Build your own working tabletop V8 engine


The Haynes Build Your Own V8 Engine ($65.62) sounds fantastic -- the lengthy selection of positive reviews confirm the manufacturer's claim that a "talented 10 year old" could assemble it, and it can be disassembled and reassembled, which makes it great for classrooms, camps and studios. (via Red Ferret)

Excerpt from In Real Life, YA graphic novel about gold farmers


In Real Life is the book-length graphic novel adapted by Jen Wang from my short story Anda's Game, about a girl who encounters a union organizer working to sign up Chinese gold-farmers in a multiplayer game.

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Unschooled kids more likely to go into the arts, tech, science


Maria writes, "Could 'unschooling' be the best route to an entrepreneurial STEAM career? Two new studies of grown unschoolers show that a disproportionately high percentage have gone into science, technology and creative arts careers. They are also much more likely to be self-employed."

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Kickstarting A is for Zebra, subversive alphabets by Crap Hound's Sean Tejaratchi


It's a twisted, genius alphabet book in the style of Tejaratchi's (more) wonderful found-art collage zine Crap Hound, and published by the brilliant Portland zine store Reading Frenzy; $20 gets you your own copy.

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Short film: THANKS

Tom Patterson's short film "Thanks" sets a deep hook, then yanks it loose with a sharp tug. Beautiful and moving and only 12:37 (and they made it in less than 24h!). (Thanks, Tom!)

Video: girls singing Georgian polyphonic music

It's part of a huge series of the same girls performing some of the loveliest music you're likely to hear.

(via Reddit)

High-school English study guide for Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother

Neil Anderson from the Association from Media Literacy (which has a great-sounding upcoming conference) has produced an excellent study guide for my novel Homeland (the sequel to Little Brother) -- Anderson's guide encourages critical thinking about politics, literary technique, technology, privacy, surveillance, and history.

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St Louis police offer to fingerprint all the children in #Ferguson


The free fingerprinting kits are part of the long-running national push to fingerprint children in the name of public safety, and are a new tone-deaf low from the region's cops.

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The ineffable joy of transforming boring scientific explanations into exciting comics

Cartooning entomologist Jay Hosler‘s forthcoming young adult graphic novel Last of the Sandwalkers masterfully combines storytelling with science; in this essay, he explains how beautifully comics play into the public understanding of science — and why that understanding is a matter of urgency for all of us.

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John Oliver and Cookie Monster, reporting for W-ORD

The video has a cavalcade of guest-stars, including Al Roker and Nick Offerman -- all trying to understand the mystery of the missing letter "C" and to understand why Oliver's tie is not an adequate cookie substitute: 5/5, would watch again!

(via Neatorama!)

XKCD vs hand-wringing about what texting does to kids' literacy


It's great, and the tooltip's even better: "I'd like to find a corpus of writing writing from children in a non-self-selected sample (eg handwritten letters to the president from everyone in the same teacher's 7th grade class every year)--and score the kids today versus the kids 20 years ago on various objective measures of writing quality.

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Supporting a son who wants to wear pink shoes


Todd, who made an appearance here last year, pondering how to support his little boy who'd been scared off wearing pink; now he's back with the latest chapter in his son's life.

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Firefox's new start page is a gateway drug to awesome Web literacy


The Mozilla Foundation -- who make Firefox -- have been doing some really cool things with Firefox's "start page" (the blank screen you get when you open a new browser tab or window), but this is the coolest: an interactive doodle that invites you to learn to code in the simplest, least-intimidating, most fun way possible.

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MC Frontalot's Question Bedtime: nerdcore fairy tales for kids and parents


If you know anything about nerdcore superstar MC Frontalot, then you know he's not just about ice-cold flow and deep rhymes: he's also funny as hell. Now, with Question Bedtime, Frontalot brings us an album for kids, 40 minutes' of hip-hop fairy tales.

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