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Abigail and Brittany Hensel

Abigail and Brittany Hensel are in the 6th grade and continue to defy the odds. After the initial struggle with the personal pronoun (her? their?), one is left with both curiosity and sympathy. The greater issue is how to assimilate the truly miraculous.
posted by kablam on Nov 11, 2002 - 22 comments

Is this naturism, photography or soft-core child pornography?

Is this naturism, photography or soft-core child pornography? If you search for photographers like Sally Mann or Jock Sturges you'll come across this entirely legitimate purveyor of naturist books and videos. In the Fifties and Sixties nudist magazines, like Health and Efficiency, were an excuse for looking at naked bodies. Now that porn is legal, have nudist publications made a comeback as an excuse for looking at photographs of naked children? Their website is itself well concealed - the front page looks innocent enough but, the further you click into it, the more unsettling it becomes. Or are we all becoming to paranoid for our own good? (I'd say NSFW)
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Nov 9, 2002 - 110 comments

Why We Tuned Out

Why We Tuned Out "We don't allow our kids to watch TV. Period. Not at home, not at friends’ houses; and they don’t watch videos or movies, either. We want our daughters, Jazzy, now nearly 6, and Gigi, 3, to be as active as possible, physically and mentally." What's the best approach with kids and television?
posted by tippiedog on Nov 7, 2002 - 89 comments

Rumplestiltskin gets torn in half, Cinderella's stepsisters get their eyes pecked out, and Snow White's stepmother dances in red hot iron shoes until she dies from exhaustion. These are the original endings to the non-sweetened, and sometimes unsavory, fairy tales collected or written by by reclusive librarians Jacob and Wilhelm, better know as The Brothers Grimm. Their first book, Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Childrens' and Household Tales) was published in 1812. Several more books, mostly of folk tales collected from willing relatives and friends, followed, some containing bizarre and disturbing stories with less than happy endings. As the National Geographic Grimm site puts it, "Looking for a sweet, soothing tale to waft you toward dreamland? Look somewhere else. The stories collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s serve up life as generations of central Europeans knew it—capricious and often cruel." Check out the strange 1960 Mp3s and RealAudio files of some Grimm tales.
posted by iconomy on Oct 29, 2002 - 26 comments

in nineteen hundred and twenty eight
disturbed by an increase in the property tax rate
andrew kehoe, a deranged man,
blew up the school in bath, michigan

Suprisingly, not many people know about the worst school related attack in US history. Do you?
posted by Degaz on Oct 24, 2002 - 29 comments

I've always been fascinated with the idea of having a photographic memory. They have products saying you can train yourself but I don't buy it. Can you really train your kid to have a photographic mind before age 6? I'm curious how many Mefites have snapshot memories.
posted by Degaz on Oct 22, 2002 - 36 comments

"I took the picture of Kelly's butt, I saw she was naked and I took it."

"I took the picture of Kelly's butt, I saw she was naked and I took it." Theresa King, Photographer, Age 5.
posted by pedantic on Oct 22, 2002 - 17 comments

Yesterday I saw a wonderful movie - Spellbound - a documentary about the annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee - which won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at SXSW. It explores the dynamics surrounding kids and parents desire for success in the competition, reconciliation with failure and differing models of education, competition and success. When I was a kid I was on the TV show It's Academic - along with lots of other famous faces. While you may want to make fun of the show - I still remember it fondly. My parents were happy to see me compete but generally unconcerned about the outcome in any way. Now we've got Math Olympics, the Academic Decathlon and a host of other competitive ventures. Any other MeFites remember school days competitions and the drive to succeed?
posted by dhacker on Oct 21, 2002 - 29 comments

My Gun was as Tall as Me

My Gun was as Tall as Me is a new report by Human Rights Watch about children forced to become soldiers in Burma (Myanmar). They estimate as many as 70,000 soldiers are under 18, some as young as 11. (Previous posts about Burma and modern slavery.)
posted by homunculus on Oct 16, 2002 - 4 comments

Remember Brendan Thompson, the little boy with terminal cancer whose neighborhood put together an early Halloween so he could trick-or-treat? Well, he lost his battle on Thursday morning, but it sounds like his last month was a good one. (scroll to second story)
posted by mr_crash_davis on Oct 14, 2002 - 5 comments

A Charlotte couple

A Charlotte couple who has been fighting for nearly two years to regain custody of their 10 children from the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) could be thrown in jail if a district court judge finds them to be in contempt of court after a hearing tomorrow. When does government have the right to take your children without any explaination? And why will no one from our government discuss this situation?
posted by Macboy on Oct 10, 2002 - 42 comments

The Russian Avant-Garde Book is an online version of the MoMA exhibit, featuring 112 books originally published in Russia during the intensely creative period between 1910 and 1934, before Stalin outlawed any style but social realism. The site is separated into three chronological themes and includes examples of futurist works, constructivist graphic design, children's books, propaganda, photography and photomontage, revolutionary imagery, architecture and industry, war themes, folk art and judaica...
posted by taz on Oct 8, 2002 - 16 comments

The UK has been urged to ban the smacking of children.

