8/5/09

Two Observations

First, while trying to get a splinter out of Juliette's foot, I said two horrible things: "I need more light" and "Wait, I have to get my glasses." Dammit.

Second, despite Juliette's sponge-like memory and current fascination with prehistoric fauna, I don't think she has the temperament to become a scientist. (Yes, it's time for more Science Talk featuring random pictures of Jeff Goldblum!)

Here's how it went: Juliette wanted to look up Mesothelae, an ancient extinct family of spider. We did, only to find out that Walking with Monsters got their facts wrong. What they'd thought was a spider as big as a human head was later identified as a sea scorpion. Turns out no spider was ever that big, and Mesothelae never lived like tarantulas as depicted in the film. Whoops.

So while on the Wikipedia page about "mistakes in the the 'Walking with...' series," we also found out that Argentinosaurus was likely not the largest sauropod, Ornithocheirus was not the largest pterosaur, and Spinosaurus was probably the biggest carnivore--not Giganotosaurus. She started to cry. The problem with her personality is that she very much wants to be right. Constantly. She wants to know the definitive answers. This is not the right attitude to have as a scientist. She took it personally that these facts were wrong, and I found it impossible to convince her that the source material was at fault, not her.

Hell, I'm still getting used to the idea that dinosaurs might have had feathers. As children we learned about eight species in total, and they were all two steps shy of being alligators. But information changes. And I'm old.

I tried two different methods to illustrate the problem with her thinking. I said, what if I taught you how to spell your name, and you got it right, and then I kept making "new discoveries" and changed it on you? JULIETTE. Nope, it's JULIETE. Nope, sorry, it's YULIETS. I also mentioned how she and Ilsa have been learning our telephone number and address. However, what if we moved? The old information would no longer be valid, but the fault wouldn't lie with her memory.

She can't be held accountable for the ever-changing nature of scientific discovery, but in her early childhood fact-collecting brain, her "mistakes" are embarrassing and difficult to justify. So she cries. And nothing I can say gets through. Ah, my darling, we shall dance this dance for many years, I'm afraid.

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