Dads Teach Other Dads How To Talk To Their Children about Star Wars

Exercise the Jedi Way

List of Star Wars air, aquatic, and ground veh...

List of Star Wars air, aquatic, and ground vehicles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week I succumbed to the Dark Side of the force. I was tooling down the 101 when I was cut off by a Mercedes whose driver was more engrossed in her cellphone conversation than upon driving.

So I extended my arm and used the Force to take the entire car apart piece by piece. Ok, I didn’t really do that, but I thought about it. I thought about it the same way I wished that I could use the Jedi Mind Trick to get out of a jam.

Somewhere in the archives is a post in which I describe my love for Star Wars and how my son has come to love it as well. Throughout the week we have mock light saber fights. It is kind of fun, we chase each other through the house pretending to be powerful Jedis.

But the big difference is that he is a little bit older than eight and I am just a hair short of 40. His little sister thinks it is hysterical to see her old man do somersaults and all sorts of other crazy gymnastic moves. When I started doing handstand pushups against the wall she really thought I was nuts.

Anyhoo, who knew that someone had taken the time to turn the Jedi way into exercise classes:

Thanks to a “Star Wars” enthusiast who goes by the moniker “Master Flynn,” the Jedi workout is the new way to fight the battle of the bulge. And now gym-shy geeks everywhere can finally fulfill their dreams of getting droid-like rock-hard abs.

Flynn was on the set Wednesday sharing his moves — including the Rebound, Follow-through and the Lock — with the TODAY family, who were all cloaked and armed with lightsabers.

Flynn, 38, started New York Jedi in 2005 after staging a fight with lightsabers at a Halloween parade in New York’s Greenwich Village.

“I had the idea to do a fight scene with my friends on the parade route. People were so impressed when they saw what we were doing, and they wanted to know where they could learn to move the way we did,” said New York’s resident Yoda.

After putting up a forum on his Web site,, Flynn says people from all over the world were asking questions and sharing information to better their own lightsaber skills.

The Force for fitnessIn early 2006, Flynn decided to teach a class on the art of lightsaber
battling, incorporating storytelling and choreography. The class started out with just a handful of students, but now has 30 to 40 people attending twice a week for two-hour sessions in New York. Word of mouth made the class so popular that Flynn also started, and has partners teaching classes in Los Angeles.

“This was never meant to be a fitness thing,” said Flynn. “The class was about appreciating swordsmanship and performance.”

How Much Would it Cost To Build The Death Star

Under the category of things you don’t need to know but might be the difference in winning or losing a game of championship jeopardy.

“If you had $15.6 septillion and 94 cents in your account, would you save the world from the economic crisis or build a Death Star, destroy the world, and move on to invade the galaxy?

A guy called Ryszard Gold—who probably is an alien villain from the Outer Rim planets and got a 49-point score in our Geek Social Aptitude Test—made the calculation of the most basic Death Star’s price with current materials and space transport costs here on Earth. Here’s a quick summary:

• First, assume that 1/10 of the 17.16 quadrillion cubic meters of the Death Star is something other than empty space and 6/10 of the total volume is pressurized space.
• That will require 1.71 quadrillion cubic meters of steel, about 134 quadrillion tonnes. That’s $12.95 quintillion in current 2008 prices, and that’s without counting strange alloys and elements.
• Shipping that to space will cost $95 million per tonne: So add $12.79 septillion in transport.
• Now you need to add air, which will require 8.23 quintillion cubic meters of Nitrogen, and 1.65 quintillion cubic meters of oxygen, for a total delivery cost of $2.81 septillions and $212.46 quintillion.

The total: $15,602,022,489,829,821,422,840,226.94.

Yes, that’s a whooping 1.4 trillion times the current US Debt. Or a sightly more meaningful number: 124 trillion years of war in Iraq.”

Read the whole thing here.

P.S. We do our best to provide useful information like this. Here are some links to prior posts about cool inventions and things you have to have, or think you do:

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs
What Not to Do-Snakebites
The Cubicle Celebrates 40 Years
How Velcro Was Invented
My New Desk- I Have To Get One
London Restaurant Tries To Solve Gas Crisis
Who Wants To Buy An Artificial Foreskin
Untapped Sources of Energy
The Mangroomer
Business Cards That Will Get You Business
Medical Technology- The future is now
Inventions You have Got T0 Have(Includes the ladies urinal, toilet forehead support system and much more.)
The Nose Pouch

Why Do People Kill Each Other

Earlier today my son asked me to explain to him what war is like and why people kill each other. It is a hell of a question and one that he has asked before. I am not a soldier. I haven’t been to war.

I have been in a number of hairy situations. I have seen the after effects of a bombing and have been in the E.R. when they have brought in shooting victims. I have been in a number of fist fights, been hit with brooms, rocks and a chain, but never shot. Not that I am complaining, I am not.

I can’t say that I believe that you have to be a vet to explain why people go to war either. I can offer descriptions of what war is like based upon things I have read or heard, but fortunately do not have any first hand experience. The closest thing I have got is what I have seen in films.

If push comes to shove I’ll tell you that I believe that sometimes you have to fight and that there are wars that are necessary. I am not a peacenik, by any means. But when it comes to discussing this with the kids I am cautious.

Today is the 64th anniversary of D-Day. I wrote a post that covered some of the history in more detail than here. If you are interested you can find it here. We are indebted to those men.

Anyway, be it coincidence or otherwise today is the day that he hammered me with questions about war and why people kill each other. He is all of 7.5 so I wrestled with how much to tell him, how sophisticated I should be in my response.

He has lost so much of his innocence about the world. He knows that bad people sometimes do things to children and that not every marriage lasts. He knows that some people steal and that life doesn’t always have a happy ending. So providing him with some information is not going to be the straw that broke the camel’s back either.

I did my best to explain that sometimes people just can’t get along and that sometimes they fight in a way that isn’t nice. I told him that I thought that war should be a last resort and that you should try and avoid it.

But I also told him that if you have to fight to defend yourself you have an obligation to do so in a manner that takes care of the situation, short term band aids are a poor solution.

He nodded his head and told me that he thought he understood. He explained that one of his classmates parents had split up. I asked him what he meant and he gave me a perfectly suitable description of a couple who have divorced.

I nodded my head and asked him to continue. He explained that Tommy’s parents couldn’t get along any more and that they had decided to live in different houses. And then he told me that Tommy said that he was much happier because his folks didn’t fight anymore, that they were friends now.

Just as I thought I had skated by and managed to avoid spending the evening discussing war he came back to it. He wanted to know how his grandfathers had managed not to be killed. I reassured him that going to war wasn’t a death sentence, but that you really didn’t want to have to go unless you had to.

He sighed and told me that he was happy to hear that. And then he asked me to promise that I wouldn’t get killed fighting a war either. I smiled and told him that they didn’t like making guys my age soldiers.

Confession: I have no interest in being a soldier, but I hated saying “guys my age” as if we are all that old. We’re not. Compared to so many others I am just a babe in the woods.

Oy, I don’t like 39 all that much. Sure it is better than the alternative, but…

Iran Draws Up Plans to Bomb Israel

Those wacky Iranians. Do they really think that anyone believes that they didn’t have a set of plans already drawn up. Want to bet that Israel’s Syrian air show got their attention.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The deputy commander of Iran’s air force said Wednesday that plans have been drawn up to bomb Israel if the Jewish state attacks Iran, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.

“We have drawn up a plan to strike back at Israel with our bombers if this regime (Israel) makes a silly mistake,” Gen. Mohammad Alavi was quoted as telling Fars in an interview.