beth woolsey

mess maker • magic finder • rule breaker • kindness monger

Sensical, Nonsensical, and Nuclear Bomb Research

I am more common sensical than my husband.  By way of evidence, I offer the fact that I can prioritize a bleeding, screaming child over, oh, say, hypothetically, the next line of code I’m writing on my computer.  (Like I’ve ever written code.  Bah!)

My husband is smarter than me.  By way of evidence, I offer the fact that he read the first line of this post and noticed that I wrote “sensical,” which is not technically a word.  I didn’t ask him if he noticed; I simply know it’s true.  Just like I know that it unsettled him because using “sensical” was incorrect.  I should have said, “I have more common sense than my husband.”  But I didn’t.  Because that was WAY MORE fun for me.

Now, Greg’s been married to me for a long time.  (Someone give that man a medal!)  And I like to think I’ve broken down his discomfort at having a rule-breaker for a wife, the same way I introduced spicy food to his diet and laughter to kissing.  (That’s what we call it on a family friendly blog.  Kissing.)

I like to upend the Table of Correct.  The same way Jesus tossed around the Tables of the Cheating Tax Collectors.  And the same way my mama upset the Table of Monopoly the night my dad closed the bank ’cause his wife was winning.  Me, Jesus, and my mama.  Rule breakers.  Justice mongers.  Hey – we play to our strengths.

But there’s still a core part of Greg who’s more comfortable within the confines of rules, structure, logic and sense.  Yeah, well; everyone has some faults, right?

And, besides, sensical should be a word, else how can we have nonsensical?  Although I suppose one could argue that nonsensical without sensical is, well, nonsensical.  So maybe that’s the point.  Maybe nonsensical is smarter than us all.  Maybe nonsensical is going to take over the world.  Maybe I won’t notice any difference if it does because nonsensical is my all, the air I breathe, and the beating of my heart.

Regardless, Greg is smarter than me.  I know it all the time.  But sometimes I get special reminders.  Like last night when Greg said, “Hey! Did you see that the U.S. is dismantling our largest nuclear bomb?”

A question which, in and of itself, was not a special Greg Is Super Smart reminder, because I did see that.  And I said so.  “I did!  It was a headline on my news feed.”  (A headline on which I did not click.  But whatever.)

No.  What reminded me was what followed.  In 6 seconds flat, our conversation devolved into a play by play of the additional, bonus information that Greg, as a Smart Person, was compelled to research so he can have a comprehensive – absolute, if you will – understanding of not just nuclear bombs, but… um… hand on a second…

OK, folks.  Here’s the problem with writing about Greg.  I get this far in a blog post.  This far, and then I can’t remember specifics.  I mean, I know we started the conversation with “nuclear bomb,” but after that part, Greg said a lot of other words.  A lot of other Smart Person words.  Greg is like the teacher in Charlie Brown.  And I am the bewildered kid in class.  “Wah wah.  Wah wah.  Nuclear bomb.  Wah wah.”  That’s what Greg said.

So I sent Greg a quick message.  It said this:  “Any chance you can send me a quick list of things you researched yesterday re: the dismantling of that nuclear bomb?  I intend to use this to mock you online.”

And Greg wrote back.  Because he humors me.  And because of that whole kissing thing.  And here’s where we pick this conversation back up.  Because now I know what he said.

Greg writes:

First, I wanted to know just how powerful a megaton is (in Joules, a
more standard measure):  Megaton

(Duh.  Of course in Joules.  Sometimes, Greg really states the obvious.  Also, what’s a Joule?)

Which required looking here:  TNT Equivalent

Which prompted me to wonder about the comparative power of various nuclear
tests and the original WWII bombs:  Nuclear Weapon Yield

But one of the news articles compared the recently dismantled bomb to
the largest one ever detonated, so I had to read about that one, which
was fascinating:  Tsar Bomba

And then I noticed another headline:  Wolf Packs Don’t Need To Cooperate To Make A Kill**

Which had sidebar links to two more interesting stories like this one:  Dinosaur Teeth Hold First Clues To Migration

And this one, which I mentally filed to discuss with a friend at some
point, as it somewhat relates to her university research:  Water’s Quantum Weirdness Makes Life Possible

In short, my husband eats ham, cheese and nuclear bomb research for lunch.

I am not as smart as my husband.  Which is apparently a real time saver.

But I do remember the end of our conversation last night.  Because that’s the part where I shook my head and said, “Geez, Greg.  It must really suck to be smart.”

And Greg sensically said, “It does, Beth.  It really does.”


**P.S.  Regarding that wolf pack article.  Um, anyone with a collection of children already knows that packs don’t need to cooperate to make a kill.  Doy.  So, to the smart scientists who spent time in the unforgiving wilderness tracking wolves, rather than extrapolating the data from the much more comfortable (though no less dangerous) wilds of my living room, I say, “Your mistake.”  Next time, guys, just give me a heads-up.  I’ll put on a bigger pot of coffee, and we can observe the heck out of ’em.

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10 responses to “Sensical, Nonsensical, and Nuclear Bomb Research”

  1. Ah, see my problem is that I know my husband is smarter than me, but I want to be smart too! (problem when we both have science degrees) So we end up in ridiculous arguments about these things and *thankfully* we live in a day and age where we can look up just about anything and solve said arguments. Whew! What would we have done before the internet???

  2. I was reminded of this post when my own research today took me down a very different path. I was wondering about the origin of the common usage of “a la” for “in the style of” came about. And that took me right down the path to “apple pie a la mode”. No nuclear science, but oh so much tastier! And, now, I’m hungry to I’m off to research today’s lunch menus.

  3. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! I figure that word definitely, absolutely and sensically has to be somewhat related to ‘non-sensical’. Right?
    Anyway, enough with the balderdashing from my end (for now, be warned, for now I said… 😉 ) and on to the next important subject: how can you EVER expect us to dare and visit you all after displaying all the smartness on Greg’s part? I mean, sheesh, he just amazes/scares/impresses the heck out of us… (well, just me for now, I haven’t worked up the courage to tell my better half how smart yours is…) Will he ever be able to understand there’s people like us, who supposedly teach kids ehm, stuff, and not shake his head in disbelief and pity the Dutch kids who are unfortunate enough to be taught by us…. Will he? 😉

    • Teaching is an entire body of knowledge, talent, and experience for which I have no inclination, innate ability, or even apparent capacity for understanding. I am constantly in awe of those who can, and especially those who use their experience and ability for the benefit of our kids. My repeated failures at helping with homework only continue to show me how little capacity I have in that area. There are some things I’ll just never know, and the smart move is to find people who do know these things, and hand my kids over to them as often as possible.

      • Aw, thanks Greg! 🙂

        But don’t you mean ‘teaching is for those who will only work with those who are less smart than they are and thus get a sense of smartness themselves’ or ‘teaching teenagers can only be done by those who have a natural tendency to mock themselves (and others) and are not bothered too much by the fact that they themselves are (and will) be mocked every day they teach said teenagers’ or ‘teachers must have the ability to lather, rinse and repeat with words&stories as well as massive amounts of facts&knowledge (and grammar rules in my case… imagine that!) which will make the kids despise them regularly, question said teachers’ sanity and especially repeatedly and enthusiastically test the aforementioned talent, day in and out’? 😉

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