Produced by Gary Drevitch
WHY WE GET THE BIG BUCKS
At the home of Greenwich Aunt the other day, Tiny faced an array of character tableware choices for her cereal. Seeing what she wanted, she cried out, "A Dora bowl! I want a Dora bowl!" To which we responded, "Tiny, you're ALREADY a-dora-ble!"
WE PLAN TO USE THE SAME LINE WHEN WE MAKE A SPEECH AT SMALL FELLOW'S BAR MITZVAH
[Kroll] said seeing her company's completed float was a career highlight. "I cried tears of joy — seeing our brand so wonderfully brought to life via our float was an experience of a lifetime," she wrote in an e-mail, adding that she sent each employee a bear as a reward for their hard work.
OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, FROM FREELANCE DAD: WE SINCERELY APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT YOU WILL READ ON THE WALL BESIDE THE BACK SEAT OF BLUE BIRD BUS #12814
America's retired yellow school buses have found a second life as commuter transportation in Africa, according to Edutopia:
"This bus is all about speed," says Alfonse Musambu, a pastor, as his bus barrels across Kinshasa. "Pedestrians are used to it. They know how to get out of the way."
Musambu added, although it was hardly necessary, "If this school bus is a rockin', the transmission's shot."
KIDS SAY THE MOST ALARMING THINGS
As we snuggled with Tiny Girl the other day, she said, within earshot of a horrified Loving Mother, "Daddy, your hands are guilty!" We're pretty sure it was just her mock-baby-talk way of saying our hands were chilly, but if Social Services should come for us, loyal readers, we hope you'll testify as character witnesses.
AND THAT'S ALL WE NEED TO HEAR
As part of our pre-Thanksgiving housecleaning last week, we threw away all of our toys that relied on small magnetic parts. Recalls like this one, following the horrifying news of magnetic accidents like this, (second item) have us convinced they're not worth the risk. And you should probably be convinced, too, especially if you've got any toddlers afoot.
TINY GIRL: GETS ALONG WELL WITH OTHERS. AS LONG AS THEY DO WHAT THEY'RE TOLD.
We took part in fall parent-teacher conferences for both of the large kids yesterday, and was pleased to receive good reports all around. Tiny's teacher had asked the pre-K students to make drawings of what they did in school, that could be shared with their parents at the conferences. Tiny had instructed her teacher to caption her drawing, "I'm holding the baby in the Drama Center." When the teacher showed it to us, we immediately responded, "EVERYWHERE Tiny goes is the Drama Center."
In a related story, Tiny's teacher did say, diplomatically, that Tiny "liked things just so." Hmm. That reminds us: We promised her we'd buy a plain bagel on the way home from work today, because we got mixed up this morning and gave her half of an everything bagel, and her brother half of plain bagel for breakfast, instead of vice-versa, as she had requested. Which led to several minutes of what we've come to call Morning Wrath.
OOH! OOH! CALL ON US! WE KNOW THE TARGET AUDIENCE FOR THIS PRODUCT!
The Journal yesterday reported (article is firewalled) on a new product called Milkscreen. Invented by a pair of Texas mothers and retailing for $20 to $27, Milkscreen promises to tell nursing moms within two minutes if there is alcohol present in their breast milk. If the product's test strip registers alcohol, the mom is advised to refrain from feeding, wait an hour, and then test again. It sounds like the perfect thing for responsible "Cosmopolitan Moms" to use after a mid-afternoon Happy Playtime Hour on their suburban patio.
(Actually, lactation consultants told the Journal the product is
superfluous if moms, presuming they've only had one drink, just wait
two to three hours after they've finished it to feed again.)
"NOT THAT I'M COMPLAINING, MIND YOU, BUT I'VE ALSO GOT A TOUCH OF LUMBAGO TODAY."
It's been a while since we checked in on The Decline of Miss Jane E. Brody, but yesterday she delivered what may be the ultimate Personal Health nut graph:
Yes, indeed, my sneakers are now a size 7, with a strong arch and a wide, high toe box to accommodate my spreading forefeet, a hammertoe and an incipient bone spur on my left foot, and a tender big toe with a chronic nail fungus on my right foot.
CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM SEEMS TO HAVE THE SAME EFFECT ON THE CHILDREN HERE AT FD HQ
Doctors and parents should watch for signs of bizarre behavior in children treated with the flu drug Tamiflu, federal health officials suggested on Monday in citing an increasing number of such cases from overseas.
Food and Drug Administration officials do not know whether 103 cases recently reported, including three deaths from falls, are linked to the drug or to the flu virus, or to a combination. Most of the cases involved children.
