I don't drink, and I don't know much about IPA, but if I did, and I did, I'd drink Speakeasy Baby Daddy. Except I wouldn't, because they apparently just announced that they're closing up shop. End of a San Francisco and craft brewing era.
March 12, 2017
February 23, 2017
One day you're checking into the hospital with your soon-to-be-no-longer-pregnant wife and your go-bag and an extra landline phone in case you need to do an interview Mark Wahlberg about his World Trade Center Memorial Competition entry, because cell phones aren't allowed in the delivery room, and the next, your teenager sends you an emoji text from her iPhone urgently requesting you to pick up an extra gluten-free cake pop. What a life.
February 20, 2017
In late 2013, some designers in Berlin teamed up to help refugees who'd fled war in Northern Africa get settled and productive in their new home. Legally restricted from working as wage-earning employees, the refugees and designers formed Cucula, an organization that produces and sells handmade furniture.
Most awesomely, they sell furniture based on Enzo Mari's 1974 Autoprogettazione designs, which were originally only for DIY use. But Mari gave Cucula permission to make his designs, so long as it was refugees who made it, and refugees who would benefit from it.
Some of the furniture is made using wood from refugee boats which wrecked on the coast of the Mediterranean island Lampedusa. I find this Piet Hein Eek-y, but somewhat problematic.
Straight-up awesome though, is the Bambinooo, a kid-sized adaptation of Mari's iconic Sedia I chair, which has also been stretched to bench width. AND it has underseat storage. There are kid-size Sedia I chairs, and kid-sized Autoprogettazione tables available too, but at the very least everyone should get a Bambinooo. It is great.
Bambinooo bench, handmade from waxed pine, signed, 220 € [cucula.org, ht monique]
Cucula | the story [cucula.org]
February 9, 2017
Harvard medical researcher Eliot Porter took this photo of his son Jonathan enjoying some tummy time in 1938, the year he had his first exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz's 291 Gallery in New York. In 1939, he decided to become a photographer full time. This print was made in the 1950s.
And thus history shows us, it's not exploiting your kids for marketable content that's the problem, it's doing it well. Bloggers and sponsored Insta moms, take note.
February 6, 2017
It's 10 o'clock on Saturday night, and your 9yo is making agony faces like a telenovela diva and barking like a seal colony because she's got croup.
What are the best humidifiers to buy so your kid, and by extension, you and the rest of the clan, has a chance of sleeping at all until morning?
Do you get one with filters or filter-free? 1- or 2-gallon capacity? Auto-shutoff or nah? Should you get the super-nice one like you used to have, but which you happily left in the alley five years ago because you thought you were done with it? How important is Amazon Prime free shipping?
HAHAHA READ ANY FURTHER AND YOU ARE A CHUMP IT DOES NOT MATTER NONE OF IT MATTERS. AMAZON?? JUST GET YOUR BUTT OVER TO CVS AND BUY THE CHEAPEST ONE YOU CAN JUSTIFY TO YOURSELF BECAUSE SRSLY HOW LONG DOES IT NEED TO LAST? ONE WEEK? WHY THE HELL IS A NINE-YEAR-OLD EVEN GETTING CROUP ANSWER ME THAT.
Anyway, I bought this one, and freakin' CVS charged a full $10 over MSRP, the thieves.
January 31, 2017
The deadline for applying for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act is tonight, January 31st. If you need or want health insurance for 2017, go register at HealthCare.gov TODAY. LIKE RIGHT NOW.
Honestly, if you're on this site, or are in the demographic of this site, I would hope you already have some health insurance lined up. But if you or someone you know or love needs coverage for 2017, signing up through the ACA is an option they should look at. WITHIN THE NEXT FEW HOURS.
[OK, HOPE YOU GOT IT AND THAT YOU CAN KEEP IT]
January 19, 2017
You may know Assemble from their winning the Turner Prize. Or from their The Brutalist Playground made out of foam. But did you know they also make adventure playgrounds?
In 2014 the architecture collective created Baltic Street Adventure Playground in East Glasgow, Scotland, as part of the culture program for the Commonwealth Games. Like any good, real adventure playground, it's a lightly supervised apparent chaos zone (but not really) stocked with warm clothing and slightly dangerous tools and things that kids might get hurt with. Like a giant, foam-wrapped culvert that kids get rolled along inside. As someone I'm not related to named Lady Allen from a country with universal health care once said, "better a broken bone than a broken spirit."
And speaking of spirit, Spirit of Play is an ongoing, kid-led research project Assemble is conducting with National Trust, to develop new, challenging, educational, and sustainable ways of engaging kids with the National Trust's forests and natural sites. It looks like it involves many elements of an adventure playground, except the saws.
