Caribou Baby, a Brooklyn, N.Y., "eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store," has recently been hosting gatherings at which parents exchange tips on "elimination communication" — the weaning of infants without benefit of diapers (as reported in April by the New York Times). Parents watch for cues, such as a certain "cry or grimace" that supposedly signals that the tot urgently needs to be hoisted onto a potty. (Eventually, they say, the potty serves to cue the baby.) Dealing with diapers is so unpleasant, they say, that cleaning an occasional mess becomes tolerable. The little darlings' public appearances sometimes call for diapers, but can also be dealt with by taking the baby behind the nearest tree. One parent even admitted, "I have absolutely been at parties and witnessed people putting their baby over the sink."
Can't Possibly Be True
Last year, according to Chicago's WBBM-TV, Palmen Motors in Kenosha, Wis., sold a brand-new GMC Terrain SUV to an elderly couple, 90 and 89, in which the husband was legally blind and in hospice care, on morphine, and the wife had dementia and could barely walk. According to the couple's daughter, it was her brother, David McMurray, who wanted the SUV but could not qualify financially and so drove his mother from Illinois to Kenosha to sign the documents while a Palmen employee traveled to Illinois to get the father's signature (three weeks before he passed away, it turns out). An attorney for Palmen Motors told the TV station that the company regretted its role and would buy the vehicle back.
-The city council of Oita, Japan, refused to seat a recently elected member because he refused to remove the mask he always wears in public. Professional wrestler "Skull Reaper A-ji" said his fans would not accept him as authentic if he strayed from his character. Some masked U.S. wrestlers, and especially the popular Mexican "lucha libre" wrestlers, share the sentiment. (At press time, the issue was apparently still unresolved in Oita.)
-At a Jan. 8 public meeting, Cooper City, Fla., Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi, annoyed with local activist (and former commissioner) Gladys Wilson, told her (according to video and audio of the meeting), "(B)low me." Wilson, 81, said later she did not understand what the phrase meant; Mallozzi said later that she meant only that she needed to blow her nose.
Unclear on the Concept
Passive possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime, authorities say, because by definition a child had been abused in the creation of the image, but that reasoning was no relief for New Zealander Ronald Clark, who was sentenced to three months in jail in Auckland in April for watching pornographic cartoon videos of short-statured elves and pixies. A child-protection activist acknowledged that no child was harmed in the creation of the Japanese anime artwork, but insisted that it was still injurious because "(I)t's all part of that spectrum." Clark said he wondered if he might also be convicted for viewing sexual stick-figure drawings.