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The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum

January 6, 2011

I was awakened this morning in the middle of a dream. I was in a high school gym/cafeteria combo (and apparently in high school) and we were all supposed to be watching a movie. I came in late and no one would let me sit down. I finally sat on the floor under a basketball hoop. One of the basketball players told me to move because his little brother (who was about 7) wanted to play during the movie. I picked up my stuff and moved to a place where I couldn’t see the screen. Since I couldn’t see, I pulled a book out of my bag and began to read. When I looked up from my book, everyone had gone home and left me there alone.

Clearly this psychological reconstruction of adolescent ostracization is the result of too much Veronica Mars. I have now acquired the complete set of disks for the series and I’m savoring the power to watch any episode I want whenever I want. Last night, after a day that began with a very challenging workout, continued with a lot of writing and a block of five lessons, and ended with a trip to the grocery store begun at 8 pm on my way home from work, I thoroughly enjoyed being able pop a disk in my laptop. I put on my pajamas early, crawled into bed with my computer, and plugged in my headphones. Mr. Spy, who was also tired but who does not share my interest in all things Veronica, did the same with a disk of the Dick van Dyke show. We have mastered the art of parallel play.

What awakened me this morning was AJ, who came into my room to show me the new Lego model he built of the Sears Tower (still called the Sears tower on the kit, which is lucky, because AJ is very disdainful of the new nomenclature. He was also carrying his model of the Hancock Center, which was the first of the Lego architectural models that he bought with his allowance several months ago. He held them up next to each other. “Do you think real Sears tower is this much taller than the Hancock building?”

“I don’t know, but we could figure it out.” In retrospect, this was a stupid thing to say before I had gotten up and was sitting somewhere with a cup of coffee in hand.

“How?”

I bought some time by sending him to look up the real-life heights of the buildings. Then I had to explain scale.

“The scale of the model is the relationship it has to the size of the original building. To find it out, you compare the two sizes. You figure out how many times bigger the original is than the model, and that tells you the scale.”

“So you have to find out how many times bigger 1458 is from 6.75?”

“Not quite. You’re right about the times bigger, but you have to make sure you’re comparing the same thing. The 1458 is measured in feet, but 6.75 is inches.”

AJ laughed. “If the Sears tower were 1458 inches, it wouldn’t be the biggest building in North America.”

“And if your model were 6.75 feet, it wouldn’t fit in your room.”

We fixed the numbers and did the calculations. Then we did the same for the Hancock. The scales were close, but not the same. The Sears tower was on a bigger scale, which is what AJ had suspected from eyeballing it. Math as vindication.

And now that you’ve heard all the geek news from Spy Headquarters, it is time for this geek to take advantage of a) having the house to myself and b) not having to go anywhere farther than Office Max today and get to work. I’m hoping to cross another postdoc application off my list by the time AJ gets home from school.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 6, 2011 1:44 pm

    i like this.

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