Part of the fun of being a geek is seeing the various toys that tap into your interests. Recently, I saw a few toys that tapped into my inner geek.
First, was a Lego set. I’ve seen sets like these before. You get the pieces and instructions to build three different items with the same bricks. In this case, you can build a hawk, then turn it into a beaver, and then turn it into a scorpion. The geek in me loves the idea of building so many things and the frugal shopper in me sees a 3-in-1 set as a bargain.
Next up was a pair of Doctor Who items. A 50th Anniversary game of Doctor Who and a set of Doctor figurines. The latter came in a "TARDIS" box with information on each doctor and with one figure for each doctor.
Lastly, there was one toy I didn’t want. I love superheroes, but this toy just struck me as wrong.
Superman on a plane? Superman can fly. Why would he need a plane? This is almost as bad as the Superman Motorcycle that I saw recently as well. ("I could fly to the crime in progress faster than a speeding bullet, but I think I’ll take my motorcycle instead and drive there at 45mph!") This just strikes me as falling into the "needlessly commercialized toy" category and not the "cool geek toy" category.
On Friday, I posted about Free Comic Book Day. Well, when Saturday came, we headed over to Zombie Planet in Albany, NY. We arrived and headed up to their comics area. There we were met with a table full of comic books.
The comics were guarded by none other than Doctor Doom!
Thankfully, Doom was busy facing off with X-23.
In the end, we were able to get plenty of comic books (four per person) and some Iron Man figurines.
The boys loved reading their comics and are already asking about another trip back to the comic book store.
How often do you stop by your local comic book store?
Tomorrow is May the Fourth, also known as Star Wars Day. ("May The Fourth/Force Be With You.") This seems like the ideal day for some geeky activities. Thankfully, tomorrow is also Free Comic Book Day. Yes, tomorrow, comic book shops all over the United States, Canada and many other countries will give out comic books for free.
I’ve taken NHL and JSL to Free Comic Book Day two times. Three years ago, we went for the first time. That first time, we wandered into the room and the kids jaws dropped when they saw the array of comic books before them free for the taking. We gathered up some comics, picked up a package of superhero cards and headed home to read our new acquisitions.
The next year, while B was off on a "Mom Field Trip", I took the boys to Free Comic Book Day again. This time, some people were there dressed in costume. They got their picture taken with a storm trooper, a Tusken Raider, and Spider-Man.
Like the previous year, we got some comic books (this time limited to five each) and later had fun reading through them.
Last year, Free Comic Book Day landed a few days after we had just returned from a trip to Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In addition, we had to plan a birthday party for JSL’s upcoming birthday. With all of the post-vacation/pre-party chaos, we didn’t make it to check out the free comics.
This year, we’re planning to return to Zombie Planet to see the selection of free comics. I can’t wait to browse the selection with my boys and check out the other geeky goodness that only a local comic book store can provide.
I had three things I wanted to post about, but none of them seemed long enough for a post on their own. So here they are together in a mish mash of superheroes, science, space, and social media!
Beware of Geek Kid
First comes a bit of Geek Fail on my part. Recently, Cartoon Network released a large amount of their library on Netflix. As I drooled over the shows that I could share with my boys, I saw "The Powerpuff Girls." I laughed at it and, on a lark, decided to show them the show so we could laugh at it together. Never underestimate a geek’s love of superheroes, though. While I couldn’t take the show seriously enough to enjoy it, my kids loved it! Now NHL is determined to watch every episode. Geek Fail? Or perhaps Geek Win in that NHL loves superheroes so much that he even likes PowerPuff Girls.
Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Incandescent Plasma
Next up comes a little video that NASA put together. You see, NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory three years ago. Since then, it’s been regularly taking photos of the Sun. One photo every twelve seconds. For three years. It’s given scientists tons of data to prove and disprove theories about our favorite star. NASA has taken those photos and strung them together into an amazing four minute video showing some amazing details.
Thanks to NASA images and videos being public domain for the most part (about the only ones that aren’t are items with the NASA logo or with people in the shot), you can download high resolution movies or still shots from this movie.
Then, Jenny pointed out how "Because, Saturn!" was a good answer to anything.
"Why do I have to eat my broccoli?" "Because, Saturn!"
"Why can’t I watch TV?" "Because, Saturn!"
"Why can’t I stay up late?" "Because… Saturn!"
Jenny mentioned putting this on a shirt. While I haven’t done that, I did come up with this nice looking graphic.
That image comes from NASA via the Cassini space probe. They stitched together 126 individual photos to come up with this 40 megapixel beauty. Of course, you can and should go to NASA’s website to look up some of their other wonderful photos.
NASA makes getting great science and amazing images from millions of miles away look easy. So please click the link above to press Congress to give NASA funding for planetary science efforts. Why? Because, Saturn!
Yesterday, I wrote about a great book I read titled Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer. In it, the main character, Martin Banks finds that he can edit a computer file and alter reality. A bigger bank account, taller height, and different location are just a quick file change away.
This got me to thinking what I would do if I found such a computer file. Changing my bank account balance is the obvious choice. However, like Martin, I might run into problems if I abused that. After all, banks tend to get suspicious if large sums of money just appear in your account for no good reason. I could change physical attributes like my weight or height, but those could have unforeseen consequences as well. (Such as making me weigh less by removing organs from my body that I need to live.)
In the end, I think that the thing I’d edit the most would be location. Imagine being able to take a trip anywhere by merely finding your location on a map and clicking. I could take a trip to Disney World without needing airfare and, when the day was over, could teleport back to my own house and my own bed (saving money on hotels). My daily commute to work would involve popping out of my house and immediately being by my desk. A trip to my parents would be as easy as point and click. Of course, my photography vistas would expand infinitely as I could quickly appear in a location, take some photos, and then disappear to go back home.
If you could edit any aspect of reality by simply editing a computer file, what would you do?