File this post under “should have posted about it sooner” and/or “better late than never.” I want to share with you a Kickstarter campaign for what I feel is a great book for young budding minds — The Little Particle That Could: Particle Physics…For Kids by Jason Rodriguez. I am not personally affiliated with this crowdfunding campaign other than being the very first person to back the project when it was launched on January 29th.

The Little Particle That Could is a children’s book about particle physics; The story of a graviton who wants to meet a photon, but she just can’t seem to catch him. It’s packed with great wonders that you wouldn’t expect in a children’s book — particle physics, gravity, relativity, light, and black holes. Okay, maybe¬† you’ll find black holes in other children’s books. Black holes are awesome. But The Little Particle That Could sounds more than just entertaining, but also informative with kid friendly text about particle physics, general relativity, gravity, and light.

The Little Particle That Could seems to be the perfect book for my budding astronaut. “How do you know that Jean Louise will be an astronaut?” you ask. Just a hunch. Father’s intuition, if you will.

Now, I do know Jason. He is a friend of mine. In fact, full disclosure… Back in the day, we shared a hotel room in Columbus, OH during the Mid-Ohio Comic Con. (Nothing illicit.) But, that is not why I’m promoting his Kickstarter here. No, no, no. I have my own selfish reasons. Well, “selfish” for my kid reasons. As of this posting the campaign has six days left to run its course. The book has already been funded (and then some), so there’s no fear that Jean Louise won’t be getting her copy of The Little Particle That Could. In fact, they’re just over 150% of their initial $5,000 funding goal. But, there is a stretch goal of $10,000 in which The Little Particle That Could will be produced as a board book. This is the version of the book that I want to give my daughter. Jean Louise loves her books — I mean really, really loves her books. And, I want this book to survive her “love.”

So, if you’re a parent of a budding astronaut of your own, or budding physicist, or just a kid that asks a lot of questions about gravity, you’ll want to get in on this project. Another reason… Black holes are awesome, remember? As I stated previously, there are only about five days left in this crowdfunding campaign as of this blog posting, so you’re not going to rest on your laurels and let this one pass you by.

As bizarre as it feels to type this next sentence, it is very much true… Science is facing opposition in today’s world. For whatever reason, there are forces — evil, evil forces — out there that wish to stifle the fact-based studies of science in order to better serve their own personal gains. So, consider your crowdfunded support of The Little Particle That Could your answer to the call to arms (or knowledge) in science’s fight to remain relevant.

You can find more information about The Little Particle That Could: Particle Physics For…Kids on the Kickstarter page.



I have changed the tagline of the DAN a.k.a. DAD website. Previously it read, “Adventures In Midlife Fatherhood w/ Jean Louise.” Not to take anything away from my awesome kid, it now reads, “Adventures In Midlife Fatherhood With Geek Philosophy.” Why the change?

As I mentioned in my previous post last week (INCREASING MY DAD LEVEL TO 2.0), I attended the Dad 2.0 Summit — “an annual conference where marketers, social media leaders, and blogging parents connect to discuss the changing voice and perception of modern fatherhood.” I learned a lot from the speakers, presenters, and other dads in attendance in regards to how better define my “dad blog” presence. I was also enlightened to a lot more in regards to fatherhood and parenthood in general, which I will expand upon in later posts. The entire Dad 2.0 Summit was a great experience overall and I look forward to attending again.

But, back to the “Now With Geek Philosophy!” There are a lot of dad blogs out there, and many of them are of the “I’m an old dad” variety. In my conversations with presenters and other dads it became apparent that I had a definite “geek” influence with my outlook on life and my choice on how to raise my kid(s). I’m the dad that has to be sure to put a ribbon barrette in my daughter’s hair so that she’s not confused for a boy because I dress her in Star Wars and superhero t-shirts. I’m the dad that is launching a new podcast called DAD DND that features a group of fathers playing Dungeons & Dragons. I already have a Star Trek and Star Wars podcast called Starmageddon in which I often discuss how I’m subjecting my child to both sci-fi franchises.

To quote Aristotle… “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” (See what I did there? I threw in an actual Greek Philosopher.) Now, good ol’ Aristotle probably was speaking along the lines of empathy and compassion for one’s fellow man when he spoke of educating the heart, and not a passion for space operas and spandex clad vigilantes. But passion is passion. And, a vast majority of my favorite science-fiction and fantasy properties promote empathy and compassion — as well as ethics, morality, justice, integrity, and virtue in addition art, lore, and science. Not to mention that geek culture is just fun, dammit!

I have yet to read any of the Harry Potter novels or watch any of the Harry Potter movies. Not because I didn’t want to. It’s because I was waiting until I had a child of my own to enjoy them with. Now, Jean Louise — being only 13 months old — is still to young for Harry Potter, but come five or six years when we crack open Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to read at bedtime… I can’t wait.

You see… Like most fathers, I’ve already got this vision of my daughter in the future — an astronaut. I don’t know why. I just do. It may be how she tends to look out through the window and up toward the sky when I change her diaper. Or, it may be that she looks like she’s sitting in a cockpit of a space shuttle whenever I strap her into her highchair. Now, she may very likely (and probably) not grow up to be an astronaut. And that’s okay. However, she will grow up believing that she will live long and prosper, that with great power comes great responsibility, and that the Force is with her.