If you are anything like me, you are completely stoked about the release of Jurassic World this Friday, June 12. Whether you want to see it in Real D 3D, IMAX 3D, or just as a regular film (they still show those, right?), viewers are sure to get plenty of thrills and dinosaur chills. Chris Pratt! Trained velociraptors! And more ginormous dinos than you can sink your teeth into.
In order to help celebrate the release of Jurassic World, we are holding a giveaway for one of the only things I might get more geeked out about than dinosaurs. Lego! That’s right, one winner will receive a Jurassic World Lego prize bundle with three Lego sets, valued at $90. The play sets feature the Jurassic helicopter with net shooter, T. rex Chaser with its big cage, ACU Transport with scientific equipment, Jurassic off-roader, Raptor pen, and more (may vary).
So click on the Rafflecopter entry form and find out how you can enter!
Jurassic World – The Park Opens June 12
In Theaters, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D
Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World. Colin Trevorrow directs the epic action-adventure based on characters created by Michael Crichton. The screenplay is by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly & Trevorrow, and the story is by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley join the team as producers.
Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, and Irrfan Khan
Visit Jurassic World on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr! And follow the #JurassicWorld hashtag on Twitter to keep up with the exciting movie news.
Rules and disclaimer: Open to US only. Prize pack supplied by Universal Pictures/Jurassic World. GeekMom received one prize pack for personal use.
I’ve reviewed several products from Scottevest, including their Travel Vest for Women, their Ultimate Microfleece Hoodie, and their Blackout Pockets. Most recently, I’ve been able to put their Q.U.E.S.T. Vest for Women through its paces. As part of the company’s new campaign, “What’s in your Scottevest?”, they asked me to make a video of what is in my Scottevest. After much personal freak-out time, I went ahead and made a video. It is tucked away with other blog-type folks on the YouTube channel that Scottevest put together for this campaign, so you can see me talk about what’s in my Scottevest pockets along side such people as Chris Pirillo, Johnny Jet, and even my dear Rory, who made a video in the name of GeekDad.
What’s the purpose of this campaign, you ask? Is it merely for famous (and not so famous) sorts to show off their clothing? Nope. It is to set an example for the rest of you to submit your own video, showing off what you keep in your Scottevest. Submit a video to the Scottevest website and you can win a $1,111 Scottevest shopping spree. You will have no problem spending all of that money on their site, believe me. They have so many great clothing options, including accessories and underthings. There will also be second and third place winners, along with some runner-ups.
Since I can’t win, however, I want one (or more) of our readers to win. So if you love your Scottevest clothes, or were thinking about ordering some, make a video and show off your carrying capacity! The What’s In Your Scottevest contest ends July 3, 2014, so get filming!
Check out the Scottevest website for full contest rules and to see what products they currently offer. Every product of theirs that I’ve gotten my hands on I have adored. I am sure you will feel the same.
Note: I have received products for the purposes of reviews.
Here at GeekMom we’ve had some spirited behind-the-scenes debates on whether or not Barbie’s unrealistic dimensions affect a little girl’s self-image. Some, like me, wonder if women’s tendency toward perfectionism isn’t perhaps the result of the barrage of idealized feminine images children receive through their toys and the media. Others at the blog take a softer approach, claiming, “I played with Barbies as a kid and I turned out happy and confident.”
What we have agreed upon, though, is that Arklu’s Lottie Dolls are wonderful toys—many of us have bought them for our children or for friends. Whether you appreciate the fact that Lottie has a “childlike” body (she doesn’t wear makeup, jewelry, or high heels either), or just enjoy her for her hobbies (including robotics, ballet, karate) and accessories (puppies, picnic baskets, pirate queen ensembles), there is no getting around the fact that this is a fun, well-constructed, charmingly-conceived toy. Also: affordable.
And now, as it turns out, your family could win the entire Lottie collection—dolls, accessories, clothing, and animal friends. Lottie Dolls is teaming up with the non-profit organization “Brave Girls Want” to launch a global competition to get kids aged 10 and under to design a superhero outfit—the first “crowdsourced doll outfit design by a child” for the Lottie™ doll.
