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Calvin's dad seems to delight in dishing out completely incorrect information to his son, perhaps as a form of revenge. Or perhaps because explaining the truth as opposed to these conveniently closed theories would lead to more, "but if this, then why this...?" questions. Or maybe he's just being a general knowledge BOFH to his own son.

MAXIMUM LOAD 10 TONS, or "Bucket Chemistry meets engineering"
CALVIN: How do they know the load limit on bridges, Dad?
DAD: They drive bigger and bigger trucks over the bridge until it breaks. Then they weigh the last truck and rebuild the bridge.

ASTRONOMY MADE SIMPLE, or "Space travel is cheap because you just coast most of the way (real quote from my own mom)"
C: Why does the sun set?
D: It's because hot air rises. The sun's hot in the middle of the day, so it rises high in the sky. In the evening then, it cools down and sets.
C: Why does it go from east to west?
D: Solar wind.
C: Why does the sky turn red as the sun sets?
D: That's all the oxygen in the atmosphere catching fire.
C: Where does the sun go when it sets?
D: The sun sets in the west. In Arizona actually, near Flagstaff.
C: Oh.
D: That's why the rocks there are so red.
C: Don't the people get burned up?
D: No, the sun goes out as it sets. That's why it is dark at night.
C: Doesn't the sun crush the whole state when it lands?
D: Ha ha, of course not. Hold a quarter up. See, the sun's just about the same size.
C: I thought I read that the sun was really big.
D: You can't believe everything you read, I'm afraid.
C: So how does the sun rise in the east if it lands in Arizona each night?
D: Well, time for bed.
When Calvin says he wishes he'll be as smart as his dad someday, his mom immediately says, "Why, what did he tell you now?"

TIME ZONES or "How Calvin's Dad and Einstein's Corpse wearing headphones in his grave could generate unlimited power"
C: Dad, will you explain the theory of relativity to me? I don't understand why time goes slower at greater speed.
D: It's because you keep changing time zones. See, if you fly to California, you gain three hours on a five-hour flight, right?
So if you go at the speed of light, you gain MORE time, because it doesn't take as long to get there. Of course, the theory of relativity only works if you're going west.
Calvin went on to test this theory in his wagon with Hobbes holding the stopwatch - they finally managed to get time to stop when they flew off the cliff and smashed the watch

PHOTOGRAPHY or "Good thing Calvin hadn't seen any arty films"
This famous example is contained in The World Was Black and White. Calvin also wondered, after seeing Godzilla, why Japanese people's mouths keep moving after they're finished talking.

back to the Calvin and Hobbes node.

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