Tag Archives: tv with kids

Oh the misery


of snot.  Spring has sprung here. Well, it’s been springing for about a month now, what with the pear blossoms bustin’ out all over in early February and such.  And that means snot.  Fountains of it. Stupid allergies.  Stupid allergies that turn into full blown colds not two weeks apart.

Last night was when the snot started.  I had some fun thing planned with Zener, but no.  I was definitely not leaving the house, as I needed to stay within 2 meters of the electric tea kettle at all times.  (Aside: I first met electric auto shut-off tea kettles when I was an exchange student at the U of Edinburgh.  Most brilliant device ever!)  So instead of going to a concert of early music (my fave!) we hung out and watched many science videos.

Here are a few awesome selections:

Bots of Both Worlds in 3-D!!!!

Part of a series of videos produced by the fine folks at jet propulsion laboratory to promote the Spitzer Space telescope.  We’ve seen all of these, several times.  They’re so nerdily wonderful!  For more, click that link down there.


Ever wanted to know how special relativity is related to electromagnetism? With charged cat cartoon demos?  Sure you do!

And then we watched the new Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson, and then we watched Nova’s recent show on alien worlds detected by Kepler.  So much awesome!


Watching Cosmos


Zener and I were able to catch a few minutes of Cosmos on the Fox website this morning before school (Watch it! Bonus: if you have adblocker software, you can watch commercial free!)

Cosmospic credit

Thoughts:  the Calendar o’ Cosmic Time is wonderful.  I love that metaphor, it really helps put cosmic time and human history in perspective.

I was, at first, a bit disturbed to find out that it was on Fox and not PBS, like the original was.  But then I was convinced that it was probably for the best, as they’d get a much wider viewership, and more money from ads to really make it “pop” with good cgi.  Not that PBS doesn’t do a smashing job – Nova remains the best general science series on TV, period.  But putting it on Fox, with an ad campaign on Fox, means it can potentially reach a much broader audience.  Let’s face it, on PBS it would be kind of like “preaching to the choir”, as it were.

I have not read many reactions to it yet, and those that I have read have been by scientists or science enthusiasts, but I will be peeking about to see what others think of it.

Also, I totally teared up when he talked about meeting Carl Sagan when he was but 17 years old, and how kind Sagan was to him, picking him up from the bus stop, giving him a tour of the facilities, and offering him a place to stay, at his home with his family, if the bus was delayed due to a snowstorm.

Neil deGrasse Tyson said that Sagan showed him the kind of person he wanted to become.  Take home lesson:  compassion and kindness and encouragement pay off massively, in dividends you could never imagine.

Zener did not get to see the whole thing this morning, of course, but I’m looking forward to watching it with him when he gets back from his dad’s.  This morning he mostly just wanted to play Minecraft, which we did not have time for anyway, and he’s a grumpypants in the morning at any rate.