Tag Archives: parenting

My Kids Need a Velociraptor

UPDATE 2014-09-02 11:26AM – Project is now 88% funded with £6680 pledged from 155 backers

UPDATE 2014-08-28 11:34AM – Project is now 61% funded with £4643 pledged from 102 backers

Rebecca Groom, creator of Paleoplushies is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of scientifically accurate, poseable velociraptor stuffed animals (aka, plushies in the UK). You have until 28 September to pledge. As of this writing, 79 backers have pledged £3103 of the needed £7600. Misrepresentation of these creatures in toys and movies interferes with the communication of interesting discoveries in paleontology. It has also incorrectly convinced my children that Daddy could not beat a ‘raptor in a fight. Groom’s velociraptor, complete with feathers, opens up discussions.

Rebecca Groom’s velociraptor plushie prototype

If, like me, your kids* desperately need such a toy, the “perks” that include a toy start at £30 plus £4 shipping to the US (about $56).

*Or your kids are a socially acceptable excuse for you desperately needing one.

HT: John Conway

Birthday Cake Aquatic

photo (8)My birthday cake created by my kids (with help from my mother). It features a whale shark, a starfish, an octopus, and bioluminescent plankton/animalcules.

Is there an unlocked gun in your house?

That is the question Tara Haelle, the American Academy of Pediatricians, and the Brady Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence want you to ask when your child goes to play at someone else’s home.

Is there an unlocked gun in your house?

I live in South Carolina, which has a pretty solid culture of guns and hunting. Many of our friends and neighbors are gun owners. Most of those are responsible gun owners. Accidents still happen. Fair warning to parents of my kids’ friends. I will be asking.

Tragically, I can avoid the social awkwardness of asking with a bit of personal history. A childhood neighbor of mine accidentally shot and killed a friend of his making it socially acceptable for me to fret.

It is all about managing real risks for my children. If you have a pool, I’m going to  evaluate your home’s safety differently. If you have guns, same thing. Hell, I own big dogs. You should probably ask about them before sending your kid over here.

Drowning Can Be Subtle

I suspect that people at our pool judge me for being that parent that’s too distracted watching his kids. It makes me an even worse conversationalist than usual. The social norm is that the kids play and the adults socialize, after all, there is an admirably diligent lifeguard. I am a quadcopter drone of a parent at the pool and beach for two reasons. One, I like playing with my kids (they are more interesting than you – I have data). Two, drowning doesn’t look like drowning:

The Instinctive Drowning Response—so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. – Mario Vittone

 

Vampire Ontogeny

I was awakened this morning by my five-year old informing me, “Daddy, I can’t eat your soul. My teeth aren’t long enough or sharp enough, yet. How reassuring. That inspired a very quick and badly drawn vampire comic.

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