Dev Gualtieri's newly published Secret Codes & Number Games: Cryptographic Projects & Number Games for Children Ages 5-16 is a thoughtfully designed introduction to crypto for kids.
It builds from a potted history of secret messages to a series of simple substitution ciphers, DIY cipher-wheels, fun steganography examples (like encoding messages with flowers or cartoon pigs), to advanced subjects like keyed ciphers, the Polybius cipher, the Vigenère cipher, and some exciting work with vectors.
The $18 paperback isn't cheap (it's a Createspace publish on demand title, and they're pricier than mass-produced titles), but there's a real shortage of material like this, and the price won't break the bank. There are kids for whom this would be the perfect gift, and it would also make a great addition to library collections (especially school libraries). There's a preview here.
Secret Codes & Number Games: Cryptographic Projects & Number Games for Children Ages 5-16
In the late 1950s, a truck carrying a cement mixer crashed on E300 Road between Talala and Winganon, Oklahoma. Apparently too heavy for anyone to deal with, the mixer sat for decades where it was occasionally graffitied or whimsically decorated. In 2011, artists Heather and Barry Thomas celebrated their wedding anniversary by transforming the drum […]
In this fun episode of Mark Frauenfelder and Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools podcast, they talk with Lux Sparks-Pescovitz, 14, about his passion for GameBoys, cassettes, DIY sushi, and his new iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit. He’s quite an interesting young man; I’d like to meet his parents someday. Listen here: Cool Tools · 234: Lux Sparks-Pescovitz
When you’re ready to take a break from doomscrolling, stop and send your scream to Iceland. It will be blasted from a real speaker that has been placed in one of the country’s regions. “Scream therapy.” You’ve been through a lot this year and it looks like you need the perfect place to let your […]
If you ever dropped a quarter into a Space Invaders game, you’ve likely fantasized about having your own arcade cabinet in your house. Of course, you likely thought better of it for several reasons, including the idea that a giant cabinet dedicated to just one game isn’t very practical. Polycade understands the urge though very, […]
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with banks. Okay, it’s actually probably more like a tolerate-hate relationship. We understand their role in holding and securing our money so we don’t have to stuff it in a mattress somewhere. But we don’t trust the bank not to gouge us on fees whenever they can. And […]
If you’ve ever worked on a video project or engineered a podcast and thought you’d make your own sound effects… how’d that go for ya? We assume it was a bigger undertaking than you’d probably bargained for. From using stalks of celery to replicate breaking tree limbs to frying bacon to reproduce the sound of […]