Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Of Minecraft And Plutonium

I'll get to plutonium in a bit, but first an update on the little guy. 

Two hours of schoolwork with his friends over Skype in the morning, some Minecraft and soccer in the afternoon, followed by homework and chips and salsa in the evening. 
We even toyed with the idea of going by his school when his friends were coming out, but decided against it, in case anyone was sick or carrying any little germies. 

When we played soccer after the school was out we ran into his principal, and it was really nice for them to see each other. 

His high calorie diet (or "full feed", as I was informed), continues to go well. He's even trying new stuff... Tonight he had salsa and loved it!

OK, on to Minecraft and plutonium... 
He and I have been playing Minecraft together, mining, collecting ore and building things. It's actually a very nice and creative game. Even Chase joins us from time to time and points out some of the cooler things we can do. 
Here is a little picture of the world we're building:

(That's him down below.)
I like our Olmec heads, looking over the ocean, giving us spiritual protection when zombies and creepers visit.  (Although, we have diamond swords now, so we're not too frightened any more.)

Anyway, back to plutonium, ever since he started playing the game, mining iron, gold, coal and diamonds and smelting them, he's been asking about different ores. So, I downloaded a very nice app on his iPad that shows him all the elements in the periodic table. We've been looking at them at night, reading about iron, copper, gold, carbon and of course the more kaboomy ones like plutonium and uranium. He's also expressed interest in radioactivity, so I try my best to explain it to him in simple terms. 

I bring this up for three reasons... 

Firstly, because his treatment will include radiation therapy later on, so I'm glad we have the chance to learn about it on his terms, rather than it being a boogeyman later on. 

Secondly, I was introduced to a periodic table of elements in seventh grade. It was a bunch of letters, numbers and ugly colors that didn't make any sense. I promptly failed that class and avoided chemistry like the plague in highschool and college. 
It amazes me that children can now approach the same subject through interactive apps in the palm of their hand, at a much younger age. I look forward to the future they will build. (Lest you think I'm bragging how smart my kid is, I assure you I'm not, we still write our 3s backwards...)

And lastly, looking at all these metals like calcium and sodium reminds me that we are all literally made of stars. (Yes calcium and sodium are metals. While they are *found* in earths crust, they were *formed* in stellar forges.)

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