A Weekend of Family Fun at the Portland Mini Maker Faire

A Weekend of Family Fun at the Portland Mini Maker Faire

The Maker Faire is, of course, a celebration of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). Improbable machines, hands-on activities, and lots of robots. I moved to Portland from the Kansas City area, where we had a large regional Maker Faire. You’d think that Portland’s smaller, Mini Maker Faire would be a bit of a… Read More

Check Out This Amazing Steampunk Quilt

Check Out This Amazing Steampunk Quilt

I can’t get over how amazing this quilt is. A while back, I started a steampunk Block of the Month quilt project. I ended the project after only six months (I still hope to finish it) but that didn’t stop Becky Prior from using the February block as part of an elaborate steampunk quilt. Read More

Cinderella 2015: A Princess in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Cinderella 2015: A Princess in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Kenneth Branagh has reinterpreted this live-action Cinderella to feel like a golden age of Hollywood classic (with English accents). Cate Blanchett’s wicked stepmother wanders around in 1940’s inspired hats with veils, pin-curled updos, bright red lips, and “mode de Paris.” The stepsisters don peter pan collars, loud prints, big curly hair, and pink, fuzzy 1950’s inspired sweater shrugs. Cinderella’s ball dress looks as if it mixed the original cartoon dress with a little Scarlett O’Hara and a lot of Swarovski crystals. Read More

Happy Chinese and a Movie

Happy Chinese and a Movie

There was no Christmas tree in our house. There were no stockings, and Santa never came down the chimney. This is how I grew up. 7% of Americans do not celebrate Christmas. That includes members of many religions (including some Christians) and other Americans for whom, for whatever reason, it’s just not a holiday. Read More

EV3 Review: The Lego Robot

EV3 Review: The Lego Robot

This is a toy that teaches kids (age 10+) programming and engineering skills. It allows exploration of robotics concepts without needing to understand electrical engineering or advanced programming, but it isn’t dumbed down to the point that it becomes boring for older kids or even adults. In fact, the GeekMoms and GeekDads can’t resist a good Lego robot building challenge. Read More

Sometimes It’s Not the Legos

Sometimes It’s Not the Legos

My son and I built our first Lego kit together. We’ve got tons of Lego bricks around the house. At one point, I even bought them off of eBay by the pound. My daughter and I assemble them together all the time, but adding my son to the activity was more accommodation than it was true participation. Until now. Read More

Don’t Miss Maker Faire Kansas City

Kansas City is actually a pretty cool place to be a maker. It’s one of a few locations of the larger “featured” Maker Faires. The other locations are Detroit, Newcastle (UK), Rome, and Tokyo. It’s still about one tenth the size of the World Maker Faire in New York, but over 10,000 attendees is still not bad. If you’re in the midwest, it’s worth the drive. Read More

April Block of the Month: Airship

April Block of the Month: Airship

It’s time for April’s block of the month in our steampunk quilt. This month we’re sailing on an airship. No worries about physics or how much weight must be at the bottom of that massive thing. I’m sure there’s a gear-driven anti-grav device powering the ship behind the scenes. And flapping those wing-fins for no… Read More

No Starch Press Manga Guides Make Science Fun

No Starch Press Manga Guides Make Science Fun

Have you ever read a textbook cover to cover? I’m in grad school. I’ve had to do it more than once. It usually requires massive amounts of caffeine and re-reading a lot of pages. Well, there’s some good news. No Starch Press has The Manga Guide series on textbook topics, such as statistics, electricity, and molecular biology. The manga books are written by Japanese subject matter experts. They have been translated to English and (thankfully) rearranged to read from left to right. Read More