Tinker Crate is a monthly subscription service, delivering cool toys to encourage engineering-style skills in kids aged 9 to 14. Instructions are included, but they also produce slick videos like the one above to further engage little minds. Project kits include parts and diagrams to make a trebuchet in one month, and a simple motor the next.
The site doesn't list more projects than that, but since they're offering subscriptions up to 12 months, we'll just have to sign up and be surprised.
Rory The Dinosaur is a new children's picture book by cartoonist Liz Climo. This is an outgrowth of her hobby, drawing cute panel comics, but she's not quitting her day job any time soon. That's because her day job is working on storyboards for The Simpsons. Her simple, funny and cute comics made her a familiar sight online, at Reddit and Pinterest, with a little help from George Takei.
She tells me, "I started writing the book around the same time I found out I was pregnant, and finished before [my baby] was even born (then I did most of the illustrations with her chilling in a bassinet next to me). Now that I'm a mom, I relate to the story way more than I did when I wrote it. Rory's dad is following him around, wanting to let him have his independence while still making sure he's safe and taken care of - something I'm very familiar with now! I just wrapped on my second Rory book, and that one Marlow gave me a ton of inspiration for. I am definitely hoping to do more, and I think being a mom has a lot to do with that."
It's no secret that the Disney-fied versions of fairy tales that we grew up with in modern times pale in comparison to the originals, told by the likes of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm.
Oldness now officially begins with the dawn of the iPod. Today's youngsters no longer find portable cassette players amusingly old-fashioned; they now have no clue whatsoever about any music gadget old enough to contain moving parts. Just to rub it in, they nevertheless understand the historical context and say very funny, insightful things about consumer technology! [Video Link]
Researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have been following and studying the brains and lives of so-called "crack babies" for more than 20 years. Now, they're beginning to publish their findings, and what they're finding is not what they expected. The researchers saw few statistical differences between kids exposed to crack in utero and those who weren't. But they did find big differences between the exposed babies and the controls when compared to children who grew up in wealthier families. Now, they're coming to the conclusion that it's poverty — not crack — that may present the biggest risk to children's neurological development and their later opportunities in life.
A biting incident got someone kicked out of a Cincinnati-area day care on Thursday. That someone was day care worker Robin Mullins, 56, who bit a young child "to teach him a lesson," according to court records. From Cincinnati.com:
According to court documents, the 5-year-old bit another child at Andrew’s Friends Pre-School & Daycare, 9870 Pippin Road, Colerain Township.
He was taken to the office, where Mullins allegedly bit him on the arm… She left a mark on the boy and caused an injury, police said.
In Mother Jones, the story behind "Letters to Newtown." This project was instigated by Boardwalk Empire prop-master, freelance illustrator, and Newtown resident Ross MacDonald, and it serves to digitally archive some of the half million cards, letters, and drawings sent to the town of Newtown, CT after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Jacques Hebert of Mother Jones, the magazine putting this all together with Tumblr, explains, "These messages of love, hope, and sadness have been on display in Newtown Town Hall, and have been viewed by many residents. To broaden access to these cards and preserve them as memories of what Newtown residents and the nation experienced on that tragic day, Mother Jones in partnership with Tumblr is launching the 'Letters to Newtown' project."
"The project will aim to digitally preserve these cards (the town of Newtown can't afford to store them any longer and many will be turned into ash for a future memorial site) by photographing them and uploading them to a special Tumblr for the world to see."
(Video link) Do many people tell you your child is "interesting"? Or "precocious"? Or "downright terrifying"? If you have a special child with a very specific talent for scaring the living bejesus out of people, then here is the fictional casting agency for you (by Barely Political)! (via JoBlo)
There has been a steep increase in the number of CT scans given to children in emergency rooms across the U.S., mostly for "kids presenting with belly ache," but the appendicitis rate hasn't budged. Findings published today in the journal Pediatrics detail the spike in use of x-ray-based scans, which are associated with concerns over cancer risks down the road. Study lead Dr. Jahan Fahimi, quoted in Reuters: "For every six or seven kids that go to the ER for belly ache, one is going to get a CT scan."
