Review: Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments

Review: Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments

When you were a kid, didn’t you want to make things and blow stuff up? I know I did do. So when I heard Mike Adamick, author of Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects, was releasing a follow-up book on April 18, 2014 called Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments, I had to get my hands on it as soon as possible. You can get your copy beginning on April 18, 2014 on

Whether they want to know why leaves change colors or why they get dizzy when they spin around, kids’ curiosity know no limits – and the same goes for dad. With Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments, fathers, sons and daughters take that curiosity to the next level with projects so engrossing that no one will whine about turning off the TV. Inside, families will find step-by-step instructions and photographs for all kinds of experiments like exploding candy and floating ice.

From Boiling Ice and Exploding Soap to Erupting Volcanoes and Launching Rockets, 30 Inventive Experiments to Excite the Whole Family. – Mike Adamick, author of Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects

Even though each of these experiments can be tossed together with supplies found around the house, I decided to stop at the education supply store to pick up a few items to really make our experiments pop. The key secret supply I picked up was the Geyser Tube for use with the Mentos and Coke rocket to really make it shoot high in the air.


Now that we had our supplies, it was time to do some experiments. The first thing we did was sit together and flip through the book looking for the awesome experiments we wanted to do together. In the end we picked 7 different experiments with varying inputs and outputs. We chose to make soap clouds, float grapes in water, straw balloon rocket blasters, floating water, mentos and coke rockets, a paper birdcage, a marshmallow pulse keeper and a sweet volcano. I’m not going to go into detail about each of those experiments, but rest assured the book includes all of the step by step instructions you need to be able to perform each of them.


Out of all of the experiments we performed, PJ liked the balloon rocket blasters and the mentos and coke rockets. You’ll be able to tell from his reactions in the videos below.

Together with my son, we spent an entire afternoon performing experiments from Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments. We. Had. A. BLAST!  I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to blow stuff up and generally have a great time.

About the Author:

Mike Adamick

San Francisco, CA |

Mike Adamick is the author of Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects and a stay-at-home dad who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle’s parenting blog, The Poop, KQED Radio, and the Daddy Issues column on His work has also appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney’s, Details Magazine, MSNBC, NPR’s “Morning Edition,” the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Observer, among other media outlets.

Disclaimer: I was provided an advance copy of Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are definitely my own.

New Music: Danny Weinkauf to Release First Solo Family Music Album, NO SCHOOL TODAY, 4/29

New Music: Danny Weinkauf to Release First Solo Family Music Album, NO SCHOOL TODAY, 4/29


Do you like music?

How about music from groups like They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds, Green Day or Weezer?

If you said yes to any of the above questions then I’ve got some exciting news for you. This month, on April, 29th, Grammy winning instrumentalist, singer, songwriter Danny Weinkauf, longtime bassist with They Might Be Giants, whose song “I am a Paleontologist” became the anthem for young scientists everywhere, will release his first solo family music album, No School Today.

No School Today includes 16 original tunes and covers topics from marsupials to voting rights, spelling bees to the four food groups and even a song about Ben Folds. Seriously, when you hear this song you’ll instantly think of Ben Folds, I know I did. While listening to this album, I found myself hearing music with similarities to many of the artists I have listened to over the years, including They Might Be Giants, Green Day and Weezer. There’s no “Welcome to Paradise” on this album, but many of the sounds, lyrics, beats and tones in the songs had me thinking back to my days listening to Green Day on my new pullout cd deck in my car. Having a son who is approaching his kindergarten debut, the track “No School Today” really hits home with me. I fully expect to hear many phrases from these lyrics in the years to come. The title track, “Archaeology,” is an inspiring follow-up to Danny’s hit tune “I am a Paleontologist” (featured on They Might Be Giants Grammy nominated album Here Comes Science.) How many times have you heard stories about musicians writing new songs that were inspired by fan requests? Well that’s exactly what happened with “Archaeology.”

“Several times after a Giants show, people would come up and tell me how much they liked my “Archaeology” song. They were confusing the title of ‘Paleontologist,’ but I decided to honor them by writing another song,” he says.

Although Danny played all of the instruments himself on the album; you’ll hear a variety of other guest performers, including Danny’s son Kai, daughter Lena, wife Michelle and family music superstar Laurie Berkner who duets with Danny on the song “Our Love Fits.” The album also features a bonus track, “The Kidney That Lived in Four People,” based on a true story, and written and recorded with additional guest Hank Green of the Vlog Brothers.

