Animaniacs is Returning!!

February 4th, 2018

Hey there Peeps! In case you haven’t heard…Stephen Spielberg and Hulu are bring back the Animaniacs!  Yakko, Wakko and Dot are returning and so are Pinky and the Brain.  I’m so excited!!

Here’s what Maurice LaMarche had to say:

Follow Up: Gaming Moderation

February 3rd, 2018

If you got our January Newsletter you’ll enjoy this follow up to our “Gaming Moderation” post featuring Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk about Massively Multi-Player Thumb-Wrestling!

Looking for more information about how gaming affects our kids?


Watch Jane’s other TED Talks here.



Part 1: Gaming Moderation

January 17th, 2018

If you are now asking about gaming addiction and your child is 7-12 years old, chances are it’s not as bad as it may seem; it’s about nipping it in the bud.

The goal is to set up initial boundaries and long term awareness. As games continue to become more and more indistinguishable from reality it opens this possibility that someone can become so immersed in a game world that they prefer it to the real world.

In the game world they are a superhero! When they do their absolute best and work hard enough they achieve success but in the real world they don’t have super powers and often times the “next level” is not attainable even when doing one’s best.

True World Fact!
“I grew up with Atari and the early Nintendo video games but never played beyond the early 90’s. Once I discovered computers I was more interested in making games and puzzles. If the games and puzzles are interesting and challenging to solve, imagine how much more fun and challenging it is to create these things.” ~ JDC

Even if you must restrict gaming time, spend some of that time learning to play the game with your child. Not to spy and steal their secrets (which you should totally do) but to gain some knowledge about what has attracted your child to the game and what value that game has to offer. (They’re going to beat you and that’s ok!)

In fact, looking closer at the kinds of games your kids are playing will tell you a lot about the skills they are learning that can benefit them in the real world. It’s not so much the game that is addictive; it’s an outlet for learning and enjoying the successes your child is developing.

Since felines are so popular on the internets we’re purrfectly comfortable using the acronym CATS for this discussion…

  • Collaborative – individual vs. social, making friends
  • Artistic – modeling, sculpting, drawing, music
  • Technical – coding, hardware, systems
  • Storytelling – writing, acting, animating

When it comes to game time it should include these elements and a way in which to channel these skills and this knowledge into the real world.

And that’s the most important part. When the real world and the virtual world are indistinguishable from one another, how will we draw our kids out of the worlds they are fighting to save, where they are the heros, where they have super powers, to come and do real world work as mere mortals?

You can kind of see why another world might be more appealing than this one that we all agree about living in.

Now, here’s the exciting part. Kids today are future innovators and entrepreneurs; they are already showing us the way!

To accomplish success in nourishing productive building-type activities is to find a balance between the right and left brain learning, the logic and math with abstract and art. Parents can seek education ventures outside of public school.

Our own programs at Spread the Weird Summer Camps are to introduce STEAM using the Arts and Tech to teach how collaboration is important to the storytelling process.

We also encourage kids to code so it’s important that we give a huge shout out to our friends at CodaKid!

Real World
“As the director of a kids coding academy, I have seen firsthand that teaching programming at an early age provides a number of important educational and developmental benefits. There is also little doubt that getting started early in one of the 21st century’s most important literacies will pay dividends as computing becomes part of nearly every profession. Here are 5 reasons why I think coding for kids is more important than parents think:” ~David Dodge

Read more at CodaKid:  Coding for kids: 5 reasons it’s more important than you think.


It really comes down to finding a balance to the right and left brains…

Jobs that require these skills will not be taken over by robots and they exist in industries beyond making cartoons and games.

  • – Architecture & Manufacturing
  • 3D Printing & Prototyping
  • Simulations & Research
  • Applied Physics & Aerospace
  • Bio Medical Sciences & Genetics
  • Organ Replacement & Prosthetics
  • Programming & Software Development

The trick is not to simply limit game time but to channel this creative, social energy into something that has value in the real world where these exact skills are needed most. We take our mission seriously at Spread the Weird Studios and CodaKid. Our qualified staff provide excellent opportunities for our youth to grow and prepare for the future of technology.

How to Channel our Kids’ Computer Time into a Passion with Purpose

January 17th, 2018

Hello Parents,

Over the years I’ve had many parents ask for advice about gaming addictions, fears their child may be growing into a hacker, securing online identities and other stories that leave parents wondering what to do about all the technology in their children’s lives.

Most times it’s not as bad as it seems because we’re nipping it in the bud, but to a parent that may not even know what their kids are doing on the computer it can sometimes seem rather scary.

This is why I’ve decided to collect all of my emails and presentations about these topics and put them all in one helpful place for all parents to benefit.
Stay t00ned for this Informative Series:


How to Channel our Kids’ Computer Time into Passion with Purpose.

