WE'VE WATCHED THE "YUMMY YUMMY" VIDEO ABOUT 100 TIMES, SO WE KNOW HOW HE FEELS

Gregpagepf_1The lead singer of the hugely popular children’s group The Wiggles announced Thursday he will stop performing after being diagnosed with a chronic condition that causes dizziness, fatigue and nausea.

But lest anyone fear that Yellow Wiggle Greg Page's absence from the concert stage means the end of the Wiggles altogether, well, no such luck:

. . . Red Wiggle Murray Cook said he didn’t think too many kids would notice the change. “Children tend to center on one thing so if he’s wearing the yellow skivvy (shirt), he’s got black hair — he’s pretty much Greg,” he said.


THIS SEASON'S MUST-HAVE COMPUTER GAME FOR KIDS WHO WANT TO FEED THEIR ADORABLE ANIMAL FRIENDS TO LARGER ADORABLE ANIMALS

Vivapinatae32006pic14MSNBC praises the new XBox game, "Viva Pinata," which it describes as a "kid-appropriate" alternative to the high-violence offerings of the new Wii and PS3. As we began reading about how the game involved transforming a barren lot into a lush garden world, the better to attract adorable, sentient, papier-mache animals, we imagined our bloggy punchline: ". . . And then you smash them to bits with a big stick."

Turns out, we weren't far off. Read on, and remember, this is the "kid-appropriate" offering of the XBox season:

After a couple hours of play, you start spotting bigger piñata (deer, ponies, monkeys) on the outskirts of the garden, peeking in. . . The piñata get more adorable and desirable — such as a googly-eyed bear or unicorn. But the only way to collect these piñata is to uncover secret requirements, such as growing certain goodies or feeding them smaller piñata. Yep, you actually have to sacrifice piñata to attract some of the rarer species, and this introduces the element of choice and consequence to the game. Death is actually a first part of the circle of life in your garden, and truth be told, the cuteness of the piñata, what with their silly behavior, inspires a degree of emotional attachment that makes their demise palpable. (If you're playing with a child, have a box of tissues handy.)

The second part of the circle is birth, as you convince piñata to "romance" and create offspring. Just like attracting piñata, getting these animals in the mood requires meeting specific circumstances, and then shuffling them into a house where they perform a funny mating dance. (If you're playing with a child, have an explanation ready.) . . .

In a related item, in the ongoing debate over whether violent content in videogames can make teens more prone to violence themselves, a University of Indiana researcher may have found the holy grail in MRIs that showed clear changes in teen brains after just 30 minutes of first-person shooter play. Newsweek interviewed the lead researcher, the eminently coy Vincent Matthews:

Some people even blame school shootings on violent videogames. What do you think?

I’ve seen those same reports, too. Those are just anecdotal situations. There have been shootings, and at least in a couple instances, the people were involved in doing these violent games. One of the people had no practice shooting weapons but had practice in these videogames and had incredible accuracy. I’m not really an expert on how that sort of behavior transfers to the real world. That certainly is one of the concerns that some people have.

HE'S HAVING FUN WITH IT, BUT WE'RE WITHHOLDING JUDGMENT UNTIL WE SEE THE MRI RESULTS

HotwheelsFellow recently discovered hotwheels.com, which offers him a personalized home page and a variety of  race-car games that, while overly loud, are straightforward enough for him to figure out on his own. As he moves past the Noggin/Nick Jr/PBS Kids site, this seems to be working as a decent introduction to the world of big-kid video games for him. We can't give it a full-throated recommendation, as there's virtually no nutritional content, and at least half the site is devoted to promotions and sales, but you could do worse.

YOU'RE  A GOOD APOSTLE, CHARLIE BROWN!

Rnrdist_1926_79888703Like other parents of a certain age, we immerse our kids with the media we loved as kids, whether or not we should. Case in point: ABC's broadcast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" earlier this week. We told Small and Tiny that if they completed all their homework and ablutions by 8:00, they could watch it with us before going to bed. Now, we've watched this special with them at least four years running, and every time we're taken aback by Linus' retelling of Luke 2:8-14 toward the end. (One version of the remarkable story of how this scene made it on air in the first place can be found here.) But every year we come back and watch it again, crossing our fingers that the kids won't ask us too much about this savior "Christ the Lord" whom Linus spoke of (twice, as it happens).

And then, after we turned the TV off the other night, Fellow said, "That was silly! Those guys believe in that STUPID guy that we DON'T believe in!"

Uh-oh.

"What do you mean, Fellow?"

"Santa Claus! We don't believe in him. . . Daddy, so does that mean he won't bring us any presents?"

December 2, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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Comments

As far as the presidential coins go, I think they should all be honored as they're all a part, good or bad of American history.

If the decision is purely performance based, we'll only have around a dozen new coins minted in this series.
Mike

Posted by: Mike | May 11, 2008 12:34:13 PM

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