060112_glowpig_hmed_4ahmedium1-- HEY, DADDY, I WANT A FLUORESCENT PIG. I WANT YOU TO GET ME A FLUORESCENT PIG RIGHT AWAY
-- ALL RIGHT, VERUCA, ALL RIGHT
-- I WANT A FLUORESCENT PIG NOW!

Captnyet27501091906one_eyed_cat__nyet275

DADDY, I DON'T WANT A CYCLOPS CAT!

It's been too long since we've offered disturbing animal photos on the site, and while neither the glow-in-the-dark pig (who bears a pretty striking resemblance to Olivia) nor the Cyclops cat are shown nursing from human volunteers, as was the case in the last batch we linked to (that would be this and this), we still find them pretty bizarre.

-- WELL, MR. SALT FINALLY GOT WHAT HE WANTED.
-- WHAT'S THAT?
-- VERUCA WENT FIRST.

Speaking of Veruca, we've been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every night before bed with Fellow for the past week, and should wrap it up in about 10 days. It's the first time we've read a "grown-up" book beginning to end with him - well, we actually read Gilgamesh to him over the course of a month when he was about 18 months old, but we're not sure that counts, although that Gilgamesh paperback remains one of his prized possessions and he would often sit on his bed and "read" it when he was 2 and 3.

But the Charlie experiment has so far been a major success. Dahl's cliffhanger chapter endings have him screaming for more chapters every night, and he's retaining pretty well. Tiny Girl has also enjoyed listening in - unlike Fellow, at some point she watched a little of the original film on TV (we got the DVD for the kids at Chanukah but won't screen it till we're done with the book, although they've listened to the brilliant soundtrack CD since they were infants). And so Tiny Girl curls up with us every evening asking if this will be the night we get to what, for her, is the story's most memorable scene, "when that girl blows up like a BLUEBERRY and they roll her away - that's SILLY!"

FREELANCE GREAT-GRANDMOTHER, WHO HAILS FROM THE OLD COUNTRY (THE BAD ONE) ALWAYS CALLED THE CHILDREN "MY LITTLE SNOOPY" WHEN THEY WERE TOTS, WHICH ONCE INSPIRED THEIR MOTHER TO ASK HER, "NANNY, IS 'SNOOPY' SOME KIND OF GERMAN TERM OF ENDEARMENT?" TO WHICH SHE DEADPANNED, "NO, DEAR. . . IT'S THE NAME OF THAT DOG FROM THE CARTOON"

Joecool Small and Tiny have become major Peanuts fans since they watched "It's the Great Pumpkin" and "Charlie Brown Christmas" over the recent holidays, which has led to a sudden rise in popularity of "Joe Cool's Blues," a CD we had been pushing on them since they were tots, and which they had repeatedly rejected.

We're thrilled that it's finally been placed in heavy rotation, and you should be playing it for your kids as well. The CD, a Wynton Marsalis project, alternates between recordings of Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts classics and reinterpretations/responses to Guaraldi from a band led by Wynton, his brothers Brandon and Delfeayo, and their father, pianist Ellis Marsalis. It's solid, jaunty material that expands on and deepens the role Guaraldi's Peanuts tunes have always played for young audiences - introducing them to the language of jazz.

ADDING TO THE LONG-RUNNING DEBATE OVER WHETHER A FETUS BECOMES A PASSENGER AT CONCEPTION OR AT BIRTH

Court ruling of the week comes from an Arizona judge in the case of a woman who appealed the ticket she received for driving alone in an HOV lane because she was visibly pregnant:

Municipal Judge Dennis Freeman rejected Dickinson's argument Tuesday, applying a "common sense" definition in which an individual is someone who occupies a "separate and distinct" space in a vehicle.

In response, Pat Robertson said that if Phoenix is suddenly hit by an earthquake or an alien invasion, they'll have Freeman to blame.

DEPENDS ON YOUR DEFINITION OF "MISSING"

Widespread traditional preference for male children has led to so many abortions of female fetuses in India, according to a United Nations study, that the nation's population is "missing" about 10 million girls. And, in answer to your anticipated questions, the study reports:

The "girl deficit" is far more prominent in educated women, the investigators found. The number of boys born as second children was twice as high among this group than among illiterate mothers.
However, the deficit did not vary by religion.

In a statement released earlier today, Pat Robertson declared that this practice directly led to the recent devastating earthquake in the Kashmir region.

ALTHOUGH IT MAKES MORE SENSE THAN WHAT OUR FAMILY HAS DONE WHENEVER WE'VE HAD A PREGNANCY SCARE: PEEING ON A HERMIT CRAB TO SEE IF IT TURNS PINK OR BLUE

Slate explains how you can use a frog to test for pregnancy - one of those classic scientific questions that makes you wonder, "How in the Hell did people ever find this out?"

January 12, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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