AT A BOWLING ALLEY BIRTHDAY PARTY YESTERDAY, TINY RAN AMUCK, CHASING THE 6-YEAR-OLD BOYS AROUND AND THREATENING TO KISS THEM. FELLOW WAS THE MOST DESPERATE TO AVOID HER LIP-SMACKS. AND NOW WE KNOW WHY.

Our disgust at sibling incest turns out to be nature, not nurture. The key: How much time an older sibling spent watching his or her mother care for a younger one, or how much time the two spent together in the same household.

ON THE OTHER HAND. . .

ABC News blows the lid off incest—sorry, "genetic sexual attraction"—finding a hot half-sibling couple ("It's like kissing myself," Rachel says; "If you take Adam and Eve," Shawn says, "where did we all come from if there wasn't incest?"), as well as a woman willing to admit her attraction to the child she gave up for adoption at age 15. In keeping with the science mentioned above, though, no one involved in ABC's piece grew up knowing the eventual object of their affections.

Hgc_journeys_ecg154_v240WELL, AT LEAST MOST OF THEM DON'T RHYME

Hallmark has introduced a line of cards for people who need just the right words to support a friend who's been diagnosed with cancer, or miscarried, or lost a job:

"We saw a huge need for cards covering a large emotional range, from sharing grief to celebrating the joy of recovery," says Cynthia Musick, editorial director for Journeys. "When we started talking to people, they told us they needed cards for events that really do happen in life. This is the 'new normal' in which we live. Basically, they gave us permission to talk about these specific, sometimes scary life moments."

We're inspired. In fact, writing Journeys card copy could be a good side gig for us. Let's see. . . How's this?:

cover copy: God loves all His children, even those that He, in His mystery, chooses to challenge with an undescended testicle.
inside copy: Get the surgery anyway.

(via Gawker)

Map_nymanhattanON THE OTHER HAND, IF SOMEONE STARTED OPENING UP DAY-CARE CENTERS WILLY-NILLY ON EVERY AVAILABLE CORNER, WHERE WOULD COMMERCE BANK PUT ITS NEW BRANCHES?

New York magazine explains why Manhattan parents can't find a day-care center for their kids. There aren't any:

Early-childhood-services facilities can usually spend between $15 to $20 per square foot, says [Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Faith Hope] Consolo. But commercial spaces on the Upper West Side, for example, run $50 to $60 per square foot. Meanwhile, stringent regulations—centers can’t be above the second floor, must have two means of egress, and need 30 square feet per child, plus sinks and bathrooms—reduce the options. And on top of that, landlords become “concerned about traffic and noise, the cars and carriages,” she says.

THE FD.COM EDITOR'S NOTE OF THE WEEK

From Newsweek's report, "Your Igloo or Mine?: Web sites like Club Penguin have introduced social networking to children. Welcome to MySpace in braces":

In fact, most of these sites are remarkably safe. For example, at sites like Webkinz, members can only chat by choosing from a list of the site’s preexisting conversational snippets—safe but a bit stifling. Language and profanity filters at Club Penguin are so strict that one user complained of being blocked from the site for 24 hours after misspelling the breed of puppy his family had just bought—it was a Shih Tzu. Parents, after doing their due diligence, can generally rest easy: it may not be very difficult for adults to join many of these sites, but their online interaction with people they don’t know in the offline world is severely curtailed. . . .

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of this story included three references to Tweenland, a social networking site. In response to new concerns about the security of the site, Tweenland was taken permanently offline on Feb. 23.

LIKE A TOOTSIE POP, ONLY MORE ACTIONABLE

We're still reeling from this Times article from a couple of weeks back (OK, we're catching up here a little bit this weekend) about the porcelain favors manufacturer in France struggling to retain its business in the face of competition from the Far East:

. . .the French began the tradition of the galette, a flat, round pastry with a favor hidden in its dough -- a practice that these days continues through the end of January. Whoever got the slice with the favor in it became king, or queen, for the day, complete with a paper crown, and the favor was said to bring an abundance of good fortune. The favor is still called a fava bean, or fève, for beans were what French bakers originally buried in the cakes. But more recently the favor in the finest galettes has been made of fine china, delicately decorated with flowers, texts or other themes to delight the recipient.

"Thumbnail-sized" pieces of porcelain in the middle of children's cakes? If they tried this in America, the protest petitions out of Park Slope alone would crash the Internet.

February 25, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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Comments

And, how about the New Orleans King Cake? Already done in the good old USA, with a baby inside.
http://www.mardigrasunmasked.com/mardigras/king_cake.htm

Posted by: jacobdad | Feb 27, 2007 8:08:17 PM

We stand corrected, but sure, there it is: The French tradition. Thanks, JD.

Posted by: gary | Mar 9, 2007 4:09:54 PM

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