Thursday, August 5, 2010

Geek Dad - Book Review


About the Book
Today's generation of dads grew up more tech-savvy than ever. Rather than joining the Little League team, many grew up playing computer games, Dungeons and Dragons, and watching Star Wars. Now with kids of their own, these digital-age dads are looking for fresh ways to share their love of science and technology, and help their kids develop a passion for learning and discovery.
Enter supergeek and father of two Ken Denmead. An engineer and editor of the incredibly popular "GeekDad" blog, Ken has created the ultimate, idea-packed guide guaranteed to help dads and kids alike enjoy the magic of playtime together and tap into the infinite possibilities of their imaginations. With illustrations throughout, this book offers projects for all ages to suit any time frame or budget. With Denmead's expert guidance, you and your child can:
* Fly a nighttime kite ablaze with lights or launch a video camera with balloons
* Construct the "Best Slip 'N Slide Ever," a guaranteed thrill ride
* Build a working lamp out of LEGO bricks and CDs
* Create a customized comic strip or your own board game
* Transform any room into a spaceship
* Make geeky crafts like cyborg jack-o'-lanterns or Ethernet cuff links
Brimming with endlessly fun and futuristic tidbits on everything from gaming to robots to gadgets, Geek Dad helps every geeky father unleash his inner kid - and nurture the next generation of brainiacs.

About the Author
Ken Denmead is the editor of "GeekDad" , the blog on Wired magazine's Web site. A professional civil engineer, he lives near San Fransisco with his wife, two dogs, and two sons, who are both geeks in training.

My Thoughts
I was really thrilled when I was given the opportunity to receive this book and do a review on it. I am a mother of two very rambunctious children but I am not one that would be considered tech-savvy in any way. My husband is a very great father and husband but he is not one that likes to do "projects", so this book was great for me (the mom) to do projects with the kids. The book is written in a way that it is easy to follow along with. You do not have to be a geek to do these projects. I was going to do a video upload of one of our projects together, but my camera died. But this is going to be a book that will have more reviews to follow. I give the book to the kids and tell them to pick out a project. The book is great because it also gives you an estimate at the beginning of each project of the cost, difficulty (which is very important for someone like me!), duration (how long it will take to complete), and reusability (if it is good for one time only or if it will last forever. It also gives you the concept of the project as well as the tools needed.
With both of my children going into middle school, I am always stressing the science projects and other "projects" that are required. As I looked through Geek Dad, I have found many ideas and will have a more positive outlook as the school year begins again. There are also many other ideas on the "GeekDad" blog, and geekdadbook.com.
As I said previously, my kids and I will be working on some of the projects, and as soon as I can get my camera working again, I will post reviews of the projects along with pictures and/or videos.
One of the first projects my son wanted to try (which was the one I wanted to video), was a classic with a twist. We have all heard of putting Mentos candy inside a bottle of cola and it will explode. Well, in Geek Dad, they tell you how you can put Mentos in ice cubes so that when you put the ice cubes in a glass of cola (preferrable Diet Coke), the "victim" will have no clue anything is wrong until the drink blows. Naturally the surprise affect of this, rather than the expected, is well worth trying it out. Of course I made him take it outside before giving anyone a "drink". I will try this one again when the camera is working and hopefully I can surprise the kids...or even better maybe I will help them get their daddy!
Go ahead and let out the inner geek in you and get your copy of this wonderful book. It is on sale at "Amazon. You can also share some of your ideas for "geeky projects" to the "geek dads" that made this book possible by going to the "GeekDad" blog.

As I read through this book and began to write this review, I was reminded of a commercial that I have seen a few times on t.v. I cannot find the commercial on youtube or anywhere, but you have probably seen it as well; the kids are saying that they get called geek and nerd, but at the end they say something to the affect of one day they will be the boss. I really like that commercial because of how true it is. The kids that are smart get picked on in school, but what the other kids fail to realize is that they are going to be the executives and CEOs one day and the "mean kids" will be working for them.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review. I was not compensated in any other way and the reviews in this post are strictly mine.

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