Caspar Babypants is Chris Ballew. Described by Weird Al Yankovic as "one of the few children's recording artists I can listen to without wanting to stab myself in the eyes," you don't have to have kids to appreciate the silly subject matter and exquisitely crafted pop sensibility, but it probably helps. It should come as no surprise that, as front man for The Presidents of the United States, the man who wrote songs like Kitty, Boll Weevil, and Dune Buggy grew up to write offbeat children's music. I would especially like to call your attention to these wonderful and clever low tech videos, including several worthy fan videos. [more inside]
Martin Amis hates children, ok, not children but children's literature. "People ask me if I ever thought of writing a children's book," Amis said, in a sideways excursion from a chat about John Self, the antihero of his 1984 novel Money. "I say, 'If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book', but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable." Remarks about children's books made by Martin Amis on the BBC's new book programme Faulks on Fiction, broadcast this week, have caused anger and offence among children's writers.
Foster Care: Extreme Edition Pioneered by a 23-person St. Louis — based agency called the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, Extreme Recruitment seeks out the foster children who are the hardest to find homes for. Via the You Gotta Believe! Adopting Teens and Tweens radio forum.
Pink releases music video for the song Fuckin' Perfect: Explicit Version (Youtube, possibly NSFW) / Radio Edit: Youtube / MTVMusic. Background: Pink's Website / Wikipedia. Note: Both versions of the video depict anorexia, cutting and suicide.
"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it." [more inside]
The Children of Leningradsky. A 20 minute short by two Polish directors, Andrzej Celinski and Hanna Polak, nominated for the 2004 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject. 'Since the fall of the Iron Curtain an estimated four million children have found themselves living on the streets in the former countries of the Soviet Union. In the streets of Moscow alone there are over 30,000 surviving in this manner at the present time. The makers of the documentary film concentrated on a community of homeless children living hand to mouth in the Moscow train station Leningradsky.' Through Liveleak.
25 years of Christmas Dad tapes his kids reacting to Christmas for twenty-five years and edits it together into a single video. (via)
But street football doesn't really exist any more, Cooper admits. "Many children have never played outside. And in some cases their parents haven't either." He cites a 2009 survey by the charity Living Streets which found that only half of five- to 10-year-olds had ever played in their street, whereas nine of out 10 of their grandparents had. How the increasing professionalisation of soccer at all levels in the UK has led to the death of park and street footie for ordinary kids.
Aaron's World - a kids podcast about dinosaurs, by a kid.
The cost of raising a child from cradle to 18 has risen to $222,000. Chiefly among the reasons is parents' desire to "cultivate" their children.
Have you noticed the cartoon characters overtaking Facebook? Well, you're not alone because the national media sure has. This new Facebook meme is supposedly all about raising awareness for child abuse. But is this meme really accomplishing anything? Maybe not. And for good measure, some links for those who would REALLY like to help.
In today's example of kids smarter than you and I, Wired follows the exploits of two teens competing at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes highlights and rewards "Everyday People Changing the World." This year's Hero of the Year (chosen by public poll) is Anuradha Koirala, whose group Maiti Nepal has rescued more than 12,000 women and girls from sex slavery along the India / Nepal border since 1993. [more inside]
David Milano, who ran an art project for a children's choir in the weeks before Halloween, exposes kids to the world of Lovecraft. We've seen students in higher education do this, why not elementary school kids?
The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
“A parent’s presence alone does not give a reasonable [four-year-old] carte blanche to engage in risky behavior." So said a NY State Supreme Court judge in his ruling that four-year-olds can be sued. Cue Dora The Litigator.
Where Children Sleep: Children's bedrooms from around the world
From the venerable MONSTER BRAINS (previously, previously, previously) comes the lost children's classic GODZILLA LIKES TO ROAR
Cartoonist and former high school teacher Sean Michael Robinson (flickr) on what to do with those darn anime kids.
Stop Looking at My Moms! (YT) Boy-rapper The Astronomical Kid demands you show his mother some respect.
A Dialogue With Sarah, Aged 3: In which it is shown that if your dad is a chemistry professor, asking "why" can be dangerous
Arthur's Classic Novels has 4000 free ebooks, no registration, nicely organized by author and topics: great old Science Fiction magazines l plentiful online education with 650 books for doctors l a vast collection of famous novels l short stories l by women l Buddhist Scriptures, including The Buddhist Bible, a fave of Jack Kerouac l magazines online l stories by Robert Sheckley l The Autobiography of Charles Darwin l huge collection of fairy tales l philosophy l P. G. Wodehouse l vintage technology l Oscar Wilde l Mark Twain l Rudyard Kipling l George MacDonald l the Koran l a collection of eText resource links. About Arthur Wendover. [more inside]
A New Career of Caring, Started in Death on 9/11. Brooke Jackman was a 23 year-old assistant bond trader who was one of 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees to die on the morning of 9/11/2001. In her memory, her family created a Foundation in her name, dedicated to promoting literacy, especially among elementary school children in New York City. Today, 'first responders' from New York's Police and Fire Departments "took some time off from their day jobs to read aloud to children at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan, as part of the first ever Brooke Jackman Foundation read-a-thon." [more inside]
Smarties Australia paired 8 kids up with 8 artists to create art based on each Smarties colour. Here's orange video art, a song about moonwalking under the deep blue sea, the spoken word saga of a disco karaoke'ing duck, an upside-down red pop art world, The Pink Moon, photos of the purple Filecian dancers, a green tree sculpture, and the dance of insects burrowing through brown earth.