With the release of a whole slew of superhero movies on the way, we know that there is an acknowledged lack of strong female superheroes out there, so this is why we thought a competition and campaign with the message that girls can be superheroes too is very much needed.
Want to enter the contest? Here are the details…
One lucky child will see their superhero outfit design manufactured and made commercially available in Autumn 2014.
The winning child will see their original artwork design, first name, age, city, and country on the back of the outfit packaging.
The winning child will also win the entire range of Lottie dolls, accessories, and outfits.
How to enter:
Parents: Go to the Superhero Contest app on the Lottie Facebook page; like the page and download and print out the Superhero Outfit Design template.
Kids: Start coloring and create a superhero outfit design for Lottie.
Parents: Take a photo of your child’s design and upload it on the Lottie Facebook app, and fill in a form to allow your child to enter.
Terms and Conditions:
Competition open to kids aged 10 and under only.
Parental permission required to enter the competition.
Competition closing date 7th May 2014.
A winner will be selected by jury and confidentially notified in May 2014.
PS: A selection of entries is shown on Pinterest—and if you have ever enjoyed the company of a little person with a vivid imagination you will need to immediately head over there and check out some of the superpowers that the contestants have imagined for Lottie:
“She can touch animals wounds and they go away. She shoots bandages over their wounds.”
“She can fly into whirlwinds in air and water. She can make rainbows.”
“She shoots love hearts from her hands to make sick children better.”
“Her cape shoots out [watermelon] seeds to grow for all the children [so that they] never go hungry again. No one will ever die from hunger or thirst again!”
“She can fly with her jet pack and protect dinosaurs.”
“She shoots rainbow colored hearts from her hands. When she hits a villain it makes them turn nice/good instantly. If she was real there would be no wars.”
I just watched an entertaining video about congenital anosmia, the inability to smell. It was the winning video submitted to BrainFacts.org in their annual Brain Awareness Video Contest. You can check out all of the top videos there, plus submit your own for next year’s challenge. Getting people to watch these videos shows how amazing and complex our brain is, and how even the smallest problem can have large effects, as well as bringing awareness to little-known conditions so people can empathize, or get the help they need. For example, in the smell-less video, people without this sense need to be extra careful about cooking dangers.
The best way to learn about something is to do a creative project around it. So consider entering for next year! This could be for a biology class, or a family activity to explore a condition of someone you know.
To celebrate the arrival of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in theaters December 14th, Lego is releasing the first installment of The Hobbit to a board game aisle near you. The board game looks really neat and in true lego fashion, you have to build the dice and board game yourself.
The story of the game revolves around the plot of the movie…with hints from from Gandalf the Grey, you must use your memory skills to find the missing Dwarves who have gotten lost in the Middle Earth. For a harder challenge, you can transform the game while playing.
Starting today, fans have a chance to roll a virtual dice for the chance to win prizes, including a grand prize package featuring the new board game, Lego The Hobbit construction sets, Lego Games’ “Host a Family Game” kit and two movie ticket vouchers to see the movie in theaters. The winner will be announced on December 14th.
Hopefully sometime soon, I will have a chance to check out The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for myself, but until then, head over to Lego Games’ Facebook page for a chance to win some prizes.
Monster’s Lullaby, composed and performed by our own GeekMom Rebecca Angel, begs to be immortalized in video. Rebecca’s sweet voice provides a perfect contrast to the hysterically vivid lyrics. We gleefully note they include being boiled in soup and dragged by a disembodied arm.
This contest is open to all sorts of video treatment, from kids holding up a series of photos they’ve crayoned to parents dancing in zombie costumes to stop motion animation. Or whatever twisted cleverness the song inspires.
(Contest is over)
You have a month to polish your entry in one of three categories:
Youth ages 11-18.
Junior ages 10 and under
The deadline is April 21, 2012.
Your prize is the thrill, of course, of winning the First GeekMom Video Challenge. But we’re throwing in a few perks too. We’ll cross post the winning video on Wired.com. And we’ll send you some swag you didn’t know you needed (including Rebecca’s CD!).
