Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gifts for Boys and Teens

Are you looking for a fun toy for the boy or teen on your list? Here are the most popular ones that readers have been buying up from Amazon:

First is the the Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 that can build over 750 experiments with 80 parts. Next is the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 which is described as follows:
Take LEGO to the next level with MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0. Combining the versatility of the LEGO building system with a microcomputer brick and intuitive programming software, this building kit enables you to construct robots that see, speak, feel, and move. Designed for ages 10 and up, the 2.0 robotics tool set features everything you need to create and program your first robot in approximately one hour.

Finally, a popular item is the Scientific Explorer's Mind Blowing Science Kit for Young Scientists. This kit is for younger kids from 4-8:
This smartly designed science kit allows young scientists to perform several amazing science experiments that range from erupting a color-changing volcano to growing colorful, jiggly crystals. Young scientists will learn about basic principles behind the science including the difference between acids and bases, and how to use a test tube and pipette.

The last toy mentions that adult supervision is necessary. Anyway, that seems to be what people are buying at Amazon for younger guys. If you have some additional suggestions, drop them in the comment section.

58 Comments:

Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:30 PM, December 10, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

"Boys". Seriously?

Want more female engineers and scientists? Buy these for your daughters. You may be surprised.

4:38 PM, December 10, 2011  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

Yes, Joe, "boys".

Seriously.

You're aware that there is a push against boys? no, I guess not.

As for your daughters, sure you can get them these toys. Toys don't discriminate.

5:18 PM, December 10, 2011  
Blogger Gordianus the Finder said...

Football? Baseball glove? Bike? God forbid a BB gun? Whatever happened to stuff like that?

1:41 PM, December 11, 2011  
Blogger campy said...

Want more female engineers and scientists?

Why should I care what jobs females choose?

6:26 PM, December 11, 2011  
Blogger Doom said...

Who cares if some guy wants to turn his daughters into manlings. He will be the poorer for it.

As for me, my problem is this Helen. I am no boy and those toys, for the older boys, looks absolutely divine. I have the time, interest, and such. Sadly, I have no money for such things. All I am saying is there are men out there who might just enjoy some of those things too. It really isn't always the size, or price, of the toys. Men are men are boys. Oh boy!

1:16 AM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

Always interesting to see militants turn into the very thing they rail against.

10:30 AM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

We got the kids a little beginner compound bow for Christmas. Nice and dangerous!

Trey

11:48 AM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

And is it just me, or is Joe's above comment context and meaning free for everyone but Joe?

Trey

11:49 AM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:43 PM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger campy said...

I assumed Joe was expressing his disappointment upon realizing what was in his mirror this a.m.

2:43 PM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

My point was that fighting misandry is great until you become a misogynist.

To fight sexism against boys by promoting sexism for boys is rather silly.

5:54 PM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

I not only stumped ZorroPrime, he offered up no pithy remark. Did I win?

5:57 PM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:09 PM, December 12, 2011  
Blogger Doom said...

Joe, go and read your own words well. Trying to turn girls into boys is one of the most hateful things you can do. But, enjoy yourself. Beat your girl childs into boys to prove that they are equal while denying them their natural identity. You will only have yourself to blame. And there will be much to hold blame regarding.

12:27 AM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

There are lots of areas in which women can be prepared for LIFE the same as men. It's called growing up and taking responsibility.

I assume that more boys are going to be interested in chemistry sets and electronics sets than girls. And - following the kind of sickening stereotype - girls are want to going to have dolls so that one can marry the other and live off his income and accompanying work.

If girls are interested in electronics, however, maybe buy a set for them too.

But in huge areas of life, the issue is viewing women as perpetual children. I see lots of list in the Internet about "how Real Men act" and "what boys have to learn to become men" etc.

Almost all of the advice can be applied to women as well. Why not talk about children becoming adults instead of boys becoming men?

For instance, Real Men keep their word. They adhere to agreements they have made. They are straight up with people.

Apparently, that shouldn't apply to women. They are just expected to be manipulative weasels (?).

