Produced by Gary Drevitch
YEAH, AT FIRST THIS SOUNDS KIND OF HOT, LIKE THE HIGH-CONCEPT ADULT VIDEO SCRIPT WOULD WRITE ITSELF, BUT THEN YOU READ ON AND REALIZE THAT'S NOT AT ALL WHERE THIS STORY IS GOING
A British woman with two vaginas and two wombs became one of only a handful of women around the world who share her rare (and apparently painful) condition to successfully deliver twins, one from each womb. Happily, although the twins were premature, both are healthy, so it's still a happy ending.
THIS IS AN UPDATE OF AN OLDER STUDY, WHICH CONCLUDED, "2 MILLION U.S. DINOSAURS PRE-LAPSARIAN"
But today's headline is "2 million U.S. adolescents pre-diabetic," because the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health have found that
roughly 2 million U.S. children ages 12 to 19 have a pre-diabetic condition linked to obesity and inactivity that puts them at risk for full-blown diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children’s Hospital in Boston, was not involved in the study, but suggested that "systematic societal changes are needed," including more healthful school lunches, to avoid a public-health time bomb. Yeah, he's looking at you, Sunny D ...
WE TOLD YOU A WEEK AGO THAT THIS STORY WAS ABOUT TO BLOW UP. WELCOME TO THE HOTTEST CULTURE CLASH OF CHRISTMAS 2005.
Newsweek jumps in on the Focus on the Family vs. American Girl dispute this week, capturing the sincere anguish of conservative Christian parents torn between their favorite toy line - which remarkably continues to grow in popularity among girls nationwide despite its dowdy values and educational underpinning - and their passionate opposition to abortion, homosexual rights, and free speech:
A few weeks ago Tracie [Cross] read on the [American Girl] Web site that it was donating $50,000 and proceeds from its I CAN bracelet to Girls Inc., which sounded like the kind of nice thing American Girl would do. But when she clicked on www.girlsinc.org, Tracie was crushed to find an endorsement of Roe v. Wade and language supportive of homosexuals. It struck her that politics had invaded playtime. "I feel like there's nowhere safe," says Tracie, who has vowed not to buy anything from American Girl as long as it's affiliated with Girls Inc. "I have to have a clear conscience."
Newsweek reports that:
For now, American Girl, which grossed $379 million in sales last year, is standing by its commitment to Girls Inc. Meanwhile, the group is enjoying a surge in donations ... If the boycott has had any real impact on sales, it was not noticeable at American Girl Place in Chicago last week.
But it is clearly only a matter of time. Will Mattel pull its support of Girls Inc.? And if it does, what kind of backlash will that invite? It's only 45 shopping days till Christmas ...
HEY, WE'RE ALL FOR ELEVATING MOTHERS TO SAINTHOOD - WE'D NOMINATE OURS, IF WE COULD - BUT WE CAN'T GET DOWN WITH THE WHOLE "OVERPOPULATE THE WORLD" CAMPAIGN
An Italian mother who raised 11 children (she gave birth to 9) a century ago was beatified by the Vatican last week, which seems like a lovely idea until you discover that it's part of a campaign to promote large families.
Apparently, Pope Benedict XVI is calling for countries "to approve legislation and other incentives to help" large families. According to MSNBC, "the pontiff has said there is no future without children." We can't argue with that. But there's also no future without wheat, and no future without water. Resources are scarce. We're not so sure that advocating 11 children per home as the ideal is necessarily going to ensure a bright future for all of them.
THIS COULD LEAD TO THE GREATEST INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REAR-FACING YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE BACK SEATS OF CARS SINCE THE INTRODUCTION OF THE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT CURFEW
Apparently, we can all expect a revision of longstanding guidelines for children in rear-facing car seats, as a body of evidence from Europe, and from American sources including the American Academy of Pediatrics, argues compellingly that all children, no matter their weight, should be rear-facing in car seats until at least the age of two. As the academy has already advised:
If a car safety seat accommodates children rear facing to higher weights, for optimal protection, the child should remain rear facing until reaching the maximum weight for the car safety seat, as long as the top of the head is below the top of the seat back.
In many cases, that would mean up to 30 pounds, and/or perhaps several months past the child's second birthday. So, turn 'em back around, America.
SOMEONE MAY WANT TO CONTACT VERISIGN AND BUY THE RIGHTS TO DEFACTODAD.COM
The Supreme Court of the state of Washington ruled this week in one of those gut-wrenching custody cases in which former gay (in this case, lesbian) partners have a child, carried by one of them, but never legally adopted by the other. In this case, the jilted partner, Sue Ellen Carvin, was actually a stay-at-home mom for the couple for the child's first six years, at which point the couple separated. But the partner sued for co-parenting rights and won her case, as the court,
[i]n [a] 7-2 decision ... recognized what it called a "de-facto or psychological parent" under the state's common law as one who "in all respect functions as the child's actual parent."
We think it was a fair decision, but we'll offer you an excerpt from the dissent:
"This outcome is unconstitutional and in derogation of rights of the mother because it interferes with an admittedly fit parent's fundamental right to make child-rearing decisions..."
Finally, allow us to present you this one ultra-fascinating detail from the case that you can use in cocktail party discussions:
[Carvin and Page Britain] had used donor sperm to produce the child, known in court documents as L.B., now age 10 ... Britain is now married to the sperm donor.
-- WELL, SMALL FELLOW, THAT'S THE END OF THIS MORNING'S POST.
-- But what if it isn't?
-- NO, IT IS. I'M DONE, SO THAT'S THE END.
-- But what if you're not?
The debates between us and Small Fellow sadly never reach the summits of oratory climbed by the likes of Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits, but they do follow a consistent pattern these days, as he is completely hung up on "What if it isn't?" as a reliable conversation extender.
"We'll have dinner in a few minutes when mommy comes in."
"But what if she doesn't?"
"No, she is coming. She just called from outside."
"But what if she doesn't?" etc., etc.
It's not so much the annoyance factor that bothers us about these conversations, though, have no doubt, it's high. It's the implication that, for the first time, he doubts us as a legitimate source, and that's just a blow to our pride.
A PERSONAL NOTE
Some regular visitors may have noticed that this site was dark for the past week. That was because we were mourning the passing of our own mom, Freelance Grandmother. She never got to see this Web site, but we think - we hope - that she would have found it amusing, and shared a few laughs with us. At left, a photo of her visiting with Small and Tiny.
November 9, 2005 | Permalink |
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