Fathers Day –

Posted by dkidwell on June 19th, 2006 — Posted in parenting

Father’s Day is one of my favorite holidays – no pressure and alot of excuse to have fun with the family and do all the things that our own gamerdad, Jack, loves.

We got Jack a Nintendo DS,  the New Super Mario Bros, and a nifty DS sock and shammy.  I think they actually call it a soft case with cloth but we all agreed that sock and shammy had a better ring to it.  He loved them, and we spent a good portion of the day playing the downloadable mulitplayer games (that means you’ve got one copy of the game that host multiple DS systems).  There are a ton of them, and they are very engaging micro-games, including such hilarity as tossing snowballs at one another and using the stylus to create trampolines to jump from.  We also played quite a bit of Mario Kart, also with the downloadable verion.

Cheesecake and Mario – can’t beat it. Hope your dads all had a lovely day as well!

The smartest thing about Brain Age…

Posted by dkidwell on June 15th, 2006 — Posted in parenting, reading

I finally got a copy of “Brain Age: Train you Brain in Minutes a Day!” Nintendo is doing bundle promotions with Best Buy and Circuit City where Brain Age is included with the purchase of DS Lite. (Yay, Father’s Day!)

On the last page of the Brain Age manual, is the most intelligent and refreshing thing I’ve seen anywhere in quite a while. Brain Age includes readings from the canon of English Literature. Apparently reading aloud arouses a tremendous amount of activity in your brain. That alone should be good news to parents who read to their kids – it’s good for both of you! But it’s not the reading that is so remarkable. Rather, it’s the literature they chose. They did not back down from classics that are considered controversial and have been placed on lists of banned books. Instead, they included a comment about it, and the list of books from which they selected excerpts.

This list itself is wonderful, and below is the content from pg 49 of the Brain Age manual. Bold and italics are mine, and * denotes literature that has been banned, supressed or censored by legal authorities.

Works used in “Reading Aloud”

Some of the works excerpted here contain language and themes that may be considered controversial to some users. However, we have chosen to present them as they originally appeared, and we ask you to understand their context in the greater canon of English literature.

Louisa May Alcott: Little Women
Sherwood Anderson: Winesburg, Ohio
Jane Austen: Emma
Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility
Ambrose Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
William Wells Brown: Clotelle: ATale of Southern States
Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Kate O’Flaherty Chopin: The Awakening
Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans
Stephen Crane: The Red Badge of Courage
Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe
Charles Dickens: AChristmas Carol
Charles Dickens: Great Expectations
Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities
Fredrick Douglass: My Bondage and My Freedom
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Lost World
Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo
George Eliot: Middlemarch
*George Eliot: Silas Marner
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essays—First Series
Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones
Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
O. Henry: The Gift of the Magi
Washington Irving: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Henry Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written
by Herself
Henry James: The Turn of the Screw
Abraham Lincoln: The Gettysburg Address
* Jack London: The Call of the Wild
Jack London: To Build a Fire
Jack London: White Fang
Herman Melville: Bartleby the Scrivener
Herman Melville: Moby Dick
Thomas Paine: The American Crisis
Edgar Allan Poe: The Cask of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe: The Pit and the Pendulum
Edgar Allan Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart
Samuel Richardson: Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded
* Mary Shelly: Frankenstein
Laurence Sterne: The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman
Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson: Treasure Island
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels
Henry David Thoreau: Walden
Anthony Trollope: The Warden
*Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
*Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain: AConnecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Booker T. Washington: Up from Slavery: An Autobiography
H. G. Wells: The Time Machine
H. G. Wells: The War of the Worlds
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray
* The Constitution of the United States of America
The Declaration of Independence of the
United States of America

I found the banned books listed here.