Almost all of the Real Man crap is applicable to RESPONSIBLE ADULTS. Although Doom forecasts Doom and Gloom if you dare bring up a girl to be a responsibility-taking adult, I'm not so sure.

And - in my mind - an interest in chemistry or physics beats an interest in parking your butt on the couch and watching Dr. Phil while some other sentient being on this planet provides for you.

2:54 AM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:26 AM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Ern said...

As an uncle with four nephews, I've found the following gifts to have made the recipients very happy:

- bullwhips
- bb guns
- various percussion instruments
- archery sets
- chemistry sets (augmented by saltpeter so the recipient can make gunpowder)

It's so much more fun being an uncle than being a parent.

8:15 AM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

"And - following the kind of sickening stereotype"

I am not sure that word means what you think it means. Stereotype: a set of inaccurate, simplistic generalizations about a group that allows others to categorize them and treat them accordingly.

Boys and girls actually ask for and play with different types of toys and they often play in different ways. That is factual data and not a stereotype. Not even a sickening one.

Progressives with their love of social engineering would take the maleness out of the boy, but boys remain stubbornly and wonderfully boyish.

Thank God who made us so.

Trey

9:54 AM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Winding down said...

12 gauge. A case each: OO & rifled slug. 14+

Not to stereotype..my niece got her second doe last week

10:01 AM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

"I am not sure that word means what you think it means."

---

The idea/statement that all girls want to play with dolls is not a stereotype?

Whether you're right or wrong, you just aren't smart enough to be that condescending. But maybe I don't know what condescending means either.

12:27 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

Stereotypes are often supported by some measure of truth, by the way.

12:33 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Actually, that was me being kind and tolerant to someone who doesn't think or express himself very clearly.

I am not surprised you missed the point. 8)

The vast majority of girls DO play with dolls. It is just one of the normative hardwiring differences between men and women. There is a place in our brains that responds to visual erotic stimuli. It is 250% larger in males than females. There is also a place in our brains that constructs relational maps of who is close and who is upset with who. That region is 250% larger in women.

We can see confirmation for these scientific findings in commerce: Porn is marketed to men and dolls to girls. That is because observation has shown that these patterns of interest are widespread and enduring.

Then there is the large and growing scientific literature on hormonal changes in pregnancy that activate more nurturing behaviors. I could go on and on, but I think that someone who strains at the difference between the words "all" and "most" would find the text incomprehensible.

Trey - this is me being condescending. 8)

12:41 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

If it is true, it is not a stereotype.

Trey

12:42 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

"If it is true, it is not a stereotype."

-----

1. I don't know why you say that. According to one dictionary, a stereotype is "something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially : a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment"

The problem is including ALL members of the group in the mental picture and treating them that way. See No. 2 below.


2. It's NOT true that all girls (the connotation when you say "girls want to ...") want to play with dolls. Not by a longshot.

3. Another example is "women are golddiggers". Now even if statistics were to show that far more women than men are parasites off their spouses and expect to get things of monetary value from their spouses, not ALL women are like that. The problem arises when you treat fair women like (the majority?) of women.

12:47 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

Let's say a study showed that Tennessee had the most hillbillies of any state, even beating out southern Kentucky.

So Tennessee would have the highest percentage hillbillies.

There would be some truth to the statement that "people from Tennessee act like hillbillies". Because they do so more than residents of any other state.

It's still a stereotype - projecting all of the characteristics of hillbillies onto EVERY resident of Tennessee.

Similarly, NOT ALL GIRLS want to play with dolls or grow up to leech off a man. It's a stereotype.

Now do we get to start on my understanding of the word "condescending"? If you're going to be a condescending twit, you better be right. And you're not.

12:51 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

"The vast majority of girls DO play with dolls."

--

I don't even know if that's true. My sister was a tomboy growing up, and I've known several women who never went near a doll. That's not meant to be a statistical observation, just a common sense thought that is the start of a dispute as to the phrase "vast majority".

You're also pumping out "facts" left and right. Why not back some of them up?

