SAD NEWS: APPARENTLY, INSIDE OF FIVE YEARS, TINY GIRL WILL OUTWEIGH HER OLDER BROTHER BY ABOUT 30 POUNDS

A Northwestern University study finds that children who sleep more are less likely to become overweight as they grow up, and vice versa:

“Children who get less sleep tend to weigh more five years later,” lead researcher Emily Snell said. . . [Snell] determined that an extra hour of sleep cut the likelihood of being overweight from 36 percent to 30 percent in children ages 3 to 8, and from 34 to 30 percent in those ages 8 to 13.

WE BELIEVE THE PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES AT OUR LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOL WOULD BE MUCH IMPROVED IF THEY COULD KEEP THE MICE FROM RUNNING AROUND THE CLASSROOM WHILE WE HAVE OUR TALK

On Slate this week, Emily Bazelon points out that the parent-teacher conference hasn't changed much in 50 years, and could very well be in need of an overhaul, beginning with the radical idea of actually inviting the children into the conversation. Bazelon quotes some limited studies which claim that including kids increases parental participation and empowers kids, and that may be so, but at the younger grades (by which we mean up to maybe fifth), we're not sure you want kids listening to any remotely frank discussion of their flaws, which is all they'll likely take away from it.

ALTERNADAD 1, WIGGLES 0

WigglesrWe have a copy of Neal Pollack's Alternadad here at FD.com HQ, but we haven't cracked it open yet. We feel like we already got enough of a taste of it in the Sunday Times magazine, and suspected that a taste was all we needed to get the gist.

Then we read Pollack's recent interview with Radar this morning, and, we gotta tell you, we're feeling a little bit won over:

How do you feel about the Wiggles?
We're [Pollack and his son] out of that phase. He watched them, and that was okay because I always imagined what punk versions of their songs might sound like, and it could be sort of fun. But I turned on the Wiggles when I tried to use the "Quack, quack, quack, quack, cockadoodle, doo" lyric as the epigraph of my book and they wanted to charge me $1,000. I was like, "You guys are greedy bastards—let me use your nonsense words, Jesus Christ!"

NOTE TO SELF: NEVER GO ONLINE FROM A CLASSROOM IN NORWICH, CT

070213_teacherporn_hmed_12ph2 Maybe this 40-year-old small-town substitute teacher is a sex addict. Maybe she's a cheeky monkey who gets off on exposing middle-school kids to ambush porn. Then again, maybe she went online from a classroom, got a porno pop-up screen she couldn't figure out how to close, and was mortified when kids got a peek of what was on the monitor. While the latter seems, oh, 800 times more likely than the former, a Connecticut jury decided to convict her anyway, and now she could face a year or two in prison for the snafu.

All of which may help explain the town slogan: Norwich, Connecticut: We Put the "Nut" in "Nutmeg State."

February 14, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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