AppON NEWSSTANDS NOW

Freelance Dad, aka Gary Drevitch, wrote a cover story in this month's issue of Working Mother entitled, "The New Dad." It's all about stay-at-home dads and the working mothers who love them. you can view it here, or peruse the poorly-formatted text version at the top of our sidebar, at right.

STILL, THOUGH, ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, NOT AS BAD AS M & M's

TV can be bad for diabetic children
Snacking, less exercise linked to increases in blood sugar levels, study finds

CHICAGO - Diabetic children who spent the most time glued to the TV had a tougher time controlling their blood sugar, according to a Norwegian study that illustrates yet another downside of too much television.

SEE? IT'S NOT ALWAYS TELEVISION'S FAULT!

Early Menarche Linked to Heavier Children

The younger a woman is when she has her first period, the more likely her children are to be overweight, a new study suggests. . . . researchers found that age of first menstruation, or menarche, is a predictive factor independent of physique. “This highlights a key pathway to childhood obesity,” said Dr. Ken Ong, the lead author and a pediatrician at the Medical Research Council in London.

NEW YORKER MAGAZINE CARTOON OF THE WEEK

Bruce Kaplan captures pre-K as it would be if FD were the teacher.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD, BABY. IT'S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE

Science Times reports on the latest stunning study of infant language ability. Apparently, children are born with the ability to recognize, just by watching a speaker, whether he has begun talking in a different language. This ability begins to fade as early as eight months, at least for babies in monolingual households, as infants join the rest of us in declining from our cognitive peaks.

SO, OK, WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

Notably loopy actress Anne Heche is suing for sole custody of her five-year-old boy, because her estranged husband is an unfit at-home dad.

When their son, Homer, stays with [Coleman] Laffoon in Los Angeles, he sends the boy to preschool or leaves him with nannies and baby sitters while he “plays ping-pong, backgammon and poker and views pornography online,” Heche stated. “He holds a poker game at his home every Thursday night and allows Homer to participate."

Hey, if it's wrong for Homer to participate in weekly poker games, then it's wrong for Fellow to play Texas Hold 'Em on his GameBoy, and we don't want to live in a world where that's wrong. On the other hand, in Heche's defense, who still plays backgammon?

WHERE ELSE WOULD THEY BE ABLE TO PUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF LATIN ROOTS TO SUCH GOOD USE?

Time magazine offers a "Where Are They Now?" for a number of past National Spelling Bee champions, and finds most of them employed in medicine of the sciences.

RADICAL PROPOSAL

On the Times op-ed page the other day was a hand-wringing piece about the state of playgrounds today, specifically their inability to attract tweens, who have apparently (this just in) "abandoned playgrounds en masse for instant messaging." For that, by the way, all of us parents of kids 6 and under say, "Thank you, tweens!" But we suppose that wasn't the writer's point. No, the point was to create an excuse to invite a handful of cutting-edge artists and landscapers to imagine playspaces that could entice tweens to play outside. You can see their proposals here, which resemble nothing more than a variety of sculptural interpretations of the Life game board, and your guess is as good as ours why any 10-year-old worth his salt would be caught dead at any of them. The main problem? They all look like -- playgrounds! And wasn't the problem we were trying to address here that tweens don't like playgrounds? Oy.

So here's our suggestion: A field. A well-maintained field, within some wide, paved borders, with plenty of portable furniture for hanging out, and a never-ending supply of. . . balls. It strikes us that the cost of keeping a steady supply of soccer balls, tennis balls, or the like would be vastly less than the millions of dollars communities would have to spend building and maintaining the architectural concoctions the cutting-edgers came up with for the Times. Our fenced-off grounds might have a sign saying, "For kids 8-14 from 2:00-8:00." Maybe there'd be one staff/security guy on hand to make sure equipment is put away at the end of the day and that the furniture doesn't walk away. And the kids could come, hang out, and if they like, play ball. Without having to jump through the contrived hoops that the designers propose.

Just a thought.

TWEEN QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Speaking of tweens in the Times, we loved this quote from a Manhattan nine-year-old in the paper the other day, because it captured so well the huge attitudinal difference between our generation and the next (improved) one. And don't kid yourself: This is NOT the first thing that came into your mind when you read about Britney Spears shaving her head.

. . .Alexis Gursky, 9, found herself wondering not why Ms. Spears picked up a razor in the first place, but why she did not do more with the hair she shaved off. “I just thought it was a little weird to just do it and not to give it to people who have cancer,” said Alexis, a third grader in Manhattan.

ReillytwiggyWHEN WE WERE A TWEEN KID, OLD-SCHOOL "LATCHKEY" STYLE, WE SPENT OUR AFTERNOONS WATCHING "MATCH GAME" ON CBS, AND "THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR" ON UHF, SO THIS IS A LOSS WE FEEL DEEPLY

Charles Nelson Reilly passed away this weekend at 76. The Tony winner once said of his regular appearances on "Match Game," "You can't do anything else once you do game shows. You have no career." Maybe so, but, Charles, on behalf of all the kids who sat at home snacking on graham crackers and grape juice while watching you, Richard, and Brett fill in Dumb Donald's blanks -- thanks for doing the game show.

CAN YOU TELL US HOW TO GET, HOW TO GET TO SESAME STREET (ON iTUNES)?

Various news reports this week say that Sesame Street has released its greatest hits and video clips to iTunes, which is good news, and yet, Sesame Street doesn't appear to have its own iTunes page, as it should; you need to search by album, song, or character. We entered "Cookie Monster "and got a song list that gave us access to most of the available albums, but there's got to be a better way.

NOW IT CAN BE TOLD: WHAT ELIOT SPITZER DOES IN HIS SPARE TIME

NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer has some very particular ideas about what kids should be allowed to drink in the state's public schools:

Among the other requirements: high school students could be served decaffeinated coffee or tea, or hot chocolate if it had no more than 180 calories per eight-ounce serving, but only at breakfast. Vending machines in high schools could offer only products meeting a lengthy set of criteria, such as “nonnutritive-sweetened, noncaffeinated, noncarbonated, nonfortified beverages that contain less than five calories per serving.” . . . . The measure is still being negotiated with the Legislature, which is generally supportive but has raised objections to the high level of specificity in the governor’s legislation.

22deep1901DISCOVERED: THE PIKACHU FISH

OK, it's really a "Dumbo octopus," but would you just look at this thing?

June 1, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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