Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Science at Dinner

I was away for five days at my parents.  My Dad is stable for now, in the nursing care unit at the retirement place.  More on that another time, perhaps.  I got back on Sunday, and was able to participate in this dinner-time science lesson.

Youngest Daughter (plaintively):  Mommy, why do we have to grow up?

Son:  Technically speaking, you don’t have to grow up, but the experimental probability of not growing up is incredibly small.

Me:  If you grow up but your body doesn’t grow up, that’s not too good.

Son:  Then you’re just pretentious.

Me:  ???  Pretentious?

Son:  Yeah.  That’s on our list of 100 SAT words.

Me (after much thought):  Perhaps you mean ‘precocious?’

Son:  Yes.  Something like that....

My son went on to talk about chemicals, and mentioned phosphate.  Youngest Daughter said, “What are the two things about phosphate?” (She meant ‘What are the elements in phosphate?’)

Son: “Phosphorus and oxygen.”

YD:  “Phosphorus and ostrichen?”

He explained that phosphorus is used to make fertilizer.   Youngest Daughter was inspired to write this song about phosphate.  It is sung to a tune she learned at Girl Scout camp, more like a cheer than a song.

A-T-E spells phosphate, phosphate.
It’s the only decent kind of compound, compound
The guy who found it must have been run to the ground, to the ground

A-T-E you see,
It’s inside your manure,
It has phosphorus for sure,
It’s phosphate for me!

Son said, “Why don’t you write a song about an interesting compound, such as nitrogen tri-iodide?”

YD:  “Because it had to have 9 letters.”

We tried to think of another chemical compound with 9 letters in it, but failed.  And I never got to find out why nitrogen tri-iodide is interesting.  


Cassi Renee said...

I think your son will either become president, or blow the world up :-)

Angie said...

Bummer for me, no one talks like that at our dinner table.

David Nilsen said...

This is the kind of family dinner conversation I can thrive in. Awesome.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Your supper table conversations raise the bar--NO ONE I know has such clever discourse.