The Geek Mom book is now being published in Japan. In Japanese. With our words (except translated into Japanese) and Dave Perillo‘s illustrations. His awesomely fantastic illustrations are why, I think, we sold the rights in Japan. They are so cute.
I don’t think it was a very big publishing run, but hopefully it will sell well!
All of my programming experience was in DOS. Yes, it was all pre-Windows 95. I think Windows 3.0 or 3.1 was available at the time, but, as you know, it ran on top of DOS, so programming wasn’t necessarily GUI. Actually, the first computers on which I learned Pascal were the DEC Rainbow computers that ran CP/M. Click click. Click. Click click. Anyway.
While I programmed throughout high school and halfway through college, my experience ended about a year and a half before Windows 95 came out. So I know nothing about programming graphics, let alone programming for the internet. But it’s really important for my kids to understand both basic programming concepts, and what goes into more modern programming languages.
So my not-yet-ten-year-old son is taking a class in Java. It’s a Minecraft Mod Design class through Youth Digital. They offer a short list of classes for students in grades 3-7. You might think that learning Java at those ages is a bit much. But they do it at a good pace, with videos so hilarious that I hear a belly laugh from my son every few minutes while he is doing the class.
He’s two lessons into the twelve lesson series, but so far it’s an amazing class. I’ll be reviewing it more fully for GeekMom soon, but so far it’s an unqualified success. He’s enjoying it immensely, and he’s being introduced to how Java works. And because he adores Minecraft so much, he’s motivated to actually learn, not just get through the steps.
My desire to travel has always exceeded my pocketbook. Some years I travel more, some less, depending on opportunity distance, and funds. Right now, it has been since last summer that I traveled anywhere significant. I’m getting itchy feet. I’d love to take a trip up to Colorado to visit family and friends, but even a trip that you can drive in a day with free lodging on the other end can get pretty costly.
So I often do armchair travel instead. I know that someday, I will get to England. I occasionally research the kinds of things I’d want to see, the places I wouldn’t want to miss. My two favorite things to do when I travel are: seeing beautiful scenery (which includes things like castles) and shopping for things that are local and you can’t get back home (grocery stores very much included). A lot of that can’t be planned in advance, which only adds to the serendipitous nature of travel.
Most of my travel recently has been domestic, and going by car is the cheapest way for a family of four to do that. But sometimes I price out what it would cost to go somewhere further afield. Such as the aforementioned England, or the Baltics or Switzerland. Driving obviously isn’t an option, and taking a cruise ship in both directions would take forever and cost more anyway. But the other day I discovered one feature of the travel website Kayak: their Explore section. Put in your home airport city, and it shows flight costs to anywhere around the world.
You might be surprised at some of the costs. It’s no surprise that it costs a lot to fly from the western U.S. to Africa, for example, or Australia. But as it currently stands, it’s only about $350 to fly from Phoenix to Puerto Rico. Or $599 to Bahrain. That one has to be the bargain of the day.
Generally the costs don’t go higher than about $1500-2000 anywhere in the world, but, for example, it costs $5500 for a round trip ticket from here to Niger. But zoom in on an area and it will give you more options.
If you’re itching to go somewhere and money is your only restriction, figure out your budget, check Kayak’s Explore site, and book away. And then come back here and tell me where you went. I love hearing about other people’s trips, especially when I can’t afford to take my own.
This. This right here. This is why I wish I were more creative.
I’ve come to accept my lot in life. The not-super-creative life, but one in which I’m decently good at an extremely wide variety of things. I’m a Renaissance Soul. But sometimes, I wish I could turn ordinary things into extraordinary things. Like Nathan Ripperger.
He took all sorts of things he said to his kids and made them into fun, graphic posters. Check out his Flickr page for more, or just page through the above photos. They tickle me, make me nod sagely, and make me green with envy. But then I remember that I have my own set of talents, and just enjoy his creations.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, if you’re in the geek world, you know who Vi Hart is. But just in case you aren’t already aware, she’s a Geek Math Hero, to me and to the rest of my family. Her videos on hexaflexagons and twelve tone music, among others, have enthralled us and inspired us to dig further into the awesome world of math.
I’ve always loved math, but watching her play around with it like she does gives a new perspective on the topic.
Vi Hart is an extremely smart and talented gal whose YouTube channel regularly delights us geeks with new aspects of the math universe. Wikipedia lists her occupation as a Recreational Mathemusician. Inspired from a young age while attending a computational geometry conference with her dad, being surrounded by such passion for a subject made an impression on her. I know it makes a huge difference for me to learn about something from someone who is passionate about the subject. Someone just going through the motions isn’t nearly as good of a teacher.
