When my daughter Poesy was four, her nursery school let us know that they were shutting down a day before my wife’s office closed for the holidays, leaving us with a childcare problem. Since I worked for myself, I took the day off and brought her to my office, where we recorded a short podcast, singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (a frankly amazing rendition!).
We’ve done it every year since, except for 2016 when I had mic problems. Now she’s 13, and we’ve just recorded our ninth installment, and as always, it was a highlight of my holiday season. This year, our Christmas carol is back, along with a brief interview about her interests and hobbies.
Here’s this year’s recording, and here are the years gone by:
In my latest Guardian column, I explain how UK prime minister David Cameron’s plan to opt the entire nation into a programme of Internet censorship is the worst of all worlds for kids and their parents. Cameron’s version of the Iranian “Halal Internet” can’t possibly filter out all the bad stuff, nor can it avoid falsely catching good stuff we want our kids to see (already the filters are blocking websites about sexual health and dealing with “porn addiction”). That means that our kids will still end up seeing stuff they shouldn’t, but that we parents won’t be prepared for it, thanks to the false sense of security we get from the filters.
The Starship Sofa podcast has produced an excellent reading of my novella “The Martian Chronicles,” which was originally published in Jonathan Strahan’s YA anthology Life on Mars. The reading is by jeff Lane, who’s really talented. Here’s the MP3 (the reading starts around 1:50).