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Original author: 
Cory Doctorow


Moustetronaut is a lovely picture book by Mark Kelly, a former Space Shuttle pilot and husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. It tells the story of Meteor, an experimental NASA mouse who saves a shuttle mission by scurrying into a tight control-panel seam and retrieving a critical lost key. The story is very (very) loosely based on a true story -- there was a Meteor, but he never left his cage, but he did indeed display delight and aplomb in a microgravity environment. The whole rescue thing is a fiction, albeit an adorable one.


What really makes this book isn't its basis in "truth," but rather the amazing illustrations by CF Payne, who walks a very fine line between cute and grotesque, with just enough realism to capture the excitement of space and just enough caricature to make every spread instantly engaging. There's also a very admirable economy of words in the book itself (which neatly balances a multi-page afterword about the space program, with a good bibliography of kid-appropriate space websites and books for further reading). It's just the right blend of beautifully realized characters -- Meteor is particularly great -- and majestic illustrations of space and space vehicles.

Moustetronaut

    

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Zack Kopplin, the 19-year-old anti-Creationism/pro-science activist I wrote about last month, has won the TroubleMaker Award, which comes with a $10,000 prize.

Zack’s bold campaign to repeal the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) has made waves in state politics and in public education. Kopplin has gathered the support of 78 Nobel Laureate scientists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the New Orleans City Council, and other major organizations. His petition to repeal the law has 74,000 supporters across the US. Working with Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Zack has fought for two bills to repeal the LSEA. He has spoken out before the Louisiana legislature and State Board of Education, debated creationist politicians, held rallies, and had been covered in hundreds of interviews in national and international media. Kopplin is preparing to fight for a third repeal bill.

Zack plans to use the $10,000 awarded to him to increase the impact and reach of his campaign. The funds will greatly aid Zack’s most recent venture to call for accountability on the issue of millions of dollars in school vouchers being spent to fund schools across the US that teach creationist ideas. He also plans to use this money to help build the Second Giant Leap movement, which calls for a permanent end to science denial legislation and for a trillion dollars of new science funding in the next decade.

Kopplin said, “We need a Second Giant Leap for Mankind and we need a student movement of troublemakers and truth-tellers who are willing to stand up and speak out to make this a reality.”

Troublemaker Award

(via IO9)

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Oh, my goodness this video is sweet. Uploader "jefcharles" explains,

After being sent home from work the first thing I did on getting home was to check outside the back door to see if there were any cat paw prints. There weren't, so I thought I'd introduce Fletcher to the snow and film the results..

(thanks, Joe Sabia!)

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A Rule Is To Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy is a perfectly wonderful picture book about the spirit of anarchism and its utterly fitting dovetail with the joy of childhood. The book is full of excellent advice, wonderfully illustrated.


Along with the pages reproduced in this post, there's such goodies as "Give stuff away for free," "Speak your mind," and "Listen to the tiniest voice."


Also: "Build it, don't buy it" and "Stay up all night." There's nothing about setting fire to cars or joining the black bloc -- just sound advice about being happy, generous and caring for your community.


The book has become something of a Tea Party bogeyman, which is dumb and would be a tragedy if it wasn't for the fact that the ensuing publicity will likely turn it into a bestseller. I'm sure none of the criticism can have come from people who've actually read the book -- rather, they're likely reacting to the blurb from Bill Ayers, which says "a children’s book on anarchy seems somehow just right: an instinctive, intuitive sense of fairness, community, and interdependence sits naturally enough with a desire for participatory democracy, feminism, queer-rights, environmental balance, self-determination, and peace and global justice."

A Rule Is To Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy

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Click here to play episode. Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 9-year-old daughter, Jane Frauenfelder.

In this episode of Apps for Kids, we talk about an online makers' club app for iOS called DIY.org. It's free in the iTune store.

If you're an app developer and would like to have Jane and me try one of your apps for possible review, email a redeem code to appsforkids@boingboing.net.

Listen to past episodes of Apps for Kids here.

To get a weekly email to notify you when a new episode of Apps for Kids is up, sign up here.

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Gmoke sez, "14-year-old New York student Deepika Kurup was named 'America's Top Young Scientist' for inventing a solar-powered water purification system that changes dirty water into safe drinking water. She is one smart and determined young scientist."

14-Year-old is America's Top Young Scientist: Her Solar-Powered Jug Purifies Water

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In June of 1956, Frank Lloyd Wright — a man posthumously recognised as "the greatest American architect of all time" by the AIA — received an unusual letter from 12-year-old Jim Berger, a boy looking to commission the design of a home for his dog, Eddie, by the same architect who designed his father's house 6 years previous. Incredibly, Frank Lloyd Wright agreed and, as seen below, supplied a full set of drawings for "Eddie's House" the next year. Construction was eventually completed by Jim's father in 1963.

Eddie hated his new home. It was demolished in 1973.

The full exchange can be found below, along with a photo of the completed dog house. It was the smallest structure ever designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and possibly the least used.

(Sources: Architizer & Deborah Wright; Image: Frank Lloyd Wright, via Wikimedia.)

Transcript
June 19, 1956

Dear Mr. Wright

I am a boy of twelve years. My name is Jim Berger. You designed a house for my father whose name is Bob Berger. I have a paper route which I make a little bit of money for the bank, and for expenses.

I would appreciate it if you would design me a dog house, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house. My dog's name is Edward, but we call him Eddie. He is four years old or in dog life 28 years. He is a Labrador retriever. He is two and a half feet high and three feet long. The reasons I would like this dog house is for the winters mainly. My dad said if you design the dog house he will help me build it. But if you design the dog house I will pay you for the plans and materials out of the money I get from my route.

Respectfully yours,

Jim Berger

Transcript
Dear Jim:

A house for Eddie is an opportunity. Someday I shall design one but just now I am too busy to concentrate on it. You write me next November to Phoenix, Arizona and I may have something then.

Truly yours,

Frank Lloyd Wright

June 28th, 1956

Transcript
Dear Mr Wright

I wrote you June 19, 1956 about designing my dog Eddie a dog house to go with the house you designed for my dad. You told me to write you again in November so I ask you again, could you design me a dog house.

Respectfully yours,

Jim Berger
The Result

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Steve Spangler shows you how to create a nine-layer density column with seven objects suspended in it. This would be great fun to do at home on a rainy afternoon (or a sunny afternoon, if your kids are goths).

Amazing 9 Layer Density Tower - Sick Science! #013

(via Beth Pratt)

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Tom Greto, a Redditor's young cousin, performs a quite wonderful rendition of the Trololo song. What a treat!

So I was browsing my cousin's YouTube videos when suddenly... (youtube.com)

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