This ingenious technique for safeguarding books from falling in the bathtub was invented by redditor Crash-From-Space's 8-year-old daughter. The suction cup came from the plumbing aisle at Home Despot.
The good people over at Narrative.ly caught up with some of the surviving cast members of the 1995 film Kids. Written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark, Kids was a raw glimpse at life inside New York's early 90s skater and club scene. I remember the film for being both terrifying and making me feel like I was one of the most boring people in the world. The stars of the film were all real kids from that scene, and many of the storylines were also legit.
The kids say the film was accurate, except for the most fantastical stuff. There’s no denying they weren’t sober during filming. Even the scene with Javier Nunez, at fourteen, by far the youngest of the skate crew, and three other little kids mashed on a couch smoking a joint and pontificating about god and life—that too was real. The virgin hunter, the AIDS plotline, and the rape scene at the end were fictional.
Kids was responsible for launching the careers of both Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson.
Korine, nineteen at the time, and Clark, then over fifty, wrangled the troops from the skate clique, supplementing them with more non-actors from Washington Square Park and the club scene, and across downtown—including Chloë Sevigny, from tony Darien, Connecticut, who had been hanging out with the crew in Washington Square Park for years. They plucked a then fifteen-year-old Rosario Dawson from her stoop in the East Village. Vibe magazine was shooting a commercial on her block, and her father told her to go downstairs to get discovered. Korine heard her laughing loudly at a strange man who looked like Jesus, walked over and told her, “You’re exactly what I wrote.”
Others didn't fare so well. RIP Casper and Harold.
Topsy Turvy World is a wordless collection of surreal paintings presented as two-page spreads. Though there's no story per se, the paintings do progress from the merely whimsical to the outright bizarre. The artist, Atak (a pseudonym for the German illustrator Hans-Georg Barber) manages to make things weirder and weirder without even hinting at horror, which is a great trick and makes this a perfect picture book for small kids like my daughter, who experienced unvarnished delight as we snuggled up at bedtime, working our way through all the strange and funny situations depicted on each page (the final spread is a real crescendo!).
Topsy Turvy World is already out in the UK, and will hit the USA on June 11 (you can pre-order it now). The nice folks at Flying Eye were kind enough to supply some samples to go with this review -- check them out below the jump!
It was a small explosion, and nobody was hurt. Wilmot was, otherwise, a good student with a perfect behavior record. But the school chose to expel her, have her arrested, and is supporting her being charged with a felony as an adult.
Monsters and Legends is part of the fabulous debut lineup of titles from Flying Eye, a kids' imprint spun out of London's NoBrow (they're the publishers of recently reviewed books like Welcome to Your Awesome Robot and Akissi). The book, written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Garbiella Giandelli, is a fascinating reference work for kids 7 and up about the curious origins of the monsters of the popular imagination. The book recounts the odd history of stories of mermaids, chupacabras, cyclopses, dragons, the Loch Ness Monster, and other cryptozoology favorites. It's a great balance between fascination with monsters and lore and a skeptical inquiry into how widespread beliefs can be overturned by evidence and rational inquiry -- a real "magic of reality" book.
The illustrations in this book represent a range of engaging styles, and they bring it to life for even younger readers. My five year old and I spent several bedtimes on this, flipping through the pages, and stopping when a picture caught her eye. I had to interpret the text for her -- the language was often over her head -- but the stories absolutely grabbed her and it's become a family favorite.
As with other Flying Eye titles, this one is out in the UK right now and coming to the US on June 11 (here's a pre-order link). As a one-time monster kid who's doing his best to raise another one, this one gets my unreserved stamp of approval.
What better way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the publication of Watson and Crick's landmark paper on the double helix structure of DNA than by making your own double-helix out of jellybabies and licorice? Dr Mark Lorch's method for making edible DNA models promises to capture the "elegant simplicity" of DNA.
Two long, flexible sweets, such as liquorice ribbons.
A few handfuls of soft, highly coloured sweets, such as jelly babies or marshmallows.
For advance bio-engineers, Lorch also explains how to extract the DNA from a kiwi fruit using things lying around your kitchen.
Alex Law's "little girls R better at designing heroes than you" is a great, occasionally updated Tumblr that features illustrations of superheroes based on the hero costumes little girls have made for themselves.
Kids are more impressionable than you, but kids can also be less restricted by cultural gender norms than you. Kids are more creative than you, and they're better at making superheroes than you.
This is a mini art project where I draw superheroes based on the costumes worn by little girls.
The Zoom is a great British satirical comic written and drawn by a 12-year-old named Zoom Rockman. I picked up his eighth issue last weekend at a comics show in London and it was a delight, and not in some patronising "Oh, it's quite good for something done by a kid" way. The Zoom is funny, pointed, and satirical, and Rockman's busy, dark drawings and crowded lettering are excellent camouflage for a sophisticated and irreverent wit. Issues 1-7 (created while Zoom was between the ages of 9 and 12) are online as free reads, while the new issue (which is excellent) can be had for a mere GBP1.99. It's money well spent.
