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Review Time: That Physics Show

Review: That Physics Show

Location: Elektra Theater,  300 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036, United States                                                                                                                        Our Show time: 3pm

“I learned  more in these 90 minutes than I learned in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade”. 

These were the words of my 13 year old as we walked out of “That Physics Show”, an off- Broadway production that my family and I were fortunate enough to be given tickets to see. The premise of the show? Well, the name says it all: “Physics”. It was 90 minutes of Einstein meets Bill Nye the Science Guy. My son’s reaction to the show took me by surprise. Throughout the entire show, he looked less than amused. I guess it was that “don’t let them see you smile, laugh, or enjoy anything about life” thing that teens do. His 10 year old brother, however, knelt in his chair, sat on the edge of his seat, stood blocking the people in front of him, all to see experiment demonstrations, one after the next. He also whispered the occasional “I know what’s about to happen” in my ear, followed by a sped up narrative of what was about to go down so that he could beat the experiment to the outcome and have the satisfaction of saying “I told you!!”

As for me, I was pleasantly surprised that both of my boys ended up enjoying the show. My first instinct upon sitting in the small theater was concern that they were going to be bored. Well, actually, my VERY first instinct was to scout out the “Exit” signs. Having all three of my children (and my mom) in the small space automatically triggered my anxiety and had my spider senses tingling. But once that was established, I was concerned that the boys were going to stare at me some point in the show and say “Really mom? Really?” They were already giving me that look when I told them we were going to a show about science.

“That Physics Show” was carried out primarily by one man, David Maiullo, with appearances by his two assistants who said very little, but provided him with all the props needed to set him up for each of his “tricks”. When the show first began, he explained to the audience that he is a physics demonstrator at Rutgers University and that it is his belief that physics (and practically all sciences), would be a lot more interesting if they were taught in a hands on manner. While I definitely believe in that theory, I thought that his college vernacular would have my children snoozing in no time. With terms like “Laws of Conservation of Motion”, “Inertia”, “Isobaric Pressure”, and “Uniform Circular Motion” I thought surely they would lose interest. However, this was not at all the case as he presented some pretty amazing demonstrations to go with each tongue twisting term. Furthermore, as he performed each experiment, he tapped into the audience members’ inner scientist by posing questions like “what do you think is about to happen?”, followed by an enthusiastic  “let’s find out!” My ten-year old was always up for the prediction and waited to see if his hypothesis was correct. I, on the other hand, stayed silent not wanting to predict anything and run the risk of looking silly in front of my son. For example, did you know what would happen if people filled balloons with hydrogen instead of helium? Well, I didn’t know! (Don’t judge me). But my son knew and when it happened, the wide smile that filled his face was enough to indicate that this show was right up his alley.

After the show was over, everyone had an opportunity to take a picture  with the star of the show. My 10 year old stared at him with respect and admiration. My 13 year old gave him his props and told him how he wished all science classes were taught in this manner. My mom was just happy to get out with her grandchildren. And my 2 year old was able to keep it together with a little help from the iPad and some headphones for the last 30 minutes of the show.

Yup, it was a great 90 minutes: an outing with my kids, educational, and fun. Definitely time well spent.

Would I recommend this show?: Yes.

Who would I recommend this show to?:

1. Parents of a curious child

2. Middle school students (it’s a great way to show them how the things they’ve learned actually applies to real life).

3. Educators who need a little reminder that teaching should not be filled with lectures.

Pros:

1. A very interactive show that keeps the audience engaged.

2. My teen liked it! A teenager liked something that his mother chose to do. Enough said.

3. Extremely accessible from the NYC train station. The “A” train to 42nd street Port Authority, followed by a 50 foot walk from the train station.

4. The different physics concepts were broken down into simpler terms so that children as young as 7 or 8 years old could understand and connect it to their everyday lives.

Cons:
1. The seating was all one level, making it difficult for shorter children to see the stage.

2. Some of the experiments/demonstrations were anti-climactic while others kept me in suspense. It was like an entertainment sandwich; great experiments followed by things that I could have done at home, followed by things that absolutely wowed me. I am not sure that this is a true “con” per say, because it still held the attention of my children, and I guess that’s all that matters.
Overall Rating:

Four peas in a pod! (Out of five)
Talk to you soon,

Serene
Share with me: Have you seen the show already? What did you think of it? Do you plan to see the show? Let me know you thoughts once you see it.

Confidence is My Kinda Thing

Words cannot describe the feeling I get when people comment, “Oh my gosh, she looks just like my…!”

My name is Aniqua Wilkerson and I am a crochet artist/designer specializing in doll making. About two years ago I quit teaching in pursuit of a more creatively free career. Art had always been the tool I used to be a more effective teacher, but being a classroom teacher was a bit too rigid for me!

I didn’t have a real plan. I just wanted to be as creative and as innovative as I could possibly be.  You see, crochet is an old art form and millions of people do it. I didn’t realize at the time, how important it would be to stand out.

