Science fiction scholar and critic Farah Mendlesohn's latest book, The Intergalactic Playground: Children and Science Fiction
is a keen-eyed, affectionate, insightful and cranky look at science fiction novels aimed at kids. Mendlesohn starts with some of the earliest kids-lit, from the thirties, and surveys all they way up to the present day, looking at how changes in work, adolescence and science education have changed the sort of work that gets published for young people.
In particular, Mendlesohn looks into the way that "extreme sport readers" -- kids who devour books at the rate of one or two a day -- have dropped out of the modern conception of how kids read (and how many of today's adult science fiction fans were that kind of reader in their childhoods). She also takes issue with the idea that books have to sneak up on kids in order to teach them things -- that kids never read fiction with the explicit goal of finding out how and why the world works -- an idea that has hammered a stake through the didactic traditions of science fiction.
Intergalactic Playground combines reader surveys, extensive literature review, and a distillation of the fights waged on kids-literature mailing lists, synthesizing them into a deep, intelligent, and engrossing read.
Jeff writes, “7 years after ‘grassroots mapping’ the BP spill when journalists were denied access, the open source community Public Lab is back with an even more accessible Do-It-Yourself way to take aerial photos: the Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits.”
The Kaonashi No-Face Piggy Bank makes the most out of one of the coolest characters in Studio Ghibli’s storied history — but getting one exported to you from Japan costs an astounding $164. (via Kadrey)
I have a feeling Donald Trump (and most of the rest of the human race) would be happier if he were starring in the sitcom suggested by this photo insteading of serving the American people as a federal bureaucrat. In actuality, it’s a photo of Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island’s teacher of the year, who said […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]