December 8, 2013
December 7, 2013
Sheesh. No one complained when our flip phones looked like Star Trek. Or when our iPads looked like, uh, Star Trek: The Next Generation. But let Fisher-Price design an iPad-holding infant chair that looks like Wall*E, and people start freaking the $)#*(% out.
I can't find it right now, but I know I've said it before: the ability to look in the lens, not at the screen, while taking a selfie, is humanity's next great evolutionary leap. And now we can make this happen!
TV Buddha, 1974, Nam June Paik
Fisher-Price Ipad Apptivity Seat, Newborn-to-Toddler, $75 + your child's soul [amazon]
New baby's bouncy seat complete with iPad holder slammed as 'an embarrassment for humankind' as child experts say it can stunt development [dailymail, I know, via @guan]
December 5, 2013
For six months in 1993 the young British artists Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas opened what we'd now call a pop-up shop in east London called The Shop. They sold little doodads and objets that they'd made, including, apparently, Rothko Comfort Blanket.
The work was made by cutting up Emin's old baby blanket and stitching it with yellow thread to match the color combination of a Mark Rothko painting at the Tate, which had made an epiphanic impression on the artist as a young student.
Bonnie Clearwater, who curated a show of Emin's work that just opened at the North Miami MOCA, feels Rothko Comfort Blanket is significant and relates to the personal, emotional breakthroughs in the artist's work in 1993.
It was apparently significant enough that Emin and Lucas didn't burn it along with the rest of the unsold merchandise from The Shop. Then in 2010, when Emin, now all grown up and fancy and famous, was invited to do a pop-up shop-in-shop at Selfridge's department store, she made new Rothko Comfort Blankets, without Lucas's name, and with a slightly different tag, in an edition of 100, for £150. People are now scalping the scrap for £625. We are not amused.
Reading into Tracey Emin's Baby Blanket [artnews]
background, related: Tracey Emin & Sarah Lucas, The Last Night of the Shop 3.7.93, 1993 [tate.org.uk]
December 3, 2013
I'll be honest, I don't fly in and out of Abu Dhabi, but I'd still like to think I'd at least heard of Etihad Airways before seeing their logo plastered all over the off-the-hook UAE college student conference which was being held at my parents' hotel over the weekend.
Anyway, poking around online, Etihad turns out to have just launched their Flying Nannies service, onboard childcare experts who sound like Mary Poppins, but who may end up being just a flight attendant who thinks of the children.
The Flying Nanny provides kids with toys, games, food, patient sympathy, encouragement--supportive, distracting attention, basically, but not actual childcare--while, what? While their actual nannies are stuck back in coach? While their parents are watching six movies in a row?
How is this different from any flight attendant who brings a kid wings and a coloring book and chicken strips? If you've experienced a Flying Nanny's highly trained attentions on your recent trip to/through the Gulf, please explain it. Because otherwise, all we know is that they invited actual children to the press event, which must have been very odd.
Life under capitalism is a supermax creche in which 'neither growing up nor working hard will do you any good'. Madame Tlank and Clinical Wasteman anatomise the dialectic of childhood and adulthood as one in which wise children of all ages refuse both 'maturity' (or liability) and infancy (captivity). They conclude with a working definition of 'adulthood' decoupled from 'childhood': the power to decline to go on living under given conditionsHonestly, I've been so slammed with holidays and work and stuff, I can't even find time to figure out who tweeted this essay at me from Mute Magazine about the woeful political state of childhood and adulthood. But I am so stoked about the opening line of the summary, I'm going to start selling "Life under capitalism is a supermax creche" t-shirts, onesies, and cross-stitch pillow kits before Christmas.
November 27, 2013
For every Playmobil student protestor set you buy, you'll need 10 of the Playmobil Special Forces Unit sets. You also need a little pepper spray can for, you know, realism.
I don't understand, though, why the Tactical Unit Car is so small, and so understaffed, barely a Hummer H2. Very pre-Occupy.
November 26, 2013
Hmm, whatsat? Oh, just Mondo-Blogo findin' OG Keith Haring coloring books while pokin' around in old studios, NBD.
Whereas the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile fleet and the activities of the HotDogger teams of newly minted marketing/PR majors who pilot them has been an area of investigative focus at DaddyTypes, and
Whereas, that includes that one time in 2009 when Team WEENR drove that Wienermobile into that lady's house near Lake Michigan, and
Whereas, Team WEENR had tweeted about how awesome it was getting drunk with some parents after that one public event in North Dakota,
UPDATE: Twitter reports say it's from Wisconsin and/or 2008. Still looking into it. AAND here it is, thanks to just freakin' Googlin' it: The accident happened on Feb. 10, 2008 on RT15 two miles south of Mansfield, PA. George Osgood's report for the Star-Gazette's Wellsboro bureau has additional photos and details, including a quote from the tow truck driver claiming this was "the first wiener I've ever pulled out."
