Welcome to our KidDesktop blog!

KidDesktop is a kid friendly Windows desktop alternative providing a safe PC learning experience without allowing access to inappropriate files, programs, or Internet content. This blog provides information parents and teachers can use to help children get the most out of their computer experience, including updated information about KidDesktop and reviews of kids’ websites and kid friendly YouTube videos.

Archive for October, 2010

And still MORE time-lapse videos…

Yes, I’m a bit obsessed with these time-lapse videos (see here and here).  What can I say?  They are really cool to watch!  It helps that both of my kids are really into science, and these videos are a great way for them to see — in action — some of what makes up the vast realm of the scientific.  I also think that videos such as these can help any child become interested in the world around them.  Just one more reason to watch them with your children!

This week I want to highlight two videos, both of which show the potentially darker side of that natural world.  The first is a time-lapse video of a thunderstorm.  Fear of thunderstorms is relatively common in young children (older ones, too, not to mention the occasional household dog or cat!).  But this storm — seen from a distance — shows the power of nature in a particularly non-threatening way.  Watching those thunderclouds move from one side of the horizon to another is down-right hypnotic.  And several cameo-making shooting stars just serve to add to the visual experience.

The second video is of the Simi Valley fire, which consumed several thousand acres (Wikipedia says 7,000; the YouTube note says 25,000) outside of Los Angeles in late September of 2005.  Parents definitely need to use their discretion in deciding whether or not this video would be a good one for their particular child.  Obviously, children who have experienced a fire or a fire evacuation will be much more sensitive to this video than other children.  But older kids who follow the news may have heard of recent fires in Colorado and California (or in other places), and might be interested in this video.  For those with an interest in the dramatic, the music accompanying this video adds a great touch.  Budding astronomers will also enjoy seeing stars, planets, and the moon rising over the flames.

Oh, OK, I can’t resist adding one more video.  This one is of the Aurora Borealis.  (Here’s a good link for info about the so-called “Northern Lights.”)  No warnings on this one.  Just…enjoy!

More time-lapse fun…from space!

I have two more cool, time-lapse videos for you today.  Any child who is interested in space will be captivated by these videos.  For that matter, so was my space-loving husband!

The first one is a total lunar eclipse, which occurred on February 20, 2008.  The filmmaker, Pete Herron, writes about the video:  “The image shakes because the moon moves during the night, obviously. It’s hard to keep the moon in the exact same spot of the frame while it’s constantly moving. The sound was from video that I recorded for the purpose of giving the timelapse a more real-time feel to it.”  Check out Pete’s website for other cool videos.

(Did anyone else get an ad for the new Twilight movie when they watched this video?  I, for one, found that quite amusing.  But don’t worry, no ads on KidDesktop.)

The second video shows the earth rising and setting, as seen from the moon.  Those images would be interesting enough, but this filmmaker actually introduces the earth-rise/earth-set with video taken from astronauts aboard Apollo 8 on December 24, 1968.  Having just made the first human passage around the moon, the astronauts are amazed to see the earth-rise.  The remainder of the video comes from 2007, and was taken about the Japanese Kaguya satellite.