August 18, 2014

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These creepy Mickey Mouse nightstands in Isle sur la Sorgue are definitely the find of the trip so far. So wrong in so many awesome ways, including the price: EUR1480 each. As if you could imagine ever breaking up the set.

The image.jpg bench is more conventionally awesome, though it is also molded plastic that'd make me a little nervous about loading it up with too much weight (i.e., an adult's). It was either EUR600 or 900, I can't remember.

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Isle sur la Sorgue is full of antique malls, which, on a slow (week)day feel a little like a strange zoo, where each dealer gets to decorate his or her own cage.

Anyway, this little table and chair was sitting by the delivery truck, with what looks like a fresh coat of blue paint. Basically everything was stripped, blasted, refinished or distressed.

August 15, 2014

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We went exploring in the Camargue today, the Meadowlands to Arles' Manhattan. In the best way possible, of course.

Anyway, we drove to the end of the road past Salin de Giraud, which has the last publicly accessible restrooms for 25km, btw, and it dead ended in a vast, salt & sand spit, covered with caravans and tents. It was Black Rock City by the Sea, minus the body paint, and plus wild horses and flamingos. So win win. Except, again, for the bathrooms, which were more Mad Max than Burning Man.

On the way back we stopped to take in a view of some. Massive salt mounds and evaporation fields, and I spied this awesome wagon, one of many rough and ready Land a Rover Defenders chugging their way around the South of France. So far, though, this is the only one with a Citroen 2Cv-style rollback sunroof. Strip the livery and send it home, please.

August 14, 2014

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Sometimes it really IS the little differences. The cherry tomatoes in her Happy Meal have converted K2 to France.

August 13, 2014

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This random 70s school chair was the only kid-related item of note in today's brocante. Well, if you don't count the flimsy wrought iron bassinet in the back which seemed, at best, like a novelty planter.

I'm definitely feeling rusty at turning up interesting kids design in the wild this trip. If this keeps up, I'll be forced to post photos of French dad's pushing strollers through gravel.

August 12, 2014

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I spotted this very petit school desk in a brocante in Sault, while trying to find a cheap pair of scissors so the kids could go gleaning lavender from the just-harvested field we passed. The desk had a little more designed feel in person than in this photo, though, where it looks pretty spare/plain. As for the lavande, the kids just ended up using their fingers. We paid them 5 sous and a crust of bread for their day's labors. The one who gleaned the most got a spoonful of Nutella.

August 11, 2014

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It's been out in Europe for more than five years, but today was the first time I've ever seen a Concord Neo stroller in person. It was at Les Baux de Provence, a gorgeous tourist trap on top of a mountain. And the Neo was a lot of stroller. Seriously a lot going on, detail and engineering-wise. Like Yakuza dekotora minivan levels of things and pieces.

Also the canopy is the same kind of spongy neoprene as much of the rest of the fabric. Nice finish, a bit unusual. 50 SPF, according to the company's website, but what opaque fabric isn't?

It pushed smoothly, though I only saw it in the village, not traversing the rocks and gravel of the ruins nearby.

check out the Concord Neo at the Spanish company's site [concord.es]

August 9, 2014

It's a little quiet around here while we are on vacation, visiting family in Provence. Posting will be light, the submissions queue will grow a bit, and hopefully kids all over the place will be well-behaved and sleeping as they should.

August 6, 2014

It's like, Oh, it's gone! laying in the corner of the tank, but then it pops up and swims sideways with a desperate vigor, Oh no, I'm fine, I was just resting! and then it plops down into another corner. And on and on, and the kid had to write a note for the fishwatching neighbor to txt us in France, please, in case it dies and I'm like, let's say a proper goodbye now and flush it? No? OK.

August 5, 2014

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If the intellectual property lawyers for the Walt Disney company see this, there are going to be serious consequences.

August 4, 2014

I'm still waiting to find out that "Ugly" is Norwegian for "adorably hip," like how "Die Bart Die" is actually German, and just means "The Bart, The." Because otherwise, the Ugly Children's Clothing Company has long outgrown its apparent "crazy uncle" origins, and now they're making some cool stuff. For Norway.