And with that, we move on.
Oh boy, it's gettin' real in the Goldieblox vs Beastie Boys media arena.
Felix Salmon has an awesome column on Goldieblox, not as an empowering girl toy pioneer, but as an archetypal disruption-obsessed Silicon Valley startup.:
Under what Paul Carr has diagnosed as the rules of the Cult of Disruption, GoldieBlox neither sought nor received permission to create these videos: it never licensed the music it used from the artists who wrote it. That wouldn't be the Silicon Valley way. First you make your own rules -- and then, if anybody tries to slap you down, you don't apologize, you fight. For your right. To parody.Obviously, I'd link to it for that last line alone.
I believe that the Cult of Disruption is douchey and dickish and other distateful d-words that apply to so much Valley and net culture. [It's not new, though. Back in the late 90s I remember an investor showing me some web consultant's deck with a big piece of explosive clip art that promised to help them "DRIVE A HUMMER THROUGH YOUR INDUSTRY."]
And basically, it's complicated. I happen to agree with Felix that Goldieblox was ready to pick a very public legal fight "the minute anybody from the Beastie Boys, or their record label, so much as inquired about what was going on." And though I think it's also a gold-plated media and PR play, too, I agree that the real [sic] target of the lawsuit is Silicon Valley investors, who only want to invest in "a fast-growing, Stanford-incubated, web-native, viral, aggressive, disruptive company with massive room for future growth," not just a toy company for girls.
But this is a confluence of issues I have been following very closely for years now, and I also believe that Goldieblox has the right to make their version of the Beastie Boys' song, and they don't need to ask permission to do it. That's the essence of fair use and transformative use and creating new culture. Copyright law has been skewed for decades now toward maximalism and corporate interests. Fair use statues are ambiguous and risky and even in the most clear-cut cases, are basically just an open request to get sued. Which most artists or creators don't want or can't afford. So they cave, or run, or don't create, and corporate copyright interests march on unimpeded.
And Felix also mentions something I suspected, but felt it was impolite to say when their commercial was so awesome: the Goldieblox toys and books don't look that good. Amanda Clayman she totally nails this:
We should be careful (or at least aware) of when our frustrations and aspirations are being co-opted for the aim of selling a product. Not that I'm saying GoldieBlox has some evil agenda. But they are not in the business of creating girl-power content. They are in the business of selling toys. Girl-power content is just a means to that end.And guess what, the toys are kind of boring and lame.
So as a creator of things and champion of expansive fair use, I wish Goldieblox well as they fight. for their right. to parody. They are our generation's copyfighters, our Larry Flynt. As a parent, though, I'm not buying it.
Goldieblox, fair use, and the Cult of Disruption [blog.reuters.com]
I hate to be the feminist grinch here... [mandaclay]
OH LOOK, THIS LEGO STARTER SET COSTS THE SAME AS GOLDIEBLOX. OOH, LEGO X MINECRAFT? [amazon]
UPDATE: And now Andy Baio's post is up, Goldieblox and the Three MCs. Baio knows his way around a startup and an annoying fair use fight. Baio hits on the myths and open issues of copyright infringement and fair use, including a case that's highly relevant here, where Annie Liebovitz sued Paramount for a parody advertisement of The Naked Gun. Which I include here because, obviously, I must.
UPDATE UPDATE: Stop the insanity, they've pulled the video! And they published an open letter to the Beastie Boys in response to the Beastie Boys' open letter and the whole thing's like, Oh no, we're poorly positioned for going into Thanksgiving Day conversations about our brand, we need to change it up a bit so the punchline isn't always "and their products turn out not to be that interesting!" [via onthemedia.org]
November 25, 2013
So we have survived the first night of ruthless competition for grandparental attention, only five days and nights to go. Anyone taking odds on when the first cartwheel- or backflip-off-the-sofa-related injury will occur? Will someone get strung up by her sister with a bracelet made of rainbow-colored rubber bands? Stay tuned!
November 22, 2013
Five kids killed by cars in five weeks, the most recent of which was a 9yo in Brooklyn:
Less than a month earlier, on Oct. 11, a drunk driver killed 3-year-old Olvin Jahir Figueroa in Queens. Samuel Cohen Eckstein, 12, died in Brooklyn on Oct. 8 after being run over by a delivery van. On Oct. 6, 3-year-old Allison Liao was struck and killed in a Queens crosswalk. And Kiko Shao, 5, died in Brooklyn on Sept. 26 after being hit by an S.U.V.Seriously, people, it's like a city parent's fulltime job X2 to teach their kid not to run into the street. The least you can do--seriously, it is the very least--is to keep your car off the sidewalks. Then let's talk about the seriously basic-est traffic laws about not mowing down kids and other people in crosswalks and such.
