Saturday, November 30, 2013

PHOTO RECAP: ChiIL Out At The Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair #ad #spon

If 1893 could see us now, snapping photos of their world's fair exhibits & watching videos about them on our smartphones, let alone talking on something so small and wireless, it would truly seem like magic.   You can have the best of both worlds, by exploring a seldom seen slice of history via modern technology right now at The Field Museum!

Our family checked out the fabulous new exhibit at Chicago’s Field Museum called Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair yesterday and the kids had so much fun they barely realized how much they were actually learning.   Before we went, we downloaded the new, free Field Museum app for Android (also iphones).   Click here to download it for yourself.  

Make a high tech or old school plan with a smart phone or a smart map. 

*ChiIL Tip:   Bring headphones so you can check out the cool videos on the Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair App Tour.  Log on to Field Museum WiFi once you get there for the best reception.   We were there the day after Thanksgiving with a capacity crowd and still had a strong, fast signal.   Uber impressive.

We dug this interactive exhibit that takes you back to 1893 to show you what visitors to the World’s Fair -- one of the greatest events in Chicago’s history -- saw 120 years ago.   This is the Chicago of my great grandparents and it's so cool to have this time machine of an exhibit to take us back.   The fair was a HUGE deal back in the day.  It would cost over 1.2 BILLION to do something of that magnitude today!   Thankfully, we're left with the legacy of The Field Museum and others due to the World's Fair.

We followed most of the tour on the app but one of my favorites was the sweet video and back story on the blown glass sea cucumber made by the father & son duo.  In 120 years since, people have never been able to figure out how they did it, or come close to recreating it!

*ChiIL Tip:   Play with the app ahead of time and make it into a treasure hunt for the kids to keep them engaged during Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair App Tour.

We live right in the city of Chicago and Field Museum has long been one of our family favs.   In fact, the stellar museums here are one of the big benefits of raising savvy urban kids.

What will visitors see?
    • More than 200 artifacts and specimens from every corner of the Fair’s grounds—from the Midway villages to a nautical exhibit moored in Fair’s pond. Some highlights include:
      • Fair memorabilia, such as one of the financial ledgers and tickets
      • Peruvian mummies, and 3D printed replicas of figurines found inside one of the mummy bundles
      • Instruments from the gamelan played at the Javanese village on the Fair’s Midway
    • Large-scale murals and atmospheric projections that will take visitors into the Fair’s grounds
    • Two digital interactives allowing visitors to explore and engage with the earliest Museum’s collections through new technologies
*ChiIL Tip:   PEOPLE from other cultures were put on EXHIBIT which sparked a great family discussion on human rights/pc museum practices/zoo animals/& multiculturalism still going on today!

Why an exhibition about the World’s Fair at The Field Museum?
    • The Field Museum was founded to commemorate the Fair
    • The Museum’s original collections are formed by objects that were all displayed at the Fair
    • The Field Museum has the single largest collection of items displayed at the Fair
    • The Field Museum is the legacy of the Fair: scientists conduct ground-breaking research on the ever-growing collections, and exhibitions display objects from its vaults for the public to see

Check out ChiIL Mama's slide show below for our full photo recaps.

We dug the CGI shows mixing live, modern day actors in period piece costumes and still photos from 1893.

Didja Know?

*ChiIL Tip:   Leave plenty of time for kids to explore the hands on elements.   My tweens (10 & 12) loved the interactive music section the most, but also spent lots of time exploring the technology used to examine a mummy unobtrusively.   

What is this exhibition about?
Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair takes visitors back to 1893, to the World’s Columbian Exposition—one of the greatest events in the history of Chicago and the U.S. The exhibition will show today’s Museum visitors what visitors to the Fair saw 120 years ago.

Exit through the gift shop for unique gifts for the holidays and beyond.  

We'll be reviewing this AWESOME Chicago 4D Cityscape puzzle at ChiIL Mama. It's available at the museum or at The Chicago Architecture Foundation (where we got our review copy).   They're running special architecture tours in conjunction with the Worlds Fair exhibit (another great gift idea)!

I couldn't put this one down!   It adds an extra layer of intrigue to this exhibit, interweaving architecture history and the macabre real story of a serial killer stalking the grounds of the World's Fair.

This one's high on my must read list.

*ChiIL Tip:   We highly recommend checking out the Underground Adventure, Creatures of Light:  Nature's Bioluminescence & Titans of the Ice Age movie when you need a bit of a sit down break.

Shrink ray down to the size of a penny and explore the insect world!

