Entertaining little geeks with Flickr and NASA

Geek Culture

Hullo in there! by Michael TitusHullo in there! by Michael Titus
We don’t have a television, and the geeklet doesn’t use the computer on his own yet. (This is less because of lofty morals and more because of the time taken away from playing and exploring in real life. He’ll have plenty of time to get wired when he’s older.) Still, he sees me use a computer often enough that he can’t help but be curious. There are also those times when it’s worth sitting  together and looking at something novel.

My favorite source of kid-friendly computer excitement is Flickr. It’s so very easy to search for trains or robots or tractors and get a slide show full of discussion fodder, complete with pause button. Better still, he can call out anything they think of ("dogs!") and steer the conversation on the spot. Just try doing that with a television. Even if we’re just in the mood to veg out, we can let the slideshow go on by and admire the HDR goodness.

NASA Constellation/AresNASA Constellation/Ares
Another site full of awesome images and video is NASA. Yes, they’re a government agency with style to match.  Yes, they don’t have the best track record for getting things done. But man do they take some amazing pictures and video. My geeklet never gets tired of looking at "the moon rocket", otherwise known as the Ares launch simulation video. He’s also seen Apollo archive photos, Space Shuttle launches, and Mars rover footage. We haven’t really started in on the Hubble images, but once he has a bit better grasp of astronomy…

I do wish it was easier to find photos and video on the NASA site. There are at least four different "video highlights" pages, and I’m certain there are buried gems I’d love to download if I could just find them. A site called Great Images in NASA seemed to take a step toward making that happen, but it’s still not as easy as browsing around Flickr. Perhaps the Google-NASA partnership will encourage even better interfaces, so all we have to do is sit back and enjoy the show.

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