WE CAN'T SAY WE'RE SURPRISED AT THE DECISION, SINCE DURING WARMUPS BEFORE THE AUDITION, ONE BOY TURNED CARTWHEELS, ANOTHER STRETCHED AT THE BARRE, AND FELLOW LAY FLAT ON THE FLOOR AND SAID, "COME ON, DADDY, TRY TO ROLL LITTLE GUY'S STROLLER OVER ME!"

Despite his fame in the dance community as the boy who inspired the article that remains, six weeks after its publication, the definitive word on the state of boys' ballet in New York City, the School of American Ballet rejected Fellow after his tryout in the company's spring auditions. Given that Fellow's grandmother and great-grandmother, after seeing him dance to Annie's "Tomorrow," pledged never to buy another New York City Ballet ticket again if they let him within 50 feet of "The Nutcracker," it was probably a good decision by SAB.

NEXT SEASON, WE'RE HOPING FELLOW GETS PUT ON THE HAMAS/FATAH SQUAD

Our first spring of West Side Little League wrapped up yesterday with a game that had not appeared on the initial season schedule, and was only added last week. Given the scheduling issues, the league expected few players to show up, and so decided to merge pairs of teams together for the day. Which is how, as a distinct chill descended on Hades, Fellow's DodgerCubs squared off against, yes, the YankeeRedSox.

FIRST THERE WAS EVERYDAY MATH. THEN SINGAPORE MATH AND REFORM MATH. BUT WOULDN'T YOUR CHILD BENEFIT FROM STUDY OF GOLF MATH?

It was Father's Day weekend, and Freelance Dad was tired, so we joined Fellow on the couch late Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours of third-round coverage of golf's U.S. Open. But we didn't allow the teachable moment to pass, introducing Curious Fellow to the basics of golf math: birdies, bogeys, eagles, double bogeys, and their cumulative effect on a player's score relative to par. By the end of the day, he could tell you how a double-bogey by Angel Cabrera, coupled with a birdie by Tiger Woods, would shake up the leader board—especially if Tiger's train from Florida to the Open left at 3 pm traveling at 60 miles per hour and Cabrera's train from Buenos Aires left at noon traveling 80 miles per hour. . .

HERE'S HOPING ALL THE INCREASINGLY RARE GOOD DADS OUT THERE HAD A HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

We'd planned to celebrate a weekend of inspiring Father's Day pieces in the mainstream media today, but bagged the idea after reading just the opening line of Tony Woodlief's essay in the Friday Journal:

I think Father's Day ought not to be a celebration of every man who managed to procreate, but instead a time to honor those increasingly rare men who are actually good at fathering.

IN A RELATED STORY, THE CONSUMER PRODUCTS SAFETY COMMISSION IS INVESTIGATING SIR TOPHAM HATT'S DEALINGS WITH A PAINT SUPPLIER OWNED BY THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT

SirtophamhatThere are product recalls that you can understand. Two children using a certain model of high chair experienced falls, and the company acted in good faith when it found out? OK, fine. We can get behind that. And then there's the recall of Thomas the Tank Engine toys announced by the RC2 Corporation. Twenty-eight toys in the ubiquitous Thomas product line—1.5 million items in all—were made using red and yellow paint that contained lead. The products were manufactured in China, and the story will now become part of an increasing awareness of the lack of oversight in that country's factories. Unlike our fictional high chair maker, who may have done safety testing but missed a specific flaw, RC2 apparently hadn't paid pay to make sure that the products they produced cheaply overseas contained no lead content before they put them on the market. And when the recall was announced last week, RC2 initially asked consumers to send their products to the company for replacement at their own expense, a policy reversed only after widespread public complaints.

Everyone reading this blog today should immediately print out the list of affected toys at RC2's Web site, then go home and tear through your child's Thomas collection and get rid of these toys.

THE FD.COM MUST-READ STORIES OF THE WEEK (TIE)

*  The Journal's "Numbers Guy," Carl Bialik, examines the widely-cited stat that children in low-income households may spend as many as 1,000 fewer hours reading with their parents before starting school than their middle-class counterparts. He concludes that the stat as it's commonly cited is almost certainly a massive exaggeration of reality, but that it persists in policy discussions, maybe even rightfully so, because it "makes sense" and because it can help to drive necessary action to boost pre-school reading in poor communities.

* It's already the Number-One e-mailed article on the Times' Web site, but everyone who's paid even a little attention to the passionate debate over the causes of autism (in a nutshell, genetics vs. environment/vaccinations) will be fascinated by today's Page One piece on how that debate has sparked a bitter divide within former NBC chairman Bob Wright's gigantic autism research foundation, between Wright (who claims to be agnostic on the question, but his opponents allege that he tends to favor the genetic side of the debate) and his daughter, whose child's own diagnosis of autism was Wright's impetus for starting the fund in the first place, and who believes passionately, as many parents of autistic kids do, in the environmental theory. The only good news here? Wright's fund is still investing millions in research looking into both theories.

June 18, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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