Sheldon fuels Lily's love of science...

An aside:
"I cry because others are stupid and it makes me sad."--Sheldon (makes sense to me)

We love The Big Bang Theory here and regularly indulge in TBBT marathons, which we've been doing this weekend (season three this time). 

Lily's passionate about Sheldon and about equations. Many of her drawings are punctuated with E = mc².  Last night, she lit upon the equations in the clip above and is demanding to learn what they mean. She faithfully wrote some of them down on her white board; she still wants white boards as big as Sheldon's and she's still aggravated that in one episode he threw one out the window instead of erasing it. "That was very autistic of him," she said to that. I pointed out that one could say the same of her intense irritation and need to bring it up every time she writes on her own white board , especially given it occurred in an episode she watched months ago. 

Another aside (of a different sort from the first one above), autism isn't something we're steeped in here, but upon occasion the need to understand something about each other and their quirks or about themselves brings up a discussion of autism and how it's defined. It's never an excuse for bad behavior, but it comes in handy for explanation and understanding and increasing empathy (take that, Baron-Cohen!).

So now we have F=ma, ma=mg, and her ever favorite equation on her board. And in comes Frankie, who chose to use her board as if it was his woobie.

In the process of lying on it, he partially erased it. Lily walked into the living room this morning to see her beloved white board covered with the cat and had a bit of a hissy over it, which led to Frank retreating to his basket in a huff and Lil repairing the damage to her board while we talked about the equations and what they mean. She has some serious frustration with c, by the way. It makes no sense to her that c stands for speed of light; sol makes better sense, she says. Hard to argue that.

I have a feeling we'll be having lots more of these discussions this summer and in the coming years, if her love for science continues (and I hope that it does). We're doing geek camp together this summer and will be indulging Lily's passion for equations and trying to tie meaning to them. We're also going to study astronomy, too, as well as biology. And Lil and I are working through Benjamin and Shermer's Secrets of Mental Math.The kids are looking forward to geek camp, although they insist we must have the weekends off. After all, even Sheldon and the gang stop to play games. :)


Elise said...

TBBT has created for all our children role models and the idea that yes, they can be successful and accepted within society as a whole. Sheldon is a hero in our home. Good for Lily...btw we do our own TBBT marathons too.

David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. said...

"She has some serious frustration with c, by the way. It makes no sense to her that c stands for speed of light; sol makes better sense, she says. Hard to argue that."

Hard but not impossible, thankfully. You can tell her that it means constant, which is from the fundamental postulates in the special theory of relativity... the speed of light being constant for all observers, regardless of their respective velocities.

futurology said...

In case you didn't know, the famous theoretical physicist Paul Dirac was very very likely autistic, would make Einstein look like a neurotypical, and had personality traits very similar to Sheldon from TBBT. There's a relatively new biography that details his personality and behavioral traits, as well as much of his groundbreaking contributions to physics; well worth the read for inspiration! http://thestrangestman.com

I just finished reading it and found very similar personality traits to my own. Here's a video I uploaded covering the famous Dirac equation: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Bvpv2VfRIaE

Wonders of The Universe is a relatively nice overview of physics concepts: http://vimeo.com/22064713

For more videos, there's an expansive Sixty Symbols video series with scientists visually demonstrating and describing physics and astronomy concepts. Despite their name, they've actually surpassed their original goal with ~140 videos and counting. Here's a video with highlights from the series: http://youtube.com/watch?v=c1d4SrbhjlU

For all of their videos, visit: http://sixtysymbols.com

KWombles said...

@Elise, Sheldon rocks, as do the other guys, but there's something about his logical yet oddly sweet nature that makes him our favorite. Of course, it might be the moonpie and soft kitty along with his friendship algorithm that send him over the top. :)

David, that explanation worked perfectly, thanks. She said that made perfect sense. :)

@futurology, thank you for the links!