Man vs. Machine: Ping Pong Champ Wins One for Humanity

Man vs. Machine: Ping Pong Champ Wins One for Humanity

There is heartening news for pro-humanity partisans. In at least one field of endeavor, human beings still reign supreme over our would-be robot overlords. A human ping pong champion has triumphed over an agile robot. But how long will it be before robots surpass us in every field, and what sort of world will that create for our grandkids? Read More

Finding Time for Creative Outlets When You Don’t Have Time for Anything

Finding Time for Creative Outlets When You Don’t Have Time for Anything

It has been my observation that most people need some form of creative outlet to avoid becoming angst-filled despondent misanthropes. I keep sane by writing science fiction and the occasional GeekDad post. There is something in the human spirit that demands an outlet. We need to create, to imagine, to leave some record of our thoughts and interests, and when we are thwarted in that goal it creates a destructive pressure that comes out in equally destructive ways. But how do you find time to be creative when you’re a working a parent and almost every waking moment of your life (and then some) is accounted for? Read More

Have Superheroes in Pop Culture Become Too Much of a Good Thing?

Have Superheroes in Pop Culture Become Too Much of a Good Thing?

Superheroes are everywhere these days. This is true even in the adult world, but for children they are ubiquitous. You can’t swing a cat in a Baby GAP or Toys”R”Us, without hitting a Batman onesie, Ironman lunch box, or Superman Mr. Potato Head. All of this has led me, a devoted comic book fan since I was old enough to read, to ask a previously unthinkable question. Have superheroes become too big a big a part of the popular culture? Read More

Is Screen Time Bad for Children?

Is Screen Time Bad for Children?

On October 28, 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new recommendations calling on parents to severely limit the time their children spend in front of a screen. These recommendations arise from studies that have largely debunked the myth of “educational” media, especially for children under 2 years of age, and show even in older children a correlation between total hours of screen time and childhood obesity, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression and other behavior issues. As a geek that has spent many happy hours in front of various screens, I don’t want to believe that exposing my child to many of the things I love could be harmful. But as a dad I have to seriously consider the possibility. Read More

Kickass 2 Review

Kickass 2 Review

I watched Kickass 2 last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. But at the same time I was genuinely horrified to see that several people brought small children the show. One thing I’ve learned about becoming a geek dad, as opposed to merely a geek, is that you find yourself suddenly ambivalent about things you would never worry about for yourself. So I present to you a somewhat schizophrenic review, in which I take both the pro and the con view. Read More

Is James Bond a Good Role Model?

Is James Bond a Good Role Model?

With the recent birth of my son I’ve spent a lot of evenings staying up late with the baby in an effort to give my over-burdened wife a few uninterrupted hours of sleep. I find it virtually impossible to actually concentrate on anything else amidst the effort of soothing and tending to an infant. But I’ve found that I can manage to watch a movie, so long as I make liberal use of the pause feature. Thus it seemed the perfect time to work my way through the complete 50 Years of Bond Blu-ray collection that my wife got me for last birthday. I enjoyed the films as always, but found myself asking for the first time a question that never occurred to me before I became a father. Is James Bond a good role model? Read More

Review: Man of Steel Novelization

have generally found that novelizations are the exception to the general rule that novels are better than movies. Where a movie screenplay is the original source material, the novel can feel thin and hurried–lacking in the depth of thought and characterization that goes into good original novels. Thus when I was asked to review the Man of Steel novelization, I agreed with low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. Read More

Review: Ender’s Game Prequels Earth Unaware, Earth Afire

Review: Ender’s Game Prequels Earth Unaware, Earth Afire

Ender’s Game appears on every serious list of the best science fiction novels ever written, and with good reason. It is a deeply personal coming of age story that somehow puts you believably in the mind of a child chosen to be Earth’s greatest hope against a seemingly unstoppable alien menace. With the upcoming Ender’s Game movie I have a renewed interest in the Enderverse, and was excited to pick up Earth Unaware and Earth Afire, the first two books in a prequel trilogy that finally tells the story of the first Formic War. Spoilers follow. Read More