The UK has been urged to ban the smacking of children. We signed the UN convention on the rights of the child eleven years ago, but have since failed to condemn the practice, leading the UN in turn to condemn us. Some armchair pundits on BBC Online are saying they'll continue to smack even if it's illegal - have the UN overreached, or this really as bad as they say it is?
posted by bwerdmuller on Oct 4, 2002 - 40 comments

Another child-bakes-in-car story,

Another child-bakes-in-car story, but this one is especially heartbreaking: single mother trying to keep her temp job has no child care for her developmentally disabled daughter and leaves her in the car out of desperation. Every summer there's a rash of these cases, with some eliciting more hatred and disgust than others. What gives -- the general decline of parenting/morals/personal responsibility, or should we get serious about child care in the land of "family values"? (Thanks to Jim Romenesko.)
posted by serafinapekkala on Oct 3, 2002 - 41 comments

"nearly 20" kids beat man to brain death with bats, shovels and boards

"nearly 20" kids beat man to brain death with bats, shovels and boards Brutal stuff. One of the kids in custody is only 10 years old. The victim had "confronted them for throwing an egg at him and punched one teen in the mouth". They went and organized a mob, and returned, according to the Milwaukee Police. What do you do with a 10 year old murderer, anyway?
posted by BarneyFifesBullet on Sep 30, 2002 - 42 comments

Expelled for Blogging?

Expelled for Blogging? Kid threatened with expulsion after having the nerve to blog from school. I assume his high school had nothing else to crack down on other than the gangs of bloggers up to no good like keeping a tech journal.
posted by Coop on Sep 26, 2002 - 33 comments

Alana Dung

Alana Dung passed away quietly in her sleep at age 3 from leukemia, but not before inspiring 30,000 people in Hawai'i to register themselves with The National Bone Marrow Registry. Since her parents and brother were not marrow matches, her family made her battle public. To honor her memory, they eventually formed the Alana Dung Research Foundation, an organization dedicated "to support research efforts designed to improve the quality of life for children with serious illnesses." Her brief life also inspired a play. Is your marrow registered?
posted by Joey Michaels on Sep 25, 2002 - 17 comments

Sand Art:

Sand Art: it's everyone's favorite preschool art activity, now on your PC! Go sand art! Still, with this version you can't get into sand throwing fights with your friends...
posted by unreason on Sep 21, 2002 - 5 comments

J'ECRIS JE DESSINE,

J'ECRIS JE DESSINE, Pour les enfants écrire, dessiner, lire sur Internet. Inventer des contes, faire des dessins, les publier.
posted by mikrophon on Sep 20, 2002 - 26 comments

Parents charged in death of girl forced to drink water

Parents charged in death of girl forced to drink water - Forcing a 4 year old to consume large amounts of water seems like an odd way to promote family bonding. Death by over watering can happen, but this sounds more like an episode of Law & Order.
posted by MediaMan on Sep 18, 2002 - 20 comments

105 unconscious children temporarily buried alive in the name of religion.

105 unconscious children temporarily buried alive in the name of religion. In a horrible ritual witnessed by an Indian government official, who quit his position shortly afterward, children were worked until exhausted, wrapped in cloth, and then buried for one entire minute. Sometimes it feels like that we will never shake off the need for ancient tradition, myth, and groundless faith, but there is a bright side. There are more non-religious people now than ever. As the information age expands, education becomes more accessible and may be the most important factor in determining how religious one is. Unsurprisingly, a follow-up article on the mass-burial quotes, "Inquiries also revealed that no educational programme had been introduced anywhere near Perayur in the last six years."
posted by skallas on Sep 6, 2002 - 93 comments

Teens, sex, and power of parents

Teens, sex, and power of parents How did you "discover" sex? from mom? school? Or the pals down the block?
posted by Postroad on Sep 5, 2002 - 29 comments

Showbiz Pizza Place. (aka. Chuck E. Cheese)

Showbiz Pizza Place. (aka. Chuck E. Cheese) is every American child's right of passage. I, personally, am still haunted by nightmares of the animatronic terror that was The Rockafire Explosion. I can still hear their soulless robotic chanting. No mention however in the employee handbook about having to clean the 'accidents' in the ball-pit. (I only did it once after a large soda.)
posted by Stan Chin on Sep 4, 2002 - 25 comments

As if verbal and physical threats in the schoolyard

As if verbal and physical threats in the schoolyard aren't enough. Give a bully a mobile phone and voila, another way of torturing another kid. But which is worse? Being picked on to your face or being bombarded with nasty text messages? It seems that kids have a pretty rough go of it nowadays. It makes me glad I'm almost a grown up.
posted by quietfish on Sep 4, 2002 - 33 comments

Well, they've been found.

