Never take a scientist to a Science Fiction Movie

While I was writing about the woes of taking a writer to the movies, I remembered my own childhood,  and having to tell my dad: “just sit back and watch…”

I was too young to know the phrase “suspension of disbelief” but I understood the concept.

To my dad’s credit, he was trying to teach me something, but it’s really hard to enjoy a show when you’re getting quizzed on why what they’re doing is wrong and would never work.

While I like grounding in reality the pop-quiz effect kinda took a lot of the fun out of watching TV and movies.  Let’s put it this way, when some movie poster boasted “More realistic space explosions…” I got an earful.

The biggest problem with my dad being a chemist (and my mom for that matter) was that most of their friends were scientists too.  I remember my dad having some co-workers over to dinner and one of them talking about his wife preheating the oven by setting it higher than required so that it would ‘heat up faster.’

They then looked at me and asked, “Do you know why that wouldn’t work?”

And I said, “because the oven would have to heat up to that temperature, past the target and then cool down.”

I was told that I was wrong, and then they explained, in scientific terms… that the oven would have to heat up to the set temperature, past the target temperature and then cool down.”

Looking back I have to respect the amount of restraint my father showed when watching Science Fiction with us.  And so, having shared this memory with you all on Father’s Day… all I can say is: thank you, dad!

A Final Note:

I passed this on to my dad for his approval to which he added the following:

“The thermostat sets the limit to which the oven will heat before the heating element turns off.  It then cycles on and off about that setting.  It is either fully on or fully off.  At that point either of the two identical answers listed would apply. “

He gave me a B+     

Happy Father’s Day one and all!

June 16, 2013

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