November 21, 2013
November 20, 2013
I heartily endorse this event and/or product.
Which turn out to be Goldie Blox building toys and books. How are these? Would boys like these? [amazon]
A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER UPDATE: WTF you have got to be kidding me, apparently the Beastie Boys have sent a cease & desist to GoldieBlox, claiming copyright infringement for the rewritten version of "Girls." The startup has filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief, basically a pre-emptive court ruling that their remake of the song is fair use. The Hollywood Reporter article makes the entire thing about parody, which, sure, but parody is not the only case for fair use. I'd think that a solid criticism argument could be made here; GoldieBlox has used the Beastie Boys' sexist anthem precisely because it's a sexist anthem of this generation of parents, and they've flipped it completely. It's now a song about empowerment and equality, not the stupid stereotype antics of the original. The criticism is only stronger because of the form, and the recognizability of the song.
And actually, that's what GoldieBlox is arguing in their suit:
GoldieBloxcreated its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company's goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage inactivities that challenge their intellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology,engineering and math. The GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video has gone viral on the Internet, and has been recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song. [emphasis added]
In any case, it takes a lot of corporate balls for Universal Music et al to file a copyright infringement claim on behalf of a band whose career was founded on sampling. I say bring it. [And follow Andy Baio, who knows his way around fair use conflicts, for updates.]
UPDATE well, the ambiguity mentioned in the comments is gone, and ccer is right: the Beastie Boys' complaint to Goldieblox is over the use of their music in a commercial, which they have long opposed. So what remains is the determination of a commercial as fair use, which is why Goldieblox is pursuing an affirmative court decision. Or as the Beastie Boys put it in their letter, now published at NYT,
When we tried to simply ask how and why our song "Girls" had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.So now a judge will decide if what Goldieblox has made is, in fact, still their song.
When you're trying to market toys to progressive Gen-X parents, it's always a good idea to antagonize the Beastie Boys.— Gabriel Roth (@gabrielroth) November 26, 2013
November 19, 2013
M V Gopalan founded a great wooden toy manufacturer in Madras, southern India, in 1942. It was first called Modern Agencies, but it came to be called Rockytoy because they were making rocking horses that everyone wanted. The scale of this popularity is kind of hard to gauge. In telling the story, Prof. MP Ranjan, Gopalan's son, talks about toys disappearing from the shelf the day they are made. So it's literally a cottage/storefront business. I think they dissolved in the 1980s.
But it sure sounds iconic enough, a local Chennai version of Brio, if not the Brio of the entire nation. Anyway, the history of the company is recounted in various posts on Prof. Ranjan's blog. I will merely point out that Rockytoy made these sturdy jeeps and trucks, redesigned by Ranjan for easier, quicker production in 1974. Now kids could sit on them as well as push them around.
This table and chair was created for the school and daycare market, which offered a new source of business for Rockytoy: educational toys and manipulatives. I think there is a Donald Duck on there, but it's cool anyway.
Here is the Rockytoy clan, with Papa Gopalan in the middle, posing among their diverse, brightly colored products. Perhaps you can visit Prof. Ranjan's site, study his images, and start cranking out your own Madras-style mementos for the kid in your copious spare time.
November 15, 2013
My gosh. A 1973 Ford Country Squire Wagon converted to a dually towing machine. With woodgrain painted--not adhered--on the side, and an American flag painted on the roof. Though honestly, with that ground clearance, who would know without Google Earth?
Anyway, if you hate bending over a car seat to buckle a kid in, this is the family truckster for you.
Really, the headline says it all. She's 70 days through her 100 day cough. It sounds terrible. If someone has a Vine of a pertussis coughing fit, I'll add it here.
GET YOUR VACCINATIONS DON'T TAKE ADVICE FROM A RANDOM TALKING HEAD.
I Got Whooping Cough, Thanks A Lot, Jenny McCarthy [newrepublic]
November 13, 2013
David was surprised that he hadn't seen this funny birth plan published at McSweeney's last year. Me, I was not surprised, seeing as how I don't recall visiting McSweeney's since my Wholphin subscription ran out. But I'm trying to get caught up! As soon as I can make a dent in this stack of New Yorkers!
Please generally avoid procedures that are totally unnecessary or excruciatingly painful.
Jamie would like Jeff to do the pushing whenever possible.
We have chosen a Doctor ("Mr. Cooper") because he shares our desire for a natural, low-intervention birth. Mr. Cooper will deliver the baby via Skype from his home in Taos.
Jamie and Jeff's Birth Plan by Paul William Davies [mcsweeneys.net via dt guru dt]
Previously, and proving point: Baby, Earn Your Keep boardbooks from McSweeney's [Dec. 2005]
This case has been brewing for a couple of weeks now, but it's never too late to point out how Time Warner has bumbled its way into an unnecessarily unfair, even discriminatory parental leave policy, and the obvious, right thing to do would be to just even it out.