Snip: "People in clown costumes and makeup are not allowed in Children's Hospital Los Angeles.'We do observe a no-clown policy because they can be scary for some kids." More on the controversy surrounding creepy clown billboards for Childrens Hospital. FWIW, I drove by another set of ads for this show every day on the way to radiation treatment this summer, and they totally creeped me out. The ad shown here is a little more distinguishable, but I can totally see how some parents and children might confuse the campaign for the real deal. (latimes.com)
Sara's Henna, a henna shop in Hong Kong where ladies go to doll themselves up with temporary designs based on Indian tradition, did something really cool: inspired by Henna Heals, they traveled to Children's Cancer Hospital Pakistan, and spent some time with Maryam, "the most patient & radiating young girl undergoing chemo, yet wearing a beautiful smile." She wore her sparkly Henna Crown for the Muslim holy day of Eid last Sunday.
This seems like a seriously awesome thing to do in pediatric cancer care centers. As soon as I get through radiation, I'm gonna talk to the peeps at my hospital about doing something like this with kids and adults in chemo. Never underestimate the healing power of a little beauty-fussing.
The event, themed "Great Journeys," will feature a life-size model of Curiosity, the
rover currently bound for Mars aboard NASA/JPL’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft;
demonstrations from numerous other space missions; JPL’s machine shop, where robotic
spacecraft parts are built; and the Microdevices Lab, where engineers and scientists use tiny
technology to revolutionize space exploration.
JPL Open House includes hands-on activities and opportunities to talk with scientists and
engineers. For the first time ever, cell phone users, using text-message capabilities, will be
able to take part in a mobile scavenger hunt. “The Voyage” scavenger hunt participants can
search for secret capsules hidden across JPL and unlock secret codes.
A family from Washington state had to cancel an island vacation when their flight was grounded after their 3-year-old son pitched a tantrum.
The toddler had been quietly playing with an iPad while waiting for the plane to take off, the father said. When the iPad was taken away—you know how all electronics must be stowed during takeoff and landing—all hell broke loose.
Scott Matthews shared a photograph with me, and I'm sharing it with all of you, with his permission. His daughter Sasha
handed him this note yesterday. Sasha is a pretty special girl, in no small part because she's already been on Boing Boing once before.
What, indeed, does it really mean?
I've been blogging and tweeting about my experience in treatment for breast cancer, including what it's like to go through chemotherapy. The chemo drugs I received made all my hair fall out (not all kinds do, but mine did). I've been going around "commando," as people with cancer say—bald, no wigs. Scarves or hats only when it's too cold or sunny to go bare.
You do whatever works for you to get through this. Going around bare-headed is what works for me.
Josh Stearns, a reporter who has covered the Occupy movement extensively, asks, "Why is this children's book teaching my kid about SWAT vehicles and Riot Control practices?" From his blog post:
Visiting the local library yesterday my son picked out a book all about police. I was stunned when, after pages and pages of info about police cars and police offices, there were these two pages about Riot Control Trucks and SWAT Vans.
Even after months of tracking conflicts between police and the press I still have a profound respect for much of law enforcement and the jobs they do in our communities. However, the descriptions of water cannons being turned on protesters and the taunting opening on the SWAT page, “Someone’s causing a lot of trouble…,” all seemed out of place. Given the increasingly militarized response we have seen to citizen protests, seeing Riot and SWAT teams portrayed this way in a children’s book was troubling.
My kids were grumpy at breakfast this morning, so I had this idea to make a quick banana peel trucker hat for the banana to wear using the peel of the banana. This cheered them up and it made the banana look relatively hip.
How to make:
1 or 2 bananas. One to make the hat, one to model the hat. This could also be made using one banana. Carve the shape of the hat using an x-acto knife. Leave one of the banana peel sides longer, to make the rim of the hat. Most bananas come with a little sticker. Use this sticker to serve as the logo on the hat, if you want your hat to have a logo.
Simple project, takes about 5 minutes yet the memories will last a lifetime.
Jon Cotner from the Hairpin tells Boing Boing, "To celebrate Mother's Day, my fiancée Claire Hamilton and I talked with 20 moms during an overcast, leafy walk through Brooklyn. We asked them to describe memorable moments of their motherhood. Here's the link."
[Video Link] The pop hit, as performed by patients and nurses in the Hematology/Oncology ward of Seattle Children's Hospital. Not a big fan of Kelly Clarkson's music myself, but I can't help feeling admiration for the staff and people with cancer in this video. Anything that makes you feel stronger during this process is a wonderful thing. A behind-the-scenes video below.
Update: BB reader autark says,
My wife works in Hem/Onc @ Childrens and apparently Clarkson is all cool with this, and broadcast her response to a big screen they set up for the kids to see yesterday.
Oh yeah, and the film maker is/was a patient, he's been getting mobbed by media interviews for the past couple days.