Tag Archives: Duct Tape

Jetpacks For Everyone

by Richard

All you dudes should know by now that I’m ready for the future to get here because I want my jetpack and my flying car.

Turns out, the future arrived last year. Well, sort of.

A blogger named Moosie came up with a really cool crafty way to make a jetpack for the little dudes and dudettes in the house. Check this out. Pure awesome in jetpack form.

I mean, seriously, dudes, is that not something wonderful to behold? I’m thinking you betcha.

This sounds like the perfect Saturday morning craft project that’s going to be the biggest hit of the season. Here’s the skinny on how Moosie did it.

Step 1: Spray plastic bottles with plastic primer (I used Krylon Fusion). Let dry.
Step 2: Spray bottles with your favorite silver spray paint (doesn’t have to be plastic specific.) Let dry.
Step 3: Adhere bottles to a piece of cardboard, approximately the width of the bottles next to each other. Let dry.
Step 4: Use ribbon to create backpack-like straps. Adhere. (I used duct tape. That shiz works for everything!)
Step 5: Cut crepe paper strips to create flames. Glue the tops of the strips to another piece of crepe paper. Let dry.
Step 6: Accordion fold the top strip of the flames. Glue to the inside of the bottle tops (which are actually the bottom of the jetpack.) Let Dry.
Step 7: Run around the house making flying sounds with your mouth (or let your kid handle this step)
Moose Tracks:
I used the 1.25 liter bottles of Coke products that can be found for about a buck at most big box stores. They have a cool shape, if you ask me. the straight cylinders of 2liter bottles work just as well.
I cut the tips of the crepe paper to make it look more like flames. Toddler Moose doesn’t really appreciate that touch, but it makes me feel better about it.
Thanks for the tip, Moosie. Well, get to it, dudes.

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The One Where I Talk About Missing My Own Car

by Richard

Here’s the problem with having young dudes in the house who have driver’s licenses? Other than the huge insurance bills that keep coming and coming with the weight of a sumo wrestler on Jupiter, I mean. No, the problem is that eventually, you’re going to realize that it might be easier to have them drive themselves somewhere while you stay at home.

And once you do that, it’s only a matter of time until you have no choice but to take your car to the body shop to get those dents and dings repaired.

This week, I finally couldn’t wait any longer.

I’d been driving around with an increasingly obvious set of dings and dents and scratches on the car. They made the car look a little off, but nothing I couldn’t handle. (Of course, had the marks been on the car belonging to my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Driving Just The Perfect Car, well. . . They couldn’t have been there because she won’t let anyone but her drive her car. Smart woman.)

Until last week, that is. That’s when Sarcasmo (who you’ll remember had his first accident when he backed the car up into one of those rare sprinting trees you’ve been hearing about) went to the gym.

Once there, he somehow managed to exit his parking space while not seeing a large mailbox. He says it was below his line of sight and off in an unused area because it wasn’t in use any more, but, . . . Anyway. It might have been down out of his line of sight, but it wasn’t out of the danger zone.

My mini-van (get off my back, they’re cool!) ended up with a nice dent and a hole in the surface below the window on the back of the car. Even though I covered it with camouflage duct tape, it still was too visible.

Thus the trip to the body shop. And a trip to the car rental place next door.

Now I’m cruising around town in a Chevy Aveo, a very small four-door gerbil mobile. I call it that because, when I throw the foot to the floor  and wait a few seconds for the acceleration to begin, that’s what it sounds like: a gerbil spinning madly on her exercise wheel.

I’m used to a lot more room and a lot more height than this thing. It’s strange driving along and feeling like you’re butt is about to scrape the pavement.

I miss the comforting familiarity of my car.

Here, let’s see how that sounds to other people: whinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhine.

Hmm. Yeah.

Well, I do miss it.

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Freaky Friday: Teenage Brains

by Richard

We’re going to close out science week with a look at teenage brains, thanks to the fine folks over at National Geographic magazine. No, sorry, dude, I have no idea why National Geographic is talking about brains instead of mountains and suchlike.

Or naked tribeswomen. What? That was a big part of the allure of the magazine lo these many years ago.

One guess I’ve got on why the dudes at the magazine are focusing on brains is that the fellows at the National Geographic tv channel are running a big special on brains starting this Sunday (Oct. 9 for the date impaired). Nah. Cross promotion probably has nothing to do with it.

Anyway, back to the article. While it’s beautiful to look at, coming as it does from photographic champ National Geographic, the ground it covers isn’t all that new. Basically, the magazine is looking at stuff we’ve talked about on this site before.

Teenage brains aren’t done, they’re more like works in progress. Thanks to advances in medical imaging techniques, we’re able to look inside those scarily moody teenage brains and watch the thinking bits at work. We can then compare them to adult brains and see how the teenage brain is in the process of winnowing out connections that don’t work, or don’t work well enough, and establishing connections between neurons that more simply help it do the work it needs to do.

This is an ongoing process, one that doesn’t finally complete until well into the teen dude and dudette’s early 20’s. Not only that, the article says, but teens also are more prone to taking risks that adult dudes would shy away from. Basically that’s all up to dopamine, one of the brain’s key neurotransmitters that has to do with pleasure and risk-seeking behavior.

When (brain) development proceeds normally, we get better at balancing impulse, desire, goals, self-interest, rules, ethics, and even altruism, generating behavior that is more complex and, sometimes at least, more sensible. But at times, and especially at first, the brain does this work clumsily. It’s hard to get all those new cogs to mesh.

Which is why teenagers often do things that, to them, seem perfectly sensible, but to outside observers (read, parents) seems like screamingly, hair-raisingly dangerous and stupid.

Even as brain function develops, it doesn’t do so on a smooth path. There’s tons of stops and starts, screeches into reverse, and all sorts of jaggedy movement. Just so you understand why your teenage dude was a pleasure to be with at breakfast, but by lunch it was all you could do not to strap him to his chair with duct tape and call the exorcist.

Teenage brains: Cthulhu ain’t got nothing on them.

Go. Read. May it bring you comfort that you’re not alone and that there really is a reason for it.

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