Build a house from chairs and blankets

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Nobody knows what’s inside a black hole. We can see its outside but not its inside. Furthermore, there is no way of obtaining any direct experimental data on this because there’s just no way of transmitting our findings back out of the black hole. Everything, even light, gets sucked in. In the same way, we cannot see the laws of physics directly. We can only see individual phenomena and have to infer from them what the general laws might be. As Einstein puts it: ‘Nature only shows us the tail of the lion. But there is no doubt in my mind that the lion belongs with it even if it cannot reveal itself to the eye all at once because of its huge dimension.’

Your children calling you from within their living room fort is like a black hole emitting Hawking radiation.

The same holds for living-room forts. The chairs or tables that form its skeleton are hidden beneath a layer of blankets. However, if there’s one game that my children absolutely love, then it’s to build a fort in the living room out of chairs and blankets. I’ll drag some chairs into the living room, they’ll drag some blankets downstairs, I’ll quickly help them with those blankets before they trip: it’s all good fun. They can play with the fort by themselves for extended periods of time. (Hint: you can relax for extended periods of time.) They decorate the fort with their stuffed animals and read books inside of it using a battery-powered lamp. Sometimes they invite me to come and find them and they’re hidden in their fort shouting things like: ‘daddy is naughty!’ This is then followed by laughter. I’m not sure whether this was such a good idea after all.