Saturday, April 22, 2017

National Geographic: MARS Blu-ray Giveaway

What would it be like to venture and live on Mars?  What would you pack and take with you on your journey from Earth to the fourth planet from the sun?  Is there a chance one day in the future that in addition to humans celebrating Earth Day there will be colonists also be commemorating Mars Day?  National Geographic explores this topic with its six-part television series MARS produced by the Academy Award-winning production duo of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard which merges a sci-fi drama with an educational documentary by interspersing interviews with real life astronauts, engineers, scientists, and other space experts within a scripted fictional story about a journey to the Red Planet.

Ask your kids what they think it would be like to be an astronaut on a trek to Mars. Share with them the informative fact sheet and packing list sheets below.  What would they pack along with them on a journey to Mars? I'm sure some of their answers will be quite interesting!





Share a picture of your completed inventory list on Instagram and/or Twitter by 11:59 pm on Monday, April 24, 2017 for a chance to win National Geographic: MARS Season 1 on Blu-ray.  Tag @Geekdad248 on either Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #MarsDay when sharing your picture on social media.  One winner will be randomly selected to win the Blu-ray courtesy of National Geographic and Fox Home Entertainment. One entry per social media account with a maximum of 2 entries allowed per household.


The television series tells the story of a multi-national effort to send astronauts to explore Mars set in 2037.  It revolves around the crew of the Daedalus, which includes mission commander Ben Sawyer (American), systems engineer Hana Seung (American), physician Amelie Durand (French), roboticist Robert Foucault (Nigerian), geochemist Javier Delgado (Spanish), and geologist Marta Kamen (Russian), who will be the first people to set foot on Mars.  As they engage in their adventure, viewers are shown flashbacks of the characters preparing for the mission from four years before lift off.  Interview segments with actual modern day experts are also incorporated into the fictional story explaining how today's technology will be utilized or enhanced to make such a mission feasible in the future.

In the first episode, as the Daedalus prepares to land on Mars a critical system on the space ship malfunctions.  Attempting to avert a disaster, the mission commander is critically injured.  While Commander Sawyer's efforts get his crew's boots on the ground, they find themselves 75 kilometers away from where automated rockets from Earth had previously dropped supplies waiting for them.  How will they survive with limited resources and no easy way to get to their planned landing site where all their vital supplies are stored?  And how do they treat Sawyer's serious injuries when the closest hospital is more than 200 million kilometers away?  You'll have to start watching to find out!


Disclaimer & Rules:  A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this endorsement or hosting the giveaway but was provided the same items being provided as a prize for personal use. The prize is provided by Fox Home Entertainment and A Geek Daddy is hosting the promotion as a benefit to our readers. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate.  One entry per mailing address and winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries.  If you have already won this prize through another blog participating in this promotion, your entry will be disqualified if that prize has already been awarded by Fox Home Entertainment.  By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize. Fox Home Entertainment will be responsible for shipping the prize to the selected winner. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

ENJOY EARTH DAY AT THE MICHIGAN SCIENCE CENTER

Commemorate Earth Day at the Michigan Science Center (MiSci) during their “Make Way for Earth Day” celebration! The event features a special Science Parade at Noon throughout MiSci as well as other interactive Earth Day activities and programs that introduce children of all ages to the fields of Earth science, and allow them to get hands-on with Earth science concepts.

Plus thanks to support from Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coating, guests who dress as their favorite STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) professional or wear green will receive FREE general admission on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10 am - 6pm.


MiSci is located at 5020 John R Street in downtown Detroit, Michigan.  CLICK HERE for directions and parking information.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY

Episodes of the original MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (MST3K) television series are back on the air! Comet TV is broadcasting reruns of the classic show that has developed a cult following on Sunday nights at 8p ET.  MST3K revolves around the goofy premise of a man being kidnapped by evil scientists and forced to watch bad "B" movies as they attempt to drive him mad.  Each 2 hour episode involves the main character and his robot sidekicks watching one of these B movies while they make funny wisecracks, engage in skits and sing songs about the film they are viewing.  MST3K originally aired for ten seasons among a variety of networks between 1988 and 1999.  Now MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 is back on COMET TV.