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Right now, when the sun never goes down, the ugliest they can manage is probably the Hawaii print onesies and stuff. And those aren't even that ugly.

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This denim dress is downright awesome, though charging EUR50 for an "Activist" collection to celebrate the hardworking men and women who came before us, does hint at the harsher, if not uglier, side of capitalism.

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For that kind of money, maybe it's best to stick with the classics, the Norsiest thing possible, the iconic Marius sweater, made into bodysuits and rompers, in red, white, or blue merino wool. You could park your kid & his stroller on the patio for the entire year of your paid paternity leave, and he'd be warm as toast.

The Ugly Children's Clothing Co, of Norway [uglycc.com]

August 1, 2014

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So I was just looking for Cy Twombly's place in Roma, because Horst P. Horst had taken this great photo of Twombly and Tatia Franchetti's son Alessandro there in 1966.

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And whaddyaknow, the first thing that pops up on Google Street View is a guy pushing a Stokke Xplory toward the Piazza Farnese. Still looking for the Twomblys' though.

Piazza Farnese, Roma [google street view]

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It's funny because they arrest protestors all the time for wearing masks on the street, but they don't use that same 19th century law to arrest the tourist-harassing character hustlers.

As long as we can produce slideshows like this in the Wall Street Journal, though, our society is just fine. Or at least accurately documented.

Photos: Elmo Goes to Work In Times Square [wsj via dt reader heidi]

July 31, 2014

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@ekmathia: Young boy in #Gaza pretending to be a journalist with his home made flak jacket, had to lend him my helmet. http://t.co/CnlUShdixI
I don't know if it's the cuteness or the futility of this kid's flak jacket, but it's wrenching me right now. [via Swedish TV journalist JoMa Sammarstrom's twitter]

July 29, 2014

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One unfortunate trend begets another. Redditor. druishprincess99's pregnant wife, obviously the brains in this operation, didn't want to take glam maternity photos. So Druish, apparently the looks, hired the photographer and posed himself. There are many more photos in the set, which cannot be unseen.

Manternity Pics [imgur.com via neatorama thx @heideland]

July 28, 2014

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Failed States is the title of a book by artist Jill Magid, and it is also the title of her 1993 Mercedes 300TE station wagon, which she had armored to B4 level protection, and exhibited last year at the Texas State Capitol:

In training [in Texas to embed with US troops], I learned that in Afghanistan, we would drive around in a 'hard car'-- an armored vehicle, usually a Mercedes, that invisibly blends into traffic. I thought of my used 1993 Mercedes station wagon back in Brooklyn that my husband and I had bought when our son was born, and immediately wanted to armor it.
And who wouldn't? Failed States by Jill Magid [jillmagid.net]

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After hearing about a 5-yo who shot his 2yo sister, Amsterdam-based photographer An-Sofie Kesteleyn set off to understand American families where little kids get guns.

After scouring shooting ranges around the country, she found and photographed fifteen kids for her My First Rifle series. She also asked the kids to write down their biggest fear, which, frankly, seems a little heavy-handed.

But after looking through the small selection of Kesteleyn's images of kids posing in their bedrooms with their guns, I can say that my biggest fear is trigger discipline. WT actual F, people.

Oy: Bubblegum and Bullets: Kids With Guns [fotomofo.com]

July 25, 2014

Oh my gosh, how outrageous is this, the exact opposite of the buy-your-kid's-way-into-socialite-preschool story.

Tunette Powell writes in the Washington Post about discovering that her sons were getting suspended from preschool like crazy, for what amounts to age-appropriate behavior, behavior for which other [i.e., white] kids were not getting suspended for.

The problem is not that we have a bunch of racist teachers and administrators. I believe most educators want to help all children. But many aren't aware of the biases and prejudices that they, like all of us, harbor, and our current system offers very little diversity training to preschool staff.

A recent study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the subjects -- mostly white, female undergraduates -- viewed black boys as older and less innocent than their white peers.

