FROM THE CENTER FOR BUZZKILL IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

07_2Hey, kids, look at this: Dunkin' Donuts has taken trans fats out of its treats! Awesome! Let's go right out and get some Munchkins!
Oops, hold on a second. Just need to take this call:

Yes, hello?

“It’s good news that they’re dropping most, if not quite all, trans fat,” said Jeff Cronin, spokesman for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based nonprofit, [but], “we’re still talking about a food that’s mostly white flour, sugar, and fat.”

Dammit! OK, kids, take off your shoes, sit down, and eat your apples. . . Miserable scientists. . .

AT THIS POINT, THE STORY WRITES ITSELF

Tops. Notebooks. SpongeBob. Curious George. Recall. Lead paint. China.

THE FD.COM MUST-READ ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

Over on Slate, the estimable Darshak Sanghavi, author of "A Map of the Child," tells us that disposing of all of our Chinese-made, lead-painted toys probably won't do much to protect our kids from the hazards of lead—because it's too little too late. Trace amounts of lead—much lower than the government's liberal official "level of concern"—are steadily dropping your child's IQ right now, point by precious point, and there's not a thing you can do about it. It won't be news to anyone who's been paying attention to the full scope of the lead debate since the summer's recalls began that a few million toys from China are the least of our problems. Sanghavi's review of the debate over what, if anything, can actually be done about the threat of lead illuminates the scope of the problem and raises other interesting questions, such as: Exactly how much is one point of your child's IQ worth to you?

[PS: If you're like us, and you've been wondering how all that lead got into our paint in the first place, Natalie Angier offered an elegant explanation in last week's Science Times.]

WE DON'T LIKE "MR. MOM," EITHER, SO YEARS AGO, WE ASKED EVERYONE HERE AT HQ TO CALL US "LORD GREYSKULL"

31986largeUniversity of Texas researchers Aaron Rochlen and Ryan McKelley recently completed a study of more than 200 of the nation's 150,000-plus stay-at-home dads, and found their satisfaction and marital happiness to be as high as that of so-called "traditional parents," USA Today reports. However, Rochlen said, the dads did have at least one complaint: "Just don't call them 'Mr. Mom.' They really don't like it."

No, they don't. Freelance Dad appeared in a segment about "the new dad" last week on the CBS News Early Show (see video clip here), which got a good deal of attention in the at-home dad corner of the blogosphere, much of it mercifully positive, at least regarding our own performance. But the network did choose to begin its segment with a clip from, yes, "Mr. Mom," and, man oh man, did that push all kinds of buttons for the bloggers, who justifiably resent their life choices being dismissed by comparison to a domestically clueless character in a 24-year-old movie.

By the way, for a somewhat more in-depth report on the results of that first-of-its-kind University of Texas study, as well as a look at the choices made by a variety of super-cool at-home dads across the country, we'd direct you toward the cover story from the June/July issue of Working Mother, written by Freelance Dad, aka Gary Drevitch. (Yes, the article does have an obligatory "Mr. Mom" reference, but just one, and it's brief. Sorry!)

BECAUSE NOTHING SAYS "HELP AFRICA" LIKE LITTLE GERMAN KIDS IN BLACKFACE

Unifef_3UNICEF Germany has agreed to pull a series of jaw-dropping print ads in which little white kids in blackface urged people to support a campaign to help build new schools in Africa. You can see the ads, and read their English translations, here. And you can read the statement from UNICEF Germany upon agreeing to pull the ads here. As for the kids from the ads, they had been working on a school production of "The Color Purple," but those plans are now on hold.

August 28, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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