About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Lessonface Personalizes Music Lessons Online

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I recently had the opportunity to try out the music lesson service, Lessonface. It connects musicians and musician-hopefuls with the right instructor, matching instrument, teaching style, price, availability, and skill level. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Study the History and Science of ‘Time and Navigation’

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This book is a rich companion piece to a current exhibition of the same name at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

‘Weatherboy’ Is a Touching Story About Being Who You Are

Image: Clavis Books

Sometimes we get lucky and we find a picture book that can speak even more to adults than it can to children. ‘Weatherboy’ is one of those books. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

What We Learned Today: 10 Things About Greenland

The capital city of Nuuk. Photo: Public Domain

Greenland? Isn’t that place green? Or cold? Or something? What’s up with Greenland anyway? So glad you asked. Practically at the North Pole, Greenland is on my “someday” list of places to visit. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Try Pictli for Printing, Framing, and Sending Photos (20% off Code!)

Orange tissue paper and a personalized note. Photo: Jenny Bristol

We all love to send printed photos of our kids and ourselves to our parents, or our grandparents. Why not make it easy? Pictli is an online service that will do all of that for you. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Bristol Banter #3: Cactus

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Bristol Banter is a geeky conversational podcast. Rory and Jenny Bristol discuss a new theme each week, with sections including “Did You Know?” and “Obscure Awesome Trivia” (OAT). Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Microsoft Facilitates Computer Science Education in High Schools Through Volunteers

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Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative for education has many, many branches, but one of the most interesting to me is the TEALS program, which helps high schools be able to offer computer science classes. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Make Incredible Machines With ‘Contraption Maker’ From Spotkin

Screenshot: Jenny Bristol. Graphics: Spotkin

After the disappearance of ‘The Incredible Machine,’ I’ve been on the lookout for a worthy successor. I have found it! Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Adlens Brings Adjustable Prescriptions to Computer Eyewear

Photo: Adlens

Adlens makes the Adlens Interface, adjustable eyewear that covers a pretty wide range of prescriptions, from -6D to +3D. Each lens is independently adjustable, so it’s great for those with eyes with different needs. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

2015 Mensa Select Games Announced

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Every year, members of American Mensa gather for a long spring weekend of tabletop gaming at an event called Mensa Mind Games. And every year, at the end of the weekend, the participants vote for the top games they played. Votes are quickly tallied, with the top five games declared Mensa Select games for that year. They are allowed to carry the Mensa Select seal, and are generally fantastic games. Here are the winners for 2015. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Use Sugru for Spring Cleaning Repairs and Summer Projects

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The school year is almost over for some of us, and it’s time for spring cleaning and summer activities. Something that can go well with both of those activities is Sugru. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Bristol Banter #2: Libraries

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Episode number 2 of Bristol Banter brings lengthy discussion by GeekDad Rory and GeekMom Jenny on libraries, including the Library of Congress, the Library of Alexandria, Andrew Carnegie, and a tangent about ‘Doctor Who.’ Find out the answer to last episode’s trivia question, and take a guess at the one in this episode! Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Review: ‘Paris in 3D: In the Belle Époque’

Image: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.

Bruno Fuligni has put together this collection, highlighting a time in which there was peace and people thrived. This allowed for innovation in art, fashion, food, architecture, and music. Paris was the place to be. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Make Wearable Art With Klutz’s ‘Shrink & Link Jewelry’

Image: Klutz

I know I’m not the only one who has very fond memories of making things out of Shrinky Dinks as a kid. I recall only the pre-patterned pieces, though, themed for whatever was big at the time. There were so many. ‘Peanuts,’ ‘Garfield,’ ‘Smurfs,’ even ‘Mork & Mindy’ and ‘Buck Rogers.’ It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found plain sheets of the shrink plastic—even though they did exist when I was kid—but I was at a loss for what to draw on them. I needed ideas for projects. Still do. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

‘Tiny Stitches’ Gets Your Kids Crafting

Here's my attempt at one of the projects in the book. I think it turned out well. Photo: Jenny Bristol

Embroidery is a great project for kids because they can make it how they like, following a pattern, drawing their own design, or making it up as they go. It’s also incredibly portable, needing only fabric, embroidery hoop, needle, embroidery floss, and scissors to do basic projects. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

