September 7, 2009

DT Friday Freakout: Labor Day Edition

Rather than ruin your whole weekend, here are a few stories to freakout over on your last day of summer vacation:


  • This Wal-Mart ain't big enough for the three of us: At one of the five Wal-Marts in Stone Mountain, Georgia this week, a 61-year-old man told a mother of a crying 2-year-old, "if you don't shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you." Dude up and smacked the kid "four or five times," and said, "See, I told you I would shut her up." So a vigorous and random smacking does stop a kid crying? Because to anyone with two neurons to rub together, it seems like it'd be just the opposite. [1] [ajc via a whole lot of people, thanks]

  • According to his neighbors, none of whom bothered to get to know him over the years, the slapper--now charged with felony cruelty and being held without bond--is a "harmless loner." "Reserved, polite, didn't bother anyone." No friends except the cat that was "killed by some kids who sometimes teased him." "One neighbor said Stephens did what many other people wished they could do when bothered by a misbehaving child." God Bless America. [ajc]

  • In addition to free babysitting, taking toddlers to visit grandparents can counteract negative stereotypes of the elderly such as they're "forgetful, hard-of-hearing, absent-minded and confused." They will still up and smack a kid, though, if she gets lippy, so watch out. [science daily]

  • Babies understand dogs [physorg.com via dt freakout sr correspondent sara. wait didn't we already know that?]

  • A Boston University study found that "highly suicidal mothers" had a worse time of post-partum depression than the less suicidal moms. Or is it that some women with bad PPD had more suicidal thoughts? Either way, grim. Get help. And that goes for whoever writes BU's press releases, too. [ physorg]

  • I'm sure the big freakout for a while will be Swine Flu, H1N1. Kids, babies, caregivers, and pregnant women are all high-priority for vaccinations when they finally arrive [in October]. We knew that. The CDC weekly report shows that of the 477 reported H1N1-related deaths since April, 36 were <18yo. And only 7 were 5yo or under. of the 36, 24 were high-risk or had neurodevelopmental conditions. Adjust your freakout accordingly. [mmwr @ cdc.gov]

  • Whereas we no longer suffer from bad humeurs or consumption, babies in the 19th century did die of SIDS. [eurekalert]

  • A study from Germany [Obama's home country!] found that even subtle cues of affiliation and community can indoctrinate kids as young as 18 mo--to be altruistic and help someone pick up stuff when it falls on the floor. [sciencedaily]

  • Iowa State University study: "A handful of kids reported having sex as early as 8 or 9. We know from our follow-up interviews that one boy who reported having sexual intercourse for the first time at age nine had fathered four children by the time he was 18." [sciencedaily]

  • Whatever HIV risk it mitigates for some straight African men, circumcision does nothing for "high-risk" straights or gays. So I guess if you're certain your newborn son is neither "high risk" nor gay, go ahead and chop, right? Would so many 8-yos be having sex if you told them they had to have their penis sliced first? [physorg]

[1] UPDATE Sure enough, as AgnesDad points out in the comments, the effectiveness of smacking to quiet a kid was refuted by the police report: "The mother stated the child started crying and screaming. After the suspect was finished, he turned to the mother and said, 'See? I told you I would shut her up.'" [thesmokinggun.com]

4 Comments

The reports I read indicated that, as you would expect, slapping the two-year-old repeatedly made her cry MORE, not less. The guy said something like "See, there!" even though the kid was bawling louder than before.

Mr. Slapper and the "misbehaving child" neighbor are examples of those pathetic people who have somehow reached physical adulthood without the slightest understanding of children or parenting.

I'm sure he'll enjoy his time in prison.

Getting our flu jabs this Friday! Very happy as there have been several deaths in our area of South Korea.

You know, I'm kind of surprised this didn't turn into "61 year old man taken to hospital."

I shall not comment under my regular pseudonym, but report becoming sexually active at..jeez, maybe age 6? I had two like-aged partners, one a few times, but the other intermittently for probably 3-4 years.

In the following (30-plus) years I remained highly interested in the opposite sex, had many normal relationships and have been in a strictly monogamous marriage since '99. In my case, I didn't father a child until I was almost 37. But I do still love the booty.

This wasn't some freak early puberty, either. As is common (genetically) in my family, I didn't even enter puberty until 16. I'd bet that, given motive (lack of shame) and opportunity, a whole mess of kids'd be having precocious sex.

And none of us got AIDS, or anything else for that matter, because A), it was the 1970s and B), where would we have gotten it from?

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