Baltic Street Adventure Playground on Assmble's site [assemblestudio.co.uk]
Baltic Street Adventure Play website [ balticstreetadventureplay.co.uk]
Spirit of Play on Assemble's site [assemblestudio.co.uk]
In 2015 artist Simon Terrill and the architecture collective known as Assemble was commissioned to make "The Brutalist Playground," an exhibition/installation of lost, Brutalist playgrounds made out of foam, instead of concrete. The designs were based on archival info from the Royal Institute of British Architects, where the project was first installed. Last year, it traveled to S1 Artspace in Sheffield, somewhere in England, I guess, and now it has opened at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Though you're more likely to see it blasted across every design blog still opening their press kits. [I grouse because literally none of this basic context was included in the churnalist versions of the story I saw. What's la plus ca change? in German?]
TBP @RIBA install with sweet hex stools, image via:assemble
In Sheffield, Terrill and Assemble created a limited edition print, a pleasant, abstract silkscreen image of disintegrating foam. Which is awesome, but I wish they'd release 75 of these hexagonal foam-covered stools, too. They look equally nice stacked or strewn about. If your kid picks it to shreds after a few months, you can always just glue another piece of foam on it. [And even if they don't. Terrill's artist site shows how chewed up the installation got by the end. Brutal.]
The Brutalist Playground, 14 Jan - 14 Apr 2017 [design-museum.de via architecture]
The S1 Artspace version in 2016 included a re-creation of a local destroyed Brutalist playground [s1artspace.org]
S1 Artspace's show also resulted in an Assemble X Simon Terrill colabo print edition that looks like crumbling foam. £220, still available [s1artspace]
The Brutalist Playground v1.0 at RIBA, 2015, including an exhibition website and related info [architecture.com via throughjo]
The Brutalist Playground project page at Assemble [assemblestudio.co.uk]
the same, at Simon Terrill's web place [simonterrill.com]
January 14, 2017
Precious cargo! Bryan Coffelt posted this photo on twitter. If I ever opted to turn this blog into a line of dubious kid products, a car magnet saying "Dads Are Just As Important As Moms" would probably have been available to this day. I have no regrets.
photo via @bryancoffelt
January 12, 2017
Swiss Miss has gone and done it, opening the crowdsourcing floodgates to unleash the awesome hivemind of her twitter followers and blog readers to come up with a four-letter name her baby boy, aka Swissmister. Gotta be four letters.
I don't know how much time she has before he arrives, but she may want to crowdsource an algorithm for sifting through the gigabytes of suggestions. If you have a favorite, it's probably in there.
And so here I go to weigh in on the names I like from the first couple of dozen blog comments, which, to be honest, is as far as I got:
And my bonus suggestion, though it might end up sounding old-fashioned in the coming petabyte era: Giga
Anyway, good luck! Hahahaha, what? I thought this was odd, but yes, this post is from 2009. She just tweeted out the comment stream dataset to anyone wanting 4-letter boy names. Also, I'm pretty sure she went with Bort. Yeah, almost positive.
December 24, 2016
In Mother Russia, Sergei Tretyakov wrote a play called, I Want A Child, about a woman named Milda who wanted to have "a model proletarian baby, but without a husband." The controversial play explored topics like sex, eugenics, politics and their molding of society, and constructivist El Lissitzky was asked to design the sets.
Sotheby's calls this image of El Lissitzky's son Boris laying on a photo of his dad working on the set and a copy of Pravda a photomontage, but I'd feel better calling it a composition. h up.
The print, btw, came from the El Lissitzky family through pioneering photo dealer Barry Friedman, and then in 2014 it didn't sell. But now that Russia's hot, and we'll apparently all be working for them now, it's probably spoken for.
December 7, 2016
Speaking of amazing Japanese playgrounds, there is nothing that tops Moerenuma, the vast, last project by Isamu Noguchi, the 400-acre park in Sapporo which was only completed in 2005, after his death.
Moerenuma gets 750,000-850,000 visitors a year, but because it is in Sapporo, and Sapporo is far from most places, most art and design types, even dyed-in-the-wool Noguchi fans, have never seen it in person. Which was enough motivation for Alexandra Lange, who writes about her recent pilgrimage to the park in Curbed.
Noguchi imagined Land Art and Earthworks before there was such a thing, at least in contemporary art. And Moerenuma is the culmination of that decades-long vision. Or, as Lange discovered, the accumulation of it. Noguchi completed the large-scale design and model for Moerenuma before he died in 1988, but it turns out the details were filled in by friends and colleagues, including architect Shoji Sadao. The water fountain is choreographed with a 50-minute show from who knows where, and the sculpted landscape is sprinkled with an Isamu's Greatest Hits Collection of playground equipment, as in the Octetra and Atlanta-esque swings mashup above.