Check out our rules below, listen to the song, and let inspiration scream on camera!
Create a video to accompany the tune composed and performed by GeekMom Rebecca Angel, Monster’s Lullaby.
Upload your video to YouTube. Your tags must include “GeekMom video challenge,” “Monster’s Lullaby,” and “Rebecca Angel.”
Officially enter the GeekMom Video Challenge by adding your video URL on this GeekMom post as a comment. In the comment you must also note your video title and the category you are entering: Adult, Youth 11-18, Junior 10 and under.
Submissions need to be your own and you must have rights to use all content within them.
GeekMom is a family-friendly site. Videos deemed too violent or rude will be disqualified by a Panel of Easily Offended Experts.
The second annual RootsTech Developers Challenge will award $5,000 to the developer who creates the best ancestry research application using available APIs. The deadline to apply is December 17, 2011 January 1, 2012, so hurry! Once you apply, your entry must be submitted on or before January 15, 2012. The winning entry will be announced at the RootsTech 2012 conference, which will be held February 2-4, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Here’s more information about the contest:
Your contest entry will be judged on five criteria by a panel of judges. Each criteria will be weighted equally. This panel will select the top six entries as finalists. Finalists will be judged using a mix of public voting (20%) and a judging panel.
– Finish & Polish: Is the application easy-to-use and aesthetically appealing?
– Effective Solution: Does the application provide an effective solution to a real problem?
– Market Value: How large is the population the app will serve? How vital is the problem it is trying to solve?
– Originality of Concept: Is the application unique or innovative?
– Business Viability: How likely is the application to earn broad adoption and satisfy customer needs?
You can still attend RootsTech 2012, though, even if you aren’t a programmer. They are holding plenty of hands-on workshops and interactive classes and panels, and you can meet with others in the genealogy industry. Check out the RootsTech website for more information. Developers who register before January 30, 2012 can receive a special discounted price to attend, saving $60 off the admission price using code Tech129.
I was pleased to have received a sampling of Hasbro’s latest addition to the building-brick genre: KRE-O Transformers. We received a Bumblebee 75-piece set and Kreon minifigure in mid-October, both of which my youngest son immediately helped himself.
This set doesn’t pretend to be any better or different than that other plastic brick company’s product. In fact, there’s even an emblem on the front of the box declaring these bricks fully compatible with other brands’ building bricks.
My youngest son (age six and a half) wasted no time assembling the robot variation of this set. The directions and my son’s fine motor skills for assembling the robot were what I expected, very similar to Lego. He’s able to do about 90% of the tasks, mostly asking for help in separating particularly stubborn bricks. He didn’t fail to point out that the set is “just like Lego”, and wondered “Why isn’t this Lego?”
This is the point where we all expected that you can flip, twist and rotate the robot and voila! You’d have a car! But this is not the case. To go from the robot to the vehicle, you have to disassemble everything and start from scratch with a separate set of directions. Definitely not what we expected for Transformers! Both the kids and the parents were disappointed in this, but our son took it in stride.
It didn’t take long for my youngest son to convert Bumblebee into the vehicle.
The 75-piece KRE-O Transformers Bumblebee kit retails for about $7.99 and can be found at major toy retailers. There is also a 325-piece kit that retails for $19.99. KRE-O kits are also available as Optimus Prime, Starscream, Megatron, and Sentinal Prime.
We also received a free “Kreon” minifigure sample. The larger kits include these Kreon figures:
GeekMom is pleased to pass along two promotional events that Hasbro is sponsoring if you are interested in purchasing KRE-O products for your loved ones this holiday season.
First, you can visit this link at Coupons.com, view a short promotional video and download a coupon worth $5 off any $20 KRE-O purchase (through 27 November).
Secondly, Hasbro’s KRE-O website is sponsoring a Great Brick Giveaway, where they’re giving away one KRE-O brick set per hour, 7 days per week, from now through December 9th. That’s over 1000 KRE-O sets, and all you have to do is visit their website and play the game! (Login is required).
Note: The KRE-O Bumblebee and Kreon minifigure were provided free of charge for review purposes.