Well, they've been found. The remains of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, the highly-publicized first victims of the "summer of child kidnappings," have been found at the [former] home of the FBI's main "subject of interest."

Damn, damn, damn.
posted by wdpeck on Aug 25, 2002 - 102 comments

Girls seek "divorce" of lesbian mother

Girls seek "divorce" of lesbian mother The Scottish paper seems to take a fairly serious anti-gay stance, where as the report in the Houston Chronicle seems to be a little more factual and less hysterical. But, in either case, do children have the right to demand that their parents "stop being gay"?
posted by dejah420 on Aug 20, 2002 - 51 comments

DCF leader: It's OK to spank

DCF leader: It's OK to spank The man named Thursday by Gov. Jeb Bush to head Florida's notoriously inept child welfare agency is an evangelical Christian who views spanking that causes ''bruises or welts'' as acceptable punishment. In a 1989 essay entitled The Christian World View of the Family, Regier and co-author George Rekers railed against abortion and gay couples forming families, and emphasized that husbands have ``final say in any family dispute.''
posted by bas67 on Aug 17, 2002 - 82 comments

How can we protect our Children?

How can we protect our Children?
posted by Spoon on Aug 17, 2002 - 58 comments

Florida's child services system lost track of over 500 children; Sun-Sentinel newspaper locates 9 of them using public records and high tech gadgets like the telephone.
posted by junkbox on Aug 13, 2002 - 11 comments

Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen brought wonder to my childhood, with the painstaking process of stop-motion animation. In these days of CGI special effects, perhaps a look back to the days of the Hydra and the wondrous skeleton army would not be amiss. There was a real humanity to Harryhausen's creations, as detailed on this nice site. Perhaps even more interesting are the films that never were, like his Baron Munchausen, The Tortoise and the Hare and his vision of War of the Worlds. Also, criticism of Harryhausen. Last link: a chat with Harryhausen.
posted by Kafkaesque on Aug 11, 2002 - 26 comments

Okaaaaaaaaaaaay Daaaaaaaaaavey!

Okaaaaaaaaaaaay Daaaaaaaaaavey! After a 31 year absence, Davey and Goliath are making their return to television. It's funny, I had no idea it was religious programming until years after I stopped watching it. Oh, and this news explains explains those great Mountain Dew ads...
posted by chumptastic on Aug 7, 2002 - 12 comments

White couple gets black twins, sue IVF clinic.

White couple gets black twins, sue IVF clinic. Experts say a mistake could have occurred in one of three ways.The wrong sperm could have been used to fertilise the right egg, the right sperm could have been used to fertilise the wrong egg, or the embryo implanted in the woman may have been another couple's altogether. Although it is not clear whether another couple has laid claim to the children, legal experts say the judge will be expected to make a modern-day judgment of Solomon on who should be considered the babies' legal parents. This is unploughed legal ground. Is there a fair way to sort this out?
posted by Mack Twain on Jul 17, 2002 - 34 comments

It's the Law in South Dakota: Convert to Islam, Lose Your Child

It's the Law in South Dakota: Convert to Islam, Lose Your Child Citing a woman's conversion to Islam as a sign of "bizarre behavior" that made her unfit to be a mother, a South Dakota judge removed her 5-year old son Trevor and gave temporary custody of him to his grandparents. "My wife and I are very concerned about Trevor's safety," explained Conrad Rederth, the child's grandfather. "Trevor's mother has engaged in some bizarre behavior, including wearing Muslim garb and declaring herself a Muslim." (Via alt.muslim)
posted by laz-e-boy on Jul 12, 2002 - 63 comments

"When the Israeli army was asked to comment on the footage, it refused."
posted by donkeyschlong on Jul 5, 2002 - 54 comments

Make your own fun.

Make your own fun. An instruction guide for cheap summer fun.
posted by chrisroberts on Jun 24, 2002 - 14 comments

Gifted elementary kids in California could go straight to college.

Gifted elementary kids in California could go straight to college. Students of any age, even kindergarten, could demand to take the state's high school proficiency examination under legislation approved recently by the Assembly. Passage of the test -- which measures reading, writing and arithmetic skills -- would qualify young students to enter community colleges as if they had obtained their high school diplomas.

Academically, these kids may be ready for college, but are they mature enough to handle being surrounded by students six to ten years their senior?
posted by DakotaPaul on Jun 20, 2002 - 42 comments

Nickelodeon is airing a special tonight on families that have same-sex parents.

