Word Nerd: Flushing Out


Today’s Word Nerd is one of those cases where two very similar phrases exist, and because of being misheard, the wrong one gets used. Yes, it’s a mondegreen. Like “for all intensive purposes” or “all the sudden” (and please don’t ever say either of those), “flush out” crops up where it makes no sense, due to people having misheard “flesh out.” Continue reading

The Curiosity Cycle: Keep Your Kids Learning and Growing

Image: Mugan Publishing

One of our jobs as parents is to keep our kids learning, keeping them curious about the world and
adapting to changes in society. This is actually not difficult to do, but it does take effort, and
learning about how kids learn is extremely helpful for this task. The Curiosity Cycle will help you accomplish this. Continue reading

“Hawkeye, World’s Worst Archer” – The Rest of the Story


Back in March of 2012, when GeekDad was still part of Wired, I wrote an article about Hawkeye’s actual archery ability as seen in the trailers and publicity photos for the Avengers. The article got a lot of page-views, and I heard from some readers; I got some nice emails from people who liked it, a few from people who wanted to argue some of my points, and one hilarious message full of invective and profanity from somebody who was outraged that I would malign his favorite superhero. Recently I got an email from somebody who read it and had a different reaction. Since it is the nicest response I’ve ever received from anything I’ve ever written, I thought I would share it with you (with the author’s permission, of course). Continue reading

How to Bring Deadly Poison into the Classroom

Design: Rick Pinchera, Copyright WGBH 2014

Much as I’ve been writing here about other people, I also make stuff for kids so I’m sharing one of those projects today. I just produced a digital graphic novel, Tales from the Poisoner’s Handbook. It’s an adaptation of Deborah Blum’s book about poison that WGBH recently turned into an American Experience film. In other words, it’s a comic of the film of the book, and this version is designed to engage teenagers in forensic chemistry. Continue reading

Linear Explanations Make You Your Child’s Oracle of Information


The quality of the explanations you offer to your children will influence their perception of your credibility. Not only that, but your explanations will influence how likely your kids are to ask you for explanations in the future. Continue reading

How to Trick a Child Into Playing the Violin (or Other Boring Things)


In this age of Candy Crush and YouTube fail compilations, science shows how to encourage a 7-year-old to stick with his violin teacher’s insistence on months spent perfecting the perfect hand and bow position (and other boring things). Continue reading

Creativity in the Membrane, Creativity in the Brain


Researcher: “Cultivation of the basic personality features of openness to experience in children and adolescents may increase an individual’s trait creativity and, thereby, facilitate divergent thinking and creative achievement.” Continue reading