To highlight the return of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to the airwaves, COMET TV has provided A GEEK DADDY a MST3K prize pack to giveaway.  For a chance to win it please follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and retweet the embedded message below before 11:59 pm ET on April 30, 2017.  Must be a US resident over 18 years old to participate in this promotion.

The MST3K Prize Pack includes:

2 limited edition MST3K pint glasses;

A moon stress ball;

A custom MST3K flyer designed for the discriminating MST3K fan.

COMET TV is a partnership between Sinclair Broadcast Group and MGM providing the first 24/7 digital broadcast network with a focus on science fiction and horror programming.  Viewers in more than 100 U.S. markets can watch COMET TV for FREE just by plugging a digital antenna into their television and receiving the signal being broadcast through the air.  No paid cable or subscription services needed to watch COMET TV!

Not in one of COMET TV's broadcast markets? Utilize their app to watch via ROKU or APPLE TV.  You can also watch their programing through the network's website, COMETtv.com.

COMET TV is also the broadcast home for one of my favorite sci-fi television shows, Stargate SG-1.  Watch back-to-back episodes Monday through Thursday at 8p ET with an encore showing of both episodes beginning at 10p ET.  Tune in to see the SG-1 team explore the galaxy by utilizing the mysterious Stargate four days a week on COMET TV.



Disclaimer & Rules:  A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this endorsement or hosting the giveaway but was provided the same items being provided as a prize for personal use. The prize is provided by COMET TV and A Geek Daddy is hosting the promotion as a benefit to our readers. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate.  One entry per mailing address and winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries.  If you have already won this prize through another blog participating in this promotion, your entry will be disqualified.  By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize. COMET TV will be responsible for shipping the prize to the selected winner.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. 

NEVER GIVE UP UNTIL THEY BUCKLE UP

Did you know that tweens are currently the most high-risk age group in the United States for being injured in an automobile accident because they weren't wearing a seat belt?  According to the most recent statistics, 50% of children 8-14 years old that are killed in car accidents were not restrained at the time of the crash.  The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working to let parents and caregivers know that even through life as a guardian may be full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation, through a PSA campaign featuring character's from Fox's summer road trip adventure movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.

Iconic characters from the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, as well as actors from the newest release in the movie series encourage parents to "Never give up until they buckle up."  The Long Haul chronicles a family's misdaventures throughout their summer road trip making it a perfect fit to help promote this important safety message.



Here are a few tips from NHTSA about tween seat belt safety:

  • No matter how hectic or chaotic your situation is, don't negotiate over seat belt safety;
  • Always wear a seat belt yourself to consistently be a role model.  Insist that all family members do the same;
  • Never assume kids are buckled up;
  • Keep children seated in the back seats until at least age 13.
For more helpful information and tips concerning this topic, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: MARS

  ** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review**
Are you ready to blast off on a space adventure to Mars?  National Geographic's six-part television series MARS immerses you into a realistic representation of a futuristic mission to the red planet.  Academy Award-winning producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard merge a sci-fi drama with an educational documentary by interspersing interviews with real life astronauts, engineers, scientists, and other space experts within a scripted fictional story about a journey to Mars. It's really well done!

If you missed watching MARS when it first aired on the National Geographic Channel last year, the series is now available to purchase on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download.  This show filled with incredibly informative segments about astronomy and space travel as well as a suspense filled adventurous tale really captured my family's imagination and was very entertaining to view.  Plus the home video edition also includes features such as a bonus episode (Before Mars: A Prequel), a behind-the-scenes documentary (Making Mars), and interviews with the cast and crew.



What would life be like on the first human colony on the fourth planet from the sun?  It would obviously be much different than life is here on Earth. Ask your kids what they think it would be like, share with them this informative fact sheet, and have some fun giving them a chance to fill out the form below where they can list what they would pack for their adventure.





Watch MARS together as a family and compare the astronauts experience in the show to what your kids though it would be like.  Since we saw the show, my kids have been interested in going outside to gaze for Mars in the night sky through a telescope and have wanted to learn more about how someone can actually become an astronaut.  If this National Geographic television series sparks the same interest about space travel in your kids as it has mine, you'll want to visit, makemarshome.com, which allows people to see if they have what it takes to be an astronaut for a Mars mission through an interactive online experience.

