Sunday, February 11, 2007

Your five o'clock will come someday, young man

I try to spend as much time as I can with my young, full-of-questions, cousins. I used to think I could teach them but mostly, they teach me.

The older of the two, now nearly ten, and I tend to want to "research" and "discover" whenever we're together. We go on little hikes and when we're hanging out at home, we spend a lot of time on The Discovery Channel website. We've watched everything from stunts to emergency animal rescue and read articles on bridge engineering, crocodile breeding and the history of diamonds. I'm not kidding, we are professionals when it comes to finding information on the Internet.

Boy of nearly ten, though, seems to know something about everything. He knows what makes a suspension bridge stay, well, suspended. He knows that some female reptiles eat their mate (or at least try, or something like that). He knows the history of the Hope Diamond. Meanwhile, I usually sit next to him, staring at the screen stunned that there's anything else even on the Internet beside blogs, Wikipedia and YouTube. What more do you really need? Really?

On our latest adventure, though, my lack of ten-year-old knowledge was redeemed. Well, almost. We were reading this article by Bill Nye (yes, "The Science Guy." Do you know any other Bill Nye? Okay then.) about tides. Throughout the article, Bill explains the reason for tides, the sun, the moon, gravity and all. (Sidebar: I enjoy Bill especially because although he is THE science guy, he doesn't get all crazy sciency all the time and talk over one's head. It's actually quite attractive and if Bill were say, younger, single and possibly living across the street from me, I might find some time to bring some cookies over. Super smart sciency non-cocky guy is the new hot, you know).

Anyway, in the middle of the article, Bill gets into explaining the way Earth rotates and how that causes tides, particularly high tides, to always be occurring somewhere. Here's what Bill says: "As the saying goes, it's five o'clock somewhere. Well, the ocean is bulging high-tide-wise somewhere all the time as well--and on opposite sides of Earth."

"Oh, that makes sense," I say to my cousin. He agrees but has a strange look on his face. "What?" I ask, still not sure what he doesn't get.

"I've never heard of that saying."

"What? 'It's five o'clock somewhere'?"

"Yeah. What does that mean?"

"It just means that somewhere on Earth, no matter what time it is in your time zone, it can be five o'clock somewhere else."

"I don't think that's true. Would the math add up? Are there enough time zones for that to be possible."

"Well, I really don't know. But that's not really the important part of that saying."

"So what's the important part?"

"Ask me again in ten years."

"Ugh, I hate when you say that! I won't remember in ten years to ask you what 'It's five o'clock somewhere' means."

"Oh yes you will, trust me."


runliarun said...

I used to be confused when I was a child about the time zone issue. I could kind of get it, strictly scientifically, but otherwise the consequences made me restless. I mean: there's a place were now is already tomorrow? Time was supposed to be quantifiable, and this time zone thing made it fluid. That made me think... and still does.

Danielle said...

Aren't there 24 time zones? Just let him hear "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" and he'll get it...10 isn't too young to lear that!!

Ginger Breadman said...

What a cute kid - it's amazing how knowledgeable and inquistive he is. The math does add up, and I agree with danielle - he's not too young for that. The time thing does get confusing though - if it's five o'clock somewhere else, am I living in the past, and someone else living in the future?

Kurt said...

I have been working with my 9 yr old on researching Milton Hershey. It is amazing the questions children ask and this is my 4th one and I still get amazed by them.

Bre said...

That's pretty freaking adorable, I must say! My younger cousins are all little, most fall in the pre-school or below category, so we spend a lot of time together playing with dolls or trucks or sometimes both together. I can't wait until they're old enough to have actual conversations with!

justrun said...

Just in case this was missed- my version of "It's five o'clock somewhere" has always referred to happy hour. That's why I'll tell him in 10 years.

Backofpack said...

Yep, that's the version of "it's five o'clock somewhere" I know too. He's a smart little guy for sure! Love it!

Nicole said...

How fun! I love hanging out with my nephews - Kids are great.

Sizzle said...

yeah what DOES that mean!?

Dawn said...

I agree with you about Bill Nye the Science Guy. Dorky is attractive and nerdy is sexy!

girlgoyle said...

I don't think he will need to ask you what that means 10 years from now. He might be the one to update you on some things cuz that is when everything he does will be current and every thing you do is "old fashioned." I guess time zones apply to people too.

justrun said...

GG- I don't know, I hope not! I don't want to live in a world that doesn't know what happy hour is!