Josh Levs, who is a CNN person I don't know, because cable news, has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission because his company gives literally every type of new parent except biological dads 10-12 weeks of paid parental leave. Biological dads like himself get two.
Josh's own statement on his tumblr is lucid and logical and infuriating.
If I gave my child up for adoption, and some other guy at Time Warner adopted her, he would get 10 weeks off, paid, to take care of her. I, however, her biological father, can't.The Times' report on the case, and the law that applies to it, is more circumspect about Levs' chances in court.
I have tried repeatedly to get Time Warner to see the light of day on this, but the company refuses.
Make no mistake: The policy is discriminatory. The only question is whether it's a legal form of discrimination.
But the whole point is, this is a nominally advanced, sophisticated company with highly educated professional employees, in New York Freakin' City in 2013, and it just seems like skilled lawyers and thoughtful, reasonable HR people should be able to get their equal, fair parenting sh*t together by now. Or at least, a media giant should be able to manage the PR ridiculousness that comes from a discrimination lawsuit that shouldn't need to exist.
November 11, 2013
OK, this counts as a major scandal, at least in Minnesotan terms. I've seen Abe Sauer tweet about Goodnight Loon, a Northwoods parody of Clement Hurd and Margaret Wise Brown's perennial classic, for a week now, and I just assumed it was a nice product he was involved with, the perfect bedtime book for the long dark winter in Duluth. And so I had plenty of time to give it the Daddy Types onceover.
BUT NO. It turns out that low-key occasional tweeting is Minnesota PR. It's how these hardy souls promote their new, amazing crowdsourcing campaigns, trying to reach their fundraising goal without drawing undue attention to themselves. How could I have been so blind?
Anyway, now we all need to get a Goodnight Loon boardbook for anyone who's ever conceived, given birth, or changed planes in, Minneapolis. And for anyone who's ever left the radio station unchanged when Prairie Home Companion comes on, they need two. For four people who schedule their car errands around PHC, meanwhile, there are actual copies of Goodnight Loon signed and personalized by Garrison Keillor himself. Not sure how that happened, but heck, get goin', time's a wastin'.
WOW, I was told not to read Ariel Levy's account of her reporting trip to Mongolia while she was 19 weeks pregnant if I wanted to get anything done today, and I didn't listen, and I read it, and now I honestly don't know how I'll get anything done today.
Ariel Levy | Thanksgiving in Mongolia [newyorker.com]
November 9, 2013
François Bertillon, 23 months.
Crime: Gluttony, nibbling all the pears from a basket
Date: October 17, 1893
19th century Parisian police officer and anthropometrist Alphonse Bertillon is the father of the mug shot. And of the youngest perp, François Bertillon pictured here after his arrest.
Alphonse Bertillon [wikipedia]
François Bertillon, 23 months. Crime: Gluttony, nibbling all the pears from a basket [moma.org via @kurtandersen]
November 6, 2013
It's been kind of crazy around the workfront, and the tabs and posts are piling up at DTHQ. Meanwhile, some other dads have been typing up a whirlwind of great stuff:
The Atlantic's tech guy Alexis Madrigal is back from paternity leave, which he spent contemplating the eternal mystery that is taking and posting picture of your kid:
Which itself is a variation on a widely held belief among particular classes of Americans that one's physical and digital lives should be kept distinct, largely so the inferior digital one doesn't pollute the purity of one's embodied experienced.
Few episodes are more amenable to this analysis than taking care of a newborn. You can't text a baby a diaper change or tweet your way to a breastfeeding. Rearing a tiny mammal is as bodily as it gets.
Yet, I've been struck by how much imagination parents bring to bear on our tiny infants. A newborn is, and I'd imagine always has been, a creation of the mind, at least in part.
And sitting right at this interface of the bodily and the imaginary are our photographs.
Twitter Is Weird--and Other Things Fatherhood Taught Me [theatlantic]
Matthew Baldwin, meanwhile, spent October writing about his family's experience with his 9yo son's autism. The posts, which thread through Baldwin's blog, Defective Yeti, and are all together at A Month of Son, are a must-read for anyone who's ever watched their kid do something and just wondered, "Dude, wtf?" Here's just one excerpt about the complications of anecdote and empiricism:
When we began seeking treatment options for our son, we were inundated with suggestions from friends and family and casual acquaintances, ranging from the benign (vitamins) to the severe (chelation therapy). Each recommendation came with an assurance that the treatment had worked wonders for someone, be it the child of the speaker, or a son of a friend, or a kid they had read about on the internet.A Month of Son
These suggestions were well-meaning, and I sincerely appreciated the motives of those who made them, but they also gave me fits. Anecdotal evidence is anathema to disciples of the scientific method such as I, but in the fledgling field of autism treatment it was all anyone had to offer. And everything was proposed as possible treatments: dietary modification, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, magnets, auditory integration training, horseback riding, supplements, pharmaceuticals, homeopathic tinctures. Pretty much every form of medicine, Western or Eastern or complementary or alternative, has at one time or another been championed as aiding, or even "curing", those with autism.