My real journey didn’t start until I decided that I wanted to make dolls. I began by looking in different places for inspiration and discovered something very interesting.

I couldn’t find many African American crochet dolls. I saw lots of white dolls, but brown dolls were scarce.

There were two ladies on Etsy, that made really cute African American dolls, and both designers were white women. I wondered why there were so few brown crochet dolls. I knew there were African American crocheters, so why was it so hard to find African American crochet dolls?

This discovery led me down a path that I hadn’t anticipated when I set out to be artistically free! What do you do when you don’t find what you’re looking for? You create it yourself!

Even though the two designers I found made decent brown girls, there was so much more to be seen. Different shades of brown, and different types of hairstyles; afro puffs, braids, beads, coils, curls, afros, etc. The variations were huge, and the obstacles were enormous!

Artistically, this was an awesome challenge because I had to start from scratch. I had to figure out innovative ways to manipulate yarn to resemble all the different ways little brown girls wear their hair. It became a real project for me. But I learned so much more.

Biggest obstacle, “Is this brown too dark?”
An absurd question, but yes someone really asked that! Would you believe that some people feel that way? My immediate response was “absolutely not!” I have a beautifully brown niece who just happens to be that shade, it would be utter betrayal to say yes, not to mention offensive and untrue! It made me think about the attributes to a “pretty brown girl”. I gained what has become my golden rule for creating these girls, “No brown is too dark!” The shade of brown NEVER matters.

My Kinda Thing pic 1My Kinda Thing pic 2

From that point on, I had a mission. A wonderful and scary goal. Being a girl is hard enough when the world shows you imagery of who you should be and how you should look. What happens when you don’t fit the model presented? Our girls not just brown girls are being taught to alter and adjust physically and mentally in order to meet the “standard”. No longer are we taught to love who we are.
Dye your hair, straighten those kinks, enhance this and cut away that… the list goes on. Self hate is on sale every where! There are payment plans for these “enhancements” and some of us have suffered heavily in the name of beauty.

What if we teach our girls that who they are is much more wonderful,
What if you knew, that being you is already beautiful?

When I create these unique dolls, my head and my heart goes into it. My head says, “make it resemble a little girl”, and my heart says, “make her uniquely wonderful!”
And so begins a conversation between the creation and creator:

Only make her once. I never use patterns so they’re always different.
In that way, she won’t ever have competition.
Keep in mind the person she is created for, her purpose, because my dolls have been gifts of love, comfort, healing, support, and encouragement.
I know it sounds funny but yes, we talk! And by the time I am done she is a whole 360 degree depiction of someone who is beautiful because she was created with a plan and a purpose. She goes to her new home with a hand written note that says so. If this is true about my dolls, couldn’t this be even more true about you?

I create these dolls because I want to encourage pride and confidence in girls. Show them that they are beautifully and uniquely made, like my creations, only much much better!

For more information on Ms. Aniqua’s uniquely wonderful creations, follow her on
Facebook: www.facebook/mykindathing 
Instragram and Twitter: @my_kinda_thing
Talk to you soon,
Serene

 

Pot of Sweet Peas

The Perfect Gift

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This saying is especially true for my 8 year old son, Munch. On any given day, he could be found near the recycling bin in our home, searching for what I thought was trash but he thinks otherwise. In his 8 years, he has created a bird house, a variety of picture frames, a collection of pretend weapons including ninja stars and bow and arrows, a few original board games, and some pretty awesome mazes filled with booby traps for any unsuspecting Lego figurine.
His inventions usually begin with him protesting that we not throw out the empty milk carton, oatmeal container, or whatever he catches us using the last of. Most times we honor his request, but there are times , I’ll admit, when we are adamantly against him hoarding garbage (come on, our home is but so big!) Anyhow, once he gets his hands on the desired recyclable, he begins his quest for other items to aid in his creativity: “do we have any tape?, do you know where i can find string?, do we have a stapler?, do we have something about this tall and this wide that can fit in this space?”. He becomes a man on a mission.
So this Christmas, I decided that one of his gifts would be dedicated to the inventor in him. I found a hardware storage box in Target equipped with partitions for all kinds of nifty small doo-dads. The box itself was only 7 bucks (my kind of gift!). Once I arrived home, I searched through our stationery/ junk drawers in the basement and was able to find tape, string, screws, glue sticks, and a few other odds and ends that he usually incorporates in his inventions.
What I ended up with up is a cool utility box that contains many of the things that he would need for his next creation.
Utility box: $7.00
The contents of the box: 15 steps down to the basement
The look on his face when he opened the gift on Christmas morning: priceless.

Now, that’s a great Christmas gift.

Talk to you soon-Serene

Share with me: Describe the most thoughtful gift that you’ve ever received or the most thoughtful gift someone has ever given you.