In any case, it's still on my bucket list, if only because I'm gonna see Noguchi's Black Slide Mantra in the center of Sapporo some day, and if you've come that far...
I haven't seen a Japanese concrete slide this awesome since the itinerant Tako-no-Yama octopus slide roundup of 2007. Thanks, esoteric survey!
Kyoto Things [esotericsurvey]
Previously, related: Tako-no-yama: the itinerant octopus slide builders of Japan
also: Slides Rule! the 517 Awesomest OG Suberidai in Japan
November 28, 2016
We have come a long way from the Like-a-Bike.
Balance bikes are called runbikes in Japan, and so the competitive racing circuit is known as the Runbike Challenge Series. It is organized by the RFJ, Runbike Foundation Japan.
From the URL, RCS began in 2013. Kids around the country race in age classes from 2-5yo, working their way toward the All Japan Championships. Dads are heavily involved, but so are girls. Runbike racing really is a family affair.
There are videos on YouTube that rival muttonbustin' for their sheer wtf-ill-advised awesomeness. The related links will lead you down a runbike rabbit hole.
There also appears to be a branded competitor, the Strider Cup, sponsored by the company, which only allows owners of its product to enter. The trailer for the 2016 Osaka Round is the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the lingering gender strait jackets that deploy a squad of 2yo girl cheerleaders for a 2yo boys' bike race. This whole thing feels like fun, but also like folly, and I cannot endorse it any more than I can look away.
Runbike Challenge Series [rcs2013.com]
The Strider Cup [strider.jp]
Oh look, the Strider Cup® is global. [striderbikes]
Random runbike racing video vortex entry point: RCS 2013 Grand Champion Heats 5yo Class [youtube thanks dt hero matt]
November 16, 2016
your #FAOMemories will be assimilated image: fao.com
My kids could be in college and writing papers about surviving the trauma of their dad exploiting their childhoods on a dadblog designed to make the money to pay for their college, and I will still be sitting here, adding new chutes and ladders to the convoluted history of people buying, failing, bankrupting, and selling FAO Schwarz.
Toys R Us bought FAO Schwarz in 2009, and after closing the last/only retail location on Fifth Avenue last year, has sold the zombie brand to the brand's fifteenth owner, ThreeSixty Group, of Kowloon and Irvine. ThreeSixty is a privately held, vertically integrated ideation, design, manufacturing, licensing, and distribution company that literally used to be called MerchSource? Am I getting this right? My research on ThreeSixty is not turning up much at all. They seem to have the toy license for the Discovery Communications brands, though, so that's something.
But if you notice FAO Schwarz brand toys in a big box retailer someday, then I guess their undisclosed purchase price will have been worth it. Because now that the below-market retail leases are gone, the entire value of FAO Schwarz derives from the fact that you've heard of it.
Toys "R" Us sells FAO Schwarz to ThreeSixty Group [kidscreen]
Previously, deeply related: FAO R Us: a compleat history of all the people and companies who've bought and sold FAO Schwarz [To their credit, the Schwarz family did hold onto it for the first 101 years.]
Of all the posts about all the browser tabs in all the world, this is the one that brought be back to Daddy Types. It's an issue that goes to the heart of my idea for this blog, which is now almost thirteen years old. I know that because the kid is almost thirteen, too, and k2 is nearly nine.
And though I've long since aged out of the new dad demo myself, and I've yet to find the way this blog can provide a vital, or even useful, role for new dads today, maybe what I can do is provide some perspective. Maybe it's useful to take a look back, and see how our parenting, our advice, our priorities, our concerns, our experiments and guesses, turned out. So far.
Because on this front, of kids growing up to face the challenges of a digital world their parents have filled with info about them, I think we made the right call. From the very beginnings of Daddy Types, I wanted this site to be human, but not personal. In the vernacular of the pre-Facebook era, I specifically did not want DT discussions of my little kid's private life to flood her Google results. Or her Google Image results. It was a simple principle, and we stuck with it, and we adapted as needed. So whenever TV shows wanted me to appear on them as some kind of dadblogger novelty, and they wanted me to bring the kid, I said no. And then they'd say no, too. And it was fine.
Other blogging and then Instagramming folks made other choices, and managed their and their kids' public presence in different ways. Ours is sort of this first generation to grow up online, in the quasi-public realm of social media that blogging presaged. And some like Heather Armstrong have spoken powerfully and eloquently about their experiences.