Powell's solution: get more involved at school, and engage with teachers, administrators, and fellow parents to increase understanding and deepen relationships. Which, in the absence of broader awareness and institutional policy shifts, is about all you can do.

My son has been suspended five times. He's 3. [washpost]

Here is a CNN story about the Preschool Admissions Diary, the NYT Motherlode blog series about Judy Batalion's account of applying for preschools in Manhattan. Amazingly, there's not even a link to the Times itself.

The numbers don't lie: expensive, private preschools are expensive and small. Large populations of applicants are trying to get into tiny classes.

People also have no idea what they're supposed to do, and the process is fraught with anxiety, anxiety which is fed by articles about articles like this one. [I guess technically, this is now a blog post about an article about a blog post, so mea culpa.]

There are admissions consultants who prey on this population, and while I'm sure there is much advice that is actually useful, exactly none of it appears in this CNN story. Instead, we have a consultant talk about having ten clients hitting up Bill Clinton for a letter of recommendation, and one asking the Pope. Without knowing how old such anecdotes are, we can't determine how effective such letters might actually be. For example, far from helping, I'd think a letter from Pope Benedict would probably hurt your kid's chances of getting into the 92nd St Y.

The message, I think, is that if all you have to throw at the problem is money, you're doing it wrong. And then if you don't have money to throw at the problem--by which they mean your kid and her entire future, which is now on the line--you're expected to feel even worse.

Anyway, this is not even the season for preschool admissions, so at this point, six months after Batalion's weekly saga began, this is all basicaly angst gossip, preschool admissions snuff porn. You don't need to pay it any mind until the fall.

How New York's 1% get kids into preschool [cnn]
Preschool Admissions Diary by Judy Batalion [nyt]

Jesse Rosenfeld's reports from a maternity ward in Gaza were published yesterday in the Daily Beast. Premature births are up since the bombing began, and incubators and oxygen are not functioning when the power goes out and the generators run out. "These tiny beings--too tiny even to open their eyes--never see the world they were born into."

It's probably just as well at this point, since if they made it home, they'd probably get blown up in their house anyway.

Born in Hell: The Gaza Maternity Ward [thedailybeast.com]

July 24, 2014

Alright, Peanut Butter Cheerios Canada has just made a sequel to the greatest commercial the second largest land mass in North America has ever seen. And it stars a dad who we don't know if he's named Joe or not, but he's Canadian, and that's close enough.

Also as he proves right here, it IS pronounced aboot. So I'm glad we got that cleared up, even if it did take 14 years.

HowToDad.ca [howtodad.ca]

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This gorgeous glass & wood preschool by Christoff : Finio is proposed for the corner of Driggs Ave & Fillmore Place, the only landmarked block in Williamsburg.

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Fortunately, the scale and design are nice, and the site is a crappy vacant lot right now [GSV, above], so chances for their application with the Landmarks Board are probably good.

They're certainly better than your chances of getting your kid into the Reggio Emilia preschool when it eventually opens in Fall 2016; there are just three classrooms, one per floor, and a rooftop play area. Get those applications ready!

The Architects' Newspaper has more info and many more sexy renderings.

Unveiled> The School at Fillmore Place [archpaper via @HawthorneLAT]

We are back from the competitive, comparative parenting petri dish that is my family's annual gathering on the Outer Banks. And we survived. It is truly fascinating to watch a dozen+ cousins growing up in clumps and waves and to see the similarities and differences emerge. It is also illuminating to see how we and my siblings and their spouses approach parenting.

Such is the stuff sitcom pilots are made of.

July 23, 2014

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For the shooting brake enthusiast for whom the custom Aston Martin DB6 wagon is too predictable, there is this: the Allard P-2 Safari Estate.

To say it was in production between 1952 and 1954 is a bit generous, since only 10 were ever made. Unlike the DB6 shooting brake, the 2-door Allard actually had seating for six in a 2-1-3 configuration that featured a rather ridiculously scrunched up jump seat.

