FINALLY, AN ANSWER THAT TOPS

FINALLY, AN ANSWER THAT TOPS "ASK YOUR MOTHER"

Here's the thing about dinosaurs: They're huge, your kids love them, and you don't know much about them. That's why we should all applaud the efforts of Chicago's Field Museum to figure out just how T Rex grew so large. Apparently, teenage T Rexes (Rexi?) were quite a handful, growing five tons between the ages of 14 and 18. Among the clues researchers used to come to this conclusion were the massive troves of Sunny Delight bottles and Fritos bags found among T Rex fossils.


WELL, IT'S COOLER THAN A MEDICALERT BRACELET

Insignia of the times: Jeeto introduces T-shirts for kids with dairy and peanut allergies.


TRUE-LIFE HORROR

In case you missed it, this story of survival on a small, crowded wooden boat adrift between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic is truly chilling, particularly the heroism - and mistreatment - of the lactating mothers on board.


IN A RELATED STORY, JIM McGREEVEY RECALLED SOMETHING OR OTHER ABOUT HIS FORMER SECURITY ADVISER

Britax has a major child-seat recall. See if you should be concerned here.


BUILDERS USED THEM TO BUILD A SIDEWALK, BUT AFTER EVERYONE STARTED WALKING ON IT, IT GREW INTO A SUPERHIGHWAY

Just like FD, the government of India favors limiting population growth. Unlike FD, it has put its latex where its mouth is by distributing 900 million free condoms to its citizenry. Too bad no one's putting them where New Delhi intended. Builders, pavers, weavers, and soldiers have all found better uses for them. Which has prompted us to get right to work on an update of our best-selling 1997 book, "101 Industrial Uses for Prophylactics."


NEW YORK'S STRONGEST

Maybe it was lingering 9/11 emotions, but we taught Small Fellow a while back to call his local firefighters "New York's Bravest," the police "New York's Finest," and our sanitation workers, "New York's Strongest." (Don't get him started on garbage trucks; he wants FD to learn their routes so we can follow them around the city all day watching them load trash.) Sure, it's hokey to put all these guys on a pedestal, but then you read a story like this one and realize there are plenty worse things to teach your kids.


SEX AND THE SINGLE OLYMPIAN
[This letter was posted on the Romenesko media-news Web site last night.]

From GARY DREVITCH: The New York Times today jumped on the bandwagon hyping the sexual angle of the Athens Olympics with its front-page story on female Olympians posing for pinup shots, and its online slide show featuring several of those cheesecake photos. And why not? Nearly everyone else has already reported on the possibilities for sexual liaisons in the Olympic Village, down to the number of condoms to be distributed and speculation on which athletes might have the most sexual stamina. (Swimmers seem to lead the field.)

As I see volleyball star Logan Tom in a tiny bikini on the cover of FHM, reproduced in the Times, I think back to my own experience with her four years ago, when I was an editor at Teen People and helped to produce the magazine's 2000 Olympic preview. We assembled a collection of America's youngest Olympians (Serena Williams got the cover) and had them shot at sites around the country by the same talented photographer who produced FHM's new portfolio. But given the age of some of the athletes, and of our audience, I was taken aback by the frankly sexual poses in which some of them were placed. At the USOC training facility in Colorado Springs, I interviewed Tom during her photo shoot. Then a Stanford freshman, Tom was the youngest member of the 2000 squad. She struck me with her humor, her humility, and her awkwardness. She was not used to talking to the national media - our interview was one of her first - and that made for one of the most open and pleasant exchanges in our series. The shoot was another story. She had never done anything remotely like it, and as she looked at her wardrobe choices and saw the makeup job done on her face, she grew uncertain, reaching out to her USOC handler for assurance that she wasn't doing anything she would regret. But she was talked through it, and the photo got done. Four years later, Tom is all grown up, bantering with FHM about clubbing with her teammates and losing her bikini at the beach. In one photo inside the magazine, she's shot from behind, wearing only a bikini bottom.

Unlike in 2000, the American women are legitimate medal contenders in Athens, with Tom one of their most fearsome weapons. And as she has grown into a leadership role on her team, she's apparently also grown comfortable with the expectations set for female athletes seeking attention for traditionally marginal sports. In all senses, she's learned how to play the game. And the media is happy to play along.

August 13, 2004 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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