This week the GeekMom writers found so many cool videos on the internet; I don’t even know where to start! Tap dancing, mock movie trailers (think Star Wars), game reviews that involve cooking, making burritos in space — you name it, it’s possible we found it. A few of my favorites from this week are here to get your attention, but there are many more in the weekly playlist.
My daughter is a student at the Boston School of Herbal Studies. She came home from a weekend class excited about making violet flower tea. She collected a handful of violet flowers from our lawn and placed them in a jar. Then she poured boiling water over them and let it sit for 24 hours. The concoction turns a lovely shade of blue that can be sweetened with sugar.
The past several months have been an interesting and very rewarding experience. The kids and I have managed to integrate a new geek into our home and our family.
Rory moved in last December. It was an easy transition for me, since I’m the one who wanted him there. It was a bigger challenge for the kids, since they’d had a much harder time with the divorce than I did. Plus, Rory was now in a role that, while not replacing their dad to the kids, filled the partner role in my life. But, we found that with shared interests, both those that had already been established and those that were newly acquired, everyone bonded more closely.
The kids and I brought a lot of board games to the table. I’ve loved games my whole life. My daughter also enjoys them. My son is obsessed. Rory’s often up for a good challenge, and has really enjoyed playing games with us. We also have been introducing and encouraging a lot of geek culture in him. Star Trek, Doctor Who, and the like.
Many parents start baby books for their children. Looking at my son’s book, I realized he won’t learn as much about his early years through his baby book as he will through my Facebook page and the posts I’ve written for GeekMom.
The other day at my mom’s house, I discovered my baby book. I’ve never seen it before and she warned me not to be disappointed that it wasn’t filled out completely. Having a son of my own, I completely understand that she only filled it in up to my third year of life.
It’s a bold move to name your movie Epic. That’s a lot to live up to, even if you’re pretty sure your movie might be epic. Fortunately for us moviegoers, Epic lives up to its name.
I had a feeling I’d like this movie from the moment I saw the bit of animation in the trailer where beautifully-rendered dandelions suddenly turn to reveal themselves as tiny people. Stunning. My daughter and I were invited to the premiere here in New York City, and we had an epic morning. (We totally walked the red carpet, even if it was a green carpet.) We were certainly in a frame of mind to enjoy the show.
GeekMom reveals an exclusive photo from Core Contributor Amy Kraft taken at this morning’s unveiling in New York City’s Times Square. Looks like the rebels have invaded. Or, more likely, taken refuge. Kids can climb up in the cockpit and get their picture taken with the in-flight photobooth in the Lego console.
“We’ll send a car to pick you up. We’re taking you to an undisclosed location to show you something big, but we can’t tell you what it is.” Now, I wouldn’t jump in that car for just anyone, but when Lego sends a car, how could I possibly refuse? I doubted myself when we pulled onto a deserted, industrial road, but then I walked into an airplane hangar at the Islip Airport in Long Island and beheld the largest-ever Lego model, the Lego Star Wars X-wing Starfighter. Aw, yeah.
Today, May 23rd, from 3-4 PM EDT, you can join a NASA hosted Google+ hangout with three of the former International Space Station (ISS) astronauts. NASA astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn and Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency are back home in Houston, Texas, and undergoing physical rehabilitation after their recent return from their extended time in the nearly weightless environment.
The three are prepared to answer questions about their daily life on the orbiting outpost. As part of their normal onboard operations, the three were involved in scientific experiments, spacewalks, and normal maintenance.
Google+ Hangouts allow as many as 10 people or groups to chat face-to-face, while thousands more can watch the conversation live on Google+ or YouTube. The hangout also will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
If you have a specific question that you would like to ask, submit it on twitter to the NASA social media team! Simply include #askAstro as part of your tweet, and it will be added to the pool of questions that will be answered. Just before the hangout begins, NASA will also be opening a discussion on its Facebook page for questions to be asked. Remember the more original and unique the question the more likely it is to be chosen.
*I understand that Memorial Day technically isn’t meant for those servicemembers still living. But we all know that a lot of attention is given to our currently-serving military members around Memorial Day and I’m merely pointing out the proximity on the calendar between the release of this doodle and Memorial Day. Per Wikipedia, “Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, living or dead.”
A Wisconsin 12th grader is singlehandedly bringing millions of people — especially military spouses, military children and servicemembers — to tears. For her winning 2013 Doodle4Google contest entry, Sabrina Brady wholeheartedly deserves the $30,000 scholarship, new Chromebook and $50,000 technology grant to her school that come with winning the 2013 Doodle4Google competition.
I’ve been in both of those characters’ shoes and this art brought me to tears. Many times I’ve stood pier-side waiting as my father returned from 6- to 9-month Navy deployments. In 2009, I got to enjoy my sons’ hugs after many months away in the Middle East for my own deployment.
I’m in tears now as I copy and paste the image into this post.
In addition to the moving message, Miss Brady’s art is wonderful. I love the shadows of each of the characters.
For the Doodle4Google contest, students in grades K-12 submitted Google Doodle art that applies to an annual theme. This year’s theme was “My Best Day Ever…” and Miss Brady’s entry commemorated the day her father returned from Iraq after 18 months away from home. She was 10 years old at the time.
The other four national finalists earned $5,000 scholarships. One winner was chosen from each state. Read more about the winning entry and see the finalists’ pieces here.
Are you interested in entering? Stay tuned, in January the new competition and theme will be announced.
The fact that Alana Smith is the youngest person to ever earn a medal in the X Games would be enough to earn her the title of Awesome Geek Girl of the Day. The youngest person to ever win a medal at the X Games is a girl! That’s a lot to celebrate. But the story behind the story is this:
Alana, who is just 12 years old, came very, very close to winning the Skateboard Park competition. As the X Games expands its women’s sports, this was the first time the event has been held. And it was almost won by an amazing sixth grader with a mouth full of braces.
If it weren’t for that crazy McTwist, an inverted 540-degree spin, that she just couldn’t seem to land, Alana just might have taken the coveted gold from the professional, Lizzie Armanto, who is eight years her senior. She’s landed it before, even in competition, but never on concrete. And at the X Games finals, she just couldn’t make it stick.
So Alana accepted her silver medal with a grin, did her television interviews, then turned to clear the course for the Men’s BMX competition. But then she turned back. Alana wasn’t done yet. Read more →