– Part 1: Gaming Moderation
Learn to Channel Gaming Skills into Real World Outcomes that Benefit the Real World! Use Collaboration, Artistic, Technical and Storytelling Skills to Become Leaders and Entrepreneurs. Real world heros!

– Part 2: Hacking
Understand Hacking, What Makes it a Good Thing and How to Avoid Illegal Activity. What is a White Hat Hacker vs. a Black Hat Hacker?

– Part 3: Jobs of the Future
Jobs that Robots Will Not Be Able To Do. Finding fulfilling career paths that include Creativity and Empathy. Entrepreneurs are Storytellers.

– Part 4: Parental Controls
Password Protecting Your Family Home Network, Using a Password Manager, Setting Parental Controls with Time Restrictions and Content Filters.

– Part 5: Social Media
What is the Right Age for a Child to Join Facebook and other Social Media Sites? How to Protect your Child’s Identity, Reputation and from Making Bad Choices about What to Share Online.

– Part 6: Downloading
Teach Kids How to Avoid Getting Viruses and Malware, Understanding Bit Torrents and Pirating, Copyrights, Creative Commons and Public Domain.


Read the first in the series here

~ Jay Clayton
Spread the Weird Studio

Voltron: Legendary Defender

March 27th, 2016

Like most people that grew up on Saturday morning and after school cartoons I have a favorite in the after school category and I am happy to hear that Netflix and DreamWorks Animation have teamed-up to create an original animated series based on the 80’s after school favorite Voltron!

The best part is when the individual cats of Voltron lock together and that is what you’ll see here in the teaser trailer announcing that the first season, consisting of 13 episodes, will premiere June 10, 2016

Voltron: Legendary Defender


The website is also quite cool!

World’s first 3D Printed Car by Local Motors

September 7th, 2014

Understanding the Mandelbrot Set

September 2nd, 2014

Here’s a bunch of math and equations that create beautiful looking stuff. Fractals! I love finding and sharing nicely made instructions like these so that other teachers have the tools to teach about fancy stuff like this.

Understanding the Mandelbrot Set:

Find more amazing science and math at Numberphile.

Rarely Seen Disney Cartoon – Redux Riding Hood

May 22nd, 2012

This trippy and hilarious retelling of Little Red Riding hood was nominated for an academy award in 1997 yet it is a rarely seen gem hidden in Disney’s vault. Video quality is poor but still worth a watch.

Take a look at the voice talent used for this rare production!!

Garrison Keillor
Michael Richards
Mia Farrow
Lacey Chabert – Meg before Mila Kunis
June Foray – Rocky the Flying Squirrel
Don Rickles
Jim Cummings
Adam West

Seeing Film Vertically

April 14th, 2012

Our new mobile technology has people sharing photos and videos in a vertical format but not all video players take advantage of this option for creative outlets. Don’t resist the new possibilities but demand that your video players of choice are open to the idea of a flexible canvas.

As various formats become viable creative outlets based on their spaces it will be fundamental to introduce a vertical canvas for expression. We are already seeing the square format hinging the canvas to go either way as it should.

This video is a perfect example of enjoying new storytelling possibilities with a vertical canvas.  Watch how the horizontal world is referenced and the vertical is enhanced.  Storytelling is going in every axis; embrace it all!

Everything I Can See From Here

Local Motors – An Open Source Car Company

March 10th, 2012

We’ve been visiting the build teams at Local Motors for the past couple of weeks and I just think this is the coolest concept.  The model of developing a community collaborative using open-source and Creative Commons design that supports the local economy while remaining green and sustainable is quickly becoming the model of the future.  This is our working model at STW because it seemed obvious but would you think an automotive manufacturer could change the game too?


The Chandler ‘micro-factory’ builds the Rally Fighter, an off-road/street legal bad ass piece of machinery, because Arizona has lots of great off-roading spots. But other factories are being built in cities that require a different kind of vehicle.  Instead of buying next years’ popular model from some big auto maker in Detroit, you purchase from a local motor company that designs vehicles made specifically for your region.

As part of the Shell GameChanger DRIVEN Design Competitions they are collaboratively submitting designs of relevant and innovative vehicles for energy needs.  For Amsterdam they are developing a motorized/pedal bicycle made of bamboo, a helicopter for Sao Paulo and a hybrid electric street vehicle designed for the streets of Boston.

As a designer and 3D modeler I was quickly drawn to “The Forge” where Local Motors provides a collaborative online forum to work with other designers and vehicle enthusiasts to work on developing the next cool thing.

In the Local Motors conference area they have a white board with a list of the types of vehicles they design and it reads: Land Sea and Air vehicles. They don’t know it yet but last week I added the word ‘space’ to their list.

So, I may get my feet wet with some car body designs or graphic skins to start but I’d really like to take some of my space vehicle models and experiment with the community to find solutions for space travel, planet exploration, satellite recovery/replacement and more.


Photos of Rally Fighters Custom Skins


A Car Story: The Rally FIghter Takes Flight (11 Episodes)


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