If you’re an uber-LEGO Geek, you probably know that MOC stands for My Own Creation. For those less obsessed than my son uninitiated in LEGO speak, when you use your imagination to build a LEGO creation from scratch (like you’d learn to do with the LEGO Master Builder Academy) it’s considered a MOC.
Hosted by MOCPages, the 2011 MOC Olympics kicks off in September and will span the course of three months as adult and youth builders go head-to-head in seven different elimination rounds. If you want to try your hand at out-creating another LEGO fan, you’ll need to be a member of MOCPages (it’s free) and sign up for the MOC Olympics group. Last year’s entries are pretty impressive!
My oldest son, age 8, read the book VERY quickly (he’s a relatively slow, but thorough, reader), and really enjoyed it.
Like Pilkey’s other books in the series, the author is portraying two fourth-graders named George Beard and Harold Hutchins. The kids appear to be the ones authoring the stories and drawing the comics. Even though the earlier books claim the author is Dav Pilkey right on the front cover, his most recent books don’t show his name on the covers anywhere. You have to look at the copyright page to see Pilkey’s name now.
Caution: Toilet talk-laden spoiler alert!
In the first story in the series, The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby (2002), the hero’s origins were covered. Diaper Baby, named “Billy,” got his powers from birth; he was accidentally dropped into a cup of “Super Juice” right when he was born. Billy and his sidekick Diaper Dog saved the community from an evil…um…piece of poop. The story is complete with a Captain Underpants crossover, which made it very appealing to my sons. Meanwhile, I was reminded of South Park’s Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo while reading the story.
In the next installment, George and Harold were in trouble with their school principal for writing the first adventure, so they attempted a new set of stories. Since the first book was about evil, um, poop…you can guess what this book is about.
That’s right –pee! A new evil villain emerges — evil Dr. Dinkle. He invented a machine that turns solids into water (so that he can liquefy banks to rob them), and the machine was accidentally turned on the villain, turning him into water. His cat then drank the Dr. Dinkle-turned-water and went potty. So this evil villain tries to conquer the world as a puddle of pee…along with his cat who operates a super cat-robot. He destroys all the toilets in the community and convinces everyone to buy his (stolen) diapers. Super Diaper Baby and Diaper Dog use their super physical and mental powers to conquer the cat, the cat robot and eventually the puddle of pee.
I asked my son some questions about his impressions of Super Diaper Baby 2. Here are his answers. He’s a pretty no-nonsense kid and usually won’t say anything more than what’s asked of him:
GeekMom: What was the story about?
Geekling: A bad guy named Dr. Dinkle who made a machine that was supposed to turn anything into water. But his cat accidentally aimed the machine at Dr. Dinkle, and the bad guy himself turned into water and then he tried to take over the world. Then he was able to rob banks. He slid under vaults as water and took the money. One day his thirsty cat slurped up Dr. Dinkle when he was water, then the cat went potty and Dr. Dinkle turned into pee. Even though he was pee, he invented a robot to destroy toilets so people would have to wear diapers…Dr. Dinkle would sell diapers to everyone and make more money.
Super Diaper Baby is a baby boy who accidentally drank super power juice and then he got super powers and he was able to fly. He saved the day.
GeekMom: What did Super Diaper Baby have to do to get rid of the bad guy?
Geekling: He had to destroy the bad guy’s cat who was controlling the robot. The robot was crushing toilets. Because all the diapers were being crushed, people had to go potty in their pools and had to wear diapers.
GeekMom: How did this book compare to the other Dav Pilkey books you’ve read, such as the earlier Captain Underpants stories and Ook and Gluk?
Geekling: I liked them the same. They’re cool.
GeekMom: What was your favorite part of the story?
Geekling: When the bad guy’s cat went crazy for catnip, which is how the robot got destroyed. The cat said “I’m kookoo for kitty nip” and made the robot bounce around and eventually break. That’s how it got broken.
Sounds really gross, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Combine that with fourth-grader-quality comic art and the elementary-aged grammar and spelling and you have one of the hottest books of the year for elementary-school aged boys.