But who really knows?
November 1, 2013
Anthropologists from the University of Colorado noticed that in some cultures, kids never crawl; they get carried for a year, then they sit, and just start walking. And that crawling might have only evolved in the last 200-300 years, thanks to wooden floors.
Which is fascinating, but mainly I'm posting this because Popular Science used the totally wrong baby crawling photo from Christopher Porter's flickr stream. It's fixed now.
Crawling: A New Evolutionary Trick? [popsci]
October 31, 2013
Konrad Lueg went on to become Konrad Fischer, a hugely important art dealer, who introduced many American conceptual and minimalist artists' work to Germany and beyond. But before that, he was a straight-up artist himself, and was super-tight with Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke.
They did a performance/show/stunt in a German department store in 1963 to introduce their answer to American Pop Art and Eastern bloc Socialist Realism. Obviously, they called their movement Capitalist Realism.
This print of a bunch of babies from magazine ads was included in a 1968 portfolio of Capitalist Realist Graphics published by Rene Block. I've only ever seen one come up for sale, but you can see the prints at the Walker Art Center's collection website. And Leug's artwork is being shown for basically the first time in the US at Greene Naftali Gallery right now. Hop to.
Babies from Grafik des Kapitalistischen Realismus [walkerart.org]
Konrad Lueg at Greene Naftali Gallery through Nov. 16, 2013 [greenenaftaligallery.com]
October 30, 2013
This video starts out, "Mommy's gonna sing you a song. You want Mommy to sing a song, honey? Let me know how you feel about the song."
Mommy is holding a video camera. Someone else is sitting silently next to Mommy, on Mommy's right.
Then Mommy starts singing "My Heart Can't Tell You No," by the country singer Sara Evans.
Honey's is rapt. Honey's eyes start welling up with tears. &c. &c.
At the end of the song, Mommy says, "Ohhh, you're crying, Monkey. OK. Mommy's done."
Then Alain Leroux creates a YouTube account and uploads two videos: this one is given the title, "Emotional baby! Too cute!" The other video has been deleted.
In a week, the video has received nearly 5 million views, and those wishing to "use this video in a commercial player" are instructed to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think Mommy and Alain both knew how Honey/Monkey would feel about the song before they pressed "record." Because sensitive parents get attuned to such behavioral nuances.
October 29, 2013
I swear, if I EVER find out you have bought Rockabye Baby's lullaby cover versions of Nickelback to play for your kid, I will grind your iPod under my boot while I'm on the phone with Social Services.
But since Amazon doesn't share any purchaser information, and no one really uses iPods anymore, your horrible secret will remain between you and your soon-to-be-damaged child. I wash my hands of this musical crime.
If I had a nickel for every...hey! I would! Buy Rockabye Baby's lullaby versions of Nickelback songs in MP3 or CD format! [amazon]
October 28, 2013
But that shouldn't be a dealbreaker. If sample boards are what it takes to get a parent on the floor, making music with his kid, then so be it.
And when he's not spinning in Baby DJ Class, your kid can rock at home on his Haba tabletop stovetop/turntable. Best teach him to beatbox, though, because it is made of wood.
Sweden is a too-egalitarian, too-democratic hell on earth overrun by out-of-control children, thanks to thirty-year-old ban on smacking kids, which was adult humankind's only non-nuclear option for keeping those little monsters in check.
But it will all be OK, because both IKEA and H&M have relatively flat management structures.
I assume that the 1,800+ comments on this article are all questioning the relevance of this conclusion, if not the entire premise.
Fears of 'brat-ocracy' in child-centered Sweden [yahoo/afp via dt reader sara]
October 26, 2013
Amazing. In any realistic view of human civilization, you figure in one human life, you'll see maybe one gnarly burl kid's chair attributed to JB Blunk? Maybe? Ever?
And yet, here we are less than six months later, and Rago is auctioning one again! What are the odds?
Do you think there's really a warehouse of these things in New Jersey, all with perfectly matched burl, and they're just releasing them one at a time to string us along? Do you think it'll sell for near the same price as last spring? Do you think the winner will pay for it this time? Make your guesses in the comments!
Lot 1103: J.B. BLUNK (Attr.) Sculpted solid walnut burl child"s chair, USA, 1960s
Unmarked, est. $3-4,000 [ragoarts.com]
UPDATE: Sold [again?] for $3,625!
