26 March 2010

Who told you that?

I don't understand... I literally have no frame of reference for what happened to me last night. I was studying for a midterm in Astronomy when I took a break to go tell my dad some fun facts (one day, one day my house remodel will be finished.... sigh).

"Hey dad, did you know that if you could find a sufficiently large pool of water Saturn would float?"

"Is that because it's gas?"

"No, it's because it's less dense than water, also, because it's made of gas."

"That's interesting."

"Oh, and if Jupiter were any bigger, it would be a star. I mean, phyiscally bigger, it'd have to be about eighty times more massive, but that's okay."

"A star huh? So what would that mean?"

That made me pause, not because I didn't know the answer but because the answer seemed so obvious I wasn't sure what he was asking. "Uh, we would be a two-star system. We'd have the sun and Jupiter both."

"The sun is a star?"

There are moments in your life, gentle reader, where despite not actually living in a movie you will find your life suddenly has sound effects. I heard this one: screeeeechh (It sounded a lot like a record needle scratching off of it's groove if that helps).

"Um. Yeah. What did you think it was?"

"I don't know, a planet?"

"A planet?" I'm pretty sure I started spluttering incoherently at this point. "No, no. It's a star, it just happens to be our star so we named it the Sun. Kind of like how we named the moon 'Moon'."

"Humph, who told you that?"

"Who told me-?" Sometimes I can't tell when my dad is messing with me or not, but we've talked about this since then and let me tell you: he was dead serious. He had no idea.

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised, this is the same man who constantly argues with me over how we know anything we do about astronomy since we can't actually see it or measure it.

I say again, my father has so little understanding of what I want to do with my life that he honestly believes that we will just be making it up as we go. This both worries me and saddens me an awful lot.


  1. Just had a flashback to Jackie Bouvier telling Monte Burns, "Oh Monte, you're the devil himself." And him screaming, "WHO TOLD YOU...."

  2. Hmm. So if Jupiter became a star, but it still revolved around the other star we call the Sun, would that make it a Sun-in-law? I get so confused by hypothetical scenarios.