Nickelodeon is airing a special tonight on families that have same-sex parents. The concern of some is that this show: "proves that this network has been co-opted by homosexual activists who are targeting children. Sodomy is not a family value. Nickelodeon has now lost the trust of parents."

My issue with it is that it appears that they are not publicizing the fact that they are showing this to the parents to allow them to decide if their children should watch it or not... I couldn't find anything on their website, except the listing in the schedule for "Nick News Special Edition" (MORE INSIDE)
posted by darian on Jun 18, 2002 - 67 comments

Billy Jean's not my lover.

Billy Jean's not my lover. Should non-fathers pay child support to someone else's children? More states are saying "no."
posted by kablam on Jun 18, 2002 - 29 comments

Summers of discontent !

Summers of discontent ! "This article talks about how the children nowadays utilise their time 'constructively' and as a result, enroll in all kinds of classes and 'summer camps'. Although I consider these activities good, I wonder what happened to the summer holidays where all one used to do was play cricket, visit grandparents / relatives in villages / towns, make some innocuous prank and idle away the time without a thought about school and studies in mind ..."
posted by sheauga on Jun 1, 2002 - 42 comments

This is the story of what happens when a naïve 15-year-old prodigy collides with an upward-reaching football program, some of whose players feel like they own the campus.

This is the story of what happens when a naïve 15-year-old prodigy collides with an upward-reaching football program, some of whose players feel like they own the campus. Brittany Benefield started college at age 15 with the dream of finishing law school before she turned 21. Didn't quite work out that way, and hers is an amazing story. Take the time to read this, and think about it. Would you fault her parents, for letting her get into something she wasn't ready for; the university, for letting this get out of control; the football program, for running roughshod over the school; or Brittany, for her own decisions?
posted by msacheson on May 31, 2002 - 45 comments

The Talk of the Book World Still Can't Sell

The Talk of the Book World Still Can't Sell (NY Times link) About two months ago, a new book about women putting careers before babies, and risking going childless, got a lot of publicity and was expected to be a huge seller. Wrong. Did it scare women? Did it sadden women? Was the coverage unfair (most of it highlighted the 'infertility after late 30's' angle, instead of balancing/choosing between career and family)? Or, did the massive publicity subvert sales by summing up the story and findings?
posted by msacheson on May 20, 2002 - 27 comments

Has A&F stepped over the line this time?

Has A&F stepped over the line this time? Calling it the "modern-day version of Underoos," a national clothing company is selling thong underwear in children's sizes - with the words "eye candy" and "wink wink" printed on the front.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on May 19, 2002 - 35 comments

Colorado boys punished by school administrators for pretending index fingers are guns.

Colorado boys punished by school administrators for pretending index fingers are guns. The boys were shooting at imaginary aliens. One administrator says they "demonstrated a level of aggression" that violates the school's zero-tolerance policy toward violence.
posted by swift on May 15, 2002 - 29 comments

CIA's Home Page for Kids

CIA's Home Page for Kids "Fly high on intelligence, NOT drugs..."
posted by kirkaracha on May 14, 2002 - 11 comments

Mother jailed for girls' truancy

Mother jailed for girls' truancy A question for our British gang, is truancy such a problem in the UK now that this is really necessary? When I went to school in England, lo those mumblemumble years ago, I don't remember it being this bad. For the rest of the world, do you think truancy in your country would justify locking up the primary caregiver or is this punishing the wrong person? Can parents be held responsible for everything a child does? And better said, should they? When should we grant children the priviledges and penalties of their own autonomous actions?
posted by dejah420 on May 13, 2002 - 27 comments

Is this taking so-called morality too far?

Is this taking so-called morality too far? The Kyoto agreement's one thing ... but this? More here
posted by johnny7 on May 9, 2002 - 64 comments

Homeless street kids in 3rd world countries adapt to survive and are actually healthier and more likely to survive than are their peers who grow up in poor but intact families in agricultural villages. Experts confounded.
posted by stbalbach on May 4, 2002 - 7 comments

Find your library.

Find your library. When I was a kid, my public library was my sanctuary, providing me many hours of enjoyment. Of course I yearned for better, larger library. When I was in college, I loved to wander the stacks. Do you have any fond library memories?
posted by patrickje on May 3, 2002 - 36 comments

Chicken or Egg?

Chicken or Egg? Well .... neither, apparently.

"One little chap thought that you got orange juice from milk, because the milkman delivered orange juice to his door ".

Anyone else have amusingly misguided, yet (slightly) logical assumptions as a kid?.

posted by MintSauce on May 2, 2002 - 107 comments

The Try Group's site uses a simple Flash "game" to deliver their central idea: that children should be encouraged to look at the world in different ways. There's a little more info at the developer's site.
Neat concept, and also just fun to poke around in for a little while.
posted by Su on May 2, 2002 - 6 comments

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