Archive for September, 2011

Sponge Boobs

A new study shows that 4-year-olds who watch just nine minutes of Sponge Bob Square Pants can have problems with short-term attention and learning difficulties.  Apparently, the sponge-like material just sucks the learning right out of them.

The study compared kids who watched nine minutes of Sponge Bob with kids who either drew pictures for nine minutes or watched a “slower-paced” show called Caillou.  I have never heard of this latter show.  Maybe it’s because I watch too much Sponge Bob.  They had a Sponge Bob marathon a few months ago.  I think my IQ dropped 20 points.  But I have no problems with short-

What was I typing about?

I like Sponge Bob.  He’s a little weird and his laugh is annoying, but by golly, nautical nonsense is something I wish.

If parents want their children to learn something, perhaps they should park them in front of Sesame Street.

Or play Mozart for them, because playing Mozart makes babies smarter.  I’ve heard they don’t even need to be awake.

Kids’ cartoon shows typically feature about 22 minutes of action, so watching  a full program “could be more detrimental,” the researchers speculated, But they  said more evidence is needed to confirm that.

The results should be interpreted cautiously because of the study’s small  size, but the data seem robust and bolster the idea that media exposure is a  public health issue, said Dr. Dimitri Christakis. He is a child development  specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital who wrote an editorial accompanying  the study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Christakis said parents need to realize that fast-paced programming may not  be appropriate for very young children. “What kids watch matters, it’s not just  how much they watch,” he said.

I wonder how much money was spent to come up with that conclusion?! I could have told you that, even after watching the show for six straight hours.

Nickelodeon spokesman David Bittler disputed the findings and said “SpongeBob  SquarePants” is aimed at kids aged 6-11, not 4-year-olds.

I guess it won’t hurt me to watch Sponge Bob since I’m past the target range.  It’s also not clear to me how a show in bikini bottom isn’t adult-oriented.  What does a six-year old know about bikini bottoms?  And what about Sandy Cheeks, the squirrel?  And Squidward Testicles Tentacles?

And why is there a pineapple under the sea?

I don’t know the answer to these questions.  I have watched too much Sponge Bob!

The next thing you know, I’ll drop on the floor and flop like a fish.

And then they’ll link seizure activity to watching Sponge Bob.

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Man’s Best Friend Request

Sometimes you wonder if technology has gone too far.

Take the phone for instance.  Does anyone have just a cell phone anymore?  They can take pictures, record video, text messages, access the Internet and use them to read this blog or play games.  Some people get around this uncomfortable situation by calling them cellular devices instead of cell phones.  They are freaking computers that you can put up to your ear!

And with the proliferation of cellular devices, there are fewer pay phones–and even fewer phone booths.  What are Clark Kent and Dr. Who supposed to do?

But we can be sure that wherever Superman manages to change from Clark Kent into the Man of Steel, he will be able to check his email on his I-phone.

But, I digress.

Sometimes you wonder if technology has gone too far.

Sometimes you know it has.

The issue of concern for me here is that I received a Facebook Friend Request from Kurt.

Wait for it . . .

Kurt is . . . my dog.

Yes.  My dog has asked me to be his friend on Facebook.

I was very concerned about this and discussed it with my wife.  She assures me that the dogs are never allowed on the computer unsupervised.

Somehow, that doesn’t make me feel any better.

Then, I got a request from Kurt to accept the status of being his father.

Now, truth be told, we don’t know ‘who’s his daddy.’  He was abandoned and we adopted him.  I guess that makes me his adoptive parent.  I accepted.  (I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.)  I also have to be careful what I type here.  H-e.  M-a-y.  B-e.  R-e-a-d-i-n-g.  T-h-i-s.

Don’t laugh at me–and don’t deny that you’ve never spelled in front of your kid dog.  If I actually say the word T-R-E-A-T he may run me over going to the jar where we keep them!

According to Kurt’s Facebook Page, his relationship status is “complicated.”

Seriously?  He’s a dog!

