Home Economics 2.0

A lovely rant about how our understanding of how technology works is woefully disproportionate to our near-constant immersion in it:

Why is it that “computer classes” are electives? Why is it that those enamored with video games are the only ones expected to understand the relationship between browser tabs and RAM? Why is it that those obsessed with science fiction, participating in chess club, or enrolled in AP classes are the only ones expected to understand the severities of hard shutdowns? Why should cookies, encryption, or battery drain be mysteries to anyone born into today’s world; mysteries to those touching unfathomable technology at 12-months-old?

This is not STEM. This is fundamental. This is commonplace. This is home economics.

Worth a short read.

Holy Shit, I Interviewed the President — Medium

The infectiously enthusiastic Hank Green writes about the negative blowback he and other YouTubers are receiving for being chosen to interview President Obama. There are so many good insights here:

I may be biased here, but I feel like there’s an actual and honorable goal in all of this. America needs to convince young people that there are good reasons to be civically involved. Millenials are soon to be the biggest hunk of the electorate and, if the mid-terms are any indication, they simply don’t care. And that shouldn’t be surprising since no one is connecting to them in the ways they connect with each other or talking about issues that matter to them from perspectives they can identify with.

Legacy media accuses young people of being apathetic while actively attempting to remove them from the discussion.

There’s a problem that needs to be solved and this is clearly an attempt to solve it. That’s part of what convinced me it was a good idea for me to be involved. The other part, to be clear, was that I got to interview the freaking President.

Finding relevance and value in youth culture is an ongoing struggle, one that most people give up by their mid-30s. If only pieces like this got as much signal boost as those useless “How Teens Use Social Media…By An Actual Teen!” pieces beloved by the press.

Bring Your Own Book, the game of borrowed phrases

My buddy Matthew Moore is Kickstarting a new literary-minded card game called Bring Your Own Book.

Bring Your Own Book is fun and simple. Players take turns drawing prompts from the deck, then race to find the best phrase in their own book that satisfies the prompt. Watch this quick tutorial to see the rules in action.

Bring Your Own Book started as a response to one of those memes on social media: “Grab the nearest book and turn to page 36; the first full sentence describes your love life!” They were occasionally amusing, but they lacked agency and reliable entertainment. Still, that act of reading text from books out of context was begging to be turned into a game.

I had the pleasure of playtesting an early version of this game last year, and it’s cool to see the near-final product coming together. And in promising news, BYOB has been selected as one of eight games to exhibit at the PAX South Tabletop Indie Showcase, which is happening right! now!

Go check out and back Bring Your Own Book on Kickstarter.

character work

Speaking of styluses and digital drawing, here’s some character work I’ve done for an adventure comic that exists only in my head at the moment. (Click each for a larger image.)

heretic-characters-1

heretic-characters-2

heretic-characters-3

Robert Kinoshita, Robot Designer for ‘Forbidden Planet’ and ‘Lost in Space,’ Dies at 100

Bummer. He designed both Robby the Robot and the robot from Lost In Space (simply known as “Robot”), and was the lead designer for that show, creating the spacecraft sets. A few years ago my wife and I went to the EMP Science Fiction Museum to check out an exhibit that featured animatronic replicas of both robots arguing with each other. It was pretty great.

Something I learned: due to the similar urgent tone and cadence, I used to think that a single voice actor provided the voices for both robot characters, but I was wrong. Robby was voiced by Marvin Miller, while Robot’s voice was by Dick Tufeld, who also did Robot’s voice for the 1998 movie version of Lost In Space and a few episodes of The Simpsons.

I couldn’t find any video of the EMP exhibit, so instead enjoy these classic SyFy Channel commercials featuring both robots: