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Posts tagged children

Fred Rogers testifies before a senate committee in 1969, arguing for the importance of funding for PBS :: via GOOD
Nate:

Human beings, left to themselves, have imagined God in all sorts of shapes; but – although there were one or two instances, in Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt, of gods being pictured as boys – it took Christianity to introduce the world to the idea of God in the form of a baby: in the form of complete dependence and fragility, without power or control. If you stop to think about it, it is still shocking. And it is also deeply challenging.

God chose to show himself to us in a complete human life, telling us that every stage in human existence, from conception to maturity and even death, was in principle capable of telling us something about God. Although what we learn from Jesus Christ and what his life makes possible is unique, that life still means that we look differently at every other life. There is something in us that is capable of communicating what God has to say – the image of God in each of us, which is expressed in its perfection only in Jesus.

Hence the reverence which as Christians we ought to show to human beings in every condition, at every stage of existence. This is why we cannot regard unborn children as less than members of the human family, why those with disabilities or deprivations have no less claim upon us than anyone else, why we try to make loving sense of human life even when it is near its end and we can hardly see any signs left of freedom or thought.

Nate:
from "More on Peter Singer and Jamie Bérubé," by Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber, 1 December 2008 :: via Brainiac

The larger point of my argument with your claim is that we cannot (I use the term advisedly) know what to expect of children with Down syndrome. Early-intervention programs have made such dramatic differences in their lives over the past few decades that we simply do not know what the range of functioning looks like, and therefore do not rightly know what to expect. That, Professor Singer, is the real challenge of being a parent of a child with Down syndrome: it’s not just a matter of contesting other people’s low expectations of your child, it’s a matter of recalibrating your own expectations time and time again—and not only for your own child, but for Down syndrome itself. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a young man with Down syndrome playing the violin—quite competently, at that, with delicacy and a sense of nuance. I thought I was seeing a griffin. And who could have imagined, just forty or fifty years ago, that the children we were institutionalizing and leaving to rot could in fact grow up to become actors?  Likewise, this past summer when I remarked to Jamie that time is so strange that nobody really understands it, that we can’t touch it or see it even though we watch the passing of every day, and that it only goes forward like an arrow, and Jamie replied, “except with Hermione’s Time-Turner in Harry Potter,” I was so stunned I nearly crashed the car. I take issue with your passage, then, not because I’m a sentimental fool or because I believe that one child’s surprising accomplishments suffice to win the argument, but because as we learn more about Down syndrome, we honestly—if paradoxically—don’t know what constitutes a “reasonable expectation” for a person with Down syndrome.

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from "Musician Frank Zappa (R) w. parents (L-R): Francis and Rosemary in Frank's home," photo by John Olson, Google LIFE photo archive :: via FFFFOUND!
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from "When Did Snow White Get So Dirty?," by Paige Phelps, Deep Glamour, 13 November 2008

In addition to making Snow White fashionable, Grim also “began to absorb more and more of the actual live model” into his drawings, writes Johnson, who happened to be a 14-year-old girl named Marge Belcher, who was 16 when they finished filming. Take a look at that face—it’s not exactly the childlike countenance Disney princesses have these days, is it?

Look at Snow White on the Disney Princess official website, Sure she’s been hipped up a bit to fit into modern times and, apparently, that included her waistline—it’s smaller than Barbie’s! (Go download Snow White’s wallpaper and then ask yourself, are the dwarfs even feeding her?)

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"Child," photo by Mattia Marchi, FILE Magazine, November 2008
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"Slides," painting by Kirsten Tradowsky, 2007 :: via New American Paintings
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S. Central Ave, Cicero, Illinois, Google Street View
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Calle de Fuencarral, Madrid, Spain, Google Street View
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Animation by Chris Ware, the intro to "The Cameraman," This American Life, Season One, Episode Four
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excerpt Miss Piggy Lee
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from "The Woman Behind Miss Piggy," by Anika Gupta, Smithsonian Magazine, October 2008, photos from Wikipedia :: via Boing Boing
Wikipedia

Bonnie Erickson designed and built the inimitable Miss Piggy in 1974 for an early “Muppets” television special, produced by Jim Henson.  Puppets, props and storyboards from Henson’s prolific career are featured in the traveling exhibit ”Jim Henson’s Fantastic World.”  Anika Gupta spoke with Erickson.

You’ve been designing muppets and mascots for years. What attracts you to them?
The creation of worlds—the whole process of designing characters, putting together a back story, giving the characters an environment in which they can thrive and casting performers who can bring them to life.

Why do puppets appeal to adults as well as children?
They’ve been a tradition across the world for thousands of years as a form of storytelling. But, until recently, they have’t been appreciated in the United States. Now, however, puppetry is finding a niche in the arts—dance, theater and even opera. I think people appreciate the performers’ skill as well as the artistry of the puppets themselves. We owe a lot of that to [Muppets creator] Jim Henson’s vision.

Who inspired the character of Miss Piggy?
My mother used to live in North Dakota where Peggy Lee sang on the local radio station before she became a famous jazz singer. When I first created Miss Piggy I called her Miss Piggy Lee—as both a joke and an homage. Peggy Lee was a very independent woman, and Piggy certainly is the same. But as Piggy’s fame began to grow, nobody wanted to upset Peggy Lee, especially because we admired her work. So, the Muppet’s name was shortened to Miss Piggy.

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from "Jean de Brunhoff's Histoire de Babar Maquette," pp. 20-21, The Morgan Library & Museum Online Exhibitions :: via The New Yorker
Nate:
a GOOD post by Andrew Price, 22 September 2008
Frogs

Bzzzpeek is an engaging little website that’ll play you clips of kids from various different countries making the sounds they think dogs, lions, and other common animals make. There seems to be very little disagreement across cultures about what cats say. Frogs, however, are another story entirely. And fair enough: the American “ribbit” is a pretty strange set of syllables to assign to frog noises. See bzzzpeek here. Via VSL.

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"Flying," photo by Joseph Brunjes, FILE Magazine, September 2008
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"Red Earth," by Erika Larsen, Women in Photography
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"Dave Eggers makes his TED Prize wish: Once Upon a School" (2008), TED.com :: via GOOD Magazine
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"Children practicing gymnastics at a special school for athletes in Hubei province" (2004), by Qiu Yan, from China: Portrait of a Country, edited by Liu Heung Shing :: via NYTimes.com Freakonomics blog
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excerpt The natural way
Andy:

Phaedra Taylor abstained from sex until marriage. But she began researching birth control methods before she was even engaged, and by the time she married David Taylor, she was already charting her fertility.

Taylor, a fresh-faced 28-year-old who would blend in easily with South Austin bohemians, ruled out taking birth control pills after reading a book that claimed the pill could, in some cases, make the uterus uninhabitable after conception occurred. She viewed that as abortion, which she opposes.

“I just wasn’t willing to risk it,” she said.

Taylor wanted her faith to guide her sexual and reproductive decisions after marriage. Natural family planning felt like the best way to honor God, she said.

Update: See David Taylor’s response to the piece on his blog here. “After all these years of trying to get the Statesman to print something about the church and the arts in Austin I now have the honor of having a portion of my sex life on the front page.” You go, David!

Nate:
from ColaLife.org, 8 August 2008

Our idea is that Coca-Cola could use their distribution channels (which are amazing in developing countries) to distribute rehydration salts to the people that need them desperately. Maybe by dedicating one compartment in every 10 crates as ‘the life saving’ compartment?

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"Tarzan and Jan," Baden Württemberg, Germany, by Jan Von Holleben, from the series Dreams of Flying (2001-2007) :: via Flak Photo
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