12:55 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

unless all you want to do is split hairs over the nuanced meaning of words, it is pretty plain to most that the majority of girls play with dolls, doll houses, doll dresses, domestic paraphernalia, jewellery, trips, dinners, control of financial instruments, cars, boats and anything else a bloke has that she slept with once has....and will eventually find a lawyer to prise them out of his legal grip.

call it a generalization, stereotype, accusation, keen observation or otherwise point out the fact that....women are generally hard-wired to be constantly on the lookout for the best possible deal.

and occasionally you will find the exception that goes to prove the rule, and even she's had thoughts.

so, where does this all leave us?

mostly not wanting to look closely at the hard fact that women are not going to act in our best interest when it matters most.

we want to think that women, and specifically the one that lies sleeping sweetly on the pillow beside us,is our soul mate, our one true love, and our companion through thick and thin.

so why do we think this way?

because it's easier than the statistical truth, and we actually do care, and want a woman to care about and for.

silly that, but it's a fact.

and for christmas? i always want the same thing, peace and quiet, a few laughs, a drink or two with family and some mundane expressions of the season.

much like any other day.

1:35 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

Way to create a straw man argument, Doom. Good Lord it must suck to be around you.

3:04 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Doom said...

Joe,

Not so much. I was thinking the same thing about you, especially your daughters. Do you forbid skirts and dresses. Did you name them Billy or other androgynous names? Creepy. You really must hate women.

For my part, I like them, and just as they are, mostly.

3:33 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:55 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:58 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"Boys and girls actually ask for and play with different types of toys and they often play in different ways. That is factual data and not a stereotype. Not even a sickening one.

Progressives with their love of social engineering would take the maleness out of the boy, but boys remain stubbornly and wonderfully boyish.

Thank God who made us so."


Oh Trey, Trey, Trey... tis a pity that you were blessed with not one but two daughters. Hopefully as they grow, they can overcome you.

For what it's worth: my 11-year-old neice got the Snap Circuits gift from me years ago, before the InstaMan found it, whilst he was still pushing the How to Play Dangerously Outside! books for boys. She loved it. She's good with schematics in general, and is on the Lego Robotics team at school too. (and not to scope out the boys)

Helen is sexist to market this as a boys toy. There's nothing about having a penis that makes you like science more, or putting things together.

For the record, my neice is not a He-Man either. Nor is my sister, the engineer. She's very feminine, in fact. Her brain is excellent too, years of training and practice.

You'll all be done in by stereotypes, those of you who think this Boy Here ... Girl Here way, in non-sexual or physical subject matter. Shown up as dinosaurs in time.

Pray that Trey's "girls" can overcome him, or he just opts for the penis-dangling snowflakes the next go-around.

7:09 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

I will say this for Helen, though: She rarely runs scared and deletes the comments critical of her. That is a rare trait online indeed, for men or women.

Kudos!

7:09 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"I assume that more boys are going to be interested in chemistry sets and electronics sets than girls."


Why?
Have you trained them to be so in your culture?

That's too bad for your girls and women-folk. Luckily, they'll get to see strong women and hopefully go to school with smart girls who see no such limits, and learn from them.

7:13 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"The vast majority of girls DO play with dolls."

It's not mutually exclusive. The smarter child can move from dolls/role playing, to puzzles, to sporting games, to schematics, to roller skating, to chemistry sets, etc. All in the same day.

It helps if they understand the time and place: difference between outdoor play, physical play, inside play and scholarly play.

It helps of course, if you TEACH them. Much like we expect different dress, and different behavior in different places.

We DON'T teach them that ... this type of play is for this sex of child, and this type of play for that. Not if you're a good parent that is, and know your own.

Perhaps, all of the men posting here just have ... a different type of daughter, and thus, they assume all girls are (inferiorly) built so. Nope fellas. (Perhaps some are compensating for their own failure in producing biological male offspring, so they look down on their girls as ... mental and physical lessers. Even as growing, developing children. ?)

7:18 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"We can see confirmation for these scientific findings in commerce: Porn is marketed to men and dolls to girls."

Verging on the sicko here, Trey. That's a very poor comparison.

Oh well. As long as you're not advocating marketing the porn to girls, or marketing the girls to men.