Still, F.D.A. staff members suggested updating the Tamiflu label to recommend that all patients, especially children, be closely monitored while using the drug. They also acknowledged that stopping treatment with Tamiflu could harm influenza patients if the virus were the cause of delirium, hallucinations and other abnormal behavior like aggression and suicidal thoughts.
Most of the cases of bizarrity are from Japan, but US officials will still watch the situation closely because, as the AP notes, Tamiflu is expected to play a key role in public-health strategies should there be a breakout of avian flu.
WE'VE GOT TWENTY BUCKS FOR THE FIRST HIGH-SCHOOL KID WHO ASKS A GIRL, "HEY, GIMME TWO MINUTES AND I'LL BETCHA I CAN FIND WHERE YOU'RE HIDING YOUR NOKIA."
New York City students, eager to defy the city's inexplicable ban on cellphones in school, have apparently taken to hiding the phones in their bras and unmentionables to get past front-door searches:
"It isn't hard for girls at all. We just put the phone in our underwear," said Veronica, 16, from Martin Luther King High School in Manhattan.
AS LONG AS THEY'RE NOT SMOKING AROUND THE KIDS. THAT WOULD BE WRONG.
The Times Thursday Styles section celebrates suburban moms who are cool enough to put back a few drinks during their afternoon playdates. As one maternal tippler said:
“You just automatically relax. . . It’s before you take the first sip, as soon as your hand touches the bottle. It’s like, ‘Man, I’ve gone through the day, I need to treat myself.’ ”
Yup, nothing to worry about there.
HE ADDED, "OH, AND BALD. I LIKE 'EM BALD."
Techno musician Moby says that if he ever has children, he hopes they’re gay.
“They are less likely to get into a fight and less likely to date rape people,” the musician says, reports WENN. “I’m straight but I’ve grown up around gay people and gay clubs. They are superior to straight people. If you have a gay child you’re more inclined to be a prouder parent.”
GIVEN THAT DECISIONS MADE BY THIS OFFICE WILL POTENTIALLY HAVE AS MUCH AFFECT ON WHAT YOUR CHILD DOES IN THE CLASSROOM AS DECISIONS MADE IN THE OVAL OFFICE, YOU SHOULD CARE, TOO
Tom Vander Ark is stepping down as education director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation later this year. Given that Vander Ark has already spent about $3.4 billion on education initiatives and scholarships, and that the foundation's new president says, “We think we have got years ahead of us before we see our role ending,” the new hire will instantly become one of the most important education decision-makers in the country. How has the foundation done so far? Based on all that we've read, this quote from the Times sums it up pretty well:
Nancy Hoffman, a vice president at Jobs for the Future in Boston, an intermediary organization that the foundation has used, said that at first Mr. Vander Ark “was what I’d call a school reform romantic — free schools from the constraints imposed by districts and states, let teachers provide a rich curriculum and an intimate environment, and achievement will improve.”
But, Ms. Hoffman said, as he learned that some schools could produce good results but that many could not, the foundation tightened controls. “The portfolio of schools funded in the last few years looks considerably different than those from the early years,” she said. “Much more prescription about how to set up the school, what curriculum to use, what protocols for teachers and leaders.”
AFTER ALL, WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?
BURLESON — Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they got — books, pencils, legs and arms. “Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success,” said Robin Browne, a major in the British Army reserve and an instructor for Response Options, the company providing the training to the Burleson schools.
YES, IT'S AN OUTRAGE, BUT
HASN'T AN INCIDENT LIKE THIS BEEN INEVITABLE SINCE THE DAY THE COMPANY
DECIDED TO OPEN A THEME PARK IN FRANCE?
The Walt Disney Co. says it acted quickly to discipline Parisian theme park employees who made a notorious video
(it's safe for work) of themselves simulating sex while wearing their
hot, stifling character costumes. However, we at FD.com are considering
taking legal action ourselves, as the plot of the video appears to
borrow extensively from a film treatment we copyrighted back in 1991:
The video shows Minnie Mouse struggling to free herself as she is grabbed from behind by Goofy and then a giant snowman. Later, Mickey Mouse simulates sex with the snowman and Goofy does the same with either Chip or Dale, the chipmunks. . .
ROLE MODEL WATCH: T.O. EDITION
APPARENTLY, STRIPPERS ARE OVULATING ALL THE TIME
We're a little late to this party, but the recent UCLA study that concluded women dress flashier and more provocatively when they're ovulating continues to fascinate us. The fashion decisions are made subconsciously, the researchers say, and are driven by hormones.
We've laminated a summary of the study's conclusions and now keep it in our wallet, so that we'll remember to stay away from Loving Mother whenever she goes sleeveless and starts putting on the bling.