I had a lot of Little Golden Books growing up. I think they were all hand-me-downs because we were poor, but still, the vintage ness is tasty:
You can get your hands on your own Little Golden Books from Amazon:
The last free NASA App were looking at this week is the gorgeous Visualization Explorer. The NASA Visualization Explorer, the coolest way to get stories about advanced space-based research delivered right to your iPad. A direct connection to NASA’s extraordinary fleet of research spacecraft, this app presents cutting edge research stories in an engaging and exciting format. See the Earth as you’ve never seen it before; travel to places otherwise unavailable to even the most intrepid explorers!
Grab it here!
This time around we’re looking at NASA’s free app Ascent.
Ascent is a compilation of film and video representing the best of the best ground based Shuttle motion imagery from the STS-114, STS-117, and STS-124 missions. Rendered in the highest definition possible, this production is a tribute to the dozens of men and women of the shuttle imaging team and the 30 years of achievement of the Space Shuttle Program. Get it here.
Alrighty, another free and awesome NASA iOS app.
This one is more of a reminder than a discovery, because you likely already have the NASA app, but if you’ve recently made a jump to a new iPhone or got yourself an iPad, don’t forget to upgrade to the HD version!
Get it here!
This week is going to be “NASA App Week” on BetaNerd. What happened this week in NASA history to necessity an entire week attention? Well, not really anything (I suppose there could be something, but I didn’t bother to check). While looking through a new NASA App that I had never heard of, I found a few more that are just as exciting and I was also unaware of. Naturally, I want to share these finds with you over the course of a few posts in a blatant attempt to drag out some pretty mediocre finds that should have been much more appropriately summarized in one, short post.
With that, your lead off hitter is NASA’s Space Place Prime!
This little one is for iPad and it presents a selection of the latest NASA Earth and space images and videos, as well as a rotating selection of Space Place articles and activities. Space Place Prime is essentially a spinoff of NASA’s Space Place website which is an educational resource geared at kids, but is still just as relevant and interesting for adult space enthusiasts.
Space Place is of course free and available today in the App Store, here.
Yesterday I shared NASA’s Third Rock Radio with you, which will hopefully keep your curious ears a-learnin’ through your smartphone no matter where you are… Today I have another App that will feed a whole different kind of inner-nerd: Prognosis: Your Diagnosis is a hugely popular iOS app that has you solving medical cases based on actual patients. The application is targeted to doctors, nurses, med students and the medical industry as a whole, but that doesn’t mean you need to have written your MCAT to play along… I’m pretty sure watching House each week gives you the same knowledge base anyway.
Go! Enjoy! Stop repeatedly trying to self-diagnose yourself from the Internet and do the real thing! Your doctor will be glad that you’re no longer trying to tell him what disease you have because of the symptoms you punched in to a search engine… Here’s a spoiler: no matter what symptoms you enter, Google will always say that you have Cancer or AIDS. Get Prognosis: Your Diagnosis in the App Store.
2012 was slow book reading year for me; I blame the exponentially exploding world of digital media and a mid-year obsession with audio books. I almost certainly missed some awesome pieces of geek literature which is kind of sad. The print industry is a juggernaut and if you missed this year, you’ll probably not hear about it again.
Lucky for me, Discover went ahead and created a list of the best of the year! Here are a few that touch on distant times, far-off places, and exotic modes of life:
Dinosaur Art edited by Steve White
Ten paleoartists revive the prehistoric past in these lushly imaginative—and, as far as paleontologists can verify, scientifically accurate—illustrations. Dinosaurs butt heads, thrash their tails, and spread their stunning plumage, while ancient mammals and marine organisms make colorful cameos.
Planetfall by Michael Benson
Spacecraft, rovers, and astronauts have sent back amazing raw images of our solar system. Here those snapshots are lovingly processed into intimately ?detailed views of the swirling atmosphere of Jupiter, billowing dunes on Mars, and craggy lunar craters.
A World in One Cubic Foot by David Liittschwager
You don’t have to travel to outer space or back in time to find exotic worlds. These photographs feature the varied denizens of one cubic foot of soil, water, or air from six different locations on Earth. One good look at a pincushion sea star or a longhorn beetle grub and you will wonder if you aren’t on another planet after all.
Now this is an argument I could get on board with!… That is if I were a dad and if I had the proper balance and attentiveness in my life to appropriately connect the unproductive things I waste too much time on with social obligations and expectations of being a human being. I, of course, am not very good at that.
That’s not to say that I can’t learn to balance gaming with a productive and meaningful existence. That’s what this man did (or tried to do, or thinks he’s doing) in a recent editorial on the Forbes website. Jordan Shapiro is a recently divorced father that had to move back in with his parents and found himself gaming like a prepubescent COD soldier of fortune.
I’m only posting this as something to think about an discuss; I don’t entirely subscribe Mr. Shapiro’s initiative, and find it a bit cheesy and far less simple than he makes it sound… he touches on some pretty high-level, critical thinking lessons that feel like an ambitious stretch to be taught through gaming. For example:
…Of course, I don’t just sit there silently, fingering the D-pad. I don’t embody the role of the almost-middle-aged slacker. Instead, I embody the role of the ‘father.’
I don’t allow the game console to be merely a babysitting computer that distracts my kids while I flirt with my girlfriend on Facetime. Instead, it is something that father and sons do together.
Most importantly, I talk with my boys about what it’s like to play the game.
- What emotions go with jumping high enough onto the flagpole that you get a free life?
- How do you feel when you lose because your little brother made Yellow Toad accidentally hop on your polka-dotted cranium?
- Don’t you think it’s kind of crazy that you get better at winning by losing over and over again?
Child psychologists have always recognized how important play is to a child’s cognitive and emotional development.
Great life lessons to learn, but I’m not sure that a video game is a realistic environment for practical application. I’m not totally hating on the idea though; I think Shapiro’s got the right idea. Do you have a more realistic way to emotionally educate your youngsters while gaming? I’m not talking about technical learning here; I already love and swear by math, science and similar traditional learning games. I mean making mainstream console gaming educational. Thoughts? Ideas? Send em my way!
Today’s find was a definite “The Odds Must Be Crazy” moment; allow me to explain: for some reason, last night at work I was thinking about how cool it would be to be a comic book artist. Being as I’m about as competent of an artist as blindfolded radish, this was never a realistic career option for me… but what if I could teach myself to draw better? I have a curious mind and have taught myself lots of new things that I never would have thought I could teach myself. As long as I could find a good resource to learn from, I was good to go.
Lo and Behold, the next morning while doing my nerd-rounds, I came across “Comic Book Graphic Design.” The info-site (or blog as he’s calling it) was created by Ralph Contrera’s, a long time comic book enthusiast, former comic-shop owner, and aspiring comic book creator. Ralph’s a cool guy and has done a fantastic job compiling tutorials, exercises, activities and generally just fun and extremely accessible stuff to get you excited about comic book creating from square one.
Check it out here!
The colour of the sky, whether during the day or at night, was an area of extreme confusion for me in my youth… For most youngsters “why is the sky blue?” is one of the first questions they ask as their little brains get inquisitive; unfortunately, the response is typically ridiculous and they’re still to young to know that grandma is nuts and they should probably verify her sources.
What I’m getting at is that I could have really used a video like this as a kid. It’s super simple and informative and a great use of Crayola Markers… I even liked how the creators summed up redshift and the Doppler Effect, concepts that took me a long time to truly understand on my own.
The video comes to us from the Minute Physics YouTube channel which is the place to go for accessible stick-people science at its best:
Applying the power of the programmable web to the purposes of skepticism.
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