Saturday, May 07, 2011

Can you tell if your child is part-Vulcan?

Barnacle Boy was sprawled in (across?) a chair in the sunroom last night, watching 3rd Rock from the Sun on Netflix while I lounged on the sofa trying to catch up with my email (I'm down to only 31 messages in my "critical" box). He casually reached over and hit the pause button. "Can I ask you something, Mom?" "Sure." "I've been thinking, if you have a two-dimensional surface and two polygons on it that just touch at a vertice...the size of the overlap is zero."

He's right, of course, a point has no width, depth or length. And he's right that it's a bit mind bending. The polygons overlap at one point, but the area of the overlap is zero. Never and always, touching and touched, to quote Spock (orginal series, Amok Time, since we're talking vintage TV here). Now I'm certain this child is part Vulcan (it's from my side, my brother Geek Guru is almost certainly Vulcan).

He leaned over to hit play, then turned back to me and sighed, "I find the shape of sine curves really appealing..."

Of course, based on an earlier conversation, I shouldn't be surprised. And he is the son of a geometer, after all.


  1. my doodles are so inspired by sine curves

  2. Definitely part vulcan! Great post.

  3. Ok. So I'm not sure if this will make any sense, but here goes.

    Carl Jung (who died in 1961) had this idea that there was something about matter and energy that he could not quite grasp and it was this:

    That images, symbols, when consumed (by eye or ear -- think art or music or movies) make actual changes in our matter.

    He saw it as a place where >< the inner/outer, matter/energy both touch and do not touch.

    He spoke with the physicists of the day (and chemists too, I bet) and they knew they were on the threshold of something big.

    Turns out, he was right. As I'm sure you know. And images have dramatic effects on our immune systems (cortisol levels I think).

    So when your Barnacle Boy is thinking, while watching TV, it is absolutely fascinating to me that he comes up with nearly the exact same phrase ..... and I am thrilling to the idea of the potential of just how far this Vulcan child will go!!

    So, I wasn't trying to sidetrack your post, but I really got goosebumps at that whole exchange. And, that's saying something because I'm definitely no science (or math) person!

    Amazing little things, these kids! :)

    Happy Mother's Day!

  4. I believe that I only have one child who might be part Vulcan. That's Little Brother, but he's only 9, so time will tell--but early indications are good. Since Daddy is a meteorologist-turned-computer-programmer, I know where he gets it. Daddy seems sad that the older 2 kids apparently have no Vulcan at all.