Back in February, we reported on plans hatched by the Prince of Darkness to "reimagine" Warner Brothers' classic Looney Tunes characters as "Loonatics," poorly-drawn futuristic superheroes with no pupils. Well, thanks in part to the work of 11-year-old Thomas Adams and his online petition, Lucifer is backing down. Warner announced yesterday that it will again rethink its plans for a new series based on Bugs, Daffy, and friends. Whatever its form, the new show will launch in Fall 2005.

"We just wanted to create something that would be accessible and fun to a new generation of kids," [Warner Bros. Entertainment spokesman Scott Rowe] said.

Now that little Tommy has blown the whistle on those plans, Rowe says that his lord and master, Beelzebub, is reviewing a proposal to turn millions of unsuspecting children into his evil minions by introducing a powerful mind-control potion into bottles of Sunny Delight.


Actually, it's the Guggenheim, and city parents might want to take their kids inside during the Daniel Buren show, "The Eye of the Storm," which is up through June 8. We took Small Fellow to the show a couple of weeks ago, and while there's really not much to it, what there is, is pretty kid-friendly.

There's virtually no art on the ramps, except a few of Buren's trademark stripe paintings on the lower level. But he has assembled a gigantic floor-to-ceiling mirror in the rotunda, which is particularly fun for kids because, on every level of the ramp, one has to pass behind the wooden scaffolding which holds the mirror up, entering into shadow, only to re-emerge in front of your reflection. It's fun, sure, but it also takes kids behind the scenes of the art in an authentic-feeling way and makes the Guggenheim much less intimidating and much more like home.

Buren has also covered the museum's windows to Central Park with variously colored gels in geometric patterns. Fellow talked with us about which season it looked like as he viewed the park through yellow, red, blue, or green screens. (To our eyes, unfortunately, the season most accurately reflected in most of the views was nuclear winter.)


Speaking of art that's up in Manhattan right now, get yourself and your kids to the Nomadic Museum at Pier 54 on the Hudson River, just off 13th Street, before it packs up and leaves town on June 6. It's crowded and a bit expensive, and it's something of a challenge to keep the kids from picking up the rocks the line the floor of the gallery. It may also be too New Age-y for your tastes. Go anyway.

Gregory Colbert's sepia-toned, large-scale photographs which line the massive yet temporary gallery depict Zen-ish people in exotic locales interacting with elephants, leopards, whales, and birds of prey. Close examination of the works with Small Fellow and Tiny Girl enabled us to look into the very human eyes of an elephant, to guess which animals and countries we were seeing, and to speculate as to just how that boy could sit atop that rock cuddled up with that giant leopard. At the end of the gallery, a large screen plays a video of the animals and their human pals interacting.

And then there's the gallery itself. The Nomadic Museum's walls are composed of stacked shipping containers and many of its columns and structural supports are actually paper tubes, making it one of the most teachable structures to go up in the city in quite a while.


Earlier, we had you read The New Yorker's devastating look at how the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA shortchange us through their failure to properly test important drugs on children, or to enact pediatric drug regulations with any teeth, respectively.

Now, we urge you to read this report on a festering scandal in the nation's pediatric vaccine stockpile, as an accounting dispute between the federal government and several of the largest pharmaceutical companies has prompted the drug makers to stop delivering doses of the shots that prevent illnesses like diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis to the emergency reserve. As the Washington Post put it:

Created by Congress in 1983, the stockpile is supposed to contain enough vaccine to supply the nation's needs for six months. Its virtual collapse is an acute embarrassment to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the vaccine makers . . . . The stockpile's usefulness is not theoretical. The government has gone into it nine times since 1984, the year after it was established.

Like many of you, we have had some children's vaccinations delayed because of shortages in supply over the past few years. If the feds and the manufacturers can't figure this out, sounds like we'll be facing more than the occasional delay. Stay tuned.


A new baseball season has begun, and we again have high hopes for the Boston Red Sox, if not for Small Fellow. As you recall, when we last left this budding fan, he was having a bit of an identity crisis: As much as he loved the Red Sox, part of him wondered if he shouldn't really be rooting for the Yankees.

As the two teams renewed their rivalry in a pair of early-season this month, Fellow proposed a compromise: We should both cheer for the Red Sox when they played the Yankees at home in Boston, and for the Yankees when they played the Red Sox in New York.

It's a solution so sweet, so simple, so utterly idiotic, it could only have come from a four-year-old.

April 29, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS


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