Fans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the album. Funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, No School Today met its initial goal in only five days and ended the campaign 160% funded. A music video for the song “Marsupial” is expected to be released soon, and more videos will be coming around the release date at the end of April.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Together We Can Fly.” Danny’s son, Kai sings lead vocals on this song and it’s filled with happiness and joy and just makes me feel good listening to it. The song was written by Suzanne Luna, Director for the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and friend of Danny. I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

For his first solo family music album, Weinkauf has hit a home run. No School Today is already a hit with me and I can’t recommend it enough. I absolutely love it!

Here’s a Track Listing

DannyWeinkauf 1 Hey! 1:11
2 Archaeology 2:19
3 Our Love Fits 1:34
4 Champion of the Spelling Bee 2:10
5 The Ballad of Ben 3:13
6 Marsupial 2:35
7 Ambivalent 0:33
8 Ice Cream 2:59
9 No School Today 2:20
10 The Moon is Made of Cheese 1:45
11 Whipped Cream 1:08
12 Cast My Vote 2:07
13 Oh No Oh Yeah 1:09
14 Together We Can Fly 3:44
15 Lullaby for Quinn 1:09
16 The Kidney That Lived in Four People 3:05
Bonus Track (with special guest Hank Green)

No School Today will be available via Idlewild Recordings with distribution by Megaforce Records and Sony/RED. This is the first Idlewild album by an artist other than They Might Be Giants.

More information, tour details and streaming songs are available at:
Follow Danny on Twitter @poplives1 and on Facebook.

The Online Event Everyone Will Be Talking About #Ickies

The Online Event Everyone Will Be Talking About #Ickies

Having a now 5-yr old, I’m intimately familiar with icky messes. I can’t even tell you how many times, in his first 2 years of life, that me or my wife found ourselves saying ick-ick-ick buddy, don’t eat that. Or don’t put that in your mouth. Or quick, honey, cover him up before he pees everywhere.

Some messes are ew-gross , while others are just a little icky but soooo worth it (Like the example below). Clorox understands that messes are a part of our life, and they are here to help us laugh about them and find new ways to clean them up.


LET’S GET TO IT….Everyone knows that is where it’s at when it comes to parenting humor. But what you might not know is that they are bringing an epic night of fun and entertainment to a computer, smart phone or tablet near you. It’s taking place LIVE on April 9th from 6 to 10 pm EDT. This is an online event unlike anything I’ve been part of before, or anything HowToBeADad has EVER done. It’s going to be legen — wait for it —dary.

What happens when you combine $2,500 in Twitter party prizes, a custom movie poster grand prize giveaway AND audience-driven nearly-live improv comedy hosted by former SNL cast member, Rachel Dratch, for four hours? The epic Clorox Ick Awards is what happens! Check it out…

How can you win prizes?

They’re randomly giving out $2,500 in prizes, all you need to do is RSVP (using the Your Movie form below) and then participate in the event on April 9th with your Twitter account for chances to win. In the first hour, they’ll be giving out $100 good-anywhere gift cards every ten minutes!

For the Movie Poster Grand Prize, if you win you’ll get $100 and custom-created artwork of a movie poster featuring YOU and your chosen movie genre.

How will the audience drive the Ick-provision videos?

Well, HowToBeADad created this great graphic to show you exactly how this will go down.



rachel-dratch-300x300That’s how the magic will happen; YOUR magic. Tweet your messy, icky stories and some of them will be chosen and performed on the spot by professional improvisers from Second City Communications! And starring former SNL star, Rachel Dratch!

There will even be other video bits, pictures and straight up entertainment spread throughout the event! This will be the best, funniest, and most outrageous 4 hours you will spend in a very log time.

What will you need?

1. A Twitter account and an internet connection and a pulse.
2. The ability to spend money, should you win one of the random prizes!
3. You’ll also need to RSVP. Use this Rafflecopter entry form right below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner of the Your Movie Grand Prize will be announced… during the Twitter event! And their prize image revealed for everyone to see!

Your Formal Invite to the #Ickies Twitter Event

When: Wednesday, April 9th from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET / 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. PT
Where: Follow the hashtag #Ickies on Twitter
Or use the handy dandy Clorox Ick Awards page on Nestivity (link coming soon).
How: To participate, follow the party tag #Ickies during the hour. When you chat with us, make sure to use the hashtag. Make sure you also follow @HowToBeADad and @MomSpark on Twitter
PRIZES: They will be giving away $100 every ten minutes during the first hour and $2500 in prizes during the event! Don’t forget the grand prize: custom-created movie poster art of YOU!

