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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Children in the News

I. "Please, Sir, May I Have a House?"

So the Indian government has taken bold action against in the battle against juvenile homelessness.  All you need to do is appear in an Academy Award-winning film.

That's right, two of the urchins in "Slumdog Millionaire," Rubina Ali and Azahruddin Ismail, are being moved out of the Mumbai slums and into "apartments near an [undisclosed] prime location."  No word on whether their parents get to go with them.

What would have happened to the kids if the movie had lost?  No condos for losers, one would imagine.

Now the Solipsist really feels bad for Mickey Rourke.
II. "You Get to Sit When You Show Your Work!"

Dateline: Minnesota.  In the little town of Marine on Saint-Croix (that's not a town-name, that's a whole darn prepositional phrase!), teachers are experimenting with new classroom furniture that liberates kids from the strait-jacket of the traditional desk.  This must be great news for left-handers if nothing else.

The idea is that kids, being the hyperkinetic bundles of energy that they are, should be able to stand up, sit down, squat, kneel, or, presumably, cartwheel about the classroom.  Having the opportunity to vent the excess kid-o-watts will allow kids to focus less on sitting still and more on the academic subjects at hand.

The Solipsist thinks this is a great idea.  He would further propose giant hamster wheels on which the tots can jog while memorizing their times tables.

III. "Can I Just Do It 'Til I Need Glasses?"

Does your teenage son spend a great deal of time in his room with the door closed?  Does he have a strange rash on his palms?  Any vision problems?

Well, parents, this is all a perfectly natural part of adolescent male development.  Yes, your son is simply experiencing the joys of. . . .


"OK," you're thinking, "door closed, yeah.  Eyestrain, I get that. . . . But a strange rash on his palms?"

That's right, folks.  The British Journal of Dermatology (renew your subscription now) has published a report on a condition first discovered by Swiss doctors, Playstation palmar hidradenitis.  The condition, which manifests itself as painful bumps on the palms of the hands, is a result of too much time spent pleasuring oneself--with a video game.  The condition is curable--provided the patient refrains from gaming for a week or two.  But good luck trying to get kids to stop.

Interestingly, this is only now coming to the attention of the medical community, and so apparently wasn't a problem with the older generation of video games.  Maybe what's needed is a return to the classic paraphernalia of teenage recreation.

In other words, tell your teenage sons to go back to playing with their joysticks!


IV. A Guide to Dathonian English 

(Courtesy of Emi Ha--all from "Seinfeld")

"Did he CRUMBLE?"--Get to the point.
"Oh, I'm stressed!"--Things are pretty bad.
"Hoochie Mama/Serenity now!"--I'm about to lose it.
"I'm not freaking out!!!"--I'm freaking out.

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