I write this as a proud father of an 8yr old boy, who finds himself crossing the Threshold of Proper Fantasy Geek.
Before that though, I’m also happy to report another win FOR SCIENCE.
(warning: bugs and bits below. You have been warned.)
This weekend, after a good day of playing around at a nearby farm, and being locked into the chicken coop by playful cousins, we discovered a spider mite or louse in the kid’s hair. Now of course mom has a bit of an overactive “eww bug!” reaction, but after a recent purchase of a microscope at a yard sale, I figured “why not check it out”.
Of course, the kid was completely boggled by the fact that we “had a REAL microscope like the science labs?!”, but I assured him that it was a recent purchase and may be a bit blurry or entirely non-functional, but it was worth the attempt, for this particular Teachable Moment.
So, we grabbed a blank slide, wiped the copious dust from the lenses, and smacked a cover slip on top of the bug (it was a louse) and peeked through the eyepiece. The little teeny hard-to-see spec was flailing it’s little legs around, and when the kid peeked through, his shriek of Joy was contagious. OMG, MOM MOM, LOOK! IT’S MOVING! LOOOOOK! YOUCANSEETHEEYESANLEGS, and EVERYHING!
The afternoon then filled up with further micro-curiosity. I plucked a hair by the roots. The kid hesitantly yet stolidly plucked his own to compare (FOR SCIENCE!), and we brushed the dog to get a third hair sample. A bit of lettuce leaf, an onion skin, the wing of a dead fly. Sugar. Salt. Gourmet Salt flakes (not cubes). Water from the pond. Dust from under the sofa. … all this flickered across the single “blank” slide that was included with the microscope kit. (a LEGO brick did not work, sadly, which I expected, and was a good lesson in optics and transparency necessary for Micro-viewing)
I’m sure we would have continued with flour, skin samples, and such but dinner time came and there were other chores to do. Still, I’ve added microscope slide kits to my Amazon WishList, because my son already plans on trying more stuff to look at this week. It’s pretty awesome.
As for the geeky Rites, I am also happy to report that we have just finished watching the Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers,with plans to complete Peter Jackson’s amazing trilogy at the end of this week. We were a bit unsure if he was ready for it, but after being assured (by the kid of course) “I am eight, and Oh Yeah, I love epic battles.“, we tried the first movie with a finger on the pause button just in case.
We shouldn’t have worried.
So far, Legolas is his favorite character, mostly for the action scenes with rapid-fire arrows. He thinks Gimli is silly, especially during the battle for Helm’s Deep. Aragorn is a good king, but dreams about his elf-love too much, but overall, the Ents attacking Isengard were the high point in both movies.
As he said loudly last night… “See, now THAT is why you don’t mess with Nature, right?!” 🙂