Watch my kids grow up in a supercut of my Vine videos

I never got around to blogging about Vine, Twitter’s service for making and sharing 6-second videos that loop endlessly. I meant to recommend it to parents as a way to capture moments with their kids, sort of like the moving photographs in Harry Potter.

Parents have plenty of other options now, like Instagram video, Apple Live Photos and the new Vine Camera for Twitter, but the old Vine is going away. For posterity, I downloaded all my old Vines and smashed them together in a big supercut on YouTube. I added some titles to help with context.

What I got was a vaguely arty 27-minute film about the last four years of my life. The best part, of course, is watching my kids grow up.

Continue reading Watch my kids grow up in a supercut of my Vine videos

I was all-in on bad science, and I’m sorry

I was selfish. I was arrogant. I willfully contributed to an environmental and public-health crisis that is putting my children, your children, everyone at risk. All I can say is I’m sorry, I’ve changed, and I’ll do my best to make this right.

I’m talking about antibacterial soap. Chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban have contributed to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA. They’re known endocrine disruptors that our babies wind up consuming in breast milk. They’re contaminating our water supply.

The state of Minnesota has banned triclosan, and the FDA is mulling a national ban on antibacterial soap (big update on this below). For more on the problem, check out this article from Arizona State University (go Devils).

But I’m not here to lecture you on the dangers of antibacterial chemicals. For me, the issue is personal. I remember my high-school biology teacher sounding the alarm 17 years ago, and I didn’t listen. Continue reading I was all-in on bad science, and I’m sorry

Attack of the beard

I know what I said. Stay-at-home dads should shave every day. Now I’m telling you it’s OK to grow a beard. Just observe proper maintenance:

Small kids need to know that facial hair isn’t scary. My dad never had a beard or mustache to speak of, so my earliest notions of these things came from a handful of mustachioed uncles in the mid ’80s. I remember some of those guys being surly. Others teased me all the time.

Eventually the surly uncles mellowed out. I realized the guys who teased me were hilarious once I got a little older. But it was too late for mustaches. Mustaches were dumb. I wouldn’t even think about growing one until decades later, when indie-rock brainwashing and prostate awareness made it OK to grow a mustache for ONE MONTH ONLY.

That brings me to the next compelling case for scruff: Charity. Anything can be cool if it’s part of a “THON,” and they got thons for everything these days. Dudes have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars by playing the (deliberately) worst videogame ever made for days on end.

The Movember mustache-thon is a long way away, so what charity is this dad’s current beard supporting? I’m glad you asked!

I’m participating in the St. Louis Blues Beard-A-Thon. You can pledge my beard here. This very special thon is a great excuse to keep my beard for another month (I hope) because it benefits hometown charities while giving my favorite hockey team extra intangibles for the playoffs. If you have enough intangibles, you automatically win the Stanley Cup.

So please, pledge a couple bucks for my St. Louis Blues playoff beard. You’ll help my baby son grow to embrace both facial-hair diversity and ridiculous sports traditions.

If my beard doesn’t make any money, I’ll probably get all surly and start teasing my boy all the time. And then I’ll have to shave in shame.