Unboxing Star Wars and Remembering #MyStarWars Memories

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Today, ‘Star Wars: The Digital Collection’ arrives on Digital HD from Disney, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox. To celebrate, Disney sent me and my kiddos a huge box of Star Wars goodies to help us create new memories around my absolute favorite geeky obsession. Continue reading

Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance

Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy

I enjoy reading and I’m especially fond of a long read. At the risk of sounding shallow, in the olden time bookstore days, I used to browse the Sci-Fi section in search of wide spines, followed by a quick glance inside covers to verify a potential target book’s font hadn’t been boosted in size to make it look more impressive. Of course being a good book is even more important; if it’s a series, even better. Classics like Dune, Lord of the Rings and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are examples of series that satisfy all three of my preferred criteria and are on my regular rotation for re-reading every few years. I’ve just made a new addition to that collection, Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance. Continue reading

Spin Master Toys: 20 Years of Spinnovation

Copyright Spin Master

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a media event for Spin Master, the Canadian success story and one of the global leaders in the toy industry. That’s a long way to have come in just 20 years and Spin Master’s rise from a start-up selling the grass hair-sprouting Earth Buddy to a multinational children’s entertainment company with products ranging from the robotic Zoomer line to Air Hogs RC vehicles and the hit PAW Patrol animated TV series shows how quickly things can change in the industry. With its three co-founders still in leadership roles, an emphasis on innovation and a laser focus on entertaining kids, Spin Master is well positioned for further growth. Continue reading

GeekDad Puzzle of the Week Solution – Face Card Grid

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Were you able to place the 16 face cards from a standard deck in a 4×4 grid so that each row, column, and diagonal contain exactly one of each suit and rank?
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GeekDad Visits Spin Master HQ

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We at GeekDad have a long history with Spin Master, the Canadian company behind well known toy brands like Air Hogs, Ionix, Spy Gear and Meccano, licensed products for properties including Disney Pixar’s Monsters University and Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon, game apps and TV series like PAW Patrol. Going back to 2007, I was posting about flying Air Hogs with my kids, but until a few years ago I didn’t clue in to the fact that I live only a few hours from Spin Master’s headquarters. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity take advantage of this proximity, visiting Spin Master HQ, touring the facilities, demoing the latest and greatest toys and meeting the co-CEOs of the company. Continue reading

RIP Nash the Slash

Nash the Slash RIP

Sad news out of the Great White North, where one of my all-time favorite musicians and a 1980s-era Toronto icon has passed away. Nash the Slash (Jeff Plewman) gained fame for appearing onstage exclusively in a bandaged mummy get-up while playing an electric mandolin. He was 66 years old and had recently retired from performing after 35 years or so of being onstage in bandages and sunglasses — and that’s after his earlier career as part of Canadian prog-rock band FM. RIP Nash the Slash. Continue reading

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Now Available on iTunes

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Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters was one of the movies to watch for, spiked out by GeekDad’s Doug Cornelius in his Guide to This Summer’s Movies. It got a pretty stellar review from GeekMom’s Amy Kraft. You can buy it on DVD and Blu-Ray starting December 17th, but if you want to get a viewing in before Monday or you just want to skip the madness of malls and holiday shopping crowds altogether, it’s available as a digital download now on Apple’s iTunes. Continue reading

Computers, Lights and Music Put to Evil Use: Halloween Lights Show Set to The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)

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First of all, I’m sorry. I have a pair of 11 year-old boys in the house and that means I’ve heard “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” by Ylvis roughly 8 million times. It’s on when their room is being cleaned, while they’re chillaxing, when they’re tormenting their older sister, even as a soundtrack when playing Call of Duty (something very incongruous about that one). I know how painful it can be, so I apologize in advance for inflicting the song on the GeekDad readership. Still, Halloween is approaching and this home has put on a pretty impressive light show. That it’s set to “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)” is probably a big reason why it has over 1.3 million views (and counting). Once again, I’m sorry. Happy Halloween. Continue reading

World Maker Faire 2013!

Visit GeekDad at Maker Faire NY 2013

A few of us from GeekDad and GeekMom will be hanging out in Robot Row all weekend. Robots aren’t known for their conversational skills so we’d love to have you drop by say hi. We will have a few activities for the geeklets including a large HEXBUG build and gaming table. Continue reading

A 3D Printing Neophyte Spends Three Weeks With a Cube 3D Printer

3D Printer as appliance PReview

I’m one of those people who is obsessed with technology and gadgets, so it may be somewhat of a surprise that up until a month ago, I hadn’t yet dabbled in the world of 3D printers. I’m not sure why it took so long to cross paths, but I finally took the leap and spent a few weeks playing with one of the first mass-market 3D printers, 3D Systems’ Cube, a device that’s now available on store shelves at retailers like Staples. It’s easy to see 3D Systems is laser focused on the home and small business market with this device — the printer itself is designed to look like a colorful small kitchen appliance (in other words both chic and non-threatening), it’s compact, relatively easy to use and carries a $1,299 price tag. After two weeks, I believe that 3D printing is an interesting technology, but it’s still largely at the hobbyist level. The combination of cost and limitations in the technology mean 3D printing isn’t ready for prime time — yet. Continue reading

Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction Returns With Small Siege Weapons

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The third volume of Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction focuses on siege weapons from the Dark Ages. Your living room floor or cubicle will soon be under attack from catapults, crossbows and other easy-to-build models, crafted from items found in most junk drawers. Continue reading

Ryobi TEK4 AllPlay Revisited: The MP3 Player for Those Who Play Hard and Hate Charging Batteries

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I’m a bit of a gadget geek. Between my own electronics collections and writing product reviews for outlets like GeekDad, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to play with gear. With Father’s Day fast approaching, I though I’d revisit one of my favorite portable music devices — one that’s inexpensive to boot — the Ryobi TEK4 AllPlay music player. Basically, this is a ruggedized, ultra long battery life MP3 player built around a rechargeable power tool battery. There’s nothing elegant about it and it does nothing but play music, but it will do that virtually forever. I’ve had one since a 2010 review, and it continues to amaze me with its performance. Amazon’s currently got it on sale for $25 — if you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift, it’s pretty hard to beat that price. Continue reading

A Big Congratulations to GeekDad’s Ken Denmead!

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Ken Denmead invited me to join the GeekDad crew almost two years ago, and since then I’ve met him in person twice (I’m in Georgia, he’s in California), both times at Maker Faire in San Francisco. Ken was manning the GeekDad booth in May 2011 and May 2012, and it just seemed to be an appropriate venue to meet the leader of this great group of folks with which I get to work and play on a regular basis… a gathering of DIYers, makers, tinkerers, and all-around smart people. Continue reading

How to Support the New GeekDad

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By now hopefully you’re aware we’ve stepped out on our own, and out from under corporate patronage. While that’s bringing us a great deal of freedom, it’s also ended our steady funding and eliminated the SEO we had on over 14,000 previously-pubished posts. As such, the GeekDad team is working hard behind the scenes to replace what we’ve lost, and we need your help. Continue reading