Stack Overflow: ABCs and 123s

A Is For Awesome

Today I’ve got a few books about ABCs and 123s. Now, my two older daughters are past the stage where they need alphabet books, but some books are just fun enough that you want to keep them around. Plus, my one-year-old needs to start working on reading soon, right? Continue reading

Word Nerd: A Man of Principals

inigo

Today’s Word Nerd came about after seeing a banner promoting a local concert series; somehow, these banners, several dozen of them, were designed, approved, printed and installed all over the city without anyone ever noticing the error they contain. If you look below Michael Feinstein’s name, you’ll see the words “Principle Conductor.” It should be “Principal.” Continue reading

Create Your Own Snap-Together Plastic Models

Framed

Last week I had the opportunity to conduct a camp titled Beginning Electronics and Robot Building (BERB) to a group of 21 kids, ages 8 to 12. It went great, and I’ll be holding the camp again for another group in late July. In addition to learning some basic electronics skills (such as soldering and breadboarding), the kids also got to build a full-fledged Arduino-based robot that they took home. It was a great week, and it also gave me an opportunity to introduce the kids to some other concepts and tools, including 3D printing. Continue reading

Yet Another Reason to LOVE Sugru…

Sugru

I’m not a paid spokesman, but I sometimes feel like it! Ever since discovering Sugru so many years ago, I’ve become a devoted fan of this great little product. If you’re not familiar with it, it starts out a bit like PlayDoh — you can mold it, roll it, and even mix its basic colors (black, red, blue, yellow, white) to make more colors. But what’s cool about it is that it begins to cure… but not harden. When the curing process is complete (about 24 hours, but you have a solid 30 minutes to mold it and experiment), it not only has a rubbery feel to it, but it also pretty much sticks to anything. This means that it can not only be used to attach different materials together, but it can also be used to mold unique parts, repair broken parts, and hundreds more solutions. Continue reading

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Covers CYOA

If this post’s title doesn’t quite make sense, then you’re probably unfamiliar with the Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) book series that started a phenomenon back in the 80s for young readers. Other book series that follow its format exist (or have come and gone), but the CYOA brand, now over 30 years old, continues to find new young readers as parents discover not just reprints of the older titles on bookstore shelves but new titles as well. Continue reading

Rejected Princesses: Too Much for the Mouse

Nzinga

A former effects animator at Dreamworks, Jason Porath has created Rejected Princesses, a website devoted to notable women who are too awesome, awful, oddball or horrifying to ever appear in an animated musical. The site is not at all appropriate for children (Jason’s a bit, shall we say, blunt and colorful in his language, and some of the featured ladies are sure to raise a lot of uncomfortable questions from young readers), but several of the stories, particularly the real-life women, might serve as subjects for school assignments for high school students. Continue reading

Watch Astronauts Read Kids’ Books From Space

Max.Space

In 2010, astronomer and author Jeffrey Bennett answered a call from a number he didn’t recognize. The voice on the other end told him that astronaut Alvin Drew wanted to read one of Bennett’s books from space — Drew needed a pdf. Continue reading

GeekDad Walkthrough: Unboxing and Using a New Printrbot Metal Simple

Metal Simple

I’ve built a number of 3D printers over the last few years, and I’ve had a chance to sit down and actually use even more of them… all mix of brands and models. One of the questions I hear most often from friends and colleagues about 3D printers is “how hard are they to setup and use?”

The answer to that question depends on the printer, of course, but the amazing thing about 3D printers over the last few years is just how out-of-the-box simple some of these things have become. I thought it might be fun to actually document the unboxing and setup of a 3D printer for GeekDad readers, so that’s what I’m going to do here with the new Metal Simple from Printrbot. I’m going to shoot some photos as I unbox, unpack, setup and begin printing… and hopefully convince anyone nervous about purchasing a 3D printer (or at least the Simple) that they needn’t worry.
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