Yesterday I came into the kitchen as Izzy was finishing her after-school snack. She lingered at the table, reading a magazine. We don't generally have magazines in our house, so at first I thought she was browsing a catalogue from the mail.
It turns out she was reading Wired.
Yes, Wired. My husband gets it. He's the techie around here.
So then I did her the further disservice of asssuming she was merely flipping through, looking at pictures, grazing snippets.
But no, it turns out she was actually reading it.
She told me about a sailboat which was designed using princples of physics to achieve maximum use of the wind force with the sail facing parallel to the keel, making it speed like a race car. And how the boat was built from carbon fiber instead of wood, with a hard wing sail instead of a fabric sail, making it tough enough to withstand the battering of wind and waves on the high seas.
I listened to her go on, a bit in shock.
Then she described for me the article she was presently reading, about new interrogation technology being implemented at border crossings. She was fascinated by the indicators of dishonesty, such as raised eyebrows, delayed answers, tonal rise at the end of a response, and dilated pupils.
Which is so unfair! I can't help it if I end every phrase on a tonal rise. I feel so profiled.
At any rate, there I was listening to my 13 year old tell me how the infrared camera on this machine records eye movement and pupil dilation at up to 250 frames per second, so they can monitor the stress of lying on one's eyes. I told her a typical movie records action at 24 frames per second, to try and put into perspective for her the degree of detail this machine would capture.
But it turns out she already knew that, the 24 fps thing. I guess it's yesterday's news.
Anyway, a few observations:
Since when did Izzy start taking over the world? I thought she and I were just hanging out: going to music lessons, listening to Korean pop, eating ramen noodles, and having the occasional deep philosophical discussion.
I don't recall signing the permission slip allowing her to get smarter than me.
Furthermore, I'm down in the dumps because I can never go to Canada again.
I have this certain paranoia, this tendency to assume guilt whether I deserve it or not. Like, when I was a little girl walking around with my violin case after music lessons, I used to worry people would think I was carrying a machine gun. And that led me to think maybe I was carrying a machine gun. And then I would start looking shady and plot about robbing banks.
So you can imagine what's going to happen the next time I cross the border and they ask if I have any illegal drugs in the car...
Watch my eyebrows reach for the sky. Watch my pupils turn into pools of ink. Watch me take ten minutes to answer their question as I fidget, scratch, and shrug. Then watch me say no like I'm the one asking the question, ending on a tonal rise which makes the dogs in the neighborhood howl for mercy.
Because thanks to Izzy, I now know all the tell-tale signs of lying.
So the government just wasted a ton of money inventing a machine which can track the nuances of dishonesty, because when I roll through their border anyone will be able to spot this shady bank robber and her 8 octave tonal rise from a million miles away.
No doodads necessary.