From the long, searching, and intense article at the Guardian, it seems like kids are having a tough time when they discover our oversharing online. When they find out they're already a public figure, known to many, perhaps, and it's embarrassing, constraining, or awkward for them to be (or project) their own selves.
But you know what, being 13 was awkward before the Internet, too. So things might get better. Realizing your childhood was a Zulily-sponsored Truman Show may be a shock, but maybe once you've processed it, it'll give you a leg up on growing and managing your own online brand. Not every child actor became a crackhead; some became regular actors and showbiz people. [I do still think about the kid whose parents let her be photographed on the potty for that NY Times front page story on elimination communication, though. Hope she's alright. And that we realize embarrassing our kids in media is not new; it's just been decentralized.]
In any case, I think the article's emphasis on looping kids into the social media decision is admirable, but ultimately limited. No 4yo can understand what it actually means to post their Halloween costume on Pinterest. The children need you to think of the children, until you can help them think and decide things for themselves.
For our part, I have half a mind to turn this whole joint over to the kid, and let her write about her experience. But alas, she does not care that much. And the friends she texts and snaps with don't either. And for that I am grateful.
'I was so embarrassed I cried': do parents share too much online? [guardian]
Previously, related: "Hairy Banana"
August 5, 2016
You're on the internet, so you know KC Green's This is fine. dog. We are all KC Green's This is fine. dog now.
And now your kid can be, too. Green has launched a Kickstarter campaign to make a plush toy version of the This is fine. dog. It has already blown through its goal in two days, so it will definitely happen. The scheduled delivery date is November, much like the collapse of civilization itself.
The doll is available by itself, or with a foldable, full color cardboard diorama set. You get whatever you want, but what you really could/should do break out the paint and make a This is fine.-themed nursery for your plush toy-and your kid-to inhabit. The long-term psychological impacts of such a decorating scheme are, frankly, irrelevant, for the obvious reasons.
"This is Fine" Plush Dog. A plush doll to ease your pain [kickstarter]
August 4, 2016
On That Day, meaning yesterday, August 3rd, in 1967, William Kunstler and others founded the Law Center for Constitutional Rights. [via @JMitchellNews]
On This Day, meaning today, August 4th, in 1977, Kunstler founded Bring Your Daughter To Work Day.
July 12, 2016
you know what? I quit pic.twitter.com/2CCCqOJi0c— World Princess Pt. 3 (@snpsnpsnp) July 12, 2016
3. Do not play Pokemon Go while attending a funeral, but if you just happen to drop by a funeral home while a funeral's going on, well...
2. Do not play Pokemon Go at the Holocaust Museum.
1. Do not play Pokemon Go while your wife is giving birth.
July 5, 2016
July 3, 2016
We are in France visiting family, and went on a quick tour through Ile sur la Sorgue, which is chock full of antique and vintage stores. This sweet Danish-style folding kids chair was at 50 Cinquante, one of the best mid-century dealers. It's not marked, but it's old, they said, from a client's house. Judging by the condition, the client had very polite children, or else they always played outside.
check out 50 Cinquante's IG feed to get in touch [50cinquante.fr]
July 2, 2016
Zander's niece got a bayou meth lab police raid Lego set, which Playmobil must answer, or risk losing the edgy playset realness crown. Riot police and security checkpoints just ain't cutting it anymore.
June 25, 2016
As kid-sized Ferraris go, this F500 is one of the most advanced I've seen. With molded steel frame over a tubular chassis, leather interior, a rear-mounted 50cc Motobecane engine, and Mille Miglia livery, it's gorgeous, even.
But before I send my kid out zipping around the grounds at 50 km/h, I'd add a safety harness. Or is getting thrown clear still the preferred method of survival in these low-slung roadsters?
9 Jul 2016, Lot 90: FERRARI MONOPLACE TYPE F500 JUNIOR - Fabrication circa 1980, est 6 000 € / 9 000 € [auction.fr/artcurial via dt kiddie car guru dt]
June 19, 2016
June 15, 2016
I cannot even begin to
I mean I
There is no way to even
June 12, 2016
You may know Ian Bogost from his groundbreaking work on the McRib's insidious normalization of the McNugget. Now he has trained his scholarly gaze on Daniel Tiger, whose Privatization Trolley is destroying Our Youth's faith in public transit:
When Daniel and his family want to go somewhere, they simply walk outside to catch Trolley. It's always already there, waiting, empty. Daniel's posse climbs aboard and off they go. And new Trolley is no longer bound by rails, but conveys itself, driverless, along the modest roads and pathways of the neighborhood. It deposits its passengers directly at their destination, then disappears.As a Fred Rogers purist, I have never watched Daniel Tiger; we hustled up original episodes of the real thing wherever we could. But even if I think Bogost overplays the persuasive power of OG Trolley to tie our childhood TV community together, I don't dismiss the threat. Daniel Tiger must take a bus or a train by the end of whatever season we're on right now, or be declared an enemy of The People.