‘Star Wars: Epic Yarns’ Retells the Original Trilogy in Soft Detail

Images: Chronicle Books

This trilogy of board books for beginning word learners is filled with spreads of painstakingly-made photos on one side and single words on the other. Meant to teach some basic words to young children in a fun way, the books also retell each story of the original trilogy in a minimalist style. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

‘Darth Vader and Friends’ Is a Fresh Take on The Rebels vs. The Empire

Image: Chronicle Books

Not restricted to the original trilogy, this new book from Jeffrey Brown, ‘Darth Vader and Friends,’ takes a lighthearted look at the Star Wars universe. With Darth Vader looking out for his kids, Luke and Leia, everywhere from Mos Eisley to the Cloud City provides a fresh context. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Bristol Banter #1: Firsts

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Bristol Banter is a geeky conversational podcast. Rory and Jenny Bristol discuss a new theme each week, with sections including “Did You Know?” and “Obscure Awesome Trivia” (OAT). Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Summer Camp for Gamers: The Game Experience, Part 2 — Personal Development

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The Game Experience is a fantastic way for each participant to find their path and reach their potential in the field of game design. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Traveling for Tea Towels

This is not the tea towel that I got in Ireland, but if I'd seen it, you better believe I would have gotten it. Image: shop.bbc.com

Begin collecting a useful souvenir when you travel. Pass up the figurines and go in search of tea towels! Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Fun With History: The Bayeux Tapestry

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The Bayeux Tapestry is an important piece of history, and now you can make your own virtual collage in the same style. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Review: Kidz Gear Headphones With Mic

Image: Kidz Gear

If your kids aren’t just listening, but are also learning and creating with their devices in such a way that requires them to speak, they will need headphones that can do the complete job. But you’ll still want to protect their young ears from loud volumes. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Kickstarter: Kids Imagination Furniture by The Cardboard Guys

Image: The Cardboard Guys

Extremely sturdy cardboard furniture that your kids can help build and they can decorate themselves. What’s not to love? Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Show Off Your Love of Books With an Olde Book Messenger Bag

Image: ThinkGeek

This was one of those products that screamed, “You must have me!” I’d never seen anything like it. A book bag. Shaped like a book. In which you can carry books. (And your laptop.) Pretty meta, and also very cool. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Study and Dream With ‘American Homes’

Image: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers

The new book ‘American Homes: The Landmark Illustrated Encyclopedia of Domestic Architecture’ is a feast for the eyes and the brain. It is filled with over 1,000 illustrations, home elevations, and floor plans. There are dozens of home styles, ranging from the Longhouse to the Saltbox to the German Colonial to the A-Frame to the Passive Solar. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Staples Offers Up Quality Goods

Image: Staples

There have been a lot of changes and shake-ups recently in the office supply market. How do the products at Staples fare? I recently got to test a few. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

‘This Is…’ Art

Image: Laurence King Publishing

Art history need not be dry and boring. Homeschoolers and autodidacts alike have some marvelous resources at their fingertips. Gone are the days when one needed a guided tour of a museum or a thick coffee table book from the library to dig deeply into an artist’s works and life. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Play With Science in ‘LEGO Chain Reactions’

Image: Klutz

Think Rube Goldberg devices, but with LEGO. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

These Audio-Technica Earbuds Will Actually Stay in Place

The earbuds come in a variety of colors. Image: Audio-Technica

A lot of one-size-fits-all earbuds just won’t stay in place. Even the ones with interchangeable tips can sometimes wobble themselves out, depending on your activity. But you don’t need to move up to on-ear or over-the-ear headphones just to make sure they stay put. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Scoot Around on Your Xootr

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I never jumped on the Razor scooter bandwagon a few years ago. I’m definitely late to the scooter party. But now I think I’m spoiled against all other scooters. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

The Fun Versatility of Pentominoes

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If you have a kid who likes to fiddle, make patterns, or solve puzzles, get them a set of pentominoes. Pentominoes aren’t expensive and can engage kids (and adult) for hours. A quality set will last a lifetime. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

‘The World’s Great Wonders’ Explains the Planet’s Masterpieces

Image: Lonely Planet

If you’re looking for some fantastic background information on the world’s incredible sites and sights, Lonely Planet has another quality book that will teach you the wheres, whens, whys, and hows of 50 of them. Continue reading

About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.