He really had a great sense of how things work, and if you were among the last 20 people left on the planet, you would have wanted my dad to be among the few there with you. I remember asking him how televisions work, and telephones, too; these devices seemed nothing short of miraculous. He was able to give detailed answers to these questions, but it was like a foreign language.
I still don't know how anything works, and with the digital age it's just getting worse. I'm more clueless with each passing year.
That's why I worried a little when one of the science teachers at school asked me what I could do with the kids when they were studying "systems."
Systems? What did she mean, exactly? Connected things? Productive things? Working things? Ecosystems? I showed her a big drawing of a mysterious machine, and she laughed and said, "Yeah! That's a system!"
With great trepidation I approached this topic: Make something, and show as many steps as you can imagine! That was pretty much what I told them. Everything is part of a system.
Rube Goldberg came to mind, and you can see from their drawings that he was a big influence.
It was also a great excuse to watch OK GO videos.
Can you see what it says in the mid-left of this drawing? If kidnapping weren't a crime, I might have to steal this child.
This is where Easter eggs come from.
Somebody is apparently in charge.
Chickens come first, then the eggs.
We grow a lot of berries around here, and obviously, this is our system of harvesting them. How did you think it was done, silly?
Systems. This is pretty much exactly my level of understanding them. My dad would have been able to explain it all much better.