Adventures in Ethics and Science

In case anyone remembers a post back in February which featured drawings by the elder Free-Ride offspring inspired by this kids’ book about the elements

Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, you found that book! I’ve been looking for it.

Younger offspring: Yeah, I’m taking it with me to [the house of the grandparents who lurk but seldom comment] so I can read it while I’m there.

Dr. Free-Ride: But I was going to review it while you were gone.

Younger offspring: But I want to read it so I can learn about elements.

Dr. Free-Ride: Won’t you be too busy playing with the cat and bugging [Elder offspring] to read it?

Younger offspring: No, I’ll have time to read it and do those other things, too.

Dr. Free-Ride: What about the Friday Sprog Blog?

Younger offspring: When you and [Dr. Free-Ride’s better half] come to visit for the wedding maybe we can talk about something science-y.

In fact, when we arrived before the family wedding, this is what we found taped to the wall of our guest quarters:


The sprogs are scheduled to return later today. I’ll see if I can get a full accounting of which elements are pictured here and what they’re up to.

In the meantime, if you’re enjoying fireworks today, here’s hoping you aren’t also enjoying brushfires.


  1. #1 Theo Bromine
    July 4, 2008

    Hmm – that almost looks like a chemical family wedding celebration. (Will the guests sit at the periodic table?) Perhaos the sprogs will enjoy my favourite song about atomic anthropomorphization:

    NaCl [Kate McGarrigle]
    Just a little atom of chlorine
    Valence minus one
    Swimming thru the sea, digging the scene
    Just having fun
    She’s not worried about the shape or size
    Of her outside shell
    It’s fun to ionize
    Just a little atom of Cl
    With an unfilled shell

    But somewhere in that sea lurks
    Handsome Sodium
    With enough electrons on his outside shell
    Plus that extra one
    Somewhere in this deep blue sea
    There’s a negative
    For my extra energy yes
    Somewhere in this foam
    My positive will find a home

    Then unsuspecting Chlorine
    Felt a magnetic pull
    She looked down and her outside
    Shell was full
    Sodium cried “what a gas be my bride and
    I’ll change your name from Chlorine to Chloride”

    Now the sea evaporates to make the clouds
    For the rain and snow
    Leaving her chemical compounds in the abscence
    Of H2O
    But the crystals that wash upon the shore
    Are happy ones
    So if you never thought before
    Think of the love that you eat
    When you salt your meat

  2. #2 Brook
    July 5, 2008

    A year or so ago when one of my kiddos was chemistry obsessed he wore out a couple of copies of Stwertka’s “A guide to the Elements”. I don’t know how he visualized the elements but I’m sure he saw them as his friends, perhaps even better than his friends because the elements are more predictable to him.

    Last christmas we gave the Dingle book to my oldest boy who was more interested in surviving AP chemistry than in making friends with the atoms, but he still appreciated the book.

    I love your kids artwork.

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