My buddy Ken Goldberg, a UC Berkeley professor of robotics, his 10-year-old daughter Blooma, and science communicator Ashley Chase wrote a delightful children's book called How to Train Your Robot! Illustrated by Dave Clegg, the story, about a fourth grade robotics club, is a fun and understandable introduction to how deep learning can help robots gain new skills in the messy, unstructured human world.
Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation and UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, How to Train Your Robot is available as a free PDF online and student groups can request free hardcopies!
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This dad in China created a 'baby pod' suit to protect his child from coronavirus. His ingenious DIY design was reportedly based on the action game "Death Stranding." Read the rest
In an interview with Ellen Degeneres, NBA player Dwyane Wade discussed how he and his wife support and empower their teenaged child Zaya.
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I'm glad I subscribed to The Curiosity Show on YouTube. It features segments for 1990s Australian TV for young people, and is full of DIY science demonstrations, brain teasers, tricks, and optical illusions. In this clip, the hosts demonstrate a fun card trick you can make at home.
By the way, if making trick cards interests you, I wrote a book about it a few years ago, called Trick Decks.
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Why you stop. No stop skritchy.
The creator of the CodeParade video channel made an interactive pushbutton busyboard for his toddler. He bought a bunch of knobs and switches, wired them to an Arduino, LEDs and beepers, and put them in a craft box. It has a simple mode, in which pushing a button triggers a sound or light, and an advanced mode, which includes a Simon game. It looks like something people of all ages would enjoy playing with. Read the rest
Hold on to your cute little butts there, babies, we're about to go through an automated mechanical car wash. Read the rest
Nandi Bushell channels drummer David Grohl as she drums to Nirvana's "In Bloom." Read the rest
Wait for it.
This is good candy karma. Read the rest
Perhaps you needed to be reminded that sweet and good things exist in this world. Read the rest
“My five year old daughter asked for a 'pink forest to camp in' for her bedroom. I think I delivered, on a budget!” Read the rest
My In-Laws Are Careless About My Deadly Food Allergy is a letter sent in to The Cut's Ask Polly column. It's the second-most amazing agony aunt letter I've ever read.
I have a very severe allergy to mushrooms ... Since then, most meals we have shared at my in-laws’ house have had very limited options for me. Somehow, they manage to find a way to add mushrooms to almost everything. One time, they made a point to make a special plate of mushrooms and pass it around. My mother-in-law said, very rudely, “I would’ve liked to add mushrooms directly to the salad, but SOMEBODY has problems with it!” They even added mushroom powder to the mashed potatoes at one holiday dinner. My mother-in-law claimed it was a new recipe she’d found.
This is just the beginning; it'a rollercoaster ride into mycological madness.
Following is my number 1, posted by Slate's Dear Prudence in 2012. First, the shot...
My mother-in-law hates me ... the problem is that after each visit, I wind up with a bad case of diarrhea; my husband does not. I don’t know if the other in-laws are affected, because if I asked, it would get back to her. I suspect that my mother-in-law is putting something in my food or drink.
Then the chaser.
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You had suggested swapping plates with my husband to see if my mother-in-law would react. However, as you noted, that would have required bringing my husband into my confidence. I did not feel it was wise to do that, because he already didn’t believe that his mother treated me badly.
Quantum Physics for Babies and Rocket Science for Babies are the kind of board books you’d find on a toddler’s shelf. They have stiff, tear-proof cardboard pages, simple illustrations, and minimal text. But they actually explain the subjects on a (very) high level. The author, Chris Ferrie, is a physicist and Senior Lecturer for Quantum Software and Information at the University of Technology Sydney.
I finally learned why quantum physics is called quantum physics! And even though I know how a wing moving through air goes up, the rocket science book reinforced the concept for me.
These books will be entertaining for kids age 2 and up, but the concepts, even though clearly and simply presented, are better suited for readers from age 5-105. Read the rest
This is what happiness and best-friends-forever friendship looks like. Read the rest
I've really been enjoying the new 'MythBusters Jr', Adam Savage's new science exploration show featuring... kids. Really smart awesome talented kids.
Adam Savage will be Tweeting live during tonight's two premiere episodes, and they start airing an hour early (at 8 pm ET) for parents with wee ones. Read the rest
Baby Ryan doing manly things. Yes, please. Read the rest