October 24, 2013
October 23, 2013
Reddit has a thread of Deep Thoughts From An Under-5yo. There were too many driveway moments, and I have a bunch of work to do, so I stopped about halfway down, but this one seems very, very useful:
[-]Shrtbuspdx 615 points 2 days agoLet us know if we're missing anything, though.
My friend's kid explained The Hulk to me. She said he's a big green monster and when he needs to get things done, he turns into a scientist. Blew my mind.
Aah, Autumn, when the young journalist's heart turns to thoughts of, "Wait, how exactly did we become a world where people are mailing each other breastmilk after meeting on the internet? I bet I can get a 1,200-word backgrounder out of this!"
And thus the brief history of breast pumps, as told through a patent search and old-timey newspaper archive dive, is born.
Which is brief because it leaves out anything between 1925 and 2008, TKTKTK including all waves of feminism, the rise of Big Formula and its associated backlash, women in the workplace and their associated backlash, and basically everything that actually contributes to the reality of breast pumping today.
A Brief History of Breast Pumps [theatlantic]
October 22, 2013
Breast milk obtained online, whether through informal markets or donations, was found to have pathogenic bacteria and other contaminants. These include staph and salmonella, which can pose a significant health risk to preterm and medically compromised newborns. Who, if they need extra breast milk, would probably be getting it from a milk bank, no? Anyway, the American Academy of Pediatrics is not that thrilled about informal online breast milk trafficking, is what they're saying.
UPDATE And as Alison points out in the comments, breastfeeding researchers are not that thrilled about that study either, which collected its samples only from folks who'd send milk with no screening and no questions asked. [i.e., donors or communities who were contacted, but sought more information before sending were dropped from the study.] Also, not all bacteria are bad, and not all other methods of feeding a kid are bacteria-free, so more bacteria than what, basically? Anyway, much to read up on.
October 21, 2013
People say a boy should look like his father, which, what? But scientists in Pakistan and Columbia University have found that when it comes to baldness, a father doesn't have to look like his son:
The researchers took papilla cells from seven men who were undergoing hair transplants, cultured them in hanging drops and then injected them into human skin grafted onto mice. Not just any human skin: to put their ideas to a rigorous test, the researchers made the grafts from a type of skin that is normally 100 percent hairless -- foreskins from circumcised infants. A technique that can grow hair on a foreskin has a pretty good chance of growing it on a person's head, they reasoned.New Technique Holds Promise For Hair Loss [nyt]
October 18, 2013
Speaking of staying in the city, here's a recent project that Roberto Gil of Casa Kids just emailed me the other day: a bedroom for three brothers.
It's a custom adaptation of Casa Kids' Marino bunk bed + stairs and another bed. Plus a couple of hanging desks, and some shelves and extra storage. It all cost about as much as the gas you'll burn in a year of shuttling kids around the suburbs.
Three Brothers Share A Room [casakids]
Despite the occasional dalliances with meggings, Gothamist's Jake Dobkin is my raised-in-the-city-and-now-raising-kids-in-the-city hero. In today's installment of Ask A Native New Yorker, Jake gives invaluable advice over whether to move to the suburbs now that you have a kid. And since you asked, the answer, of course, is yes, definitely:
Have you noticed that whenever a white kid gets murdered in LES, like nine times out of ten he's from Westchester? That could be because he never got the healthy fear that comes from repeatedly getting jacked on the train when he was just trying to get to Freshman biology lab.I endorse every single word here, except maybe the smoking dust in middle school part.
But I digress, and anyway, by the time your kid is old enough to drive, everything will probably be in cyberspace or delivered via Amazon Prime, and he won't ever have to leave Hastings-on-Hudson or No-Poors-on-the-Sound or wherever it is you're moving. At any rate, you can stop reading here.
Now that this tourist is gone, I'd like to get real with the rest of you: people who can't imagine leaving and never will, but who, by choice or by accident, have found themselves with child. Here are my top five survival tips for middle income families, acquired over the last few years of raising kids on an average professional salary:
1) One bedrooms are much, much cheaper than two or three bedrooms. Use this to your advantage!
October 17, 2013
So mazeltov this year to noted Miami food- and gala-artist Jennifer Rubell, whose Portrait of the Artist, a monumental fiberglass-on-steel sculpture of her eight-months-pregnant self, complete with enterable womb, is on view at Stephen Friedman Gallery's booth.
As she said in a press release, ""I will nurture you, I will sacrifice all for you, I will do everything in my power on this Earth to give you whatever it is you are looking for. I will love you, whoever you are, whenever you come, whatever you think of me, forever."
Which I'm sure goes double for the couple who have wedged their way into the uterus, Mera and Don Rubell, noted Miami collectors who are also the artist's parents.