In other words, Trolley isn't a trolley, at all. It's an Uber. An autonomous Uber, even.
Trolley is also a very important character in Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, one far more central than in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Not only does it convey Daniel and his family and friends around the (seemingly small and walkable?) neighborhood, but also it serves as the object of Daniel's total obsession. He's got a trolley bed. A trolley toy. Trolley bath towels. Daniel worships trolley (Ding! Ding!). Which means, metaphorically at least, that Daniel worships a hypothetical autonomous car hailing service rather than a mode of public transit.
June 10, 2016
From KVIIIlyn's mom:
my husband suggested we replace the 'ait' with the Roman numeral symbol for eight! Now our daughter is truly unique.It's funny because, reading this, the most baffling thing to me ends up being, "What the hell kind of parents are you? You haven't even bought the kid's domain name yet!?" And when I see the story, even after it's been stewing on reddit for like three days, KVIIIlyn.com is still available. And holy crap, I sit on this post for another day and a half and it's still not taken! I've spent the last day figuring I'll buy the kid's domain name and hold it for her until she, or her parents, really, wake up and get in touch.
And then I think, waitaminnit, they live in Australia, do they even USE .com down there? And anyway, finding her username is taken on any site she registers for for the rest of her life is like the one problem KVIIIlyn will not have. So they can make or lose their own domain name battles fine without me.
KIIILyn also made me think of the artist K8 Hardy, who came up with that spelling for her name her own damn self when she was a teenager. Which is probably the ideal time to insert numbers into your name, if your parents can show a little restraint, obv.
If high school is the early end of the number-name changing game, corrupt adulthood is too late. That's the takeaway from the report that the Russian federal agency that registers the owners of luxury foreign real estate properties used randomly generated letter&number combos to disguise the names of two sons of the country's attorney general. On official records, at least, Artem and Igor Chaika have become "LSDUZ" (ЛСДУ3) and "IFYAU9" (ЙФЯУ9), respectively.
Which is pretty awesome. I mean, why not name you kid with a random string of characters? Or even emoji? It's not like you couldn't come up with a decent pronunciation. LSDUZ could be Ellis, and IFYAU9 could be, uh, Fia? Yaunine? Goldnine? Eventually we'll all be signing things with our encryption keys anyway. Why not get ahead of the curve?
This must be a form of child abuse? [reddit/r/australia via @QueenMobs]
The sons of Russia's attorney general were renamed to random numbers and letters. [meduza.io via twitter somewhere]
June 5, 2016
In the spring 22-yo Brooklyn fashion geek Davil Tran made a splash with his VETEMEMES raincoat, a parody of the ridic Parisian street-inspired clothing collective Vetements. And it did not take him long to start monetizing his critique.
The Vetements runway original of this embroidered baseball cap said, Big Daddy, but I am all in on the awesome VETEMEMES version, which just says Dad. Because it doesn't look like it'll ship before Father's Day and so will make a terrible gift, I pre-ordered one for myself.
May 24, 2016
Aaron Krach, Indestructible Artifact #19 (Swaddle), 2014, image aaronkrach.com
A few days ago I spotted this awesome screenprinted hospital blanket on the website of New York artist and writer Aaron Krach. It was a little Lawrence Weiner, a little Gene Davis, and a lot of #nurseryswaggoals. There was a title, Indestructible Artifact #19 (Swaddle), and a date, 2014, but I thought there might be a story. And there is. And since Aaron tells it better than I can recap it, here it is:
A few hours after my son Jack was born he started breathing awkwardly. Within minutes he was taken to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Quite simply, his lungs did not work properly and the doctors started a series of treatments. The doctors never figured out why. Nothing had gone wrong during pregnancy or delivery, and actually, we we still don't know why his lungs didn't work; they just didn't.On his site Aaron calls the blanket one of "a series of 23 (so far) projects that are finished and unfinished. Through use, they can be completed and finished, in a different way." And though they're technically an artwork-Aaron produced them in an edition of 50-the idea is that people will actually use them, break them in, and then tuck them away for later.
After two days, Jack was not improving and the hospital ran out of options. We had to move him uptown to the NICU at Columbia Presbyterian. They do ECMO, which is a fantastic and terrifying procedure where a refrigerator-size unit takes over the work of ailing lungs. After six days Jack and his lungs showed enough improvement that he could come off the machine.