(pdf) Chris Gottlieb writes in the "Baltimore Law Review" about judging parents. The article discusses instances of racism and classicism in the family court systems. An adaptation of the "Baltimore Review" article appears in the New York Times. [more inside]
Weirdly wonderful illustrations from 70s Japanese children's books by Gōjin Ishihara, including much nightmare fuel from the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters
More women in the developed world are choosing not to have children. 'So why do friends, family, colleagues and even strangers think it's OK to question their decision?' 'A woman's fertility status is still very much considered public property. There are still assumptions about women's role in society, about families and about family size."''US Census Bureau says 36% of American women have no children.''Once this was considered insane or unnatural. Even today, it is viewed with suspicion - women with no desire to procreate say they sometimes face awkward questions and disapproval.' [more inside]
Kids in Paris are reading Mon Quotidien, with a devotion that surprises people in this age of everything digital. [more inside]
PizzaCam is a youtube channel of Chuck E. Cheese promotional videos, training tapes and ephemera from 1988-1999. From the official video archives of ShowbizPizza.com a fan site devoted to the history and legacy of the (penultimate) amusement park restaurant. [more inside]
SlushPile Hell (tagline: A grumpy literary agent wades through query fails) asks readers to come up with the WORST CHILDREN’S BOOK…EVER
The paradox of good parents with toxic children. 'We marvel at the resilient child who survives the most toxic parents and home environment and goes on to a life of success. Yet the converse — the notion that some children might be the bad seeds of more or less decent parents — is hard to take.' 'For better or worse, parents have limited power to influence their children. That is why they should not be so fast to take all the blame — or credit — for everything that their children become.' But this is not the only family dynamic that is becoming noted. 'Therapists for years have listened to patients blame parents for their problems. Now there is growing interest in the other side of the story: What about the suffering of parents who are estranged from their adult children?'
Couples from Western countries, such as Australia, the US, and the UK are turning to surrogates in India to carry their babies. [more inside]
When "Proto-Pop" artist Larry Rivers' died in 2002, he left behind extensive archives of his letters, paperwork, photographs and film documenting the New York artistic and literary scene from the 1940s through the 1980s. They chronicle his friendships and relationships with dozens of artists, musicians and writers, from Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol to Frank O’Hara. Also included: films and videos of his two adolescent daughters, naked or topless, being interviewed by their father about their developing breasts. Now, one daughter, who says she was pressured to participate beginning when she was 11, is demanding that material be removed from the archive and returned to her and her sister. [more inside]
A D.C. couple wants children, but not now, and are worried about infertility creeping up on them as they get deeper into their thirties. They came up with a novel solution -- donating frozen embryos to their future selves. The procedure is not uncommon for couples with fertility problems; will it become a popular insurance option for young couples who just aren't ready for kids? They might want to think about what to do if they have more embryos than they want. Or what happens if they get divorced.
Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful young musicians. A classical violinist and former child prodigy who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic, lightning-fast riffs. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
Lessons In Fatherhood, From the Dads of YouTube: "Home movies have evolved since the days of Panama hat-wearing patriarchs milling about the backyard, holding a Super 8 or shoulder-mounted camcorder, shouting at the children to "wave to the camera!" (only to have those images disappear into a closet to gather dust for decades). Now, with the help of YouTube, these moments can go from minivan to majorly viral in 30 minutes or less." [more inside]
A gallery of scanned German children's books from the 18th and 19th centuries. Sounds dry, but the plates are high-resolution and gorgeous. Fans of old-school engraving, illustration, and Bibliodyssey-esque curiosities will not be disappointed. Highly extensive and bandwidth-intensive.
iPhone 4 came out but that's nothing, SILLY BANDZ are still where it's at!!!! What they are is rubber bands that are shaped like animals and shapes. These are extremely cool and you can wear them on your wrists or even put your photos of them on the company website. Adults don't like them sometimes. I want a bird one
A nearly 25-year study has concluded that children raised in lesbian households were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers. Results were published this month in Pediatrics: the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Abstract. Free PDF. Scribd). [more inside]
Got a lazy quarter million? Why not raise a kid to the age of 17. Average cost $286,050. [more inside]