Friends and relatives may enjoy the handful of new photos
posted in the "See the Kids" area.

As always, scroll to the bottom for the latest images,
including new shots of the happiest baby yet.


250pxtv_muppet_show_openingFrom muppetnewsflash comes a report that the long-delayed DVD release of the second season of "The Muppet Show" is on Disney's summer 2007 calendar. Longtime readers know how strongly we believe that the first season special-edition set is a family must-have.

(Muppetnewsflash is also the kind of site where you can find out that "The Muppets Take Manhattan" was denied a 1985 song Oscar by that young upstart, Prince.)


Nw_leftnavcov_070212Newsweek bets big this week that it can add about a half-dozen entries to the 2007 Lingo Watch but pretty much strikes out. Are all of us, the magazine asks, complicit in creating a generation of "prosti-tots," raised on US magazine and the exposed pudenda of rehab-bound Lindsay Lohan and "the Brit Pack," and therefore utterly lacking in values, modesty, and moral fiber? 

We'd be more inclined to look for lessons in this bloated tsk-tsk cover job if the magazine hadn't so blatantly tried to boost sales by plastering a racy photo of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears on its cover, or if it hadn't included a slide show of "bad girls" throughout history on its Web site.


SorenNewsweek is free to speculate that Britney Spears is the voice of today's younger generation. For a time, we were sure that Tabitha Soren, the earnest redhead star of MTV News, would become the voice of our own generation. Which is why we have to say that her current status continues to trouble us in the same way that the plot of "The Little Mermaid" does. Soren left MTV long ago and is now trying her hand at news photography. In fact, she frequently takes the photos for husband Michael Lewis' magazine pieces. Among other things, Lewis, acclaimed author of "Moneyball" and "Liar's Poker," contributes an occasional column to Slate about becoming a father later in life. It's the closest we ever get to Soren's voice these days, and what we hear isn't at all comforting, as in Lewis' latest entry, about Tabitha's recent bout with post-partum depression:

Just before 2 in the morning, I'm prodded awake. It's Tabitha, with a look on her face I've never seen there before. "I'm sorry," she says.

"Okay," I say. "What's the matter?" But I already know it's serious. She's fighting very hard to hold it together. Her eyes dart around, and she fidgets as if she itches in 50 places at once.

"I don't know," she says, "I'm really, really scared."

She's like an addict in need of a fix that does not exist. She's terrified. Worse, she doesn't know what she's terrified of. All she knows is that she can't be alone, can't even close her eyes in my presence without shuddering with fear. "I think I might need to go to the emergency room," she says, reluctantly, and she might. But it's 2 in the morning, we have three small children in the house, the neighbors are all gone, and the nearest blood relation is 2,000 miles away.

"Tell me exactly what you feel."

"As if something really bad's going to happen."

Tears fill her eyes.

"I feel like I don't have any control of anything. I feel like I might be going insane."


According to the latest issue of Pediatrics magazine:

More children and teens are being exposed to online pornography, mostly by accidentally viewing sexually explicit Web sites while surfing the Internet. . . . Forty-two percent of Internet users aged 10 to 17 surveyed said they had seen online pornography in the past year. Of those, 66 percent said they did not want to view the images and had not sought them out.


Can we get a verdict from the replay judge here: Are you allowed to call consequences "unintended" if you were the only people in the country who didn't see them coming?:

Arkansas — the first state to send home obesity report cards to warn parents of overweight kids’ health risks — may ditch the plan or weaken it with the help of the new governor. Gov. Mike Beebe said the school weigh-ins and report cards had “a lot of negative, unintended consequences” and hurt some children’s self-esteem. He favors letting parents drop out of the program more easily and wants the state to test children less often.

In actuality, there's much debate over Arkansas' anti-obesity programs. There are indications that the obesity report cards have inspired some parents to bring their children in for medical advice or to enroll them in fitness programs. States including California, Florida and Pennsylvania, are already launching similar programs. But we're still not convinced that weigh-ins are within the schools' mandate, and, speaking as a former fat kid, we're also not convinced that the self-esteem blows the program delivers are worth the trouble.

It's like that old joke: A boy brings home his report card, and his mom sees he has a D in Math. So the mom comes to school the next day and says to his teacher, I want a second opinion. Teacher says, OK, he's also fat.


We're impressed by the detective work here, as doctors investigating why a number of boys, ranging in age from 4 to 10, had developed gynecomastia discovered that the culprits were lavender and tea tree oils found in the boys' shampoos, soaps and lotions. The researchers, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, assured parents that the effects of the oils (including enlarged breasts) should disappear once boys stop using the products, which mimic estrogen and block the boys' hormonal balance.

The AP article linked above also reports on a debate between pediatricians about whether the risks involved are serious or lengthy enough to advise that families actually start avoiding these products. Whatever. Suffice to say, we're convinced: He'll be upset, but we've just closed Fellow's account at L'Occitane.

February 6, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS


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My DVR is all set up for Muppets Take Manhattan. Hopefully Robert Osbourne will have some nice things to say about it. I will, however, be skipping the movie preceeding it: Benji.

I really hope TCM isn't turning into another AMC "We swear Halloween 4 is an American Movie Classic"-type channel.

Posted by: carli | Feb 8, 2007 5:42:30 PM

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