Am staying at Bhadrika & Steve's in Somerville at the moment. (I keep being startled by the fact that Wolf is 8 and Jazz is 10. When I was a kid I got annoyed at adults for saying "You've grown so much!" so I try not to say that to kids, but sometimes it's an effort.) They recently started subscribing to a kids' magazine called Muse; Jim M. and I spent a while last night leafing through the magazine, and I gotta say I'm really impressed. It's a magazine of "science, history, and the arts" from the publishers of Cricket and Smithsonian.
It's smart, it's funny, and it apparently appeals a great deal to somewhat geeky kids (both boys and girls). It's got spot illustrations by Larry (Cartoon History of the Universe) Gonick; it features a cast of "muses" from all over the world who occasionally interject comments in little cartoons in the margins, such as Chad, the muse of hardware, from Mali; Aeiou, the muse of software, from Ulan Bator ("In my spare time, I make lists of things to do"); Kokopelli, the muse of tunes and tricks, from Arizona; Bo, the muse of factoids, from Abkhazia; and Mimi, the muse of getting along with people, from the Australian outback. (Plus four others.)
Each issue has an entertaining letter column; a page of factoids (five or six mini-articles, one of which is always false); feature articles on what really killed Napoleon, or parasites, or Phineas Gage (the guy who survived an explosion that blasted a 13-pound iron rod through his brain and changed his personality), or Rube Goldberg machines, or Horatio Hornblower, or old musical instruments. In one issue there's a list of the top ten ways to tell when someone is trying to sell you a fake perpetual motion machine; in another, there's a reprinted excerpt from a Thurber piece about the difficulty of looking through a microscope.
Those of you with kids in the appropriate age range (it's supposed to be for kids 10 and up, but smart 8-year-olds can enjoy it too)—or without kids but with an interest in science education—should check it out. Good stuff.
Oh, and there's a Muse fan page, run by one of the contributing editors, that provides more info about the magazine; it describes the magazine as (among other things) "A playground where the best explainers in the business hang out with the funniest, most curious readers anywhere."