Every so often in the media there are reports and opinion pieces from educationalists concerned about instilling an understanding and appreciation of the scientific process in our children. As a Dad of 2 (yes we now have 2) growing nerds I am a little puzzled by these statements and what happens to our offspring.
The first time I gave my Mini Nerd a crayon he looked at it, thought about it, waved it a bit then took a big bite. This ladies and gentleman was the scientific process in action. “I have a crayon, I’m not sure what it does, I’ll perform some experiments. Does it rattle …. no….. Does it taste good ….. Yum! These must be for eating”. Science developing before creativity, or rather the scientific process is inherent to humans, it isn’t learnt, it’s an instinct!
Hypotheses develop and new techniques in the ever growing field of toddler mediated destruction are discovered and employed on a daily basis in the Nerd household
How and why do we squash the inquisitive minds of children? Sometimes it’s entirely appropriate, like when they are about to investigate a plug socket with their tongue or a carving knife with their hands but do we say “Stop, put it down, don’t do that” too much? It’s probably no coincidence that one of the first words they learn is NO …. It’s probably one of the commonest words they hear. On the other hand we can’t let them run riot in the name of learning ….. can we?
I was very pleased the other day when we went to the park with a ball and he spent longer examining daisies than kicking the ball …… which is exactly what I would do given the choice too. I once got sent off during a football match in school for making and wearing a daisy chain. Needless to say I am not training for Rio 2016.
The results of the gravity driven Lego acceleration experiments were inconclusive so they were repeated… endlessly.
After over a year of this blog lying fallow I have decided to fire it up again. This is just a test to make sure it’s all still up and running properly.
More to come tomorrow if it all works.
Following my recent post mentioning small boys liking ross things and bugs I had a fantastic small boy moment today thanks to The Wife. She noticed a Tree Weta just outside the front door – off I ran for the camera.
Wetas are great big gnarly bugs that live here in New Zealand. They are nocturnal and live in burrows in the ground or in trees (depending on species) emerging to hunt invertebrates at night. This specimen’s body was about 8 cm long and wonderfully gnarly!
Gnarly Great Big Tree Weta
(Gnarlius Buggus Maximus Awesomeus)
They aren’t particularly dangerous unless you are an invertebrate. Their jaws are pretty hefty and they can give you a nasty nip. This species of Weta is pretty puny by the way, the Giant Weta is even bigger (as the name might suggest). Incidentally Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop in Wellington is named after these fantastic beasties.
So why am I sharing this? What has it to do with being a Dad or bringing up a nerd? NOTHING. I just love big gnarly bugs and this one lives on my porch!! How awesome is that?
Everywhere I look online there are pictures of smiling perfect babies. Yummy Mummy bloggers giving sage advice on how to corral their perfect smiling offspring, whilst baking award winning cakes and keeping the house as clean as an operating theatre. I sit in my uncleaned swamp, trying to remember what day of the week it is and how long it is since cleaned my teeth whilst rocking a grizzly baby. These wholesome mega-mums do nothing to elevate my mood.
Is there a term for experiencing misery at other’s good fortune (other than “being an ass hole”), the inverse of schadenfreude? Eduerfnedahcs?
I thought I ought to redress the balance for other grumpy bastards like me online. Here is my photographic contribution to combat the angel-baby invasion. The Boy went for a passport photo, he was not amused.
The Boy – NOT AMUSED
I seem to have an ally in this endeavuour to spread a little baby-misery around the web. Reasons my son is crying is a Tumblr feed of someone else’s child being a complete toe rag. It made me feel better.
One thing I am struggling with in this new-parent role is keeping a perspective on life. It is sometimes very difficult to remember that my little sprog isn’t anything special, he isn’t newsworthy and the whole world doesn’t need to know about his every erucation and defecation. Infact, this blog itself is a symptom of my inability to keep quiet about The Boy. In my defence I have tried to keep bodily function news to a minimum ‘cos it’s gross and unimaginative (although gross and unimaginative are both words one could use to describe me at my most boorish) but I do have a tendency to go on a bit.
I’m afraid you guys, my lovely readers, are fair game. You are daft enough to log on and actually look at the rubbish I proudly write about The Boy.
So far, in 6 weeks I have managed to keep somewhat of a lid on things. There are only 7 photos of The Boy on Facebook uploaded to my account. There are considerably more uploaded by friends and family but I am only responsible for 7. I suspect however UnBabyMe
may get a few new customers thanks to our new arrival.
Actually I have never minded baby photos – I get irritated by the self congratulatory “I just ran soooooooo far soooooo quickly and here is the GPS via Nike and Umbro and Sepcialized bikes and my $400 trainers to prove it”. Your kids and cute and interesting, YOUR RUNS ARE NOT. There is a reason joggers run alone IT’S BORING AND NOBODY WANTS TO GO WITH YOU! When you win a medal fine, let the world know.
I tried it myself the other day. According to the Nike App it was 10m to my fridge, I went there and back in 3 minutes (I think I stopped to say “hello” to the budgies on the way) and on the return journey I was carrying over 500g of extra weight (a beer). I am not sure this exercise run-mapping thing suits me. I think I’ll stick to cuddling The Boy on the sofa for now, waxing lyrical about how awesome my child is to all who read my drivel.
Recently I stumbled across another pointless gadget that I decided I wanted whilst looking at the London Design Museum awards. Admittedly I am not cool enough to actually regularly check design websites, I found it on the Guardian website.
The Little Printer
I found the Little Printer, a gadget so cute and cool I immediately wanted one but had absolutely no idea why. It’s a gizmo with no obvious use, something that does something quite fun but ultimately, in the age of immediate digital information, useless.
The Little Printer is basically a till receipt printer with a nice little smily face that prints little snippets of information that you subscribe to. The makers claim it is like a mini newspaper you personalise. The gizmo receives data wirelessly from the “Bridge” that is connected to your router. You subscribe to different things to be printed in your regular printouts that can be set as often as you want. You Subscribe to different publications, puzzles, news feeds and you can sync it with your diary, to do list and your contact’s birthdays. You can even send and receive personal messages to your Little Printer provided your friends have an account with BergCloud, the company’s website.
You have a cute little printer giving you fun little 2 inch long messages. Imagine a fleet of small printers all over the house. It’s a bit like that scene in Back to the Future 2 when “Your’e Fired!” gets printed on little printers in every room isn’t it?
So, we have established that I kinda want one, but I have no idea why. It’s pointless, a gimmick, a needless creator of waste paper at a time when the world is trying to become paperless.
Now we come to the really shocking part. These launched at £200 (US $259) they have now been reduced to £169 (US$219). Yes. I kid you not. I nearly swallowed my tounge! NZ$260 for …. a till receipt printer?!?? Whaaaaat??? Are you kidding me? I was expecting it to be say $30, $60at a real push. I can get a wireless 2 sided printer/fax/modem unit for less than one Little Printer that and I live in New Zealand where everything technological is astronomically expensive!
So, what do you think? An amazing innovation? A modern essential? Complete junk? I am really not sure. All I’m sure about is that it will have to get a whole lot cheaper if it is to succeed.