12-hour Brady Bunch "Alice" marathon airs Saturday

TV Land's “Celebrate Alice” marathon airs Saturday, June 7th, 6am-6pm ET/PT.

aliceJoin TV Land this Saturday, June 7th, in celebrating Ann B. Davis, who played lovable housekeeper and friend Alice on “The Brady Bunch.” Alice was an essential member of the Brady home -- shown by the fact that she was the center square in the title sequence!

The marathon features some of the most memorable moments with Alice and the Brady family – like when the house turns chaotic after Alice sprains her ankle; the time Alice decides to leave and the kids try to win her back; and when Alice’s cousin Emma (played by Davis) fills in while Alice is on vacation and ends up driving the Bradys insane! There’s no question that Alice is one of the most devoted and beloved housekeepers in TV Land.

What to expect when you make things with your kids


Lisa Butterworth of Etsy interviewed me about my new book, Maker Dad.

As a dad who’s done these projects with your daughters, what would you tell other dads about what they might get out of making things with their kids based on your own experience?

One thing I think they’ll get is patience. It’s going to take a lot longer to do a project than if you just take over and do it yourself. You have to hand the tools over to the kids and realize that they’re going to make cuts that aren’t straight, drill holes in the wrong places, be sloppier with the paint than you might be, but that’s just part of learning. You’re also going to learn that they want to try, they have their own ideas about how things should look that might not match yours. But that’s a good thing, I think, and it’s going to also teach kids compromise and bargaining. You get the whole operation.

What are diodes? [video]

[Video Link] Amanda Wozniak hosts the latest Circuit Playground video, which is about the diode, a common and useful electronic component.

The videos are based on the A-Z coloring book that Adafruit Industries published last year. So far, they've released 3 episodes: A is for Ampere, B is for Battery, and the latest, C is for Capacitor.

Maker Dad's projects for kids and parents

[Video Link] Here are a few of the 24 projects in my brand new book, Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects.

Moonlight Corn-Hole

The city of Cincinnati has brought the world a remarkable collection of wonders. Carmen Electra. Cincinnati chili. Jerry Springer. The Filet O’ Fish sandwich. And perhaps most notably, the game called Corn-Hole. William Gurstelle shows you how to do it in the dark.

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Easy drawbot how-to

[Video Link] Sean Michael Ragan and Mikal Hart of MAKE built this nifty gadget that draws Etch-a-Sketch style pictures with two servomotors.

Funny videos for new Toca Town app

Here are a couple of videos [one | two] that poke fun at parents who get irritated with activities that make kids happy, like making rude noises with a ketchup bottle and having a pillow fight. It's to promote Toca Boca's newest app for kids, Toca Town.

Escape: The Curse of the Temple (game review)

Jon Seagull reviews a board game in which players must team up in a race against time to escape a cursed temple, grabbing as much treasure as they can along the way.

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Maker Dad presentation at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014

[Video Link] Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 was a blast. On Saturday I interviewed author and biohacker Tim Ferriss, and on Saturday my daughter Jane and I demonstrated some of the projects we built that are in my book, Maker Dad (get a copy of the book here). Above, the video of our talk, which lasts about 25 minutes. We show the Ice Cream Sandwich Necklace, a cool card trick, mind-boggling non-transitive dice, a drawbot, and more.

Zombie Dice expansion pack: the hunk, the hottie, and Santa

zombie-expansionMy family and I have been continuing to enjoy Zombie Dice, a "press your luck" game in which you play a zombie who wants to eat as many human brains as possible without getting shot in the head. We recently picked up the expansion pack, called Zombie Dice 2 Double Feature, which adds good complexity to the game.

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Sounds of the Friendstrument

[Video Link] Here's the circuit that started out as a lie detector but turned out to be more fun as a way to turn your friend into a music instrument. It can be packaged in a bracelet or other small container.

Here are step-by-step instructions for making a Friendstrument, which is featured in my new book Maker Dad.

Mark's online Arduino and intro to making classes

Skillshare is a online learning community that costs $10 a month. Subscribers get access to hundreds of video classes on a wide variety of topics. I have two classes on Skillshare that were released today. One is called Introduction to Arduino: Creating Interactive Projects, and the other is called Introduction to DIY: Becoming a Maker. I'm excited to have discussions with the folks who take my classes!

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Maker Dad: DIY projects for grownups and kids

maker-dad-cover-300[Video Link] My new book came out today. It's called Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects.

The books is focused on teaching girls lifelong skills -- like computer programming, musicality, and how to use basic hand tools -- as well as how to be creative problem solvers. The book’s twenty-four projects include:

• Drawbot, a lively contraption that draws abstract patterns all by itself
• Ice Cream Sandwich Necklace
• Longboard
• Antigravity Jar
• Silkscreened T-Shirt
• Retro Arcade Video Game
• Host a Podcast
• Lunchbox Guitar
• Kite Video Camera

Above, a video about the Friendstrument, an electronic musical instrument girls can play with friends. Tomorrow, I'll run the complete step-by-step instructions for building it here on Boing Boing. If you can't wait that long, you may purchase the entire Maker Dad book with all 24 projects as a Kindle ebook right now for $5.99.

Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects

(Thanks to Eric Mittleman for directing and editing the video!)

Fun video series teaches electronics to kids

Circuit Playground is a cute and informative video series created to teach kids (and everyone else) about electronics. The videos are based on the A-Z coloring book that Adafruit Industries published last year. So far, they've released 3 episodes: A is for Ampere, B is for Battery, and the latest, C is for Capacitor. I learned quite a bit by watching them.

Cleopatra in Space: trailer for kids' graphic novel

[Video Link] I'm a big fan of Mike Maihack's artwork, and he's got a new graphic novel called Cleopatra in Space. It's published by Scholastic. My 11-year-old daughter, Jane, enjoyed it.

cisWhen a young Cleopatra (yes, THAT Cleopatra) finds a mysterious tablet that zaps her to the far, REALLY far future, she learns of an ancient prophecy that says she is destined to save the galaxy from the tyrannical rule of the evil Xaius Octavian. She enrolls in Yasiro Academy, a high-tech school with classes like algebra, biology, and alien languages (which Cleo could do without), and combat training (which is more Cleo's style). With help from her teacher Khensu, Cleo learns what it takes to be a great leader, while trying to figure out how she's going to get her homework done, make friends, and avoid detention!

Cleopatra in Space