His parents breathed a massive sigh of relief, and immediately started the next phase, a slow-but-steady recovery. At this point, a nurse or a doctor--unfortunately I can't remember who--told us the phrase now printed on the blanket: "Each day, each day a little bit different." It became a bit of a refrain or mantra that carried us through.
Ultimately we spent a month in the NICU before Jack was strong enough to come home. I became obsessed with the baby blankets in the hospital. The style is ubiquitous. So I decided to combine the phrase and the blankets together.
At first I hoped to make gifts for the doctors and nurses that saved Jack. But over the last year, they have become popular with parents in general or people looking for something different to give a new parent.
Finally, and this may be embarrassing to admit, especially because Jack is crazy-healthy and happy. He will be 2 years old in July. But his mom Helen, Jack's other dad Blake, and me still find ourselves muttering this line to each other every once in a while. Luckily now it's in regards to something completely unrelated to Jack's lungs.
That said, they also look awesome framed. Thanks to Aaron and his whole family for sharing their story.
May 18, 2016
On this, the 36th anniversary of Ian Curtis's death, let's all take a few minutes to rewatch the incredible stop motion animated Playmobil version of Joy Division's 1979 performance of "Transmission." Here it is.
This video, created through extraordinary effort by SoftwareDR and Homecoming Films, was originally featured on Daddy Types in 2011, when we all thought the smiles would never end. A year later it was named to The Atlantic's Video of the Year playlist, which also featured behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the filmmakers, whose YouTube channel was filled with other Playmobil stop motion music videos.
And now they're all gone. All the links are, like Curtis, dead. Enjoy it while you can.
May 5, 2016
Painters in the Renaissance developed techniques of linear perspective in order to illusionistically depict three-dimensional space on a flat, 2-D surface. Over the centuries we have become accustomed to "reading" these visual cues as depth and distance, even though they can seem disorienting or illogical.
One of these techniques is called foreshortening, and it involves exaggerating the size of an object closer to you, in the foreground, while making objects in the middle- or background smaller. We know this is not "true," of course, but we can enjoy a picture by a great artist and marvel at the illusion that, say, a high-booted pixie is somehow pushing a Stokke Trailz stroller as big as a golf cart through the Frieze NY art fair.
April 27, 2016
Are you planning on dying before you can bank some sperm that will enable your baby mama to conceive after you're gone, and you want to know the country and/or state with the most favorable or flexible legal and medical system in place? Well, except that you're dead, you're in luck, because Jenny Morber has pulled together an exhaustive article about post-mortem sperm harvesting, preservation, and conception around the world.
Even if this is not on your radar, don't worry: sperm is apparently viable for up to 48 hours after you're dead, so your family will have some time to decide what to do with it.
As you could imagine [but maybe haven't!], the field has come a long way since the 1970s when a California fertility doctor was asked to give a politician's brain dead son a handjob.
One weekend last fall Stanford CS doctoral student Andrej Karpathy decided to create a neural net that generated baby names. He fed in a list of 8,000 actual baby names, and the net iterated 8,000 results, 90% of which were new.
I literally grabbed a chunk at random, and then scrolled down until I had to stop. Jean-Xelly is great. Xelly would be a badass variation of Shelly, or when she's in her rebel futurist phase, the kid could go with Zelly.
Anyway, this name generating technique would work equally well for naming 8,000 MMORPG characters, or 8,000 tweet botnet accounts as for naming 8,000 babies of the future. The limit is just your imagination.
#RandomExperimentSundays: LSTM Baby Name Generator [AndrejKarpathy's g+, via @caseyg]
April 10, 2016
Amazingly, a 63-year-old man whose life and livelihood have centered on grooming boys into men who pummel the shit out of each other for the enrichment of the oligarchy and the amusement of the sclerotic masses is not inclined to support his sport's demise.
Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told a sports radio station in Phoenix that football, which causes brain damage, dementia, and early death, is "the best game that's ever been f-ing invented, and we got to make sure that moms get the message; because that's who's afraid of our game right now. It's not dads, it's moms."
Actually, moms are just the offensive line; there are plenty of dads (including this one) who think letting a kid play youth football is irresponsible-to-negligent. But the only one who sounds scared right now is the coach.
April 6, 2016
Bibs! They look so weird! At least they have a purpose. Unlike their nearest neckwear relative, the equally inexplicable and ridiculous-looking necktie. Bibs can keep a kid's outfit slightly cleaner when he is eating. But they are not part of the outfit! They are odd-looking functional items that look even weirder when a kid is not eating. [Super-droolers get a pass here, obviously, though you'll have to decide for yourself what point on the Drooling Scale really warrants a perma-bib.]
