Monday, June 4, 2012

Bouncing Glass and Empathy

Did you know that glass bounces?

Finian will have to write a new chapter for the Leaving Certificate Physics syllabus, as he has with methodical rigor proved that glass objects falling from a height will detonate in a very pleasing manner... least most of the time.

Isaac Newton could have made the theory of gravity so much more dramatic if he had dropped a glass out of a first floor window, instead of messing about with apples.
A touch of the diva makes science so much more interesting, and it's a shame Finian wasn't around back then to teach him how to add a bit of flair to his experiments.

I was upstairs doing the ironing, when Finian asked me for a drink of my water.
I was thrilled that he had made a spontaneous request and gladly handed him my glass.
Silly Mammy.
He sauntered over to my bedroom window and in Hollywood slo-mo opened it, extended the glass outside as far as he could reach and released his grasp.
The glass plummeted, but amazed me by hopping softly on the decking and remaining complete, as opposed to hitting the deck and exploding into a billion glittery, ear-shattering crystals, which was the hypothesis of Finian's experiment.
There's always an exception to the rule.

It didn't bounce later when he threw it down the stairs though.

The trajectory of that missile was perfect, and the normal rules of gravity, glass and lofty heights were adhered to.

When the world finally runs out of breakable glass, and Finian has proved beyond reasonable doubt that his experiment can be reliably replicated many, many times, he will have his findings published in a high brow sciency journal.
Boffins will scratch their beards and be amazed.

But we know the truth...that, sometimes, glass bounces.

important info to consider when glass throwing

Bouncing glass is not the only anomaly to accepted scientific "fact".
Absence of empathy is touted as a significant feature of autism and parents of autie kids will agree that their children are joyless, unemotional creatures with an inability to experience concern or love for others.

Or maybe that's a load of scratchy beardy talk from *cough* experts who don't actually live with autistic people.  I'm just putting it out there.

There's a world of difference between an inability to feel empathy and difficulty with expressing it.

Finian expresses empathy by tucking his toys into bed, seeking sympathy when he's hurt, by hugging a girl who was hurt at school one day and by getting upset over the "sore man" nailed to a cross in his school room (don't get me started on Catholic iconography).

"Would someone get me off this???"

The "experts" need to revisit heir original theory and watch a few glasses bounce.
Finian can be their first teacher.
I just hope they can duck.


  1. :) Love this post.
    And also, wanted to say it's great to read your how you write!

  2. @ Devina, thanks so much XXX

  3. "There's a world of difference between an inability to feel empathy and difficulty with expressing it." So true and not just for children with autism x

  4. @ Blue Sky, that seems to me to be the crucial point that everyone misses XXX

  5. My son definitely expresses empathy for others when he sees that they are sad or expressing a strong emotion. But he has a hard time understanding that others see the world differently than he does as well. It seems a difficult concept for him. It makes him seem quite selfish when it's something else entirely, I know..

    I enjoyed the post! My son loves the cause and effect on-the-job learning as well. We went through a few dozen eggs during one particular phase.

  6. @ Alisa, I think you have to live with an autistic person (or at least spend lots of time with) to truly see this. Thanks for dropping by! xxx

  7. Good experimenting Finian. You shall go far. And cost your mum a fortune in glassware in the process! I very much like your point on empathy too :-) Very well said.

    xx Jazzy

  8. I am so glad that Nick hasn't discovered the joys of dropping or throwing glasses and mugs! As for empathy.. the other day, Nick was very perturbed with a crying baby.. he kept going up to it and then coming back to me and making the sign for "cross"! Time for the experts to listen to us mums!! ;)
    Great post, thank you x

  9. wow, amazing! have you found a padlock for your glass cabinet yet (assuming there's anything left in there?)!