The television series, based upon the book How We'll Live On Mars (2015) by Stephen Petranek, tells the story of a multi-national effort to send astronauts to explore Mars set in 2037.  It revolves around the crew of the Daedalus, which includes mission commander Ben Sawyer (American), systems engineer Hana Seung (American), physician Amelie Durand (French), roboticist Robert Foucault (Nigerian), geochemist Javier Delgado (Spanish), and geologist Marta Kamen (Russian), who will be the first people to set foot on Mars.  As they engage in their adventure, viewers are shown flashbacks of the characters preparing for the mission from four years before lift off.  Interview segments with actual modern day experts are also incorporated into the fictional story explaining how today's technology will be utilized or enhanced to make such a mission feasible in the future.

In the first episode, as the Daedalus prepares to land on Mars a critical system on the space ship malfunctions.  Attempting to avert a disaster, the mission commander is critically injured.  While Commander Sawyer's efforts get his crew's boots on the ground, they find themselves 75 kilometers away from where automated rockets from Earth had previously dropped supplies waiting for them.  How will they survive with limited resources and no easy way to get to their planned landing site where all their vital supplies are stored?  And how do they treat Sawyer's serious injuries when the closest hospital is more than 200 million kilometers away?  You'll have to start watching to find out!  Be aware though that there are life and death situations impacting the crew of the Daedalus so parents should take some discretion about whether the show is suitable for their children to watch based upon that.  It was fine for my 8 year old twins to watch but every child is unique.

If you want to learn even more about Mars, National Geographic has also published a companion book to the television series.  MARS -- OUR FUTURE ON THE RED PLANET is a wonderful 288 page hardcover book filled with 200 color illustrations and photographs.  The book combines science, technology, photography, and art to illuminate how Mars is the next frontier in space exploration.

Thanks to National Geographic you can now explore Mars without the hassle of traveling a million miles to get there.  Let MARS spark your family's imagination and curiosity about space exploration, science, and technology.

 
For more information about the television series, visit: channel.nationalgeographic.com/mars

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

National Superhero Day Twitter Party

Join me and my buddies from the PJ MASKS crew  for a National Superhero Day Twitter Party on Friday, April 21, 2017 from 11 am - Noon EST.  I'll be co-hosting this fun online event sponsored by PJ Masks and eOne with The Toy Insider.  It promises to be a super-powered hour full of fun, trivia and giveaways.  For a chance to win a prize follow @TheToyInsider, @PJMasksUS & @Geekdad248 plus RSVP that you'll be attending in advance of the party.  Winners will be randomly selected throughout the hour and must be on the RSVP list and actively participating in the Twitter Party using the hashtag #NationalSuperheroDay to be eligible for a prize.  Prizes are available to U.S. residents only.


The Disney Junior animated television series PJ Masks follows three 6-year-olds, Connor, Amaya, and Greg, who are relatively normal kids by day. When darkness sets though they become Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko, and fight crime as the superhero team PJ Masks throughout the night.  These pint-sized heroes won't let anything stand in there way when it comes to saving the day!

Four lucky winners will win a PJ Masks Character Mask and a PJ Masks Dress Up Set during the #NationalSuperheroDay Twitter Party.   The PJ Masks Dress Up Sets feature highly detailed full-body costumes that look just like the hero outfits Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko wear in the show! The costumes comes in sizes 4-6X. Add a plastic PJ Masks Character Masks to the mix and let the imaginary superhero adventures commence.



One lucky grand prize winner will also win a PJ Masks Headquarters Playset and a full assortment of the 2-pack action figures.  The action-packed PJ Masks Headquarters Playset stands more than 2 feet tall and has three character-themed levels filled with engaging kid-powered features. The light and sound PJ Picture Player kets kids choose their mission, and then recreate the action with the high flying zip line, working elevator, surprise trap, hanging cat rings, and pop-out hatch. The excitement continues as kids launch the included Catboy figure and Cat-Car down the winding ramp and sing along to the theme song.  Click here to read The Toy Insiders review of this playset.

Of course you'll want some PJ Masks figures for kids to play with as well with this playset.  Kids can recreate their favorite scenes from the show with the articulated 3-inch PJ Masks Duet Figure sets, each featuring two 3-inch figures. The two-packs feature Catboy with mad scientist Romeo, Gekko and nighttime foe Night Ninja, and Owlette with midnight marauder Luna Girl.