Disclosure: I was compensated by Life of Dad, LLC for this partnership

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Sammies with Potato Puffs #FrozenChefMadness

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Sammies with Potato Puffs #FrozenChefMadness

A week ago I created an original food dish for the #FrozenChefMadness contest. In case you missed my entry here’s the link to my 3 Bite Burritos. Well, to my surprise I made it all the way to the final four or #FinalFare as they’re calling it for the contest. Making it to the #FinalFare means that I needed to come up with another dish as great as the last one in order to win the contest. I’m happy to announce that I believe I’ve done just that.

The dish I’ve created for the championship combines three of the most popular foods eaten at sports viewing parties; pizza, buffalo chicken, and fries/tater tots.
When I sat down and tried to decide what I would want to eat at a March Madness party this is what I came up with.

  • All Natural Alexia Crispy Seasoned Potato Puffs (Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper)
  • Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Chunks
  • Freschetta Brick Oven 5 Italian Cheese Pizza
  • Buffalo Hot Wing Sauce
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Ranch Dressing


  • Cook the All Natural Alexia Crispy Seasoned Potato Puffs according to the instructions on the package.
  • Place the Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Chunks in a microwave save dish and cook according to the instructions on the bag.
  • When they are finished cooking, cut the Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Chunks into smaller pieces, almost shredding the chicken. (I used two forks and made it more like pulled chicken)
  • Mix the buffalo chicken sauce into the chicken breast meat.
  • Chop fresh celery and add it to the buffalo chicken meat.
  • Place the Freschetta Brick Oven 5 Italian Cheese Pizza in the oven and cook according to the instructions on the box.
  • Cut the pizza into evenly sized pieces.
  • Scoop the buffalo chicken mixture onto one half of the pizza squares.


  • Place the other pizza squares on top of the halves with the chicken mixture, cheese sides facing in.
  • In a dish, mix buffalo chicken sauce with ranch dressing. and use this as a dip for the potato puffs.
  • Garnish with carrot and celery sticks for dipping.
  • Enjoy!
Prep Time: Approximately 25-30 minutes
*I have partnered with Life of Dad, LLC for the #FrozenChefMadness promotion.
New Orleans 3 Bite Burritos #FrozenChefMadness

New Orleans 3 Bite Burritos #FrozenChefMadness

My friends over at Life of Dad have teamed up with the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association for the #FrozenChefMadness challenge going through 3/17/2014. I thought to myself; what better way to show my support for the great guys over at Life of Dad than to create a winning dish for their #FrozenChefMadness challenge. AndContinue Reading

These Magic Moments

These Magic Moments

“Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!” When I was a kid, that quote was very familiar to me.  It’s from a television program called The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Bullwinkle was a dopey moose who liked to try to pull a rabbit out of his hat. No matter how hardContinue Reading

Lisa Loeb Planning Multi-City Tour This Spring

Lisa Loeb Planning Multi-City Tour This Spring

The year 1994 was a great year for me. I was a high school senior, well into my senior slide. I would be graduating in June and heading off to enjoy my last summer of grade school. In February of the same year, a little movie by the name of Reality Bites was released. YouContinue Reading

Stay the F**k Asleep

Stay the F**k Asleep

By now, unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve seen the book Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. The book is a hilarious account of what some parents go through trying to get their kids to go to sleep at night. We’ve had our share of difficult bedtimes, but thankfully nothing likeContinue Reading

New Music: Dog On Fleas

New Music: Dog On Fleas

In case you weren’t aware; Dog on Fleas released their 8th CD, Buy One Get One Flea, on February 18th. Mostly recorded with piano, bass and drums, and some very energetic singing, this album also features a few songs recorded with the Backyard Dorkestra, a ragtag band with bassoon, piccolo, accordion, flugelhorn, sax, trombone, violin andContinue Reading

What happens when you listen to ‘Let it Go’ too many times?

What happens when you listen to ‘Let it Go’ too many times?

My son absolutely LOVES the movie Frozen, but I think the soundtrack is something he loves even more.  I can’t even tell you the number of times ‘Let it Go’ has come on Kids Place Live while we are driving in the car, followed by the immediate exclamation from PJ “Frozen – daddy, turn itContinue Reading