Raghu asked me to open a packet of salted peanuts which led to him requesting some salted, roasted cashews and then he started to say something about airplanes (which is where the salted peanut packet came from).. which then led to this question: "amma, which is heavier... metal or aluminium?" I replied that metal is like fish... a group word... so aluminum, iron, steel etc are metals... i was unable to remember more metals and he added tin and steel. then he said tin is lighter than iron... and that he got that observation from Iron Man... which led to a discussion of the suit the guy built for himself in the movie etc.
This entire conversation must have lasted about 10 minutes. It was so satisfying and amusing and interesting to see the connections, path of conversation topics etc. This morning i'm able to write it out... but these conversations happen often and by the time i get to write at the comp... i've forgotten the exact thread/topics and connections.
Those burst-of-learning sessions are my favorite things!
If it comes up again, tell him some metals are elements and some are alloys (combos) and that the U.S. coin "a nickel" is named because of what the coin is made of. And they use nickel in stainless steel.
Maybe someday "bronze age" and "iron age" will come up and that could be a part of that discussion too!