Vi Hart’s videos likely won’t fulfill any Common Core requirements, but they will inspire you to learn more about math, and to play around with math and music. Learning how to think and how to remain curious about the world are vital in one’s education.
Vi Hart is one of my heroes. She’s a woman who has followed her interests and has not compromised them to make a buck. She’s found a way to turn her interests into something that teaches others. She’s also fortunate to live today, when smart women are (usually) valued for their contributions on their own merit, and where she can easily and widely spread her particular flavor of geek.
You don’t have to leave your house to value computing on the go. Just sitting in a different part of the house with a wireless device will do. Cloud computing has changed the way we do things, allowing us to use as many devices as we like, still being able to access all of our important data. Long gone are the days when most people used POP for their email. I was a hold out for a long time, but once I had my first device that I could check my email on other than my desktop computer, I was sold on IMAP. I adore my DropBox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). I love EverNote and OneNote. I love that everything synchronizes up within seconds.
Computing society has gone from using terminals attached to a mainframe, to stand-alone desktop machines, to cloud computing. Computers like the Chromebook don’t even allow for non-cloud options. I still prefer conventional computers with added cloud options (because sometimes I am in places without any wifi), but I love being able to pick up any of my devices and access my work. Even currently, as I write this, I’m sitting here at the hospital while Rory has his eye flushed by a professional, and writing a blog post for a couple of days hence. I’m saving it in DropBox, and will be able to edit it and schedule it when I get home (the hospital wifi doesn’t instill confidence in terms of signing into websites).
The direction our society going in is fascinating to watch. Allowing our data to be out there on the cloud means that protecting said data is becoming more and more important. But whenever data is out there, in the aether, someone is going to be able to find it.
Sometimes you have to learn a lesson more than once. Unfortunately, this time it landed us in the emergency room.
Rory learned in high school wood shop that it’s a really good idea to wear eye protection when working with wood, especially using power tools. Apparently that lesson had an expiration date. He was using a Dremel tool to carve some wood last night, and just as the thought entered his head that eye protection might just be a good idea, something got in his eye. Many home eye washes later, it was still there. So we went to the emergency room and had him looked at.
We lucked out that the place was pretty empty and he got called back almost instantly. He was only in moderate pain, but was worried about damage to his eye. But he was still back there for a couple of hours. Things don’t move quickly in the emergency room. Lots of irrigation. Numbing. Antibiotic eye drop prescription.
I’ve taken plenty of classes in my day, as well, that necessitated eye protection. When I was a freshman in high school, we all got to take one of the most awesome classes in history, Principles of Technology I (or POT for short, hehe). They issued each of us our very own safety goggles. Mine only recently died when the rubber strap dry rotted. Boo.
But throughout high school, and again when I took a woodworking class at the local community college about ten years ago, eye safety was promoted above all else. Eye safety! I wear glasses regularly, which gives a modicum of protection compared with not wearing anything, but you need to wear specific safety glasses over your glasses for ideal protection. Rory doesn’t wear glasses (he’s lucky enough to have excellent vision), so he had nothing standing in the way of a little something that took us to the hospital last night.
Hopefully this time the lesson he learned won’t expire. And let that be a lesson to you all as well, without having had to go through the visit to the hospital. #weareyeprotection
I know it’s cliche to try to lose weight before your wedding, but there’s a reason for it. We want to look our best in the wedding photos, and feel good about how we look that day, one of the few days when a bunch of people will be focused on us.
I started trying to lose weight earlier this year, but without following any kind of rules, it just didn’t work. Rory’s been doing a great job losing weight, but he also had more to lose than I. But now we’re going to try something different.
When it comes to food, I’m usually an all or nothing kind of gal. Merely moderating my eating is really difficult for me. I have to have a set of rules to follow, preferably ones that don’t require me to count calories. I’ve successfully lost weight on Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, and the “just eat very little” diets. But none of them stuck.
So we’re trying fasting. Intermittent fasting to be more precise. So for two non-consecutive days per week, we’re going to fast. Well, sort of fast. I get 500 calories a day, Rory 600. Then we eat normally (but not like crazy) the other five days of the week. Going to give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes. Many of my friends have tried this, or know people who tried it, to great success.
The saying goes that March is either In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb, or the reverse. Well, it’s In Like a Lion this year. We’ve had quite the gully washer for the past day. Until now, 2014 has been extremely dry, with only one or two extremely light rains. This is unusual, even here in arid Arizona. Winter is usually much wetter, and definitely snowier (which we’ve seen none of this year, and only one small dusting in late 2013).
I think the saying applies more to other parts of the country where bad weather is more the norm. But we shall see. Me, I’m hoping that March will go Out Like a Lion as well, perhaps with a nice snow storm this time.