been working on these plans since he was 5.

Edited at 2010-11-07 03:50 am (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
When the world ends, I want to be on your side.

Hm. Has he watched Lost in Space (the movie) recently?

According to my Geo teacher, it wouldn't work particularly well because the mantle is semi-liquid and in constant motion - it's convection currents in the mantle that cause plate tectonics.

On the other hand, if you're not worried about the molten iron at the core, or the high gravity, or the prospect of accidentally splitting the earth in two, then I don't think 300km of viscous, mobile rock will slow you much either.

(Besides, if you drill into the lower lithosphere, you'll wake the Silurians, and that's not supposed to happen for another thousand years.)

(worse yet, that will get the Doctor involved)

A lot of fandom people seem to be raising young Evil Overlords. I fear the day they all band together.

On the plus side, at least we've raised them to love their mothers, right? So we (and our friends) should be in the clear.

Huh, I think I remember doing a physics problem once, that showed that if you ignore the core, and you drill a hole straight through from one end to the other, due to gravity and momentum and what not, you'll keep oscillating back and forth the stretch.

Any chance of getting Child to focus the hole plan on the moon instead? No pesky core, lighter gravity, won't matter much if you split the planetoids as long as you don't disturb the orbit.

Commute'll be a bitch, though.

I like the moon idea from lurkerlynne!

And think about it Jenn, at least then he'll also be distracted in figuring out how to get there that it could be years before he succeeds. =D

Even if you assumed an earth that you could drill straight through, jumping into that hole would not mean you achieved escape velocity at the other end. You'd essentially create a pendulum. You'd accelerate toward the center of the earth, then decelerate again until you reached zero velocity at the distance from the center you initially started, ie, just as you peak out the other side of the earth. (Assuming no friction. With friction, you wouldn't even get that far.) Then you'd fall back the other way.

So it's just like with a pendulum. If you raise it to a certain height, it will only go to that height on the other end of its swing. It will not continue accelerating forever until it breaks the earth's orbit. It's conservation of energy.

Even if you cut the hole not through the center of the earth, the same principle would apply and you'd only just reach the other side before falling back toward the middle.

What? This is so totally something that I discuss with my friends.


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