His interests include eating, sleeping, playing and running.  Those are mine too, but at least I can understand that in a dog.

Kurt, the Ladies Man

Among his favorite movies are Snow Dogs and Old Yeller.

Under television, he likes Clifford the Big Red Dog, Blues Clues, and . . . Vampire Diaries?  I am getting a bit freaked out here.

Under music, Kurt likes Taylor Swift. I am really freaked out now!

Under Books–I didn’t know he could read, but then again, how could he create a Facebook page if he couldn’t!–he lists Go Dog Go, The Pokey Little Puppy and . . .the Twilight Series?  I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone!

It’s like I don’t even know this dog.

Aaack!  Now my other dog, Sammy, has sent me a friend request!

And his music likes include Michael Bublé!  I am beyond freaking now!

I think they may have more friends than I!

All I can say is this:  if they start blogging, I’m outta here!

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For the first game since the mid-seventies, I sat in a new section in Beaver Stadium.  Last year, in their infinite wisdom, the powers-that-be at Penn State decided to move the student section fully into the south end zone, necessitating relocating the only seats I have ever sat in for football games.  Cue the violins for my pity party.

But you must realize that I am not a creature of change.  Oh, I change my clothes daily.  Mostly.  I might wear a shirt two days in a row if it passes the sniff test.  I wear clean underwear each day, unless it is game day and it’s my lucky pair and my team is winning.  But you really don’t want to read about that.

I don’t like change.  I don’t even like it at the grocery store–I hate the coins jingling in my pocket, and just what am I supposed to do with them when I get home?

So it was with considerable trepidation that I entered Beaver Stadium this past Saturday.

In years past, my parking spot was about six rows from the stadium.  We entered Gate B and rode the escalator up to the next level.  Our seats were four rows down, and about 10 seats in the row.  For my 75 year-old parents who often accompany me, everything was perfect.

But now, my seats are approximately the exact opposite side of the stadium, and a few rows lower.  Since we had to walk halfway around the stadium either way, we went in the same gate as before and took the escalator.  That saved some climbing.  But now, instead of being four rows away, we are the length of the stadium and closer to 16 rows down.

Lousy cell phone picture of our new view of the stadium.

Hard to tell from the photo, but the sun is out.  Damn it, Jim, I’m just a doctor.  And it’s a phone!  Not a camera.  You can make out most of the details.

I felt like Moses wandering through the desert as we circled our way around from the southwest corner of the stadium to the northeast corner.  But there was no manna from Heaven, only nachos–and you had to pay for them.  The crowd wasn’t too bad–after all, we were only playing Indiana State and they barely have a football team–so I didn’t need a staff to part the sea of fans streaming before us.  We actually had to go past our section and circle back since you couldn’t get there from here.

Once we got there, though, things weren’t that bad.  I have eight seats, four on the aisle in adjacent rows.  Before, we always had to climb over people to get to our seats.  Now, people climb over us.  It’s kind of inconvenient, particularly when someone else’s bladder or stomach is crawling over you during a really exciting play on the field, but for now the plusses and minuses equal out.

The view is about the same we had before (about 10 rows lower) but it will take some getting used to since everything is reversed–it’s like watching a game in bizarro world.  During pre-game, the band is marching toward us, not away from us.  The home team isn’t warming up below us–the away team is on this side of the field.  We were in the shade, and for this game, that was great.  We saw a couple of folks being taken out on stretchers, presumably because of heat stroke or related problems.  For those rainy games, we are now protected from the elements by the north upper deck.  Another plus.

All in all, I guess the new seats are okay.

But I ‘d rather be back were we were, sunburn or rain fall notwithstanding.

But that’s me.  I don’t like to change.  And since Penn State won the first game, I can’t wash my lucky underwear for another week at least.

Don’t worry, though.  We have to play Alabama next week.  I’ll probably be washing the loss out of them next Sunday.

I just won’t be washing them in TIDE.

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Speed Bump is Living the EYE Life!

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