New Blog: Time for Backstory

Time for Backstory

What is the secret history of Christmas? How did Superman defeat the KKK? Could George Washington really have been bulletproof?

Our mundane lives are filled with odd facts, strange conspiracies, and secret origins. My new blog, Time for Backstory, is dedicated to a weekly exploration of the weird history in our mundane lives. In honor of the holiday season, the inaugural post delves into the phrase “Happy holidays” and the very racist history behind the supposed “War on Christmas.”

Read more at Time for Backstory!

My Parenting Blind Spot Gave Me a Concussion – Here’s How

head-bandages

I may have mentioned skating with my son before on this blog. I say “may” because I’m a little concussed right now. I fell on the ice the other day and bought a free trip to the ER. Like all such accidents, it was a good learning experience once you get past all the pain.

Parents spend all sorts of time considering their kids’ safety and then completely ignore their own. We went out skating with my son decked out in full hockey gear and my daughter wearing a helmet and using a crate for support. My wife and I just strapped on skates and got going.

We didn’t mean to ignore our own safety like that – it was a parental blind spot at work. At least one other parent was similarly unequipped. His kid, however, was in pads and a helmet. Like us, he spent so much time thinking about his kid that he didn’t consider his own safety.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!

Conquest of Greystone Valley is Here!

Conquest of Greystone Valley

Conquest of Greystone Valley, the sequel to 2013’s Greystone Valley, is now on sale! You can get your copy at any of the following links:

You don’t have to have read Greystone Valley to jump right into this new adventure and know what’s going on. If you want to learn more about the setting of Greystone Valley and the characters that inhabit it, check back here for more information about this new novel!

Countdown to Conquest: 5 Strange Creatures

Shadow Creature

The release date for Conquest of Greystone Valley is only five days away! If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, be sure to do so now so you can get in on the Great Greystone Valley Giveaway! In the meantime, here’s another glimpse of things to come.

The world of Greystone Valley is filled with strange creatures from myth and lore. Today, here’s a look at five fantastic beings who are bound to cross Sarah’s path. Some of them are familiar, while others are new to her.

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The Awesome Silliness of Fantasy RPGs

Flumph GoblinsOriginally posted on Sidekickcast.com

If you’re a fan of role-playing games, you probably got introduced to the game through a little thing called Dungeons & Dragons. It may have come by a different name back then, such as Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but the general gist remains the same. In my unscientific study, about 99% of gamers were found to have come into the hobby via some iteration of D&D.

I’ve hopped around a lot in the RPG hobby, and while I got off the D&Dtrain, my current game of choice, Pathfinder, is an extremely close cousin of the world’s first role-playing game. While there are a lot of reasons I tend to stick close to the D&D tradition, one of the major ones is the oddball humor that the game’s history is steeped in.

I like a good beer and pretzels game, where the play is fairly casual and the jokes are frequent. And when it comes to D&D-style fantasy, the jokes have been baked into the game for decades now.

Read more at the Screamsheet!

Could the Sugar High Really be a Parenting Urban Legend?

Sugar Rush

It’s a story that every parent knows: you bake some cookies or take your kid to the fair, and an hour later they’re bouncing off the walls and driving you crazy. Bloody sugar highs. But almost 20 years of research indicates that the legendary sugar high doesn’t really exist at all.

If you’re anything like me, the suggestion that a sugar rush is a myth has you shaking your head. I don’t care what kind of research they’ve done. I don’t care that studies dating as far back as 1994 all come to the same conclusion. This phenomenon must exist because I’ve seen it myself.

Or have I? Maybe seeing isn’t believing. Maybe because I’ve been told from an early age that sugar causes you to get hyper, and because I myself used to go nuts when I had sugary treats as a kid, my own brain is wired to see signs that aren’t really there.

Mark Wolraich, MD of Johns Hopkins University was part of that 1994 study and part of numerous studies afterward that examined hyperactivity in children. The conclusions have remained the same for more than 20 years: sugar doesn’t necessarily get kids wired, but it does make parents look for signs of misbehavior.

Do kids get wound up after parties, trips to the carnival, and other events where sugar is plentiful? Yes, but it’s more excitement than sugar. The most common places where kids get sugar are events that excite them, making them more likely to go nuts and less likely to listen to their parents.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!