Such an odd, motley, amusing, and relatively cheap car, especially for being so rare. So rare and so cheap, in fact, that the one above didn't sell at Classic Car's auction in 2012. For all we know, it may still be punting around Newbury with a FOR SALE sign in the ash-framed window as I type.

Lot Number: 52
1954 Allard P2 'Safari' Estate Car, unsold
[classic-auctions.com]
P-2 Safari Estate [allardregister.org via the estimable estate espion, DT]
Previously, tenuously related: A Family Vehicle of Obvious Utility

July 22, 2014

You know how the one grandmother in Sixteen Candles opens a box of donuts with a knife and goes, "Voila, breakfast is served!" This is the prequel, only with naptime. The grandparent who winds the exhausted toddler up together stays awake past bedtime together.

Aimee Bender in the NYTimes:

Most picture books would close with that old lady -- that's the balanced choice. But we see the stars and feel the air -- we've been sure we're staying in but now we're floating out. Why? And then back in for the ending of "Goodnight noises everywhere." This, the last page? At first, I looked for another page -- why end here? Isn't it a little abrupt? But (after a few more readings), isn't it also the way for us to close our eyes metaphorically with the bunny and be in that state right before slipping off to sleep, that magical drifting moment after floating out with the stars and the air, when we only hear noises and next is sleep? The story has moved so close to the bunny as to become an experiential mirror of his drift and fall. How much deeper and more elegant that is than the neat symmetry we might expect.
I am as in awe of the pairing of "Goodnight nothing./ Goodnight mush." as the next guy. But at this point I think we have to add coming to terms with Goodnight Moon to hospital selfies, sleeplessness, and no sex for six weeks to the new parent's rite of passage.

What Writers Can Learn From 'Goodnight Moon' [nyt thanks rolf]

July 21, 2014

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OK what, this Buzzfeed article about the anonymous, disembodied hands behind DisneyCollectorBR, a YouTube toy unboxing and play demo channel is utterly bonkers.

Apparently the 55 million views/week translates into between $1 and $13 million per year in ad revenue sharing. I hd no idea that the vast population of parents who let their preschoolers surf YouTube sidebars unattended for two hours at a time was so attractive to advertisers:

Elizabeth Olsen, a Portland, Ore., mother of two, said her 6-year-old daughter, who is learning to read, has taught herself to use the iPad's microphone so that she can use Siri to search Disney Collector videos on her own, a solution to spelling struggles. From there, she said she navigates to more videos through YouTube's sidebars, and though she sometimes ends up watching another channel's videos, she usually finds her way back to Disney Collector. "Unattended she could probably watch for two hours," Olsen said.
SRSLY PPL what the hell is going on here? YouTube's Biggest Star Is An Unknown Toy-Reviewing Toddler Whisperer [buzzfeed thanks dt reader nathan]

That Point In The Family Vacation Where Two Of The Twelve Cousins Open The 3,800-Piece LEGO Death Star On The Coffee Table

July 19, 2014

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A small British child descended from immigrant stock has survived his first year on government support. [via bbc]

July 18, 2014

In case you were worried about the fate of ActionMovieKid and his dad as their 2015 Toyota Sienna #SwaggerWagon gets caught in the space station's powerful tractor beam, let the "Fictitious scene with stationary vehicle" disclaimer put your mind at ease.

Meanwhile, back in the non-fiction world, Action Movie Kid Dad Daniel Hashimoto signed with UTA last month, both to direct film projects, and to blow out "the Action Movie Kid IP into books, products, and feature spinoffs."

DT's favorite minivan and viral IP licensing sleuth David Traver Adolphus reports that a web marketing consulting firm registered ActionMovieKid.com in April, a couple of weeks after Hashimoto's CGI-filled YouTube channel broke out. I am confident that this signals an authentic, reasoned response by a parent who's well-versed in the film, TV, and entertainment industry. If the whole thing were really a long viral con, they would've locked up the domain name first. Enjoy the ride, Kid™!