Todd Bieber made a great short video on his experience as an Eagle Scout and a volunteer with the Scouts who is upset about the decision of the BSA to exclude gay and lesbian people: "I'm a filmmaker and an Eagle Scout. Recently, while serving as merit badge counselor of Cinematography Merit Badge, I invited several gay filmmakers to help teach some Boy Scouts about making movies."
Here's a great tutorial for making your own glittery superhero paper bracelets out of toilet-paper rolls. The trick is to use blue painter's tape backing to keep the cardboard intact while it's all gluey.
This may seem like a strange way of doing things - to cut and then stick back together etc - but we went through a couple of versions of this before the toilet roll pieces survived - when you paint the toilet roll it tends to collapse go floppy. This was the best process we came up with.
After you have cut, taped and stuffed your toilet roll you are ready to:
- paint (allow to dry)
- apply a light layer of glue and then roll in glitter (allow to dry)
- seal on the glitter by applying a layer of gluey glaze (1 part glue to 2 parts water) (allow to dry)
- add some super hero gems/sparkles
Once all your paint, glitter and glue is dry remove the newspaper and painters tape from inside and round of the corners.
David sez, "Did the children's book "Goodnight Moon" help put you to sleep as a little kid? Not anymore. Especially after watching its dark reimagining in this gritty movie trailer. I'm afraid the family-friendly search results for this children's book are going to be ruined as this video makes its rounds.
Made by the Gritty Reboots team who most recently brought you Calvin and Hobbes as a dark Hollywood blockbuster."
Dave sez, "THE ZIPPER CLUB is a comic focusing on survivors of childhood congenital heart defects, written by a survivor of such a condition himself. It's on Indie-GO-Go in hopes to put out a first print run. Part of the proceeds will go to the AHA and part of the run will be distributed to pediatric cardiac care centers for the kids who will truly benefit from it."
At age 8, Cliffy Goldfarb was the recipient of an emergency heart
transplant. At age 9, Cliffy is now struggling to cope with the
limitations his still recovering body is undergoing, and the fact that
because of this, he has trouble relating to his peers. When his mom
suggests spending his summer at Camp Bravehearts, a place for kids
living with heart defects like his own, he has some trepidations about
going this camp for “special” kids, but soon learns his worries were
all over nothing when he meets a young girl named Rosie who introduces
him to a group of new friends who encourage him by showing off their
surgical scars to one another and inducting Cliffy into “The Zipper
Welcome to Your Awesome Robot is a fantastic book for maker-kids and their grownups. It consists of a charming series of instructional comics showing a little girl and her mom converting a cardboard box into an awesome robot -- basically a robot suit that the kid can wear. It builds in complexity, adding dials, gears, internal chutes and storage, brightly colored warning labels and instructional sheets for attachment to the robot's chassis.
More than that, it encourages you to "think outside the box" (ahem), by adding everything from typewriter keys to vacuum hoses to shoulder-straps to your robot, giving the kinds of cues that will set your imagination reeling. For master robot builders, it includes a tear-out set of workshop rules for respectfully sharing robot-building space with other young makers, and certificates of robot achievement. I read this one to Poesy last night at bedtime, and today we're on the lookout for cardboard boxes to robotify. It's a fantastic, inspiring read!
You can get a great preview of the book at NoBrow.
danah boyd sez, "Researchers who focus on technology's role in human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of minors teamed up to create a short primer for technologists who are trying to do the right thing. This high-level overview is intended to shed light on some of the most salient misconceptions about human trafficking and provide some key insights that will be useful for anyone who is trying to build tools to intervene.
This document is to help those who are trying to create innovative solutions recognize pitfalls that they can address in the design of their systems."
Curbing commercial sexual exploitation of children and promoting the rights and safety of children
should be a top priority for all members of society. Yet, all too often, myths and public misunderstandings
– particularly about technology’s role in CSEC – and a lack of empirical data about the scope of the
problem drive political and legal agendas, however well intentioned. These same myths and
misunderstandings have the potential to inadvertently affect how technologists approach the problem. As
researchers, we feel it’s important to take an evidence based and data-driven approach toward
technological interventions so that they are effective, efficient, and limit the additional harm done to
victims. With this goal in mind, we offer a series of key findings that should be a part of any serious
discussion about using technology to address CSEC in a networked world. We hope that this information
is useful for technologists seeking to build innovative solutions. We would be happy to offer more
detailed information and data to any technologist seeking to learn more.
Projectophile's Clare has a funny post about the hazards presented by beautiful mid-century modern home designs to children. My grandparents had a proper split-level MCM when I was a kid, and it's a wonder we survived. As Clare says, "I love open, flowing space as much as the next modern girl. But I know it would only be a matter of minutes before my kid flings himself off one of these deadly ledges..."