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I need Help from the Hip - what's cool to 13-year-old boys? Answered

I promised to send a 13-yo boy a "cool" patch if he improved the language mechanics in his Instructable. But now I think he's actually going to do it; and I'm a 47-yo woman who (gasp!) only ever uses her cell phone to make and receive telephone calls by voice. I probably wouldn't know contemporary 13-yo cool if it walked up and bit me (although I suspect that, if that ever did happen, it would be kind of cool). Any hipsters out there willing to help me find a clue? (Edit: I haven't named the Thirteen-Year-Old In Question partly beacuse I don't want to single him out, but mostly because I'm hoping to get a general idea of what's cool in the tween/tween world. Does anyone still care about Harry Potter? Is HALO still big news? WOW? Are manga still hip? ...Etc., etc.)


skateboarding,tony hawk,bikes,motocross,foot ball,baseball,hockey, all that stuff

Thanks - that's just the kind of thing that I was hoping for. (Now I just need to go google "Tony Hawk." :)

Ask him? (Though the last 13-year-old whom I tried to ask that question replied with something translating as "the whole world is uncool." Full sullen-adolescent mode.)

Yeah, his profile and interests basically translate to "Fervent Nihilist." (If I knew how to represent the lightless vacuum of inert interstellar space on a patch, that might be just the thing. :) Asking is definitely part of the plan, but I'd like to avoid the cut-and-driedness that can have sometimes. For example: Orks: "So, Gorfram, what do you want for Christmas?" Gorf: "A pair of 10" Craftsman slip-joint pliers." * (...segue to Christmas morning; sounds of unwrapping...) Gorfram: "Wow, a pair of 10" Craftsman slip-joint pliers. Thanks, Orkie - they're just what I wanted." ...Very satisfactory, certainly; but also kind of dullishly flat. (*My last pair of slip-joint piers seems to have grown legs and walked away.**) (**Nothing here should be taken to imply that Orksecurity should actually feel obligated to send me a pair of Craftsman slip-joint pliers.***) (***Although, if he really, really wanted to... ;)

Learn to ask "so what kind of thing do you want"?

(Or offer him a few suggestions and see which interests him most.)

lol! I've just read all this, I haven't a clue what's cool for a 13-year-old! I'll have to go and lie down now! Good luck, Gorfram! (btw, what was cool, was your brilliant incentive for him to improve his work! - you get my badge!)

Thanks, Kevin.

His Instructable topic really interests me, and his idea is good, which is what inspired me to put on my Evil English Instructor Hat and wade on in. I'm not (quite) arrogant enough to think that he'd really be enthused about doing all that work just to make me happy, and a patch was the best bribe, er, incentive I could think of.

A patch also has the advantage of being appropriate both to my budget and to the online strangers-on-the-net nature of our relationship. (For anyone who thinks there might be something creepy going on here, my feelings for the 13-yo are limited to comraderie with a fellow 'Ibler, civil acknowledgement of a another human being, and the minor degree of concern one feels for any of the young of one's own species. All the passion and intensity here are my feelings for the English language; which is much older than I am, and has long since withstood much worse than I could ever dish out.)

Hi Gorfram! ;-) I hope you are well and that things are going good your way. Yes, just for the record, I took all that what you wrote as written (!), you didn't need to say that for my benefit, but I appreciate that with society being sick as it is, mere people like us need to add caveats simply to show that we are just ordinary, decent folk who have a bit of time to encourage others onto better things. Power to your scribe, mi'lady! (doffs cap and deep flourishing bow) I wish you a very happy weekend! ;-) Kev

Megan Fox? no, wait. Girls have cooties... ... hmm puzzling Harry potter is not real popular atm Halo is going down in popularity how bout Kanye West interupting a ninja whos riding on the back of a black unicorn with flames on it to represent that it was born out of the fires of heck.

Ninjas are still cool??? (Ninjas were cool way back when I knew what was cool. (It was mostly just the pterydactyls. :) :) And unicorns aren't just for semi-covert lesbians anymore? See why I needed to ask? :)

I guess there's nothing even semi-covert about a black unicorn amidst the burning flames of heck. :)

well it depends on his character. He might be a total nerd and loooove electronics, d&d sect. If he's a normal mainstream 13 year old, the he will mostly like music...yeah music is one of those things kids really like now, any big rap hip-hop or rock artist. The thing is people are so different when they are beginning adolescence that the only way that you will ever figure out is to ask. Take it from me, I'm 14.

Thanks for your answer. :) Music, okay, check - but what's "d&d sect."?

oops, i meant to type D&D etc. D&D is dungens and dragons.

Thanks - I thought might be some variation on D&D, or some whole new thing.

Who is Harold Potter? ;-) FFXI, WOW, HALO all have their fanbases. I think Manga or Anime is still hip...It sure seems to be anyway, by reading the dialog from other, younger players on FFXI...not that I uh...play ..uh that silly game. ever...rilly

Colonel Henry Potter was the CO during the latter part of the MASH television series. ;)

Depends on the boy. You probably can't go wrong with a superhero.

Good suggestion, thanks. (But maybe "Punctuation Man" isn't the best superhero to go with. ;)

Might we know 'em? No forget that, your choice, you decide. Pick something related to the Instructable when it's right, or a simple snowflake would do for "cool".


...and the stars look very different today...

Sort of my choice, and sorta of his. I mean, if it could be seen as less than cool to have posted an 'Ible with, um, extremely improveable English language mechanics, would it make you cooler or uncooler to go back thorugh afterwards and improve them? Snowflake for "cool"? ...Oh, I get it now. ...Cool. :)

Go for a stylised snowflake perhaps? Or pick something random, it's the thought that counts really, I wouldn't spend too much time on the image. L

All patches are cool, but maybe you could use a patch that matches his interests?

Maybe his own name?

A gun (rolls eyes, I know, but you said 13)

Something from xkcd?

Thanks, Kiteman. The xkcd link is indeed cool; and I really like the idea of doing something with his name. :)

A skate board, a game that he likes, a computer game that he likes, the topic of his Instructable, something word related... Every patch is cool, but as long as it's related then it should be just fine.

It all depends on the kids maturity level, and interests. I feel bad giving such a disappointing answer, but you'll have to decide. Maybe you could ask some of his friends.

who is it? if i look at his intrests i may be able to help.