Tuesday, September 13, 2011

For Kids, Big And Small

Before we go anywhere, I'd like to take a minute to thank Blogger for nothing. Particularly not saving all the earlier changes I'd made to this post, making all that work... for nothing. You suck.

Carrying on...


Let's start this out right. Play the first few seconds to get the idea of what's happening, then skip ahead to the 50 second mark.

Not sure how many times the boys and I watched this, but it hasn't lost it's magic yet.

So today's random is random with a point. With the exception of the first video, everything posted here came from a fantastic new site called The Kid Should See This that is made up of videos that, while maybe not originally geared towards children, are educational and actually interesting to them. And no, I'm not promoting this site. Well, actually I am, but purely because I think the site is awesome and I think anyone with kids should know about it. Hell, even if you don't have kids, these videos are great. I've watched all of them and can't wait for more to be posted. I first heard about it on Kottke.org who described it like this:
With obvious exceptions, media “made for kids” is mindnumbingly dumb. YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo are amazing resources of not-made-for-kids but totally-appropriate-for-kids stuff like what Rion is posting here.
Anybody out there remember the movie The Black Hole? If you do, you'll get the reference in a minute.

The next one is from General Dynamic. It uses dropped objects and gelatin molds to illustrate the transfer of energy in their dynamic braking system on hybrid locomotives. Dropping heavy things on jello in slo-mo, how can you go wrong?

Lastly, and my favourite, is this. A NASA promotional video that wasn't even created by NASA, but a fan who wanted to show what the space agency could do for itself if it only tried.

"In all of their brilliance, NASA seems to have forgotten to share their hopes and dreams in a way the public can relate to, leaving one of humanity’s grandest projects with terrible PR and massive funding cuts."
Make sure you supersize this one, it deserves it.

It's sad to think that what we spent on the mortgage bailout a few years back was more than NASA's entire 50 year budget. That 50 years bought us a man on the moon, the shuttle program, the International Space Station, the Mars rover, probes sent out past the farthest reaches of our solar system and inspired countless numbers of boys and girls to grow  up and become scientists and engineers. The mortgage bailout bought us out of our own stupidity, and only temporarily at that. Wouldn't it be great if we could go back to the optimism of the early space program? Wouldn't it be great to have something like that to inspire our children? Personally, I'd be much happier knowing my tax dollars were going towards that than buying our way out of poor financial decisions and padding the wallets of the Wall Street executives who got away with letting it all happen.

Seriously, go check The Kid Should See This out, there's more awesomeness then I could possibly post here. I highly recommend the bike guy, the element song and the crazy octopus.