December 12, 2008

DT Freakout Friday: Watch Your Head! Edition

Let's see what too quickly drawn parenting conclusions the scientists and sociologists and such have to ruin this weekend with, shall we?

  • First up, etsy.com sellers have finally gotten the news of the CPSC's new lead testing bomb that's set to be dropped on independent, small-to-mid-size kids' product makers by the CPSIA. From the discussion in the forum, it looks like maker/sellers spent the first 100 comments thanking the admin for posting the news. The next 100 were for asking if this might actually affect them. Then the third 100 was devoted to ways to get around it. And the most recent 80 or so is when they finally start contacting their congressional representatives and the local media. [etsy]

  • Scientists studying the social impact of hormonal changes must know they're going to get stuck with headlines like this: "Fertile women more open to corny chat-up lines " newscientist.com]

  • A Hello Kitty-themed maternity hospital opened in B.F. Taiwan. Freaky to be sure, but it turns out it's mostly just the blankets and aprons. [reuters via coudal, thanks dt reader shawna]

  • Alright, Temple University, the headline made me read your announcement, even though the "terrible twos" have no discernible connection to the Regression Austistic Spectrum Disorder being discussed. ["When it's more than the 'terrible twos'"]

  • From the unbelievably titled BJU International comes a freakout showdown between the press release headline: "Doctors issue warning about the danger of heavy toilet seats to male toddlers" and the physician's warning itself: "Public interest warning: should we ban wooden/ornamental toilet seats for male infants?" Oh wait, then there's the holiday tie-in:
    "As Christmas approaches many families will be visiting relatives and friends and their recently toilet trained toddlers will be keen to show how grown up they are by going to the toilet on their own," Dr Joe Philip and his colleagues at Leighton Hospital, Crewe say.
    Though the four ER cases that sounded the alarm had to have happened before Christmas: "Three had a build up of fluid in their foreskin, but were still able to pass urine, and the fourth had glanular tenderness." So if everyone just shortens those penises up a bit, you can save the wood/ornamental toilet seats! Problem solved, start cutting! [press release: eurekalert, abstract: bjui]

  • How's this for not jumping the gun with your inconclusive, early findings? Researchers in the UK have been studying every child born in the country during a single week of 1958--over 10,000 kids--for fifty years. And based on surveys conducted in the 60's and 70's about dads' involvement, they have found that "The more effort a father invests in his children, the smarter they are as kids and more successful as adults." So there you have it. [newscientist.com]

  • And then there's this: a study of over 550,000 people on 927 family trees going back as far as 1600 shows that there is an as-yet unidentified gene that determines whether a man has more x- or y-carrying sperm, and thus, whether he's more likely to have boys or girls. These mega-studies are both out of Newcastle University, btw. A very patient bunch. [eurekalert.org]

  • 3 Comments

    re: toilet seats, we have the opposite problem.

    Three generations of Eliots now rudely slam the toilet seat to the bowl, echoing so loudly as to wake the family in the night or frighten guests at the bar.

    You see, we have installed those self-closing toilet seats in our homes. Now, we are all too dumb to remember this once ingrained skill of gently lowering the seat.

    I wish I could blame Eliot IV (4 years old.) But, honestly, Eliot Jr (63,) and Eliot III (37,) have all done this repeatedly.

    How about teaching male children to pee sitting down... problem solved.

    And make ourselves wait in lines like those outside every women's restroom on Earth? No thanks. :)

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