Kid Games

Connie asked, where are all the educational games. Seems like there aren’t anymore to buy. So, off to look at PC Gamer to find some. Here are some others have ben playing based on their ESRB rating at “gamespot”:http://www.gamespot.com/reviews.html?type=byesrb&platform=pc&order=asc&time=oneyear as well as their top 100 “kids games”:http://www.gamespot.com/misc/top100_kids.html?tag=gs_lnav_topkids:

* “Simcity 4”:http://www.gamingexcellence.com/pc/games/132/review.shtml. This is the simulation that started it all in its latest form. It is all about building and maintaining a city. The kids love Zoo Tycoon, so here is the next step up.
* “The Sims 2”:http://www.gamingexcellence.com/pc/games/176/review.shtml. Just releases sequel, this is a smaller version of Sim City. You build your own little community and home. “Gamespot”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/thesims2/ also liked it.

There are some games that aren’t educational, but at least they are _fun_:

* “Crusader Kings”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/crusaderkings/review.html. Probably not politically correct, but it is basically Risk in medieval Europe. Got a decent 8.2 which is not bad for simulation/strategy games.
* “Firepower for Combat Flight Simulator 3”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sim/firepower/review.html. Ok, so this one is a little violent. Fun to play with the boys though 🙂 This is an expansion pack that makes the flight models much more real. Just what a Dad needs 🙂
* “Pirates!”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/sidpirates/review.html. Live the life of a Pirate, a revival of a 1987 classic. Sounds like fun, even if not educational.
* “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sports/tigerwoodspgatour2005/index.html. Great for our little guy who loves golf.

Quantum String Costume

Calvin wants to be a quantum string for Halloween (I know, the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree). So we need a picture of a quantum string for the front of his sweatshirt (black of course) and the equations on the back.

Here are the places to look for photos of strings:

* “Cosmic Strings”:http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/gr/public/cs_evol.html. A good discussion of cosmic or quantum strings that are part of the larger M-theory which unifies everything we know about the various particles and waves in the universe (heady stuff).
* “Cosmic String Interaction”:http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/gr/public/cs_interact.html. Another photo from Cambridge of two strings (particles) interacting.
* “Super String”:http://superstringtheory.com/. There is a whole web site just on super strings (yet another name). Amazing.

Golfing for Kids

Calvin loves golf. Time to get him some clubs. Here are some great locations noted by Google:

* U.S. Kids Golf :: Leading the world in kids golf. Pretty cool. You can get an all titanium club for juniors. Expensive, but fitted by size. Calvin is probably in the Green system. 5″ and 25% lighter than adult. A “starter”:http://www.uskidsgolf.com/uskgProducts/redirect.cfm?locationID=productPage&styleID=45307-407&vendorID=1234608203&catID=1000202015 kit is $129.
* “King Sports”:http://www.kingsports.org/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=13. They have clubs as well.
* “All Kids Golf Clubs”:http://www.allkidsgolfclubs.com/.
* Play it Again Sports has used sets sometimes so check there

Mars Explorer Rover

Both Alex and Calvin are fascinated by the Mars missions. Here are some amazing web sites:

* “Mars Exploration Rover Mission”:http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/. The official site. Some cool videos and images. Lots to explore.
* Maestro Headquarters. Wow, you can look at the imaging applications they are using at the JPL to piece together all those photos they are taking into a 3-D world. Cool visualization application that’s a Java application you can download and try.
* “Panoramic Views”:http://athena.cornell.edu/the_mission/ins_pancam.html. Amazing, you can do a 360 degree view around.
*

Blue Angels are in town

The Blue Angels are in town. Calvin is having a party, here are some great photos we used for it:

* “Blue Angel images on Google”:http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=blue+angels&sa=N&tab=wi. A good list of images from google
* blueangels fat albert. Cool pictures of the Angels
* “Planes in general”:http://www.photohome.com/photos/aircraft-pictures/aircraft-pictures.html.
* “Official Blue Angels Web Site”:http://www.navy.com/jsp/explore/comunity/blueangels/index.jsp?cid=28&pid=2. Low resolution pictures unfortunately.
* “Fighter Planes and Military Aircraft”:http://www.fighter-planes.com/. A good chronological history. Easy to navigate.
* “Commercial Aircraft”:http://www.airliners.net/. Analogous site for commercial planes mainly, but some incredible high resolution military ones too, although not as nicely ordered as fighter-planes.com
* “Airplane Wallpaper”:http://www.wapers.com/vehicles01.htm. Nice high resolution photos for wall papers.

Calvin’s Project: Aztecs and Mayans

Calvin’s project this year are Aztecs and Mayans. He started with some basic questions he made up himself including:

# How many gods do they believe in?
# Where did they worship?

Here are some of the places he looked:

* Google Search: mayan temple. Some fantastic pictures of Mayan temples
* “Aztec Temples”:http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=aztec+temple&sa=N&tab=wi. Same for Aztec Temples.
* “Aztec and Mayan Gods”:http://www.meta-religion.com/World_Religions/Ancient_religions/Central_america/aztec_and_mayan_gods.htm. An incredible list of Aztec and Mayan Gods.
* “Huitzilopochtli”:http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/mythology/huitzilopochtli_sun.html. The head god himself.
* “Human Sacrifices”:http://nv.essortment.com/aztecsacrifice_raif.htm. The most incredible part of the story was the regularity of human sacrifices. Nearly 20,000 people per year.

Calvin at Three and Four

An overview of pictures of Calvin. See more by looking at the buttons on the
left.

Enjoying the rain in Des Moines


In the living room for the evening


Watching TV in San Diego in 2000


Another candid in San Diego


In
San Diego during early 2000

In
San Diego eating ice cream in 1998


Here is Calvin on his second
Halloween day


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Here
Calvin is with his brother on his first Halloween day. 


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Here they
are on that winter at the U-village.


Calvin as he welcomes Grace


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A little
baby himself!