 RSVP now and don't miss out on the fun on April 21 between 11 am and Noon EST. @TheToyInsider will be asking trivia questions, moderating the conversation and announcing winners throughout the hour as my fellow co-hosts @doughmesstic, @jenngaffney@suburbanwifedp, & @lovepeacemommy and myself provide some friendly banter.  We'll be having a SUPER time!



Disclaimer:  A Geek Daddy has been financially compensated for promoting and participating in the #NationalSuperheroDay Twitter Party

Monday, April 17, 2017

GRAYTON AUTOMATIC WATCHES

** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review **
Grayton Automatic Watches have earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval

As a wedding present, my wife gave me a kinetic wrist watch because she knew I really was craving a really nice timepiece.  Kinetic energy from the natural body motions of your wrist generates electricity for a self-recharging battery that powers these type of watches.  I wore this watch almost everyday for more than a decade and it worked great -- the date and time were always accurate and never had to change the battery.  Then one day the watch just died.

I took it to a jeweler to see what was wrong.  Turns out the life span for the batteries on a kinetic watch aren't indefinite and need to be replaced about every 8 to 10 years.  Oh yeah, and the replacement battery would cost me more than my wife originally bought the watch for.  As I was pondering whether to repair my kinetic watch, Grayton Automatic Watches approached me about trying one of their products instead.  They promised me an excellent watch that I would NEVER have to change a battery to power it ... EVER.

Grayton provided me with a complimentary watch and I can honestly say it has performed impeccably with keeping accurate time.  This is particularly impressive because my new watch isn't powered by a battery but rather through the movement of the gears inside of it.  Just wind up the side switch a few times each morning and you won't lose a tick off the clock's pace.  I occasionally check the time against other electronic clocks during the day and my Grayton Automatic Watch is as accurate as when the date and time were first set on it.

You'd think this type of craftsmanship in today's day and age would cost you thousands of dollars to obtain but these watches for their quality are very affordable priced between $200 - $300 dollars.  Amazingly with all the gears moving about inside these watches are very quiet.  I have to hold mine right up to my ear to hear a subtle tick tock of its clock.  It has a very sturdy casing to it yet is very light to wear.  The watches have a classic vintage look of days gone by to them which I find very appealing.

Because electronics and batteries aren't involved with the inner workings of these watches as long as you take care of and treat them right they can last through a lifetime and possibly even be passed down from generation to generation.  One of these watches could be considered a family heirloom one day.  That makes them an especially great gift idea for an anniversary, birthday, Fathers Day, wedding or other special occasion.  These watches come very nicely packaged which is another advantage to providing one as a gift.  Though I've enjoyed mine so much have to say you may actually want to get one just for yourself.

Grayton Automatic Watches come in Men's, Women's and Unisex sizes.  With my 5' 5" frame I have small wrists and prefer medium-sized wrist watches.  Grayton's Unisex variations are designed for women who want a slightly larger fit and men who want a more moderately sized watch that doesn't look feminine.  The Grayton Unisex watch with a silver case and blue dial is a perfect fit for me!


The one negative I can refer to about my experience is that Grayton has an overabundance of gold colored cases when I was more interested in a silver version.  Of the silver ones they had those tended to come equipped with a fabric wrist strap instead of leather or metal ones.  I find fabric is too casual limiting occasions when you can wear it and inferior quality to leather.  Take a look at my wearing the watch with my suit.  It really doesn't go well for wearing to work or a special occasion where you need to dress up which unfortunately really impacts my opportunities to wear this great watch.  Grayton's website doesn't allow consumers to mix and match a wrist strap with a watch and rather forces you to choose from the pairing they've selected for you which is a shame.  You can purchase an additional strap you like along with your watch but it costs more and you have the pain of switching it out yourself.



All in all though the watches themselves are exceptional and very affordably priced allowing them to be obtainable for the average family.  And while I wasn't particularly happy about the watch I wanted only being available with a fabric strap, I did find the canvas to be more comfortable and durable than ones I've worn in the past.  Plus you never have to buy new batteries for one of these watches from Grayton!  Based upon how much I've enjoy my Grayton Automatic Watch, they've definitely earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval.


For more information or to check out their selection of watches, please visit grayton-watches.com