But really, if your girl is unable to compete mentally against men, isn't that the next logical step? To market her out to the boys? Surely she wants to play the passive roll, like with her dolls. hey -- didn't Ibsen write about this 100 long years ago?

;-)

7:21 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"Then there is the large and growing scientific literature on hormonal changes in pregnancy that activate more nurturing behaviors."

So... your girl has gotten herself pregnant already, and thus it's her hormones that encourage her childhood play?

How does that obvious scientific fact fit into what's being discussed here? No really.

Or are you saying, why bother educating the lil vagina since she's only gonna get pregnant and later in life choose a nurturing role anyway? Better have a backup plan, in case she never becomes pregnant herself, Trey (some women and men never choose the Me Parent role for themselves.) Maybe it's the lack of testosterone that made you settle down and nuture someone else's offspring, Trey? You like to play with baby dolls yourself as a child?

OK, I think I've made my point. Sorry, because I know to you, it must hurt a lot harder this honest criticism, coming from a girl and all.

7:25 PM, December 13, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:52 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

"But really, if your girl is unable to compete mentally against men, isn't that the next logical step? To market her out to the boys?"

--

Well, on the other hand, she should be doing SOMETHING useful instead of just sitting on her rear end watching Dr Phil. Right?

5:06 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

"I assume that more boys are going to be interested in chemistry sets and electronics sets than girls."


Why?
Have you trained them to be so in your culture?

_______________________

No, I'm not the chief trainer for "my" culture (I guess that means the Patriarchy).

I assumed that because I think boys are going to be more interested in that stuff - based on personal observation. I'm not smart enough - like feminists - to know for absolute sure if its based on genetics or culture or a combination or something else.

It may well be genetic, because lots of similar things seem to be that way.

But I'm also not going to go as far as making it a near absolute (like the other know-it-all TMink), and I certainly think that if girls show an interest in physics or chemistry or electronics that interest should be fed.

An inventor sure beats a housewife on my personal scale of usefulness assessment.

6:29 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

i'll take housewife over inventor to help raise my kids thanks mark.

it seems that recently women are giving up the roles they are ideally suited for (well, not all of course. some so resent their own children they physically and psychologically abuse them) and looking at what the men are doing, and demanding they be let do it too....and then putting pressure on men to raise "their" children, while they follow their "career path".

what i see amongst the new 20 somethings are hostile career-minded women and chubby manginas with beards.

as a generalization, of course.

so why did our society get this way?

9:33 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

and yes, i have a daughter (step) who, at 21, is a little confused about work and school and whether she should still be rolling with the cool girls who drink and drive and are not sure if they had sex last night...but fuck it, hahahahah....and she flies all that past my wife, who buys her innocence and worries that her boyfriend is being too critical and controlling.

it's not that this girl is particularly stupid, it's just that she's remarkably angry and can't seem to place the feelings in the right direction, and i think she represents a lot of young girls who have been fed a lot of feminist bullshit about what girls should do with their lives.

she just failed her certification exam for vet tech which she spent 2 years of her life and our money taking, and now she is facing a 90 day wait to re-sit and says she isn't sure she can pass it the next time either.

all those years of telling her she can play hockey with the boys is coming home to roost.

9:46 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

"she just failed her certification exam for vet tech which she spent 2 years of her life ..."

--

Who cares if a woman for raising kids is more important to you than an inventor? If a housewife is doing the most important job?

Get her into charm school or beauty school quick and then marry her off to a rich fucker. Then she'll be the very best - and richest! - housewife she can be.

10:15 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

And what the Esteemed Doctor Alistair doesn't seem to get is that you can be a mom for a few years while the kids are small and still be an inventor.

Most families no longer have 14 kids.

10:25 AM, December 14, 2011  
Blogger Doom said...

??? I thought I was being nice.

1:44 AM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

Here's what the new paradigm is with regard to women:

They get some good-sounding degree (and I always had fun in school as a professional student) and THEN they marry some guy to support them. The only difference vis-a-vis the days of old is that they can then pretend like they are doing something in life.

