My two daughters think of me as some kind of novelty-producing machine. I'm expected to perform on demand when they ask for stories about my childhood (which must be "creepy, interesting, and real" or they don't count), magic tricks, or a "show" involving mouth sounds, finger-snapping, and expenditure of many calories on my part.
Lately, I've been scraping the bottom of the barrel for material. I've resorted to recycling stories to tell my three-year-old and challenging my nine-year-old to solve the "three houses, three utilities" problem. (She's going to be mad when she finds out it can't be done.)
I found Be the Coolest Dad on the Block just in time. Subtitled "All of the Tricks, Games, Puzzles and Jokes You Need to Impress Your Kids (and keep them entertained for years to come!)," this book is filled with stuff that has delighted my kids. The authors manage to cram an awful lot of great ideas into 186-pages. There are things to make, like bows and arrow, fire-starting kits, garbage bag kites, and instructions for making animated movies with Lego bricks. There are games to play on in cars and on plane rides and answers to questions like "Why is the sky blue?" and "Why is the sea salty?" I like the list of "misconceptions" the authors encourage you to share with your kids ("There's a parallel universe on the other side of mirrors where people exactly like us do exactly the same things.")
The first thing we did was make a duck call out of a drinking straw. We then modified it by poking holes in the straw so we could vary the pitch. My nine-year-old loves the "quick-fire puzzles" (Example: A man buys several loaves of bread at $1 a loaf and sells them at 25 cents a loaf. He does it again and again. Entirely as a result of this, he becomes a millionaire. How? ). I make her guess for a few minutes before giving her the answer (I'm not going to give you the answer, either).
I hope they come out with a follow-up book soon.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]