Tractorbeam! | Toyota Sienna 2015 [youtube
UTA Signs 'Action Movie Kid' Viral Video Creator Daniel Hashimoto [deadline.com
After Effects Animators' Kids Have The NICEST YouTube Videos

July 17, 2014

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I've had these lactation room stories sitting here in my tabs for weeks now, hoping they'll all get better. But I don't think they do!

Abe Sauer wrote about the difficulties facing working moms in Minnesota, where companies like Wal-Mart and McDonald's are variously dealing with or ignoring new workplace regulations that give women the right to a private, electricity-equipped space to use a breast pump. You have to click through, if only to see the amazing lactation tents at the Pine County Fair.

And just a couple of days before, KUOW listeners around Seattle had assembled a huge slideshow of their lactation spaces, ranging from the postively spa-like to, well, KUOW's own lactation room, above. The flowers really, really are not helping.

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The Death Star-lookin' yoga ball, on the other hand, is totally killing it. More like this please!

Breastpumping moms gain new rights -- but does Minnesota's new 'Women's Security' law have enough teeth? [minnpost]
Lactation Rooms Around Seattle and Beyond [kuow.org]

July 15, 2014

Molly Caro May has a great essay about her and her BF/husband Chris Kautz's decision to give their first kid her last name, and his as a middle name. It's a thoughtful look at how equity and patriarchy and awareness and sensitivity play out in some of our most underexamined assumptions and traditions.

Kudos to May and Kautz for their inspiring decision.

What Happened When We Gave Our Daughter My Last Name [thehairpin]

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We replaced this unsuspecting toddler's usual, vaguely cheddar cheesy Pepperidge Farm GOLDFISH® with new, LIMITED EDITION! FLAVOR BLASTED ZINGY CHILI LIME GOLDFISH®, and recorded his reaction on hidden camera:

Actually, we didn't but if YOU did, it could be your hilarious ticket to viral fame, right up there with the guy who, rather than take it away, video'd his kid drinking a bottle of hot sauce. Send a link.

July 14, 2014

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On the one hand, this Seasons Natural Toys treehouse is a survivor, the first I've ever seen from the eco-friendly, indie toy company started by Jennifer stickley and Lynn DeRose in the early 1990s. And gone now--the last online mentions of the company make me think it was wiped out in the last recession. [UPDATE: DT treehouse correspondent DT points out that Seasons went out of business in 2005.]

On the other hand, this particular example is basically a grab bag of beat-to-hell, mis-matched Creative Playthings dollhouse furniture scattered around a treehouse that's missing its own furniture, it's Waldorfy doll family, and its entire jig-saw cutout roof:

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So historic artifact of little-known 90s kids design ripe for restoration, or hilariously ambitious opening bid for a random assortment of dollhouse stuff that filled a dollar bin at someone's garage sale? I say, why choose?

DOLLHOUSE TREEHOUSE SEASONS NATURAL CREATIVE PLAYTHINGS MID CENTURY MODERN WOOD, first bid $125+20 s/h, auction ends July 20 [ebay]

July 11, 2014

Hey girl, Judith Butler encourages us to use camp to expose gender so I am wearing a pink ducky onesie today.

...

Hey girl, I think I'm going vegan as soon as I stop breastfeeding.

...

Hey girl, I'm really glad my mom was able to decide whether and when to have me because she had access to reproductive health services, but I know that speaks to the privilege into which I was born 17 days ago.

Speaking of Oedipus, I read through the whole Feminist Ryan Gosling's Baby--which, who has time to make a tumblr anymore?--thinking it was the sensitive feminist baby talking to his mother, not another baby. So that's complicated.

This is our generation's Free To Be...You & Me, people. Let's make this happen.

Feminist Ryan Gosling's Baby [feministing via dt reader kyle]
Previously: Free to blow my freakin' mind

This neo-classical sculpture of an infant Oedipus being rescued by the shepherd Phorbas is based on an 1801 plaster model by Antoine-Denis Chaudet. It was realized in marble some time after the artist's death in 1810, and is currently in the collection of the Louvre in Paris.

