NEW YORK KIDS DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY. (WE MEAN THAT LITERALLY. THE STATE GAVE THEM A TEST AND EVERYTHING.)

More than 80 percent of New York City eighth graders could not meet state standards in social studies last year, a rate of failure that has increased nearly 20 percentage points in the past three years. The near-certain cause is the general shafting social studies gets in the curriculum as schools hustle to improve their standardized math and reading scores.

In other news, Napoleon totally kicked butt in last year's Civil War!

THE LEAST POPULAR NAMES? FOR BOYS, "SHECKY." FOR GIRLS, "GOOD-TIME."

To the surprise of no one with children in New York City nursery or elementary schools, the Social Security Administration announced this week that Emily and Jacob were the most popular baby names in America in 2004, for the ninth and sixth years running, respectively. When parents have twin boys, they like to pair Jacob with Joshua, Esau having long fallen out of favor.

For irresistible fun, you can go to the Social Security Administration's Web site (Slogan: Your retirement dollars at work!), punch in your own child's name and see where it ranks in popularity, today and up to a century ago. (Small Fellow comes in 25th, and Tiny Girl is 19th with a bullet, up almost 40 spots in the last decade.)

WE'RE THINKING YOU COULD DO A LOT WORSE THAN NAMING YOUR DAUGHTER "MILAGROS"

Milagros Cerron, Peru's "little mermaid," turned one last week. The girl was born with the rare birth defect known as sirenomelia, or “mermaid syndrome," and her legs are fused together from her thighs to her ankles. Almost all babies with the affliction die within 10 days. But Milagros has grown into a bright, happy little girl.

Her father, Ricardo Cerron, 24, who took Milagros on an eight-hour bus trip to Lima after her birth to find expert medical help, says, “I think she is the happiest girl in the world, side-by-side with her dad and mom, nothing more." Still,

[Dr. Luis] Rubio said Milagros would need 14 to 15 years of corrective surgeries to reconstruct and repair her sexual, digestive and other internal organs.

Milagros means miracle, by the way.

JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER VACATION: FEAR AND PANIC

Grab your sunscreen:

Pediatric melanoma is still uncommon in children, affecting only 7 per million, or about 500, according to 2002 statistics from the National Cancer Institute. But that number has risen from 3 per million in 1982 . . . .

“There’s an appropriate level of alarm here,” said [Dr. Anthony Mancini, dermatology chief at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago]. “Clearly it’s happening and it’s deadly, and it’s missed.”

May 10, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.