Fantastic Friday: Staying In

I was fortunate enough to have two weeks off of work this holiday season. With my kids a little older, and the youngest taking consistent 2-3 hour naps each day, I was able to get more accomplished than I have in the past three years.

In addition to completing several workouts and some unfinished projects around the house (including building a bench for the fireplace that we don’t use), I finished the draft of a novel—the first major work I’ve completed since I had kids.

But there was also some down time—time when the kids were playing. They are not old enough to play unsupervised, so their playing means I need to find things to do that keep me occupied but leave me focused enough to keep half an eye on the little ones.

I thought I’d share a few of the fun (and even educational) YouTube videos I watched.

The first two are mesmerizing to watch. They are produced by an artist named Andrea Love who works in wool. There’s not much more to be said, except to watch it:

http://www.andreaanimates.com/#/cookingwithwool/

http://www.andreaanimates.com/#/animation-reel/

The next is a video in which scientists use the world’s fastest camera to watch light as it travels. The camera is able to take billions of frames per second and turn it into a video (processing one of the videos took eight hour for their computer!). It’s interesting to watch the results, as it shows how light actually moves—in ways the human eye cannot see.

Filming the speed of light: https://youtu.be/7Ys_yKGNFRQ

Of course there’s tons out there, but I thought I’d share two that stood out to me.

When my daughter saw what I was watching, she asked if her brain would turn to mush if she watched with me (we often tell her that her brain will turn to mush if she watches too much TV). I explained to her that some things on TV are educational, and then we looked up some documentaries about Ancient Egypt, which fascinates her.

I’ve been reading lately about how hard it is for the current generation of kids to find happiness because social media is such a powerful influence in their lives, and they are always online, comparing their lives to the lives of others. While this is one of the downsides of the Internet, it’s important to keep in mind that as many liabilities as there are with the Internet, there are also benefits as well.

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