By Chuck Shepherd
1:44 PM EDT, August 26, 2011
Berjuan Toys is already selling its Breast Milk Baby online ($70) and expects to have it in stores later this year. The doll works by the child-“mother” donning a halter top with flowers positioned as nipples, and when the baby comes into contact with the a flower, sensors mimic sucking sounds. Although dolls that demonstrate toileting functions are already on the market, breastfeeding activists are more enthusiastic about this one, hopeful that girls' comfort with breastfeeding will result in decreased bottle-feeding later on. (Opponents have denounced the doll as forcing girls to “grow up” too soon and with choices too complicated for their age, which according to the manufacturer is as young as 3.)
The Continuing Crisis
Frances Ragusa, 75, was back in court in Brooklyn, N.Y., in June claiming child support she said was never paid by husband Philip Ragusa, 77, in their divorce settlement of 33 years ago. (The “children,” of course, long ago became adults, but the $14,000 judgment has grown, with interest, to about $100,000.) Frances told the New York Post in July that she called Philip several months earlier to discuss the amount but that Philip merely began to cry. “Don't let this case go to trial,” she recalled telling him. “[I]f you think I'm going to forget it, Phil, you're stuck on stupid.”
Carole Green was fined $1,000 in July by a court in Leavenworth County, Kan., for littering the property of the same Bonner Springs resident “most afternoons” for the past two years. Green apologized and said the charge was a complete surprise. She said when she starts out in her SUV every day, and drinks a bottle of tea, it just happens that she finishes it at about the same spot on her journey — in front of Gary Bukaty's property — and that's where she tosses the bottle. She promised to stop.
The Perfect Society: Rules to assure correct, “progressive” behavior were recently proposed by the San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare and the Colorado Department of Human Services. The San Francisco agency would ban the sale of all pets in the city limits, from dogs to gerbils to goldfish. (“Why fish? Why not fish?” asked one exasperated commission member, bristling at criticism.) Animals sold as food for other animals would be included but not animals sold as food for humans. Day care centers in Colorado would be required, if it made dolls available at playtime, to have dolls of three different races.
A Southampton (England) University researcher told an academic conference in Stockholm in July that his work, demonstrating that women who stop smoking even after becoming pregnant will have healthier babies, is important because he found that pregnant women rationalize continued smoking, in part to have smaller babies that will be less uncomfortable to deliver.
Small Town Democracy: The City Council of Gould, Ark. (pop. 1,100), voted in July to make it illegal for its citizens to form “groups” without written permission from the council. (The mayor and the city council are feuding over the budget, and the council, attempting to stifle lobbying by a group supporting the mayor, has taken down all “groups” — except that the ordinance appears to blatantly violate the First Amendment.)
A News of the Weird Classic (February 2001)
In November (2000), Mr. Auburn Mason, 62, was sentenced to four years in prison in England for a 1999 British Airways hijacking. He had grabbed a flight attendant, held scissors to her neck, and threatened to blow up the plane with the bomb he was holding, screaming “Take me to Gatwick [airport in London]!” At that point, the flight was 15 minutes away from its scheduled destination, which was Gatwick airport. (Minutes later, passengers disarmed Mason.)
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