Help! My daughter wants a UFO.

Thanks to repeated viewings of Jimmy Neutron, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Scooby Doo, Clara is now obsessed with the idea of building a super-duper clubhouse that contains, among other things, trap doors, secret pools, a waterfall, and levers that make things happen (like pop people into the air). But most of all, she wants it to have a flying saucer — that really flies.

KJ and I really want to encourage this obsession but it’s getting hard to figure out what to do with it that will be a) practical and b) satisfying to Clara, and maybe even c) educational and inspirational for her. With KJ’s help she’s made spec lists and has started drawing plans.

I posed my problem to Chris Anderson, who edits the Geekdad blog (oh yeah, and Wired mag too). He was nice enough to pose my question to his readers — many of which have some great suggestions here:

Ask Geekdad: My daughter wants a UFO

Help! My daughter wants a UFO.

Book Review: It’s Not News, It’s Fark

FarkbookDrew Curtis may run one of the funniest news aggregation sites around, but just because he’s a joker, don’t make the mistake of thinking he doesn’t really understand the news. If his claims are to be believed, Curtis has probably read more news stories in the eight years he’s been running Fark than anyone who actually works in the journalism business. That’s given him a rich appreciation of how much of the so-called content that fills newspapers, TV and the web is just crap–and his book catalogues some of the best examples. Trouble is, the best part of the book is the sharp, 17-page analysis of media BS at the beginning, and the rest is just a rehash of old Fark stories that, frankly, were funnier the first time around. Our recommendation: Read the introduction, then skip to page 264 for the best Fark story ever. –Dylan Tweney

WIRED Explains the workings of mass media better than most insider accounts. Funnier (and quicker) than a 2-year stint in journalism school.

TIRED About 150 pages too long. Most content available on Fark for free. Curtis’ claim that he reads 2,000 news articles per day stretches the bounds of credulity more than the news stories he mocks: Anyone who read that much for eight years straight would be a raving lunatic by now.

$20, fark.com

Link: Book Review: It’s Not News, It’s Fark

Link broken? Try the Wayback Machine.

Book Review: It’s Not News, It’s Fark

The iPhone is pretty damn fun.

I’ve been playing with an iPhone all weekend, and I haven’t had this much fun with a gadget in a long time. Is it useful? You bet. No phone does web browsing or email quite as well as this one. Plus it’s a great music player, video player, and photo browser, and it’s got tons of other features. But it’s not exactly a productivity tool: If you’re expecting to edit web pages, write long emails, or work on office documents, you’re looking at the wrong phone. It’s more of a lifestyle phone: Like iLife for your pocket. All you Mac fans will know what I’m talking about.

Check out my full reviews (and the rest of Wired News’ iPhone reviews) on Gadget Lab.

The iPhone is pretty damn fun.