Anyway, their unusual form may be why Luc Tuymans, esteemed Belgian painter of the wan, chose to paint Bibs in 1995. The form, disembodied from its protective function, turned into a curvaceous, biomorphic object.
It works for me, though. And the estimate feels right for a manageably sized, early-ish, thoughtful, but not-too-showy, Tuymans painting. Just hope that a contemporary sale at Christie's Amsterdam is still far enough off the art world's beaten path to keep the bidding to a minimum.
March 25, 2016
How do you know when your dadblogging days are numbered? When you realize that eleven years into it, you're still fighting the same pink nursery-as-good-parenting-as-lifestyle-real-estate-porn hegemony-and getting bullshit copyright infringement threats for critiquing the content, substance, and system behind the photos?
Or is it when an uncaptioned photo comes through your twitter feed, and you're at least able to identify which boyband a baby daddy in an LA-tourist-mall photo-op-as-custody-battle-fodder shot is a refugee from, but it takes you twenty minutes to identify the stroller he's pushing as an actual Bugaboo, not one of the dozens of Bugaboo clones which have permeated the stroller market you used to be so hyped for, but now, something something click to buy
Buy a Bugaboo Buffalo with black base for $999 and change via amazon [amazon]
Here is one direction you can go in for a Maxi-Cosi Mico car seat: the Mico, from like $179-199+ [amazon]
These adapters for attaching a Maxi-Cosi to a Bugaboo only work facing one direction [amazon]
Click here if you want to know more about this picture, but if you already know enough, then why not stop now? [via @ellievhall]
The NYT's T Magazine has a nice portfolio of artists' depictions of their own kids. It's sort of a grab bag list, a little London-heavy perhaps, but still worth every click. John Currin's painting of his daughter is uncharacteristically sincere. And though they could not be more different, Marco Brambilla's and Nick Waplington's photos of their sons both do that uncanny thing kids' portraits do sometimes, giving you a glimpse at the future adult padding around the house.
This one is by Rob Reynolds, a 2008 watercolor of his 4mo son Sam. The correction and image swap mentioned in the caption has me imagining Reynolds painting with one hand, with a kid on his lap, which may have happened!
Some expectant parents at imgur commissioned this off-the-hook walnut tentacle crib from woodcarver Garrick Andrus last summer, but he only posted it to Google+. It only leaked out of the Google+ steampunk/tentacle community to tumblr in January, and then to boingboing this week, and from there onto a million scrapebot techblogs.
Point is, by now I think we should have some data on the effects of raising a kid in a tentacle crib. Did it get infested with cats like the bassinet? If we all weren't afraid of accidentally reactivating G+, we might find out.
Eldritch Crib by Atlanta woodworker Garrick Andrus [imgur]
Tentacled crib [boingboing via dt steampunk tracker jj daddy-o]
#tbt: Garrick Andrus' flickr from like 2010 [flickr]
Rather than do the typical expat thing (?) of going home for the delivery, Financial Times Mumbai bureau chief James Crabtree and his wife decided to have their first kid in India. I mean with an oceanfront hospital called Breach Candy, how can you resist?
For the locals, the sight of a giant red-headed foreigner striding around with a small red-headed foreigner strapped to his chest provided reliable amusement.Everyone loves a baby, the childcare options are endless, and the Hindu babynaming ceremonies are like icing on the cake. Except for strollers, parks, monsoons, and crushing street poverty, it sounds like it was awesome.
Walking through an Indian airport with my son is perhaps the closest I will come to celebrity, as heads turned to watch the baby, and strangers approached, embarrassed and smiling, asking for selfies.
March 22, 2016
Guy sends out a group text to his contacts to let them know the kid is on the way ["She has dilated to between 5-6."]
One of those numbers is out of date, and at first the new owner of that phone number tries to get off the thread, and then is like, "Eh, you know what, let's celebrate," and he shows up at the hospital with his brother and some baby gifts to meet these strangers. Warm viral feelings ensue.
A Family Texted The Wrong Number About A Baby's Birth But This Guy Showed Up Anyway [buzzfeed, image: deorick williams]
March 17, 2016
February 27, 2016
Hey, look at that. The easiest way to cure yourself of blogging is to not blog. I'm sure this means I can stop anytime. And all these tips and tabs I have piled up in my browser will just post themselves!
