JUAT AS LONG AS THEY NEVER TAKE AWAY THE MOUNTAIN DEW MACHINE OUTSIDE OF FD'S OLD HIGH SCHOOL GYM. THAT MACHINE NEVER HURT ANYONE.

Peter Applebome of the Times details the differences in separate campaigns to ban soda and junk food machines from public schools, in Connecticut (where it failed) and in New Jersey (where it succeeded). When Connecticut governor M. Jodi Rell vetoed Connecticut's anti-junk food bill, she said, "The task of determining and meeting the health and dietary needs of children should first and foremost be undertaken by parents."

But Robert Zavoski, president of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, offers a powerful retort to Rell in re parental choice:

Zavoski ... said that allowing junk food to be sold in school doesn't give decision-making to parents - it takes it away. "If I wanted my daughter to drink Coke and Pepsi and eat junk food, I would buy it, but I don't," he said. "But, unfortunately, when I go to school and see junk in the vending machines, there's not a whole lot I can do about it."

Agreed.

THE BACKGROUND CHECK FOR THIS GIG WILL PROBABLY BE A LITTLE MORE INVOLVED THAN, SAY, THE ONE FOR STARRING IN "MR. & MRS. SMITH"

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Mattel and Clear Channel are seeking an actress to take the stage as Barbie for an 80-city musical tour to promote the toy brand (article not available online). It will be the first time the iconic doll will be portrayed by a human in a show. All actresses who can sing, dance, act, and have Barbie's 36-18-38 measurements, please contact Clear Channel right away.

HERE'S YOUR MONEY BACK. BY THE WAY, THE NEW BOSS WANTS YOU TO SPEND IT ON "THE 700 CLUB"

The House restored $100 million it had earlier planned to cut from the public broadcasting budget, which for now will save Oscar's can. But the troubles facing PBS are far from over:

Still on the table is the elimination of the $23-million Ready to Learn program, which helps finance programs such as Sesame Street.

We've all seen the blurb for Ready to Learn at the end of shows like Sesame Street, Between the Lions, Postcards from Buster, and others. But it's worth taking a look at the program's Web site to see the extent of its outreach programs.

24broadcast1842 In other news, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has a new chief: Patricia S. Harrison, former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said of her appointment, "to turn PBS into a political mouthpiece is disgraceful and contrary to its years of distinguished public service." Not to mention, Harrison looks a little too much like Liddie Dole, which creeps us out . . .

1. YOU'RE BRILLIANT. 2. YOU'RE GORGEOUS. 3. YOU'RE SEXY. 4. YOU'RE INTOXICATING. 5. YOU'RE WITTY.
NOW CLOSE THE DAMN CABINET DOOR!!

In the "Work & Family" column in yesterday's Wall Street Journal (article not available online), Sue Shellenbarger investigated the emotional toll of parental tension on even the youngest of children. "New research links the quality of parents' marriages to infant development," she reports. In other words, you can't fight in front of the kids:

Infants born to parents in marriages rated as troubled by the researchers cried and fussed more and were less engaged with their mothers and fathers, compared with infants born to happy couples .... Parents in unhappy marriages co-operated less in playing with their babies, and spoke less positively to them.

The Journal interviewed psychologist John Gottman of the University of Washington, who oversaw the new study, and has over the years studied hundreds of couples in his campus "Love Lab." (Gottman has come a long way since he tried to study coupling in the mid-70s in his "Love Van.") In an earlier study, actually, Gottman's research helped him determine the equation for a happy marriage:

... for a marriage to survive, a couple's interactions need to show a 5-to-1 ratio of positive exchanges, such as humor and affection, to negative ones, such as criticism.

Oops.

June 22, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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