Stardust

Looking at the Moon and the Orion nebula from a roof top together with a true friend

The telescopes were brought to the panorama floor of the museum “het MAS” by the Urania observatory staff and volunteers, including Robert Matheus – a very special someone who has already done so much for us in the past.

Simon into Simon’s eyes, is it like a mirror reflected by a mirror? (Simon’s best friend is also called Simon).

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The Snowball Throwing Game in Processing

Simon invented this fun game in Processing after he and his little sister had some proper winter fun outdoors in the fresh December snow (quite rare for the local climate and thus immensely cherished by the little people). The game is about throwing  snowballs in such a trajectory that they stick to one another, forming a super-snowball. After I finished filming this, the two snowball throwers had such a great time with the game that I dare say the giggling effect from of this 2D simulation overshadowed the real snowball fight that had originally inspired it. They did love playing in the real snow on the next day though, until it melted away.

 

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Playing with light and mirrors

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Its Highness Magformers S.T.E.A.M. Master Set, Simon’s long aspired gift for Sinterklaas (the biggest holiday of the year for the Dutch) and what he built with it. The set mainly focuses on studying the way light is reflected by mirrors (such as in a camera or a periscope).

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Simon and Neva had been singing the traditional Sinterklaas songs (with new non-racist and non-violent lyrics) every evening and finding small gifts in their shoes every morning for two weeks, this whole roller-coaster culminating in the Sinterklaas “pakjesavond” (the night of the presents) in early December with the extended family in Utrecht, where the “real gifts” were secretly delivered by Sint Nicolaas and his helpers. In the picture above, Simon is reading one of the poems (there are poems accompanying every gift). Sinterklaas was up all night last night writing poems.

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At home unpacking the gift.

à quatre mains

Here is Simon playing à quatre mains with his little sis, something he loves doing since she started piano lessons. She is not very keen on taking instructions, which upsets Simon enormously at times, but once they find the right tempo together, our whole world fills up with most beautiful vibes, making their loving friendship even more special.

Love for the absurd

Simon usually doesn’t like going places that much, but the trip to the Atomium in Brussels was a huge success, largely thanks to the Magritte exhibition hosted there at the moment. Simon liked the absurdity of Magritte’s juxtapositions and the idea that every object hides something else (behind it) from our sight. He kept talking about the meaning of the works as if he were a guide or a vlogger. The exhibition was very child friendly, everything was touchable and every painting was played with in a different manner.

Simon and Neva’s symbiosis

Simon is best friends with his little sis (who has just turned 6). He teaches her to make molecules

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and she teaches him to play hopscotch

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and to enjoy a walk in the evening

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and to play together like kids do, including role-play (which Simon has finally mastered)

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and he teaches her the tables of addition

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and she teaches him to play outside

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and he teaches her spatial orientation and more addition and subtraction with Magformers elements.

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I often hear them say “I love you” to each other. Sometimes they talk about how things will be when they become old, really old. “I will probably die earlier than you,” – Simon said. “Because I’m two years older”. – “No, Simon, it doesn’t work that way”, – she answers. “Maybe not then. Maybe people won’t die anymore. Maybe there will be something left of me”.

Coding everywhere, swimming and popping giant balloons

A few more pics from the coding everywhere series:

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Here Simon made a game especially for his sister:

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Among the remaining favorites were reading (see an earlier post), swimming (and playing in the water) and, surprisingly still very high up on the list, popping giant balloons. City trips, walking and museums were way down below or even cancelled all together, even though the visit to Park Güell can be rated as successful.

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Simon turned 8!

For his 8th birthday, Simon made a present for himself in Node.js and spoke about his new year’s resolutions that mainly involve live streaming:

Today, two days later, we actually managed to test stream! Both of us had no idea how live streams work and thought we would have to install expensive encoders to enable streaming. It turned out to be much easier than we expected, although it took us a couple of hours (and tears on Simon’s behalf) to figure it out. So there will be live streams coming shortly! By the way, if you haven’t done so yet, please subscribe to Simon’s YouTube channel (well it’s actually my channel, but it’s about Simon). When he has over 100 subscribers, he can stream from mobile devices which would be handy.

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Simon says he had a bad birthday this year, but here were a few things he did like and above all, a new Murderous Math book, “Shapes and Sizes” (he is holding it on the photo above).

Time to change the tags to “8 year old programmer”!