“Vegemite is a dark brown Australian food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives,” begins the Wikipedia page for noxious spreadable Vegemite. If you haven’t had the pleasure, Vegemite tastes extremely salty, is the color of dark poop, and has the consistency of slightly melted peanut butter. You can spread Vegemite on toast or crackers, or even put in a sandwich if there is literally nothing else in your cupboards that you could put in a sandwich, including multivitamins. So naturally, giving Vegemite to young children without much of a personal filter is highly entertaining. [Laughing Squid]
“It’s a good thing that boys are challenged the way they’re taught their exclusive activity is open only to them.” These are the words of a 25-year-old man named Sam. He may as well be speaking about any male-dominated space — ground combat, restaurant kitchens, construction work — but Sam was referring to one space in particular: Dungeons & Dragons games. The stereotype of the typical D&D gamer is man or a boy, in particular one who is socially awkward, skinny, and sporting glasses. As a result, role-playing games are not traditionally acknowledged as something women and girls do (although they totally do). In this short documentary by Meredith Jacobson, four middle-school-aged boys and four middle-school-aged girls play D&D together for the first time, while Sam the Dungeon Master oversees the co-ed experiment. It might just inspire you to pick up some polyhedral dice yourself! [Vimeo via The Mary Sue]
When four-year-old Cadence pressed the wrong buttons on her family’s digital camera, she realized she’d deleted a photo of her Uncle Dave — and that deleted photos never, ever come back. This was a pretty earth-shattering discovery for Cadence, if her somber message to Uncle Dave is any indication. The good news is that Uncle Dave did send her more pictures to replace the lost one. Crisis averted! [Laughing Squid]
LEGO has received steady pressure to include more women figurines in more diverse roles. Well, good news: they have listened to their fans and a new LEGO play kit out this month features three female scientists — a paleontologist, chemist and an astronomer — as part of a “Research Institute” set. Several years ago, scientist Ellen Kooijman proposed 13 different mini-figs for a female scientist set on the LEGO Ideas site, where fans can propose new sets. She even traveled to LEGO’s headquarters in Denmark to discuss the issue with the toy engineers. In June, the company announced hers was the winning idea for 2014 and Kooijman posted LEGO’s prototypes for three of her “Research Institute” mini-figs on her blog. As you can see from the photo above, there’s lots of fun bits and pieces and one of the mini-figs is even wearing glasses! I haven’t played with LEGOs in years, but I just might want this set for myself. But you have to act fast: according to NPR, the set is already out of stock online. [NPR; Scientific American] [Image from Scientific American via Ellen Kooijman]
Annabelle Earl, a four-year-old Brooklyn girl, had a dream of being a flower girl but no wedding to attend. With a long dress, bouquet, and a poster that read ”Can I be your flower girl?” she took to Brooklyn City Hall to find herself a willing couple.
It sounds like a Hallmark moment, until we learn that the only reason this scenario went down is to appease the fact that her original wish for a unicorn couldn’t come true. Yes, we are actually seriously considering little girls’ requests for unicorns now. Earlier this spring, Annabelle’s mother Kim took her to Washington, D.C. They visited Yoko Ono’s “Wishing Tree” in a Smithsonian garden, and Annabelle whispered her greatest dream to the tree. Keep reading »
My seven-year-old son has hair that many people would kill … or at least pay an arm and a leg at the salon for: honey blonde with natural ombre highlights, ringlets that cascade down, skimming right above his shoulders. [I have seen photos of Avital's son and his hair is indeed glorious. -- Amelia]
To top it all off, he loves his curls. When he was younger I would trim them just a bit so that he could see (AKA shaggy dog syndrome). But as he grew older, he let it be known that he was super into his curls and refused to cut them. And to be honest? I was kind of thrilled. I loved his hair just as much as he did, and was happy that he wanted to keep it long. We only have a few simple rules if he wants to keep his hair long: It has to be up in a ponytail during hot/humid weather to avoid heat rash, it has to stay out of his eyes (which he accomplishes with various cloth headbands/sweatbands), and it has to be — relatively — knot free.
So, my rough and tumble, soccer playing, LEGO-obsessed, drum-playing seven-year-old still rocks his long curls. And for some reason, it completely throws everyone else off balance. At least once a day, ever since his hair started growing in earnest, my son gets mistaken for a girl without fail. As you can imagine, this causes a lot of feels. Keep reading »