HEY, WE THINK "CAILLOU" CAN BE INSIPID SOMETIMES, TOO, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE'D CUT OFF THE NETWORK'S FUNDING

By now, it shouldn't be news to any of you that PBS is under siege by conservatives, politically and financially, including a possible 25 percent cut in Congressional funding which would gut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's ability to support shows like "Sesame Street" or to foster the development of new programming. (On the bright side, the cuts would virtually guarantee that we'd never have to endure "Colonial House II.")

Cuts would also take $78 million away from the fund that pays for children's programming and technical improvements. And, sure, the marketplace has changed, and, sure, there are plenty of other networks offering quality children's programming, but only PBS offers it relatively commercial-free and with the assurance that when Sesame Street ends, Access Hollywood will not follow.

MoveOn.org is filling up an Internet petition to fight the budget cuts here, and while we've never really believed in the efficacy of these things, at least this one's not a hoax.

ONE OF THE "STICKIEST" SITES ON THE WEB IS NOW OWNED BY THE PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT YOU GREEN SLIME

Do your kids enjoy neopets.com? (We confess we've never heard of it, but apparently it has a total audience of 25 million, and regular users spend an average of 6 hours and 15 minutes on the site a month.) Well, this just in: It's been bought up by The Man, aka Sumner Redstone.

SHE'S FACING STIFF COMPETITION FROM A CHEAP ISRAELI KNOCKOFF, GAZA GUYS

Moving to fill the demands of parents who find today's dolls to be immodest, we bring you Gali Girls, developed by a Modern Orthodox mom from Teaneck, NJ. The dolls, which retail for $60 each, convey values "appropriate for young Jewish girls." That means modest dress, Star of David bracelets, Hebrew/English doll name certificates, and a Shabbat toy kit.


We might suggest that Gali Girls creator Aliza Stein borrow a page from American Girl's playbook and introduce dolls from different periods of Jewish history.
For example: Chava the shtetl girl. She loves Fyetka the Russian soldier, but her Papa plans to sell her hand in marriage to Shlomo the blacksmith. Comes with cow, plow, and anvil. Also: Golde the prime minister. She'll lead her country to military victory, if she can ever get her sad-sack cousin from Milwaukee off the phone. Accessories include gray suit, tank, and photo of President Nixon.

Collect the whole set!

WILL YOUR CHILD BE THE REDEEMER?

The New York Sun reports today on a revamped bottle bill making its way through the New York state legislature. The bill would allow for collection of different kinds of containers, and would require bottlers to pay the state back deposits which go unredeemed (which makes sense since they're not supposed to add up to a bonus for the companies). The Sun article profiles a homeless man who collects bottles near Yankee Stadium, focusing on one of the major problems he faces: many supermarkets in the city have quietly stopped accepting bottles, in violation of the state law. This got us wondering: Do kids redeem bottles anymore? Growing up, FD made his comic-book money hauling the family's Coke bottles back to the Stop & Shop. But we don't think we've ever seen a city kid redeem it in a Manhattan market.

June 20, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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