November 13, 2009

DT Friday Freakout: Home Alone Edition

While the whole family's scattered to various grandparents for the week/night, I'm freaking out about how well the lacquer on the new radiator cover will take the heat. For you, how about some hyperbolic science and parenting headlines to freak out over when you tire of worrying about your kid's career as a 9.5-fingered hand model:

  • On this, the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street we learn the BBC has hated those pesky Muppets all along. I'm sure it was terribly inconvenient that they were competition for Auntie Beeb's own kids' shows; perhaps you would have preferred Sesamtra├če instead? Ich dachte nicht so. [bbc]

  • Meanwhile, 2009 is also the 38th anniversary of a guy complaining about Sesame Street's missed merchandising opportunities. Those were the days. [theatlantic via kottke]

  • One of the first studies of BPA exposure in humans has found a link between the chemical and erectile dysfunction and ejaculation problems in men. [washpost; abstract]

  • In a completely unrelated story, I'm sure, NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof sure is freaking out over BPA in canned food all of a sudden. [nyt]

  • Looks like there's a significant spike in birth defects for babies in Falluja, also Basra and Najaf, which certainly has nothing to do with massive quantities of depleted uranium munitions expended in those peaceful goatherding towns over the last few years. [guardian]

  • Exercise through the third trimester is safe for babies, says a Spanish study in the International Journal of Obesity. Not that they're saying you're obese, of course. Just a Google Translate snafu. [eurekalert]

  • Getting the seasonal flu might boost a kid's immunity against pandemic flu, which would mean not getting a regular flu shot might help prevent H1N1, suggests an opinion piece in The Lancet by Rotterdam virologist Dr Guus [pronounced "guess", as in "GIANT #$(%*ING GUESS"] Rimmelzwaan. Drs Terho Heikkinen and Ville Peltola of Turku, Finland, say he's high. Me, I have no idea; I only posted this one for the names. [eurekalert]

  • Asian parents get away with a lot more meddling in their kids' lives than Westerners. [eurekalert]

  • Whatever your kid is or isn't wearing at daycare or preschool--coat/no coat, all the layers, flip flops or Crocs, fancy outfits, jewelry--is messing up their outdoor play and is driving the teachers crazy. [eurekalert; tasty 41-page report full of focus group quotes]

  • TV watching is directly linked to early aggressive behavior. "65 percent of mothers reported that their 3-year-old child watched more than two hours of television per day."?? [eurekalert]

  • Kids ask a lot of questions. When they don't like the answer, they ask the same question again. Thank you, Science, for clearing that up. eurekalert]

  • The largest mumps outbreak in the US began this summer at an Orthodox Jewish summer camp in the Catskills and has now clocked nearly 200 cases in New York, New Jersey, and Quebec. Vacctivist schlemiels? []

  • Am I just noticing this or is the CPSC's Most Wanted List a new feature? Ahh, deadly Simplicity cribs and bassinets. Now those were some massive recalls. []

  • A "new survey reveals 80% of pregnant women are ignoring important nutritional advice," says a seller of important nutritional advice and prenatal vitamins. [eh, Google it if you must]

  • 5,540 Mia Moda Viva and Viva Supreme car seats have been recalled because sharp metal edges may cut the safety harness and/or the base may crack. [model numbers and refund details:; mfr site:]

  • Boingboing claims to have found the best tool for removing eyeballs from those creepy-lifelike reborn baby dolls. [boingboing]

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