My youngest son (age 6) was hovering around my 8-year-old waiting for the book to come available. They were fighting over whose bedroom the books would reside in after they were read! They laughed and discussed the stories as if they were attending a book club. They are awe-struck with how strong Super Diaper Baby is, and they love his trusty sidekick too.
In summary, even though I was pretty grossed out by the potty humor, I can’t argue with anything that captures my sons’ attention and imagination as well as Dav Pilkey’s books have. Even if I attempted to ban the language and discussion, it’d be a futile effort. I have sons, it’s what they talk about. And like Kris’ sons, they ventured out into other genres: my oldest son is now enjoying the Great Illustrated Classics series and is currently working on Around the World in 80 Days!
Scholastic has graciously offered Super Diaper Baby gift packs to TWO of our readers! The prize packs include:
Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers
PLUS the first book! The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby
Super Diaper Baby Ruler
All you have to do is leave a comment at the bottom of this post by MIDNIGHT Sunday, July 10th about your kids’ favorite book(s). We’ll choose TWO winners at random from all the entries received.
Congratulations to Beth (who loved Yoda), Shannon (who voted for Boba Fett), Wendy (who adores Leia), Karen L (who ogles Obi-Wan), and Lisa (who fancies Han Solo). We had so many great entrants and enthusiasts. I will be emailing the winners later today with confirmation.
Each of our winners receives an autographed copy ofFantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks! Congrats to all, and thanks for all the entries. Such a creative bunch of readers…
If you see your name on the winner’s list, feel free to email me at natania at geek mom (dot) com with your address and other relevant information (like, who you want the book signed to). I’ll also be emailing the winners later tomorrow, just in case!
Congrats to: Elliot, Nathan Stevens, Natalie Jones, Len White, and Mike Maxwell! You can read the winning poems after the break.
Twas late in the shire
the young hobbit appeared,
Perhaps he was inspired
for none knew whence he was reared.
He gazed all around,
at sights familiar yet strange;
Then he made for high ground
to get a feel for this range.
The word made him feel stranger.
He attuned with a thrum,
He was… a ranger!
Lithely climbing a cliff face,
His eyes could see far and clear;
His feet descended in a race,
A village was near.
Past hobbit holes in the ground.
His luck was improving
He found a source of light and sound.
A tavern! A tavern!
A place to start and end tales.
He entered and drank in
Smells of wood, bread, and ales.
Sipping and supping
By the hot roaring fire,
He removed his hood
He had begun to perspire.
A table away
whispers stopped and eyes stared.
Then someone had their say;
the others turned and glared.
That someone left the rest,
He was a warrior and a dwarf;
He said, “we need a twelfth for our quest.
Are you Ethan Gilsdorf?”
(George Lucas is going in my Axis of Evil…)
There once was a galaxy far, far away
Where sunsets were binary, Jawas would play
The story was epic and struck all the notes
Pulling on heartstrings and winning my vote
It told of a Jedi: young, noble and brave
Who fought with the rebels. Their chances were grave…
A trio of Lord of the Rings haikus:
Samwise and Frodo:
You think they’re about to kiss,
But they never do.
Do you think Sauron
Would have ever found the Ring
If he’d had Facebook?
In my opinion,
The Fellowship of the Ring
Should have bought cell phones.
Your shape confounds me.
Subtle and simple and slothful.
Errol Otus feared you as I do.
His art wasn’t as good as the other guys’.
This is the story of Ethan Gilsdorf
Into a gaming geek he did morph
Away he did stray
But came back to stay
Wrote a book and published it forth
Now geeks, rejoice! We now have a voice
Be he an elf or a man or a dwarf
The fantasy freaks shall inherit the earth
So revel now in unbridled mirth
For the story of Ethan Gilsdorf!
We’ve got some great poems entered in our contest for a chance to win one of five copies of Ethan Gilsdorf’s book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks. And good news if you’ve not yet entered: we’re extending the deadline until this Friday, November 19th!
You can read the whole article, and interview, with Ethan here. Leave you poem in the post’s comments for a chance to win!