Jan 01 2017

Don’t Let Kids Eat Lithium Batteries

It may sound obvious but apparently the website Hackaday received a press release about kids eating coin cell batteries, which are made with lithium. Eating said batteries is extremely dangerous. The message is “Don’t let kids eat lithium batteries.” That’s todays DaddyTip.

At first I said “duh”. But then I looked at the little batts. They are EXACTLY the kind of thing a kid might pop into their mouth. Round, small, easy to swallow… frankly, if you’re a little kid and don’t know better, they could easily be mistaken for candy. Now, hopefully you teach your children not to put stuff in their mouths, and/or you keep an eye on them to make sure this doesn’t happen. Still, it’s always good to be reminded.

I do NOT recommend that you show your kids this video, a Canadian PSA about “eating things that don’t belong inside you.” Ah, Canada.

As with most things, the key is to talk to your children and when they are little, and keep an eye on ’em. Better yet, keep the batteries out of reach. Like, don’t leave a box of coin cell batteries next to a dish of candy. There’s the tip.

Happy new year!

Source: PSA: Don’t Let Kids Eat Lithium Batteries | Hackaday


Sep 08 2016

Star Trek Is Still There For You

This article (link below) about Star Trek and how it has lost some of its original charm (not the right word but I’m trying to get this post up quickly) is spot on. But ultimately, Star Trek is still there for you. And for your children.

The Original Series Trekkies at BayCon 2003

The Original Series Trekkies at BayCon 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Photo note: I don’t know any of these people; it’s a usable pic from Wikipedia. I kinda love it, though.)

Here’s one of the the many money shots from the Op-Ed in the New York Times by Thomas Vinciguerra (and you should read the whole thing because it’s good, isn’t that long and it’s about Star Trek and is therefore important):

Still, my inner 12-year-old worries that this unique creation has lost much of its wide-eyed charm. Executed on a shoestring, begun amid major social tumult, “Star Trek” triumphed in large part because it tackled such essential and eternal themes as prejudice, war, learning and love. Shortly before the series began, the associate producer Robert H. Justman pleaded for “shows where the story is the thing and the gimmicks are unnecessary.”

Fair enough. However, as a parent and huge Star Trek fan (I also prefer Trekker to Trekkie, but that’s a subject for another time), I can safely say that the original series is still there for you. And your kids.

My own children are not as into Star Trek as I am, mostly because I am so deeply into Star Trek that I own a TriCorder and went to a friend’s wedding dressed (vaguely) as Mr. Spock. (I took my ears off during the ceremony, out of respect, but I put them back on when I got up to sing a Ramones song. Trust me, it fit.) I spent many tortured minutes debating whether or not I should go as Spock (now known as Spock Prime, because of the new movies) or Mirror Universe Spock. I chose the latter, although my beard wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped. Also, I wear glasses, so it was never going to be perfect. (One last caveat — the wedding invitation did say costumes. It’s not like I just showed at somebody’s wedding wearing pointy ears.)


Clearly, I have deep feelings for Star Trek. This is not a surprise to anyone who knows me reasonably well.

As such, I understand that many fans are disappointed with the direction the new Trek movies have taken. Personally, I like them, because they have managed to keep the essence of the characters mostly intact, and the characters are one of the reasons why I love the original series, or rather The Original Series. Of course the plots are another reason, as was the vision that Gene Roddenberry presented. Hell, it was the whole package. I loved it.

And I still do. I’m sharing it with my children. They get it. Are they going to feel the same way I do? I doubt it. And that’s fine.

Like the author of the New York Times Op-Ed, I didn’t go to the convention this past weekend. Why? I don’t know. One, I forgot. Two, I don’t love crowds. Three… that’s probably it. I could add “I’m cheap” and I imagine the tickets to the Con were not inexpensive.

You know what is, though? Watching The Original Series. Thanks to the wonders of streaming video, you can watch any episode of Star Trek whenever you like. You need a Netflix subscription, or Amazon Prime.


Is that a good way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek? It sure is. It’s also a good way to celebrate any other day. And that will never change.

Live Long and Prosper.