Or maybe I was just waiting for one ridiculous station wagon to become an entire fleet. But these three wagons would make the world's sickest preschool dropoff line:
I'm not sure what's nuttier: an Aston Martin Lagonda shooting brake [*cough* wagon], or the fact that this very car has already been on Daddy Types already. Twice. Oh, wait, I know what's crazier: that the asking price for this thing-CHF 420,000-is 2x as much as the last time.
Wedge Wagon: 1987 Aston Martin Lagonda Shooting Brake [bringatrailer]
There's nothing like an Aston Martin wagon to make a $5,000 1991 Mercedes 300TE with a lift kit look like sane, reasonable transportation. This example sounds a bit more probleMatic than 4Matic, but the concept is both solid and ridiculous. Please make it happen, someone.
Lifted and Factory Lockers: 1991 Mercedes 300TE 4matic Wagon [bringatrailer]
Now who will split the difference? Can you imagine a world where a beautifully restored 1972 Citroen DS21 Break is the most logical, worry-free, and exciting choice? Because that's where we are. This is not quite my favorite year or variant of the DS, but it's pretty damn close, and it looks fantastic. Extremely tempting.
February 8, 2016
'This child is named Bartholomew': Erfgoed Leiden, HGW, Archiefnr. 519, Inv. nr. 3384, slip 1 (15th century) - Photo EK via
Here is a poignant story by medieval schlar Erik Kwakkel about a rare collection of 15th century notes and nametags that were pinned to the clothing of babies given up by their parents at an orphanage in Leiden, The Netherlands.
Some of the notes were written by the priests or staff who logged kids into the orphanage. But others, which provide glimpses of the kids' families or the circumstances that brought them to the orphanage steps, were probably written by the parents.
Rare Medieval Name Tags, by Erik Kwakkel [medievalbooks.nl]
January 24, 2016
Add me to the list of people who didn't know designer Paula Scher wrote a kids book in 1973, which was illustrated by Village Voice cartoonist Stan Mack. The Brownstone's a fable of OG city living, where the landlord actually responds to residents' requests. It almost makes you nostalgic for the day when there were still multifamily brownstones left in New York.
For my kids Star Wars was last month. But sexism springs eternal. And the attitudes about what boys do or don't or will or won't play with that come up in Michael Boehm's account of #WheresRey are girl problems because they're boy problems:
n January 2015, a number of toy and merchandise vendors descended on Lucasfilm's Letterman Center in San Francisco. In a series of confidential meetings, the vendors presented their product ideas to tie in with the highly-anticipated new Star Wars film...Boehm's insider blames Reagan, which seems like a political cheap shot. We don't need a deregulation boogeyman when the problem is all of us and the world we're creating for our kids. Skip the comments, obv.
The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.
"We know what sells," the industry insider was told. "No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it."
January 19, 2016
At the marathon #MLKNOW commemoration of Martin Luther King at The Riverside Church yesterday, Chris Rock read James Baldwin's "My Dungeon Shook." As the subtitle says, it was written in 1963 as a "letter to my nephew on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation."
Baldwin opens with a powerful observation of what it's like to know someone from the time they're born, and it builds from there:
Now, my dear namesake, these innocent and well-meaning people, your countrymen, have caused you to be born under conditions not very far removed from those described for us by Charles Dickens in the London of more than a hundred years ago. (I hear the chorus of the innocents screaming, "No! This is not true! How bitter you are!"--but I am writing this letter to you, to try to tell you something about how to handle them, for most of them do not yet really know that you exist. I know the conditions, under which you were born, for I was there. Your countrymen were not there, and haven't made it yet. Your grandmother was also there, and no one has ever accused her of being bitter. I suggest that the innocents check with her. She isn't hard to find. Your countrymen don't know that she exists, either, though she has been working for them all their lives.)Rock's reading starts 1:44:00 into the archived livestream video. I'll update the video when the standalone clip turns up.
Well, you were born, here you came, something like fourteen years ago: and though your father and mother and grandmother, looking about the streets through which they were carrying you, staring at the walls into which they brought you, had every reason to be heavyhearted, yet they were not. For here you were, Big James, named for me--you were a big baby, I was not--here you were: to be loved. To be loved, baby, hard, at once, and forever, to strengthen you against the loveless world. Remember that: I know how black it looks today, for you. It looked bad that day, too, yes, we were trembling. We have not stopped trembling yet, but if we had not loved each other none of us would have survived. And now you must survive because we love you, and for the sake of your children and your children's children.
January 18, 2016
January 13, 2016
Meanwhile, I was surprised to realize that David Bowie's classic rendition of Prokofiev's "Peter & The Wolf" was not on DT already. Fixed now.
I just remembered this was here. Alas, David Bowie, who was always David Jones to his family, is not.