Maybe if someone had told me that Peter Dinklage supports making iPhones for babies, I might have ever watched Game of Thrones. Whatever, now I'm all caught up:
October 16, 2013
Designing a house for your parents used to be a going-solo architect's rite of passage. Now post-architects build playhouses at their parents for their kids. At least that's my theory about young alt-architect Australian Rory Hyde, whose new book Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture, explores alternative modes of beyond the old school set-up-a-firm, design-buildings, get-paid-regularly, etc.
Susie's Pavilion was commissioned by a "generous grandmother" to be placed in her backyard for visiting granddaughters. The prominence of the "clients" in Hyde's photos, and the boldness with which they stare down his camera, lead me to suspect they're his kids.
Anyway, the Pavilion has an amphitheater stair and slide facing the house, and a playroom/getaway/shenanigans lair on the backside, where no one can see. In a talk at Fabrica in Italy last Spring, he joked at all the trouble the girls will be able to get in out there when they're teenagers. Hmm, sounds more like a ne'er-do-well uncle than a dad; but half dozen of one.
Susie's Pavilion [roryhyde]
October 14, 2013
Wow, OK, so after starring in Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach," Danny Aiello made a response video from the dad's point of view? It was called "Papa Wants The Best For You."
Dangerous Minds has the backstory about the long-lost video, which Aiello had posted to his own website several months ago after 30-whatever years.
Let's just say you don't need to concern yourself with how it is; the fact that it is at all should be enough.
And seriously, if it's not, then check out the sweet Richard Dattner PlayCubes in the New York City background of this one shot:
When they first announced the Bugaboo fabrics with images licensed from the Warhol Foundation, I basically kept my mouth shut. The fact of the colabo made sense. The availability of separate fabric sets instead of only as full-on strollers made a lot of sense. But the Warhol artwork options--flowers or cars--left me baffled.
Flowers, I know, you can argue it. And though the single-color flowers looked a little off, I figured they were fine. Not optimal, but not a dealbreaker. But it was impossible to mention the flowers without mentioning the cars, which, WHY? It made no sense. At all.
It's odd to actually put it this way, but I feel like I'm one of like a dozen people in the world who have as deep a sense of familiarity with Bugaboo as with Andy Warhol's. And, for that matter, with the Warhol Foundation, which licensed the images.
Which is why the cars were just baffling. They weren't even in the top 50, the top 100 Warhol images I would have imagined using on a stroller.
Obviously, there are many iconic Warhol motifs that would be basically impossible to use. I understand that: Campbell's Soup, Marilyn, Chairman Mao, Elvis.
There are others that, no matter how awesome they'd be, would honestly be too ridiculous: Warhol himself, a giant dollar sign, an electric chair, a car crash, a nose job ad.
But even running through all these options, cars just never came up. And I didn't want to be the whiner at the new Bugaboo party, so I just kept quiet.
Well, never mind. Don't worry, I was too uptight, just get any Warhol Bugaboo canopies you want. I saw two Warhol Cars Bugaboos over the last week, and they really are fine. They're not screaming Warhol from across the street, but they work. They're nice. They're a little subdued compared to the flowers, which you can always see from a block away. They look a little bit like cowhide, if not actual Warhol cows.
I still think the greatest thing would be custom fabric, where the Warhol Foundation lets buyers choose any Warhol image they want to have custom-printed on their Bugaboos. And there are, in fact, another set of Warhol designs coming out very soon. But only two. Those will be considered here on Daddy Types shortly. Until then, though, you can start perambulating in Warholian bliss right now.
After all that, no cars?? Check out the Bugaboo X Warhol fabric sets and complete strollers via Amazon, $149+up [amazon]
October 11, 2013
KIDS, a British charity helping disabled kids and their families, has rallied 20 architects and such to make dollhouses to be auctioned at a fundraising gala next month. The inspiration for the project is "The Queen's Dolls' House," an elaborate boosterish effort orchestrated by the architect Edwin Lutyens to build Queen Mary a massive dollhouse filled with tiny examples of British craft and manufacturing prowess, which was intended to lift the spirits and economy of WWI-depleted England in 1922. [More on this in a separate post.]
All the KIDS Dollhouses are "designed to include at least one feature that makes life easier for a child with a disability." Let's see what's on offer!
David Adjaye and Chris Ofili's "Electra House" [above] has a continuous ground level that is "accessible to all."
AModels has built "Elvis's Tree House" at Playmobil scale, based on an actual playground in Southampton.
It is populated entirely by Playmobil Elvises, including one sitting in the lavatory on the Playmobil plane, which is, presumably, wheelchair-accessible.
Easily seven out of the 20 dollhouses use the stacked block tower concept to create what amount to dollskycrapers. The giant apartment block designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands is representative, and has the benefit of actually seeming playable.
Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan's tower is more fantastical, based as it is on a Shel Silverstein-esque poem about "a house on a coral in the deep blue sea." Which sounds to me like a reference to the early 20th century South Pacific explorer Beatrice Grimshaw.
Zaha Hadid, bless her heart, has made an amazing sculptural object of a dollhouse out of ardwood and cast acrylic that is an interpretation of a 2007 project, the Ideal House. It can be reconfigured like a puzzle, and I assume that its accessibility feature is that its spaces are equally inhospitable to dolls of all physical abilities.
MAE and MAKlab created this also-reconfigurable flatpack dollhouse that looks like a more structurally sound set of Magna-Tiles. It's an interesting idea that could be developed into an actual product.
And now we're down to our two semi-finalists:
Working with Turner Prize-winning, cross-dressing potter and art lecturer extraordinaire Grayson Perry, FAT Architects has created Tower of Fable, a kid-sized version of Balfron Tower, Erno Goldfinger's stark modernist landmark, with a whimsical doll cottage inside.
And the absolute winner of everything, and the dollhouse that should raise 100,000 pounds on its own, just for sheer awesomeness, is by Guy Howells.
It's called Jack in the Box, and the kid opens the roof, which turns on a fan, and the walls fall down, and a giant, inflatable room. The dollhouse you can actually get into, which, after all, is the entire point.
A Dolls' House benefit auction will be held Nov. 10 at Bonham's London [adollshouse.co.uk via anorak]
See all the KIDS dollhouses and bid online [interactivefundraising.co.uk]
Kudos to the quick-thinking Mrs. Kaz for snapping a picture of this tiny chopper with training wheels that one of their neighbors had left out for bulk trash day. Judging from the wear and character of those training wheels, I'd guess this thing is as old as I am: about 35, give or take.
Both tiny bike collectors who know the five-figure auction history of such rarities and folks who leave these behind at Appalachian flea markets because there are so damn many of them are welcome to expound on them in the comments. [via kaz]
October 10, 2013
Anyone can name his kid Thelonious; the true connoisseur will name his kid Sphere.
For the record, Monk's father and son are also Thelonious Spheres. His daughter, Barbara, named after his mother, was known as Boo Boo. She died of cancer in 1984.
October 9, 2013
Remember that crazy, marauding street hustler Elmo who shouted anti-Semitic rants at kids outside the Central Park Zoo, threatened Times Square tourists for not coughing up photo money, and then tried to extort $2 million by stalking the Girl Scouts?
Yeah, he just got sentenced to jail for a year. Streets* are safe again, kids!
*Offer not valid on West Side Highway, where the marauding and terrorizing racket is controlled by biker gangsful of off-duty cops.
Note to self: do NOT spill breast milk on your computer! Note to baby: Sorry. Steve Jobs ate your lunch.— Nina Simon (@ninaksimon) October 9, 2013
This is not a drill.
I don't know what it is, exactly, but a drill it is not.
This is a kid-sized Ferrari 180 Testa Rossa that was apparently sold as a "Ferrarina" by none other than Luigi Chinetti, the racing legend who became Ferrari's first dealer for North America.
It looks utterly extraordinary. I mean, it should, right? Because 250 Testa Rossa? What is this, 1958? '58? But it's more. It just looks right. How is that possible? Those front wings are just killing me, they're so great. And they were making it at the time.
It's been coddled and restored somewhere, obviously. Does it run? Who knows? But in that condition, it must. The cockpit consists of one lever and a wooden steering wheel.
The auction catalogue text is apparently still in the works, so hopefully any details will be forthcoming. The web is no help. The name "Ferrarina" appeared in the mid-60s as the winking nickname of the Giugiaro-designed ASA GT, which received chassis and engines from Ferrari, but not the horse. This pint-size Testa Rossa must predate that.
Anyway, what might be the world's greatest kid car awaits you in New York City, RM Auctions @ Sotheby's on November 21st. There is no reserve price, so leave the amount on the check blank.
HOLY SMOKES UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $126,500. THIS IS LITERALLY THE FERRARI 250 GT OF KIDDIE CARS NOW. I mean, yeah, technically it was that before but now, too!
Ferrari 180 Testa Rossa Children's Car, no reserve, 21 Nov 2013 [rmauctions via dt kidcar guru dt]
October 8, 2013
Speaking of Kickstarter, I backed Steve Lambert's project to build this giant sign,
CAPITALISM WORKS FOR ME!
a couple of years ago now, and it has been a blast to follow it around the world. Lambert has continuously teased out thoughtful, meaningful conversations with thousands of voter/participants, including in his latest stop, Times Square.
I am really interested to see what Street Hustler Elmo had to say, and if he said it all in third person. The real Elmo, meanwhile, was in a licensing meeting and could not be reached for comment.