How the franchise lost its cult status — and why at least one Trekkie is in mourning.

Source: Who Stole My ‘Star Trek’? (New York Times)


Aug 05 2016

Holy Crap James Harrison Is Strong (Video)

In case you didn’t know, NFL players are not like the rest of us. (Unless you happen to be an NFL player, of course.) Most of them are bigger, stronger, and faster. Also stronger. Have I mentioned stronger? Here’s a video of Pittsburgh Steelers‘ linebacker James Harrison throwing his children into the pool.

James…. I think Henry had more fun watching this one ?

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

I mean… wow. One commenter summed it up thusly:

alexweatherly @teeeeeker he throws a kid higher than I can throw a balloon

Yeah. That’s about all you need to say.

You can check out Mr. Harrison’s Instagram page for more things you probably can’t do, many of them involving epic Feats of Strength.

Sorry, gotta post this now:

Get NFL fan stuff on Amazon


Jan 04 2016

Steven Universe is a Thing

Apparently the cartoon Steven Universe is a thing that we should be aware of.

I wasn’t until this article, and I’ve only skimmed it so far. The headline, “Steven Universe is the most delightful, sex-positive show on television” was enough to get my attention as I was reading about the Oregon militia standoff (a much more depressing news story).

I don’t watch cartoons as much as I used to. Part of that is because my children have gotten older, although I watched plenty of cartoons before I had kids. (Simpsons anyone? Batman Beyond? Heck, how about Thundarr?) Animation quality has declined over the past few years; I don’t mean the shows themselves, I mean literally the quality of the animation. Computers have made it easier and cheaper to produce cartoons, and I prefer the older stuff. That alone isn’t enough to put me off animated series, though. Several people have told me I should be watching Rick and Morty (not a kids’ show), and in general writing will trump animation for me — that is, even if something is impeccably animated but the writing stinks, I doubt I’ll watch it, but if the animation is only so-so while the writing is stellar, I might.

So I admit that I’m posting a link to an article about a show that I’ve never seen. That said, maybe it’s good, and maybe we should all be watching Steven Universe.

I did watch this video, and the song is pretty catchy. Check it out:

The internet’s favorite cartoon is weird, fun, and nuanced.

Source: Steven Universe is the most delightful, sex-positive show on television – Vox


Sep 02 2015

Netflix Giveth, Netflix Taketh Away, September 2015 Edition

Via The Mary Sue (originally via Death and Taxes), a list of what will be added and removed from Netflix in the month of September in the year 2015. A highly selective micro-list follows. For the full list, head over to The Mary Sue.

taro taking his pictures for netflix 'ads' (se...

taro taking his pictures for netflix ‘ads’ (see more here: tar0shiba.tumblr.com/post/967950437/shibaadvertisements2 ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notable losses:

Sept. 30
Apocalypse Now
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
World War Z

Notable gains:

Sept. 1
First Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III: Ultimate Edition (1988) – So, like, ALL the Rambo.

Masters of the Universe (1987)

Mister Roger’s Neighborhood: Volume One – this is interesting. I’ve said in the past that it saddens me to know that children are growing up without Mister Rogers in their television lives. (My kids didn’t get to watch him, but he was important to me.) Will the show work as something to be streamed? I don’t know.

Sept. 12
Portlandia: Season Five – even when this show is bad, it doesn’t bother me. There’s something soothing about it. I’m not caught up, so it’s possible that they’ve run out of ideas by now. Still, I’ll probably watch when I get the chance. Side note: Carrie Brownstein wrote a book and is doing a reading in NYC in October. Anyone wanna go with me?

Sept. 18
Keith Richards: Under the Influence (2015) *Netflix Original – this *could* be interesting, as long as it isn’t too long and overly sanitized.

Sept. 22
SMOSH: The Movie (2015) – I was surprised to see this. It’s from the goofy guys who are mega YouTube stars. Here’s one of my personal favorites: a 7-year-old describes the Twilight movies based on the trailers. Semi-NSFW. My kid showed me this years ago.

Anyway, it would appear that they made a movie. Good for them. No, I mean actually good for them, not Christian Bale gooooood for them. I like it when people succeed.

