mostly microphones

We attended a workshop in contact microphone making at Portside Art Center this evening.  Béla loves stripping wire, man. Tucker saves him blown-out earbuds, adapters, anything — this kid loves gear guts. Claude started out frustrated, but got her method down and was then good to go. But Béla was really in his element. And…

internship

We’ve been working for months now to find out ways that the kids can help out — during school hours — at various Mighty Writers locations in Philly, whether in reading to toddler-aged children, helping to design, print and distribute flyers, or — as they did today — transcribe workshop writing assignments to computer from…

reviving the art of the christmas eve ghost story

This was the second year that Claudia participated in “The Dark is Rising” readalong beginning on Midwinter’s Eve. Both kids also caught (out of the corner of one eye) a few episodes from my BBC “Ghost Stories for Christmas Eve” DVD box set. A lot of steps to string together, but each of the kids…

secret synth night!

Well, it only took half a year or so, but we got ourselves to Secret Synth Night. They’re going to have to be a lot quieter in there if they want to keep it a secret, but I don’t think they really do. It is an all-ages, all-abilities meetup of folks interested in electronic music….

béla’s video on the makey makey basic

Makey Makey lets you make a closed circuit that your keyboard believes is just another key — even though it’s an alligator clip enclosing any object that has even a little bit of electricity in it — could be a banana, or tater tot. Béla learned to use the basics of this system on his…

Periodic Table Manners, or the Outcome of Mendeleev’s Madness

When we set out with the Mendeleev’s Madness project, our intent was to generate some breadth of knowledge about the elements of the periodic table, and a greater depth of knowledge about some of those elements. Largely that breadth was covered in the first round, where they relied on Theodore Grey’s Elements along with a few…

NIGRUM NOCTUA: THE HONEY OF DEATH

  On the very VERY first day of “back to homeschool” in September of 2017, I told the kids that one of our MAJOR goals was to attend PhilaMOCA’s “Tokusatsu Tuesday” program every month, and to begin filming our own episodic toku program. Even if we only got one done! “Even if we only got…

laying down tracks

The kids have been getting some help at home, learning how to use Garage Band… and their Blue Yeti microphone that they got for Xmas… and the looper pedal… recording, basically. How to manage their own home recording. Getting them making multitrack original musical recordings — and using the vocal mike to create podcasts —…

first (and second) online class!

In the span of eight days we did two, one-off, one-hour classes using Outschool, and we are signed up for a three-session class on the Periodic Table. So far, I can’t recommend the experience highly enough. The first class was a math/art class in creating “impossible shapes”, such as Penrose triangles, and tesselations. Declan had…

a rainy friday of snakes

Thanks to this inspiring and energizing video by Vi Hart, I spent — eh — a little under thirty dollars? — and bought four dozen plastic articulated snakes. Oh, these will get use more than once — with a number of friends, I have no doubt. But our particularly weather-intrepid friends A and Z came…

scratching

The kids got a few really interesting Christmas gifts, including a Blue Yeti USB vocal mike (which we think will be used for podcasting/audio book-making), and a portable DJ scratching deck. They also got a complimentary lesson at Scratch DJ Academy, which they cashed in on today, and loved. Who knows where it will lead?…

south silly cam episode 4

I’ve got some great posts coming up because we are doing some cool stuff, but this appeared online on Thanksgiving morning and we sacrificed a bit of the Macy’s Parade to put it on. Worth it! All three shoots our family worked on to be part of this episode were great and the kids definitely…