This year, Marziah took the leap and moved all the way across the country to a city she mostly knew from a comedy TV show. Crazy, right? Hey, better than saying she mostly knew it from Grimm.
There was no Christmas tree in our house. There were no stockings, and Santa never came down the chimney. This is how I grew up. 7% of Americans do not celebrate Christmas. That includes members of many religions (including some Christians) and other Americans for whom, for whatever reason, it’s just not a holiday.
This is a toy that teaches kids (age 10+) programming and engineering skills. It allows exploration of robotics concepts without needing to understand electrical engineering or advanced programming, but it isn’t dumbed down to the point that it becomes boring for older kids or even adults. In fact, the GeekMoms and GeekDads can’t resist a good Lego robot building challenge.
My son and I built our first Lego kit together. We’ve got tons of Lego bricks around the house. At one point, I even bought them off of eBay by the pound. My daughter and I assemble them together all the time, but adding my son to the activity was more accommodation than it was true participation. Until now.
Kansas City is actually a pretty cool place to be a maker. It’s one of a few locations of the larger “featured” Maker Faires. The other locations are Detroit, Newcastle (UK), Rome, and Tokyo. It’s still about one tenth the size of the World Maker Faire in New York, but over 10,000 attendees is still not bad. If you’re in the midwest, it’s worth the drive.
Baking can teach you a lot of things. Following directions, measuring, fractions, and even chemistry. This is a simple experiment using a basic cake/cupcake recipe that I’ve cut in half for smaller batches. We’ll make eight batches total, and in seven of them we’ll take away an ingredient. You’ll learn how all the ingredients work together to make a delicious cupcake.
It’s time for April’s block of the month in our steampunk quilt. This month we’re sailing on an airship. No worries about physics or how much weight must be at the bottom of that massive thing. I’m sure there’s a gear-driven anti-grav device powering the ship behind the scenes. And flapping those wing-fins for no apparent reason. The finished block will be 12×12 inches. That
Have you ever read a textbook cover to cover? I’m in grad school. I’ve had to do it more than once. It usually requires massive amounts of caffeine and re-reading a lot of pages. Well, there’s some good news. No Starch Press has The Manga Guide series on textbook topics, such as statistics, electricity, and molecular biology. The manga books are written by Japanese subject matter experts. They have been translated to English and (thankfully) rearranged to read from left to right.
It’s time for February’s block of the month in our GeekMom steampunk-themed quilt. t’s never too late to get started, and it’s never too late to get caught up. This month, the pattern is a steampunk staple – the hat with goggles. Whether you’re using them to go racing in experimental vehicles or weld together mad science inventions, you really can never have enough goggles.
Remember how I said that Lawrence, Kansas is a secret hub of science fiction and fantasy awesome? Meet Kij Johnson, KU’s new fantasy professor, an award-winning writer of fantastic things, and one of the people that makes the city such a great place for geeks. She’ll be at Oxford this January for the inaugural Pembroke Lecture in Fantasy Literature. Recently, I sat down with her to chat about her work, her books, grad school, and life in general.