Many, many more movies and TV shows coming and going from Netflix in September 2015. Hit the link below for the full list.

Source: Here’s What We’re Losing (and Gaining) on Netflix in September—Starting Tomorrow | The Mary Sue


May 26 2015

Robert Rodriguez Jonny Quest Movie? Sure, Why Not?

When we first saw the news about a Robert Rodriguez Jonny Quest movie, we said “what? why?” Then we quickly calmed down and said, “Sure. Why not?”

I grew up watching Jonny Quest, and I liked it well enough. I know there was a more recent reboot that I don’t think I’ve ever seen. Robert Rodriguez is a talented director; his Spy Kids movies are good clean family-friendly entertainment. Big Entertainment is constantly looking for old material that can be turned into successful megabucks multiplex gold. So why not Jonny Quest?

Commenters over at io9.com wonder what Mr. Rodriguez will do about Jonny’s sidekick/partner Hadji. Will he be a turban-wearing lad? Or is that culturally insensitive?

Another commenter offers this casting idea — Danny Trejo, aka Machete.

That, boys and girls, would be awesome.

(Also: there’s no H in Jonny — it’s not Johnny Quest, it’s Jonny Quest — OK? That’s mostly directed at me; I thought the young Mr. Quest spelled his name the regular way. I WAS WRONG.)

Watching the video clip above reminds me of how much I liked those old Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The intro to the original Jonny Quest doesn’t even show the title character until over a minute of whiz-bang neat stuff like dinosaurs, laser cannons, a mummy, and whatever the heck this thing is:

Jonny Quest One-Eyed Spider Thing

Watching that intro makes me think that this movie is actually a good idea. At least potentially. Rodriguez can do some amazing work with CGI, and Jonny Quest could be a cool canvas for him to create something fun.

From Dusk till Dawn and Sin City director Robert Rodriguez is no stranger to children’s adventure movies, having created the Spy Kids franchise. Now, though, he’s delving into an existing children’s series, bringing the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Jonny Quest to the big screen.

Source: Robert Rodriguez Is Working On A Jonny Quest Movie (io9)

 

 

 


Mar 02 2015

Vaccination Nation Continues

File this under “things that shouldn’t be a debate but are.” With no medical or scientific evidence to support a link between vaccines and certain undesirable medical conditions such as autism, many parents insist that they know better. Or at least that someone else knows better. (Usually it’s someone on the Internet.)

The making of a DNA vaccine.

The making of a DNA vaccine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many parents are asking doctors to “spread out” the vaccines that their children receive, according to the L.A. Times.

Personally I don’t know if spreading out the vaccines is such a terrible thing, but according to the L.A. Times, citing an article in the journal Pediatrics, “87% of the doctors [surveyed] agreed that when parents delay some or all of these vaccines, they are putting their children at risk of being sickened by a preventable disease.”

In spite of their concerns, many doctors are doing it anyway.

So. To sum up. Most doctors (in a particular survey, at least) think that spreading out vaccines is dangerous. But if a parent is noodgy enough, they’ll do it anyway.

This is not good medicine. I’m not saying that doctors are always right. Far from it. (Oy, the stories I could tell you.) But if a doctor truly believes, based on all of the information available to them, that their patients, who in this case are children under 2 years old and therefore can’t decide for themselves, should be vaccinated in a particular way, they should not be swayed by a parent who complains loudly enough.

Other doctors are taking a hard line on the issue, refusing to treat children who have not been vaccinated.

Considering that measles is making a comeback (see the Related articles links below), and that Rand Paul and other politicians have made anti-vaccination a political issue as well as a medical one, I think it’s safe to say that this issue won’t be going away anytime soon. Which is annoying because, to the best of my knowledge, the entire anti-vaccine campaign (such as it is) dates to the Lancet study which was shown to be COMPLETELY WRONG in 2010. (More on that here if you’re interested.) And yet, five years later, we’re still talking about it.

Grrr.

Small Pox

As I said before — zero deaths. That’s the goal. And it’s an achievable one. How? Science! Cue music.

Doctors often delay vaccines for children to appease parents – LA Times.