par.ent.hood n. a period of renewed learning
You’ll often hear parents talk about how much they learn from their little ones. As the kids get older the opportunities to learn only increase. Their school work pulls long dormant memories from the back of our brains (a squared + b squared = c squared) or helps us remember we were dozing off during particular sections of the classroom curriculum (similes, metaphors and hyperboles). As parents we can either avoid homework like the plague (tempting) or embrace this opportunity to learn with enthusiasm (education is wasted on youth and all that).
Thanks to my daughter’s 8th grade science project (due Monday), I can now state with confidence that Einstein did not know it all! The Theory of Relativity (which I am thrilled I can now explain) simply states that ‘speed’ is not absolute, it can only be relative to something else. For example, when Zorro rides his horse down a moving train to save the day how fast is he going? He is riding at 5 mph (relative to the train), however, since the train in also moving he is going 30 mph (relative to the Earth), but (here we go) since the Earth is orbiting around the sun he is going 65,030 mph (relative to the sun). Ta da, you are now armed to impress your friends and family.
Einstein then jumped into several theories regarding time and the speed of light which are much easier to understand if you've spent hours watching Star Trek. The whole “nothing can go faster than the speed of light (except Captain Kirk) and time slows down as you approach the speed of light” thing is all fine as far as it goes but Einstein missed some practical applications so I’ll just add them for him:
• As one approaches the end of the project, time can reverse altogether.
• Time slows to an even greater extent when knitting long i-cords and finishing.
The proof is in the pictures of this baby boy sweater I am designing (it is just so hard to get boy stuff that's not too fussy). One side is done! The other, in spite of my intense focus, has been almost done for much too long. I guess I must be approaching the speed of light.