Monday, August 13, 2007

1st Quadrant 8/20 '07

Week of August 20, 2007

Baby Einstein

Jean Lotus writes on that a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that watching videos as a toddler may lead to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). TV watching "rewires" an infant’s brain, says Dr. Dimitri a lead researcher. The damage shows up at age 7 when children have difficulty paying attention in school. In the study of more than 2,000 children, Christakis found that for every hour watched at age one and age three, the children had almost a ten percent higher chance of developing attention problems that could be diagnosed as ADHD by age 7. A toddler watching three hours of infant television daily had nearly a 30 percent higher chance of having attention problems in school.

Jean Lotus goes on to write that an explosion of kidvids has hit the market, which includes Baby Einstein. These videos are peddled as "educational tools" to "give your baby a head start." The truth is, they are a video-tether that keeps babies out from underfoot, and takes away crucial life experiences from the child.

In 1998 the Academy of American Pediatrics advised that no child under age two should watch television at all.

"Working-Class Millionaires"

According to the Times, “Working-Class Millionaires” are those nose-to-the-grindstone people who much to their surprise, are still working as hard as ever even as they find themselves among the fortunate few. They are amply cushioned against the anxieties and jolts that worry most people living paycheck to paycheck, but they still do not think of themselves as particularly fortunate, in part because they are surrounded by people with more wealth — often a lot more.

Gary Kremen, founder of said, “It’s just like Wall Street, where there are all these financial guys worth $7 million wondering what’s so special about them when there are all these guys worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The full Times article includes a video profile of a “Working-Class Millionaire.”

Ingmar Bergman Archive

Variety reports that the Ingmar Bergman archive is in jeopardy because executives say they need $600,000 to digitize Mr. Bergman’s notes that have become so thin that they are almost impossible to read. The Swedish government currently provides $250,000 annually, but it is not clear if it will continue to bestow the funds.

The archive’s Astrid Soderberg-Widing said: “I think we will be able to keep the archive and the webpage running, but to digitize the archives, we need at least another $600,000. It’s an international scandal that the Swedish state does not seem interested in providing the money we lack.”

Man Booker Prize Longlist

The judges for the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction announced on August 7, 2007 their longlist of 13 books in the running for the prize this year. The books were chosen from 110 entries; 92 were submitted for the prize and 18 were called in by the judges.

The longlist is as follows:

  • Darkmans by Nicola Barker (Fourth Estate)
  • Self Help by Edward Docx (Picador)
  • The Gift Of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon)
  • The Gathering by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies (Sceptre)
  • Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (John Murray)
  • Gifted by Nikita Lalwani (Viking)
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (Jonathan Cape)
  • What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn (Tindal Street)
  • Consolation by Michael Redhill (William Heinemann)
  • Animal's People by Indra Sinha (Simon & Schuster)
  • Winnie & Wolf by A.N. Wilson (Hutchinson)
Chair of judges, Howard Davies, comments: "This year's longlist is very diverse, with four first time novelists as well as some more familiar names. All the books chosen are well-crafted and will appeal to a wide readership."

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of either the Commonwealth of Nations or the Republic of Ireland. The winner of the Booker Prize will generally be assured of international renown and success, and £50,000.

B-Word Ban?

The New York City Council may symbolically ban the b-word. The Times reports that it is being considered by the Council’s Civil Rights Committee and is expected to be discussed next month. The measure was prompted in part by the frequent use of the word in hip-hop music. Ten rappers were cited in the legislation, along with an excerpt from an 1811 dictionary that defined the word as “A she dog, or doggess; the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman.”

The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women. Not everyone agrees with the Councilwoman. Darris James, 31, an architect from Brooklyn said, “Hell, if I can’t say bitch, I wouldn’t be able to call half my friends.”

Sopranos Soda

That press release announces, “Building on the success of the most popular show in the history of cable television, Imbibe has been licensed by HBO to launch a line of Italian sodas under THE SOPRANOS banner. The three initial flavors - Limoncello, Amaretto and Chianti - while being served at Italian dinners for hundreds of years, are making their first appearance ever as sodas. The drinks stay true to their Old World roots by avoiding all use of artificial ingredients, preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup.”

The soda's website has a video showing what happens when carbonation meets animation.

Crippling Rain

A tornado hit Brooklyn last week. It was the first since modern record-keeping began. The weather also caused major transportation delays in and around New York City.


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