Tag: websites for geeks

Cool gifts designed by your kids’ favorite gamers and YouTubers at Maker Shop.

My kids are obsessed with Aphmau, the hugely  popular YouTuber, Vlogger, designer — and mom, by the way — who creates the Minecraft roleplay videos they devour like I used to watch, oh, Captain Caveman. I happened to click on the Aphmau Maker Shop link from her Twitter profile while my kids were over my shoulder, and that was the end of that. They are now obsessed with her kitty backpacks — and the knowledge that Maker Shop has tons of items designed by popular gamers and vloggers. And by popular, I mean you may not recognize their names and characters, but your tweens and teens...

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What do your tweets say about you? A fun, easy quiz.

If you need a five-minute time killer today (because we know you have just oodles of extra time to kill, parents) check out the very fun if questionably accurate Analyze Words. It’s as simple as plugging in your Twitter handle — or anyone else’s — and within seconds, the algorithm generates a graph of your personality based on your past 750-1000 or so words that you’ve put out on Twitter. Now clearly there are some oddities here — like the @NYTimes account scores low on “plugged-in” (what?) but high for “Spacey/Valley Girl” — perhaps because the word “like” is in some...

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Why we freaking love Facebook’s I F’ng Love Science

Yes, we went with the slightly sanitized version on the name, because this is a family show here. But that doesn’t take away from how much we love the hilarious, crazy-popular FB page turned full-fledged blog, I F’ing Love Science, also known as IFLScience. Created four years ago by Elise Andrew, a 26-year-old British blogger and biology nut, IFLScience (let’s just go with that name when the kids are around?) basically highlights the wild and wonderful world of science with a huge serving of funny on the side.   It’s all about breaking down fascinating facts in an “amusing and accessible” way. And it’s...

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CuriosityStream lets you turn your binge-watching habit to fantastic documentaries.

Documentaries are hot right now. The whole earth seems to be obsessed with Making a Murderer, and movies like What Happened Miss Simone?, Man on Wire and Jiro Dreams of Sushi have been big hits in the last few years too. I’m not surprised, considering I’m a sucker for a great documentary too. So I’m excited to dive into the new website CuriosityStream, which features more than a thousand truly high-quality, well-produced, documentaries, all of them streamed to you without commercials. Related: Cutting the cable cord: 5 things that happened when I finally did it Now, the documentaries on CuriosityStream skew more educational and fact-based than the pop-culture docs you’ll see on Netflix, but that’s fantastic for kids...

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The Hubble Telescope Advent Calendar: Who says faith + science don’t mix?

While we always share the coolest advent calendars on Cool Mom Picks each year, though none might be quite so 21st century as the genius, photo-a-day Hubble Telescope Advent Calendar. Visit the Atlantic online each day for a new, remarkable photo from Hubble, starting with the iconic 2014 high-def image of the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation, shown below. I kind of can’t wait to check back with my kids each day for a new reveal; or just visit the Atlantic in Focus Tumblr each day. I know I can’t wait for the next one. What a cool opportunity to parlay a countdown to...

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Rebrickable helps breathe new life into your kids’ old LEGO sets.

I’m usually hesitant about buying a big, expensive LEGO kit because, after my kids put it together once, then what? Sometimes kids keep playing with it, sometimes it ends up dissembled with random bricks I discover all over the house months later. Which is why I’m all a-flutter over Rebrickable, a website that breathes new life into your already-purchased LEGO kits by giving your kids ideas, plans and patterns to build other cool things, all using the bricks they already own. Well, maybe you buy a few more. But you don’t have to. Created a few years ago by Nathan Thom, Rebrickable is sort of...

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The photo series guaranteed to make you smile from Francois Dourlen

This seems like the kind of weekend after which we all need to smile a little. And I’ve found just the thing. The series of ironically placed iPhone photos over real environments by clever French photographer, professor, and cool dad Francois Dourlen are so wonderful, I can’t stop scrolling through every single one. He’s a terrific photographer in terms of craft if you look at his other work on his site, but these are the ones that really make me smile. There are pop culture references galore, animated characters, political statements, and a realité diminuée section featuring vintage images of his hometown...

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The cool site that makes your kids realize they have it pretty good. Or, maybe they don’t.

Lately I’ve gotten sucked into a new website called If It Were My Home, which compares countries around the world to your own hometown, or any other location you designate in their search engine. You’ll get a quick snapshot of all kinds of comparable stats like country size, average income, life expectancy, health care spent, and free time. Let’s just say Americans work way, way too much. I’m trying to raise my kids to understand and appreciate that lots of people live differently than we do, but it’s hard when kids — at least those as young as mine are —...

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The easiest way to Halloween-ify your photos from spooky to silly

While we think Halloween photos are pretty fun as they are, PicMonkey has updated their super fun Halloween themes and added a brand new superhero theme that are about the best time-wasters on the web right now that make you feel somewhat productive. You can use them for Facebook posts, Halloween avatar updates, your own digital greeting cards, scrapbooks–you name it. And like everything PicMonkey, it’s so easy, even my second grader plays around with it and her results are fantastic. As for me, I spent way too much time playing around with our own photo. Because Kristen and I don’t...

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STEM education: 3 of the best online engineering resources for kids

I was once a struggling engineering student, so I have a special appreciation for the courage and creativity of kids who really want to know how stuff works and aren’t afraid to jump in and figure it out. Now that one of my own kids is convinced she wants to be an engineer when she grows up, I’ve been digging for resources to help her explore her interests. Because honestly, gears, circuits, and programming still kind of scare me. Here, three awesome online engineering resources for kids to help girls and boys start putting their curious minds to work solving the problems...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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