Make a fun souvenir at the entirely old school Mold-A-Rama and/or the squashed penny machine.   Both are inexpensive memory makers for your budding collectors.

Whether you live in or near Chi-Town or are thinking of paying us a visit, The Field Museum is a MUST SEE.

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Have a ChiIL Thanksgiving from Our ChiIL Mama Family to Yours

Happy Thanksgiving 
from Our Family to Yours

ChiIL out and laugh lots!

Play together...   Aim high... Reach for the stars... 

Skype, call & e-card your far flung family & friends

Hug your kids tight... They grow up all too fast!

all photos taken at Redmoon's Skelebration 
by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara for ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows

We're thankful for YOU... our readers.   Have an awesome Thanksgiving!

Dress Up Like a Bear and Tease The Camp Out Consumers #BlackFriday

Hey... here's the deal for Black Friday.

Yes, it's that time of year, kidlets, when rampant consumerism and competitive deal shopping takes over otherwise sane people's brains and makes them do silly things like lining up on Thanksgiving night to get smokin' deals for the holidays.   It's intense... or in tents as the case may be.   If you can't bear it, add a little playful humor.

Redmoon's Bear-Skelebration 2013

We recently saw this idea on Facebook.  "Dress up like a bear & tease the people lined up in tents for Black Friday".

Redmoon, we're thinking you and our friends over at Strange Tree Group (who have a bear skin rug bear in their awesome current production, The Dead Prince) and Goodman's recent Jungle Book Baloo (Kevin Carolan) need to go out together tonight and remind people what the "bear necessities" of life really are.

Goodman Theatre Production Photo--The Jungle Book 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GoldieBlox and The Mad Beasties a Fairy Tale For The New Millennium

Saturday we were hangin' with Debbie Sterling, the inventor of 
GoldieBlox, a girls' engineering game featuring cute little animals like a suit sporting Polar Bear, Basset Hound, sloth and more at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.   She signed and gave away free games to all the Girl Scouts who played in the Top Trumps Tournament.

We're all about encouraging STEM in girls and busting the gender based toy industry.   The inventor even signed a couple of the games for us.   My 10 year old daughter has been obsessed with it ever since.

Check out their catchy grrrrrl power video here:

Monday I woke up to THIS in my in box.
(I'm a music blogger at ChiIL Live Shows in addition to an Urban Parenting Blogger at ChiIL Mama.)


Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial "GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys," we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.

We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.

As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song "Girls" had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.

Wish this would have arrived a few days ago so I could have interviewed Debbie about it in person.   The Beastie Boys have been favorites of ours for decades!   I'm a big fan of the creatives on both sides of this dilemma and I'm fervently hoping it's just lawyers being unpleasant, and that this can be peacefully resolved.   

I get it.   GoldieBlox cries parody and free speech and wants to keep riding the wave they've created with their viral YouTube video that has over 8 million views and is likely to increase exponentially with the Beastie Battle.

Instead of the original 1987 hit’s lyrics, “Girls to do the dishes, girls to do the laundry,” GoldieBlox replaced the lyrics with more girl-empowerment words, “Girls to build the spaceship, girls to code the new app.” Says ABC News.

Hey GoldieBlox-- Play nice and quite stealing the bears (erm... I mean the Beasties) property that they nicely asked you to stop using.   You can't waltz in and take other people's stuff, just like fairy tale Goldielocks, (the kids who was guilty of breaking and entering, theft, destruction of property, and takin' a nap in baby bear's bed).  That story didn't end in a bloodbath, or a courtroom.   The bears could have mauled her... but they didn't.  They just let her run off & did their own dishes, and cleaned up the chairs and beds she'd thrashed.

That said, The Beastie Boys probably did Goldie Blox a HUGE favor with this, because the conflict will likely catapult the grrrrl powered spinning machine game into the news, and even bad PR is PR.   We do dig the game, the message behind it, and The Beastie Boys, too.   But I've gotta side with the artists here.   They wrote the tune even if Goldie Blox changed the words, and when one of their members was dying of cancer, he hand wrote that he never wanted his songs used in advertising.   That's gotta count for something.

Goldie Blox, as fun as your YouTube parody is, you didn't ask permission to use "Girls" and they didn't sue you, they just asked you to stop using it.   You're crafty... hire a few musicians and get your own song (not "She's Crafty... that one's off limits too.)   We're pulling for you, but it's time to pull the "Girls" and let the Beasties have their song back.

You gotta fight... for the right... to paaaaaaaaroddy.   But chose your battles.   The Beasties are good guys and there are a lot of other tunes out there.