All Posts by: Zach Rosenberg

Jeremiah Heaton

So, like…we’d do anything for our kids, right? Anything. As in, your kid wants to take up soccer, you buy them cleats. Your kid wants a LEGO minifig that isn’t in stores anymore, you hop online and get it for their birthday. Your needs a good education, so you put in more hours at work to afford the right school. Your kid wants to be a princess, so you go to Africa, plant a flag on some disputed land and claim it as your own.

WHOA WHOA WHOA, back up. Which LEGO minifig? Those things get expensive when they’re discontinued.

Some dude in obviously read our intro and was all “Yep. BRB OMW 2 Africa BBL.” That’s what Virginia dad Jeremiah Heaton did at least.

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Hero Napkins

When you Hulksmash together unique, nerdy and lunch, you get our attention. That’s why we just knew we’d have to eventually feature a buddy of ours – Jimmy Ettele – on 8BitDad. Jimmy is a father to two daughters and during the school year, packs their lunched with classic comic book covers recreated on napkins with a ballpoint pen.

Who doesn’t love a good surprise in their lunch? Over the years, we’ve talked to two dads who have put Post-its into their kids’ lunches as well as one who just used the bag as his canvas. But this is the first time we’ve seen a napkin. We even snuck back to breakfast and talked to a dad making nerdy pancakes. Now, all we need is a dude that carves baby carrots into superheroes and we’re set.

(Spoiler alert, we know a dude that does that sort of thing, so stay tuned.)

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WaryBee Alert

Malaysian dude and father of two, Ray Teng, wanted to create something that would help if his children were to ever find themselves in trouble. He created a software solution-turned-wearable panic button that will broadcast a child’s whereabouts both to their guardian list, as well as other nearby network users. That way, if a child is kidnapped, not only will parents receive notification, but people with the app nearby can snap to action, looking for anything suspicious.

Teng is part of the team at WaryBee, which now fashions their wearable beacon creation inconspicuously as jewelry. First, Teng and his team tried software triggered by motion activation and voice activation. But the false positives weren’t working. That’s how the idea for wearable tech styled like jewelry came about.

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Toy War

When your son or daughter slips on a pair of big, green, foam Hulk hands, they believe that they really have gamma-powered strength. And when they play with plastic light sabers, they play as if losing a duel means losing a hand (because in the best Star Wars movies, it did).

Andrew McMurry made a short film that explores what goes through every kid’s head (and every dad’s head) while they’re playing with toys. From Nerf guns to Hulk hands to the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, all sorts of toys here become the subject of imagination.

Enough words! Roll tape!

Also, be sure to check out the VFX Breakdown video (on Andrew McMurry’s channel) to see how the digital effects of elements went into the video. And if you liked “Toy Wars”, subscribe to the AndrewM Films YouTube channel for more of his movies!

YouTube: AndrewMFilms

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NES Games That Prepared Me for Fatherhood

Fathers pull their inspiration from weird places. Some of them pull it out of their own father’s teachings. Some of them pull it out of necessity and learn on the fly. But what indisputably prepares you for fatherhood the most is video games.

Old NES games, specifically. Look, that console had two buttons. TWO. There was no dual-stick move-and-look. There was no rocket-jumping. You didn’t get a gun and a melee attack. You got JUMP and SHOOT. If you were incredibly lucky, and you usually weren’t, you could use a second weapon or skill by holding B while pressing A.

The games were brutally tough, unfair, and unrewarding. And all of that hardship prepared a generation of boys for fatherhood.

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Oren Miller

I was in Hawaii, vacationing with my family. Well, I was actually upstairs in my hotel room working while my family was downstairs on the beach. And clicking around the Facebook group I share with nearly 800 dad bloggers, I saw Oren’s June 3rd post titled “Cancer“.

In it, you can imagine what A Blogger and a Father author Oren Miller described; his fear, his clarity. His future – what he suspects, and what has been suspected of him. But he also described a scene that was too familiar: in 2010, his family was vacationing at a beach, and while everyone had fun, he was preoccupied with work. I read that between browser tabs…of work. From time to time, my wife would text me from down at the beach, asking if I was “anywhere close to done.”

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10 Discontinued Foods

Some things are too good (or too bad) to keep around forever. This is especially true in the world of junk food, where brands constantly crank out products based on market trends and flimsy pop culture references.

My son will never eat some of the junk food I had when I was younger. I certainly won’t tell you that he’s missing out on some of these. This is a list of tooth-and-organ-rotting garbage. But try not to get nostalgic reading this list of stuff my kid will never be able to eat.

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#PowerOfDad

My favorite thing about being a father is having fun with my son. I love to laugh with him, and it certainly gets a good laugh when I go down a slide that I’m clearly too big for.

But this wouldn’t be 8BitDad without me mentioning that I remember playing video games with my dad. When I was a kid, we’d play NES adventure classics like The Legend of Zelda and StarTropics together. We’d even play Street Fighter II together later when I got a Sega Genesis.

These days, every kid’s got video games, but it’s still a special experience to share them with my son. And when my son plays games like Street Fighter IV or The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword, it reminds me of the generational link between my father and I, and my son and I.

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