Legos.  Do you have any in your house?  I can safely say I have at least a billion…well, maybe that is an exaggeration.  Maybe more like 400,000…and one. 

Have you ever stepped on one of these buggers at 2:00 in the morning when you were getting up to grab the ibuprofen because of the headache that came on?  Well, now you have two reasons to grab, because stepping on one these tiny death tokens can cause you to make a shrill that will wake the neighborhood in seconds flat.

So why, oh why do these things take such a toll on our feet?  I almost think I would rather have an ice pick shoved under a toenail or two.  Surely the boy has stepped on one or four since they are mostly in his room.  The answer, of course is science!

Let’s examine this for a moment…the sole of the foot is highly sensitive to pain.  You know the spot I’m talking about, especially that little spot between the ball and the arch.  Am I right?  There are as many nerve endings there as there are Legos in my house.

Now let’s look at the shape of the blocks.  See the key word here?  BLOCKS!  Most of them are square or rectangular and made from the absolute strongest plastic on the planet.  Oh, here’s a fun fact, you can apply 950 pounds of pressure to a Lego before it will crack, plus these suckers have sharp edges that can cut into your foot like a Ginsu knife.

Oh, the sharp corners help add to the pain as well.  Pressure is equal to the amount of force divided by the area to which that force is applied.  There’s my physics lesson for today.  In laymen’s terms, that means when you step on one, the force from the corner is concentrated over a small region of your foot, resulting in cursing at a level that would make sailors blush.

Therefore, when your significantly lighter kid steps on a Lego, they are just not experiencing the same level of pressure.  When we walk, we are exerting pressure of up to twice our body weight with each step, and if we are running, which I seldom do in the house, we produce pressure of up to nine times our weight.

If you laid out the more the 46 billion Lego bricks sold last year alone, it would stretch around the earth more than 18 times, therefore increasing my likeliness of stepping on one…and most likely it will be in the dark at 2:30 in the morning.

Now you know why I continually remind my 9 year old that the Legos do fit nicely in the storage containers that we bought him specifically for that purpose.

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