They aren't. They are the same old housewives who used to watch Days of Our Lives in the 1960s. Today, they watch Dr. Phil and in social circles mumble something about their independent "practice" (as a physician or psychologist or lawyer). If they have children, they can use that as an excuse if someone really "looks behind the curtain". But a 22-year-old child who she hasn't seen since Thanksgiving isn't much of an excuse in my book.

Same old situation with a different veneer. And you have chivalrous men supporting that crap for their own motives - they (mistakenly) think that if they keep her at home and dependent, they have a kind of life-like blow-up doll that they can screw and order around.

Wrong.

The chivalrous dude is the one getting manipulated and used.

2:04 AM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

housewives (mothers at home) are far more important to society than another inventor.

many middle income families are basically as motherless as ghetto blacks are fatherless, and while we have to step carefully while generalizing, the effects of these observations are clear.

a number of women i provide counselling for lament the fact that they weren't there for their children, and one in particular is in a running gun battle with her son who is as accurate a psychoanalyst in his tirades toward her when they fight as i have ever heard.

the damage to families due to unavailable parents is well documented, and the choice women make to pursue a career while letting others raise her children is beginning to pay dividends.

and any real mother will tell you that being a parent is a full time job for many years, but the sacrifice for many women today is that they can't meet their consumer needs if they commit to their children....

9:30 AM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

"housewives (mothers at home) are far more important to society than another inventor."

--

Housewives are not just mothers at home (and I really wonder about the constant attempt to push the discussion in that direction).

But I give up.

YOU pay for her. Even if there's a divorce, and I really don't want to hear about unfairness in divorce anymore. You create the monster, you pay for her. Not the taxpayer, not her parents, YOU.

10:00 AM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

Alimony can reign in the land of dump-shit chivalrist men.

Holy crap.

10:02 AM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

"housewives (mothers at home) are far more important to society than another inventor."

---

Yeah, anyone can invent a car or computer or television or whatever.

It takes a real woman to watch Dr. Phil and boss her working husband around when he gets home. And boss everyone in the neighborhood around.

I can't believe what I read sometimes.

10:04 AM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

mark, i don't disagree that some women will sit and do nothing...including refusing to have children, which in my mind is a huge crime against society.

i think if you read any of my posts you will see that i agree with you on the distorted view most women have in modern society....but i think they were conned by glib talkers into giving up the royal throne of home and family and pressing on into the cold light of chasing after a career.

the effect of women abandoning home life for cash has sent our culture into a tailspin of moral decay and potential disintegration.

the rise of the female voter over the last 100 years finds us in this economic, legal and social morass where many men are looking to find a voice in all this to find steady ground.

and anyone does invent cars, computers, television or whatever....and history has proven that and more....

and i see your point about creating monsters, but where else are we to go for companionship, nurture and sex?

as i said to my wife the other night, my prostitute doesn't understand me.....

1:23 PM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:45 PM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

well...yeah, i suppose this is the emerging paradigm.

i chose to say potential because i'm still optimistic.

naive.

3:17 PM, December 15, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"and yes, i have a daughter (step) who, at 21, is a little confused about work and school and whether she should still be rolling with the cool girls who drink and drive and are not sure if they had sex last night...but fuck it, hahahahah"

Ah, that explains it.
Those of you citing from "observation" or "experience" come from places where the females are a bit ... slower/lazier/behind.

Rest assured, not all cultures (I'm ethnic, not "Americanized" so much...) are raising their young women this way -- in divorced homes (hi Trey!) or with money troubles that ship them out to daycares, other people's care, and boyfriend care, etc.

1:37 PM, December 16, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"mark, i don't disagree that some women will sit and do nothing...including refusing to have children, which in my mind is a huge crime against society. "

What's really sad is the weak men our society produces who seem to enable this in their women. Like, if they are failures personally, at least they can point to the fact that they are not "girls/women" who are all fat lazy slobs with nothing in their heads than sexx and pumping out a few offspring.

Please fellas: just don't keep knocking 'em up, and asking the public to support your genetic evolution this way. Thank you.

1:40 PM, December 16, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:14 PM, December 16, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

are mark and mary the same person?

8:42 PM, December 16, 2011  

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