It caught my eye because it looked like Phorbas has some sort of amazing, over-the-shoulder surrogate breastfeeding apparatus going on there. I figured it's still worth posting, even though it just turned out to be a bowl.

Antoine-Denis Chaudet, après 1810, Oedipe enfant rappelé à la vie par le berger Phorbas qui l'a détaché de l'arbre [louvre.fr]

http://twitter.com/ftrain">@ftrain called this a pro-circumcision music video, but I'd probably call it anti-intactivist, and pro-mohel, with some factoids about the benefits of circumcision for sexually active men penciled in.

It says a lot that the strongest argument for infant circumcision remains, as it has for centuries, religion.

And all that said, Kol Ish's Royals cover is pretty sharp, funny, and well-done. I might speed up the tempo 10-15%, but I wouldn't cut a thing.

Mohels by Kol Ish (The Bris Anthem) [youtube via @ftrain]

July 9, 2014

Not to be all Billy Bummer about everything, but I've had this Times article, "The Trauma of Parenthood," open in my browser tabs for a couple of weeks now. So it's expected. Psychology and management professor Eli J. Finkel writes about the physical and mental hardships of parenting, post-partum depression, and the crush of societal and personal expectations that pile on parents' shoulders, with debilitating effects. The unexpectedly personal ending catches me up every time I see it:

As a recent parent myself, I urge you to consider this the next time someone you know greets the transition to parenthood with hopelessness or even despair. Pursue kindness over ideology. For a person whose suffering has been met with judgment, a sympathetic ear can make all the difference.
And I swear, I've meant to post it here, there's just been so much going on and--anyway.

This morning I found Ethan Zuckerman's incredibly thoughtful account of recognizing and dealing with his own high-function depression, and how it differed from the difficulties his wife faced after a miscarriage and, later, the birth of their son. It's powerful stuff, and if you recognize yourself or someone you know, it's really important reading.

The Trauma of Parenthood [nyt]
Life, only moderately messed up: understanding (my own) high-functioning depression [ethanzuckerman via @agpubic]

July 7, 2014

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Speaking of grownups wearing infantile t-shirts...

Poet, writer and Nerve.com alum Johannah K-S has just launched Baby Feud Zazzle, a tumblr collection of Onesie designs custom printed on adult-sized shirts. It only started this morning, and it's already making everyone look ridiculous. I expect big little things from this one.

Baby Feud [babyfeud.tumblr.com via @jjjjjjjjohanah]

July 6, 2014

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There's a new Mr Men in town, and Hello Kitty is not smiling.

The Daily Mail reports [sic, obv] that Mr Men & Little Miss owner Sanrio is bent out of shape about Mr Jihad. [Wait, who owner what? Sanrio bought Mr Men in 2011 from the dissolution of Chorion just two years after the private equity rollup/MBO? How did I not--never mind. We'll talk about this later.]

Point is, Sanrio's sending cease&desist letters to various retailers to stop Mr. Jihad, but intellectual property terrorists are just like the real thing: they can melt into the online crowd, and efforts to combat them head-on only result in more intellectual property terrorism. Despite Sanrio's efforts, there are over 3,000 items of Mr Men-style t-shirts of varying levels of hilarity and NSFW-ness. And many of them are for iron-on transfer prints, which can turn up without warning on any t-shirt or Onesie.

Maybe it'd be better to find out what caused Mr. Bump to turn to nihilistic violence in the first place. Was it some form of illness-related disorder? Traumatic brain injury? Desperation at the gutting of the National Health Service?

'Mr Jihad' T-shirts showing famous characters in suicide vests land British firms in trouble with brand's owner [dailymail.co.uk via dt reader sean]

Huh, the Mail just rewrote this story from The Sun, which is apparently opposed to t-shirts or tops of any kind. [thesun.co.uk]

Search for parody Mr Men and Little Miss stuff on eBay [ebay]
Or go straight to the Mr Jihad section and show the capitalist west what you're made of [ebay]

July 3, 2014

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I don't know what glorious pronouncement of Soviet parenting advice No. 3A is, but I'm sure Putin's parents followed it to a T.

