February 15, 2009


Yesterday I had to work at a demonstration of various science kits you can buy at the store. I was kinda dreading it because it was going to be a huge mess, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Most kids just wanted to get their hands dirty and sticky. But one family made it totally worthwhile.

A mother and two sons showed up specifically for the science demonstration. I was just getting to the end of mixing "quicksand": cornstarch and water. I filled the pan and showed the older boy (probably 9 years old) how your hand sinks in and it's hard to pull out. The boy looked at me and said, "Well, that's neat, but what's the science behind it?" Awesome. So I pulled out the paperwork that came with the kit, and we had a discussion of non-Newtonian fluids and the Law of Viscosity. And then we demonstrated together how the viscosity could be changed by applying pressure. He learned some science, and heck, so did I!

When I start to despair for the world, I am going to remember that kid and how I am sure there are others like him out there, kids who will be the pillars of our society in the future.

I needed to meet that boy. I'm glad I did.

And I am also glad that I have a monkey's job where I get to learn about non-Newtonian fluids.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:37 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 Ah, the Children™. The truly smart little ones will realize science is a waste of time, and that pretty words are the true keys to power. Lie, and the peOple will love you forever. Obama doesn't have to know anything about science to be the most powerful man in the world. Who needs real knowledge, when you can use what Ayn Rand called "big vague words" like "The Dictatorship of the Proletariat"? Or a favorite of the Khmer Rouge, "Independence-Sovereignty"? Multisyllabic slogans mesmerize the mindless masses. All peOple are cows, and some cows are more useful than others. We, the Great Leaders, regard scientists as "valuable livestock," in the words of Robert Conquest and Jon Manchip White. (Read their book to understand our plans for you.) Let the lab rats worry about "non-Newtonian fluids and the Law of Viscosity," whatever those are. We have far greater things on our minds, like global domination. Even PhDs in quantum physics will still have to wear our pins and worship us. Now that's what we call ikwo.

Posted by: kevin at February 15, 2009 07:35 AM (Wxe3L)

2 Great story! I have to ask, though...are any *schools* buying these kits? Actually *using* them? See Shannon Love's rather bleak post about the declining interest in science, technology, and commerce in our society.

Posted by: david foster at February 15, 2009 09:03 AM (ke+yX)

3 Good questions, David. Even if the schools aren't buying the kits - or, more importantly, using them - I think the fact that individuals are buying them is a good sign. The presence of the kits in Sarah's store signifies demand. If parents have to introduce their children to science, that's better than no introduction at all. I see education as becoming increasingly grassroots in the future; those who want to learn will find a way to learn, with or without government assistance. Thanks for the link. Why do "[o]ur best and brightest dream of going into politics or 'non-profits' that exist largely to suppress commerce and invention"? Because they value power over true progress. Suppression is power. Studying the biographies of Great Leaders, I am struck by how totally ignorant they were. The only thing they understood was power - the manipulation of millions, including scientists. Why be manipulated when you can be the manipulator? A know-nothing whose minions will do anything for you? Love calls our civilization "leaderless." I say our civilization is poisoned by the cult of "leaders."

Posted by: Amritas at February 15, 2009 09:55 AM (Wxe3L)

4 Sarah, I bet you'd make a great teacher...your creativity & enthusiasm would be wonderful for kids. I'm curious as to whether you've ever considered teaching & if so, why you decided against it. I *think* I have a good understanding of some of the factors that keep many talented people out of teaching...love to hear your thoughts & also those of other people.

Posted by: david foster at February 16, 2009 06:54 AM (ke+yX)

5 That is AWESOME!!! Do you get the MindWare catalog? It's like a playground for your brain - highly recommend it, even if it's just for perusing (since the $$$ adds up fast, LOL)!

Posted by: kannie at February 16, 2009 10:35 AM (iT8dn)

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