Monday, 25 January 2010

A Three Dimensional World

As any gadget addict knows, the next big consumer must-have is 3DTV; I thought the manufacturers were trying to make them thinner, but that's by the by.

Having watched Avatar in 3D, I thought the effect was OK, but didn't create an immersive environment or enhance the story telling; having a background in experiential design I am probably a harsher critic the most.

Should we ever have 3DTV in our house it could be an interesting experience as things (ie keys or 3D glasses), get moved and hidden by forces unexplained by Arthur C Clarke. Either that or Toddler Pangloss is being playful. I'd expect 3D without the spectacles would be like watching TV with a misaligned aerial.

Much more engaging are 3D books. Pop-books.

Baby Pangloss was given some for his birthday and they keep me amused with the ingenuity of the paper engineering. Adding this simple animation to a book is great and even more so when a character jumps right out at you.

A favourite of mine are books by Robert Sabuda. They're for older children and quite delicate so TP & BP will have to wait. Seek his books out and be prepared for magic.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Toddler Groups

This week, I made a return visit to one of the toddler playgroups that I used to visit whilst I was a full time house dad. It was really nice seeing a few familiar faces and odd-yet-obvious to see that their babies are now walking and asserting themselves; the transition from baby to toddler is such a fascinating one and happens all too quickly.

Making the return visit reminded me of when I first took the reigns of being a full time house dad.

  • Feeding - I can handle it
  • Sleep deprivation - I'll get used to it
  • Reading stories - a good excuse to try out silly voices
  • Nappy changing - I can do it with my eyes closed (although not recommended)
It was going to playgroups that gave me the heebie jeebies, having to enter into the realm of mothers. Man alive, you might as well ask me to walk through the bra and knicker department of M&S. It's just not cricket.

Luckily for me, I was never treated as an interloper, just as A.N.Other parent. This was the case for all the groups I went to, and I think I went to them all.

This underlines one of my favourite facets of The Shire, in that it is a friendly little place. Recently, I spoke to a friend whose son lives in leafy St Margarets, near Richmond and is doing the house dad thing and going to playgroups, just as I did. He's been going for several months and the mums have absolutely nothing to do with him. We are not just talking clique city, we are talking castles with battlements and boiling hot oil teetering over the parapets. He doesn't have LOVE and HATE tattooed on his knuckles, nor does he stare at people in a Hannibal Lecter way. He's a regular guy who wants to be proactive in his son's upbringing. It's so very sad.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Non slip

Speaking to one of my trusted sources today, I learnt that you can avoid slipping whilst walking on ice; by pulling a sock over your shoe.

Sounds like a cheap and simple solution, but not one I'll try. The 'Fame! I wanna live forever' look isn't really me. Maybe train operators could wrap socks over train wheels to help ensure prompt time keeping.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

You can't find me

Being a busy person and having to travel across the village of London (AKA 'going up West'), every day, I've just downloaded and tried out the Directgov Travel News application for the iPhone.

The reviews of this app. are pretty damning but I thought that it's just people poo-pooing it just because it comes from the big machine that affects everything we think and do..... Simon Cowell. No, the other one. I meant the Government.

Great, commuting will be a breeze. I will know every traffic jam in the country or at least in Central London. The great machine I pay so much tax to is helping to streamline a part of my life. Brilliant.

Unfortunately, it seems the terrible reviews are well deserved. The first thing I do is to let the application find my location. Newcastle upon Tyne. Err no. Just a few miles away from Woolwich. Just a tad.

I don't understand how the Government can get it SO wrong. Tried and tested technology to locate me exists. Sat navs, google maps, tags around ankles of ne'er-do-wells.


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Royal Borough of Greenwich

I just read this.

Peter And The Wolf

Apple iTunes has been offering free music, games and stuff as part of its' Twelve Days of Christmas' promotion. Yesterday, it gave away the award winning short animation, Peter And The Wolf. Man alive, I thought Christmas had come early.

I downloaded and have just watched it. An absolutely brilliant adaptation of Prokofiev's musical drama which every child should be brought up with. If the animation isn't your cup of tea (as it's quite a dark version), then do listen to the music, introduce your children to different musical instruments of the orchestra and enjoy a short story at the same time.

Happy new year me dearios.