English Russia has a whole collection of kids' propaganda posters for your future kleptocrat's collective nursery walls.

Every Kid Should Know This [englishrussia via dt comrade rolf]

The tagline for the NY Review of Books' blog is, "Roving thoughts and provocations." And Christopher Benfy's post about poetry and bending vs. breaking is certainly that:

Some commentators think that "Rock-a-bye Baby," first published in Mother Goose's Melody (1781), is American in origin, alluding to the alleged Native American practice of hanging birch-bark cradles in the trees so that the wind rocks them. The rhyme would seem to cast doubt on the safety of the practice, thus besmirching hardworking Indian mothers, who presumably had other things to do than rocking a cradle day and night.

And why exactly was the cradle hung in the tree-top? Were the lower branches already taken?

Others believe that "Rock-a-bye Baby" is a political allegory of the Glorious Revolution. Alarmed when the Catholic James II produced an heir to secure the Stuart succession, Protestants dreamed of infanticide. "In the nursery rhyme," Michael Vestey wrote in The Spectator, "the baby on the tree-top is the heir, when the wind blows it is the Protestant wind that will blow the fleet of William over to Britain, and when the bough breaks... down too will come the Stuart monarchy." (Dismissing such "fanciful and ingenious" explanations, Marina Warner suggests that the tree in the song is the family tree, and that the broken bough refers to "the death of parents and its effect on children.")

With lullabies like these, it's amazing that babies survive.

Bend or Break

July 2, 2014

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As everybody good stroller publicist knows, when it comes to paparazzi photos, the most important thing is logo placement. [via my back-in-the-day posse member, former Vogue editor, and power stylist who probably really, really wishes someone would help this unfortunate tourist from Calabassas, Ann's Twitter]

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He's no Central Park Zoo Elmo, but it looks like Big Bird could use an intervention.

We interrupt this not freaking out about news stories phase to bring you this important announcement: Some insane 27yo dad got arrested doing 150mph in a Mercedes 320--a 320!--in England last September, trying to make a 5-hour drive from Hull to Dover to catch the last ferry to the continent:

Cambridgeshire Police said that when officers got to the car, they found a woman in the passenger seat, while in the back were six-month old twins in car seats facing forwards and not secured with seatbelts, a one-year-old girl asleep on the seat between the twins, and a two-year-old boy in the footwell.
Is that off the charts crazy?? Being 27 with four kids in three years? Oh right, by doing 150mph in a Mercedes 320!

Reckless driver caught doing 150mph with four kids in the car - NONE wearing seatbelts [mirror.co.uk via dt racing correspondent dt]

June 30, 2014

So we took the kids to the movies the other night, a non-trivial event for them, because srsly, what would they ever go see: 1) some too-loud, dumb, animated fart-fest full of Gen Y culture references they know nothing about or 2) Frozen?

Anyway, this commercial came on, and by about 20 seconds in, I was getting really pissed about having my emotions manipulated so baldly and relentlessly for--for what, who knows? Cell phones? Lunchables? Life insurance? There really is no way of knowing, and it was only becoming more and more obvious that it didn't matter: cue the swelling violins, this was pure, uncut propaganda, and we were its captive targets.

At 0:54 the text came up, "Isn't it time we celebrate Dads?" and someone in the theater actually called out, "Yes!" Meanwhile, I'm fuming behind my tears, going, "It's like you don't even read my blog!"

And then it turns out I'm wrong, because it's an ad for Dove Mens Care.

Now anyone who's been around the dadblog world at all the last couple of years knows Dove Mens Care has been a prominent and consistent sponsor of many blogs, including many dads I have long admired and respected. Dove has also sponsored the Dad 2.0 Summit, which is a totally legit example of a genre that I otherwise wish did not exist: the blogger-brandmarketer convention. Dove's people have been repeatedly generous in their offers and respectful in their interactions with me, even though I have consistently declined to include Daddy Types in their marketing campaigns. So much love Dove.

