How to Make a Super Easy Zombie Cake

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What’s better than birthday cake? Zombie birthday cake, obviously. I have few domestic talents, but this is a cake that even the most clueless chef can tackle with ease. Mistakes? No such thing. This zombie rises up out of a grave of chocolate cake, frosting, and crumbled cookies. What you need: foil cardboard box Oreo cookies gummy worms black gel icing chocolate frosting a round

OK, TSA, This Breast Pump Thing is Just Too Much

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TSA, I’ve had it with you. Really and truly. I know we never really got along in the first place because I wasn’t impressed with your security theater and your poor treatment of passengers and general ineffectiveness. But I thought we could get along, develop a kind of working relationship. You’d learn from your mistakes, mature. I’d learn to be more patient, more forgiving. I

The National Book Festival Just Got Even Better: Two Days of Programs Plus Graphic Novels

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With banned book week and the arrival of library books on the Kindle, it seems like this just couldn’t be a better week for Book Geeks. Wrong! The National Book Festival will be held in Washington, DC, today and tomorrow. The event, which has been put on by the Library of Congress since 2000, has expanded from a single day jam-packed event into a day

6 Reasons to Get Your Kid a Smartphone

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A few years ago I would have written a post arguing that no child needs a cell phone, let alone the mini-computing marvel of the contemporary smartphone. But now? I’m a believer. I got my son a smartphone last year as I was changing service providers and getting myself a new phone. They made me a fantastic offer on the whole package and I didn’t

The Value of the National Spelling Bee in the Age of Spell Check and Predictive Text

Yesterday 275 kids gathered in Washington, DC, to take a spelling test. Today, they’ll start spelling in the preliminary rounds until just 50 spellers move on to the semifinals of the National Spelling Bee. A few of them are here by luck. Most of the spellers, however, got here through incredible hard work and determination. This is no fluke. This is the culmination of hours

Geeky Ways to Love the Iditarod: Build a Better Dog Sled

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Talk about an amazing race. The Iditarod dog sled competition, which started Saturday,  stretches more than a thousand miles from Anchorage to Nome, crossing some of the toughest terrain in the world under some of the harshest conditions on the planet. Mushers come from all over the world to compete, but, at its heart, the last great race is a unique competition that captures the

What Do Smart Zombies Want? Apps For Better Brains!

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I’m not sure what kind of geeky conversations go on in your households, but a common lament in my house is the lack of quality zombie apps on the market. Rather than listening to this diatribe yet again, I suggested that my son write it all down. Here’s his take on the state of the zombie app market, along with his idea of the perfect

There’s No Such Thing as Girls’ Toys and Boys’ Toys

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We’ve had a lot to say about princesses, Disney-style and otherwise, during this past week. Our relationship to princesses is as much about our personal identities as it is about the social messages about princesses that come from both popular culture and corporations. Throughout it all, I think the essential question that nags at us is this:  What does it mean to be a girl?

How Stephen King Taught Me Percentile Rank and the Normal Curve

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I was driving my ’58 Plymouth Fury on a long trip out of Boulder, Colorado to a strange town in Maine, when I stopped at a hotel along the way for a needed caffeine boost. A man in glasses and a way with words came over and asked, “So, what do you know about percentile rank and the normal curve?”  It was strange for a

Holiday Air Travel: Getting Yourself and Your Geeklings Through the New TSA Procedures

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*Note: Use discretion when clicking the links to read the discussion and viewing images produced by the TSA scanners as some material is inappropriate for children. As a frequently flying GeekMom, I’ve flown under the old and new guidelines, had my very first aggressive pat down, and learned a few things through the friendly and not-so-friendly skies as a business and leisure traveler, a domestic