But that's not the point. The point is, I don't like having my emotions played for obviously corporate purposes that I know nothing about--especially because they are withheld from me until literally the last second because, I assume, SOFTEN THEM UP FOR BIG REVEAL.

THIS IS NOT WORKING FOR ME, DOVE MEN+CARE. IT MAKES ME SUSPICIOUS OF YOUR PRODUCT, WHICH TURNS OUT TO BE SOAP AND STUFF. MY FREE ADVICE TO YOU IS COME CLEAN OR DIAL IT BACK.

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Philippe Starck's The Face haunts Daddy Types like a kids' design version of recovered memory trauma.

The Face was introduced in 1997, and was briefly sold in FAO Schwarz, not, as the current seller on eBay UK claims, as part of Starck's 1999-2000 kids' capsule collection for Target.

philippe_starck_mustache_target2.JPG

If you must have one in your collection, reading this post or clicking through to the auction page constitutes your agreement to hold me, Daddy Types, and all its contributors, commenters, and readers not liable for any longterm psychological, developmental, or college admissions-related damages your kid may, uh, face.

Philippe Starck. Democratic Design. Mustache ride-on toy. Designed for Target [sic], auction ends July 9, opening bid
GBP 75+30 shipping
[ebay]
Previously, 2011: Philippe Starck's The Face Mustache Ride-on Toy

June 28, 2014

The Daddy Types Friday Freakout is apparently on summer hours:


  • With nutritional standards based on adults from 1968, fortified cereals are not part of kids' balanced breakfast, says a study. [usatoday]

  • The Amish were refusing vaccines before refusing vaccines was cool, and now they've got a raging measles outbreak. And are rushing to get vaccinated. [npr]

  • The US is basically the Mississippi of paid parental leave policy, at the bottom of the world list, announced the White House at a Working Families Summit this week, which sounds like a great policy agenda for the next few weeks. [whitehouse.gov]

  • Also President Obama broke out of the Summit for a burrito bowl, and totally reached over the sneezeguard at one of our four neighborhood Chipotles, which is just weird, stay on the other side of the sneezeguard.


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  • Which, if you wait until Friday to do freakout roundups, you see that every two-bit TV talking head freaks out over the exact same thing, and really, how much of the news is just corporations trying to manipulate our emotional reactions to keep us outraged and glued to the screen, watching disability scooter ads? [eater]

  • Facebook secretly manipulated the feeds of 600,000 users in an attempt to induce and study "emotional contagion." [avclub; methodological takedown by psychcentral]

  • Sarah Boxer has a good, long read about why are all the mothers in all the animated films dead, and is this some kind of good-father-as-savior nipple envy fantasy? But she doesn't really find the solution, and so we're left with Elastigirl to save us all. [theatlantic]

June 25, 2014

playmobil_summer_fun_housekeeping.jpg

Esta muñeca de limpieza de Playmobil viene con todo lo que necesita para limpiar las habitaciones de hotel en todo el día, salvo un salario digno, la reforma migratoria, y la representación sindical!

Y gracias al descuento de Amazon, esta muñeca ahora cuesta menos que el salario medio por hora para el personal de limpieza del hotel.

Comprar ahora!

5271 PLAYMOBIL Summer Fun Housekeeping Service, retails for $11.99, but is like $7.98 at Amazon [amazon]

henry_glass_kids_table_w20.jpg

You may remember Henry Glass's Swingline children's furniture collection from such posts as holy smokes, 2006, has it been that long? This stuff just does not turn up much, does it?

In the early 1950s, industrial designer Glass created a series of kids furniture around the themes: bright colors, Masonite, and stuck-on-poles. And this table and four stools fits the bill perfectly.

It has emerged out of some midwestern rumpus room and into the bright lights of Wright20's July 12th online design auction, with a couple of rough edges and an even rougher estimate. Good luck, kids!

Lot 163, Henry Glass, Swingline child's table & stools, est. $2-3,000 [wright20]
Previously:Mid-Century Swingline Group Kids Furniture by Henry Glass

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