2. Kermit the frog can be a real jerk.

    Watch all of the Sesame Street clips mentioned in the podcast.

    Subscribe and listen to all of The Week’s mini-podcasts here.


  3. It is obvious that none of you has the faintest notion of the bitter disappointment each of you has in your own way dished out to us. We are seeing the miserable death throes of the fourth of your collective marriages at the same time we see the advent of a fifth.

  4. According to a new study, U.S. males are starting puberty two years younger than the previous national average age. 

    "This should perhaps set a standard going forward for being very attentive to puberty in boys and being mindful that they’re developing earlier," says Dolores J. Lamb, a molecular endocrinologist at Baylor College of Medicine and president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study. On the contrary, says lead author Marcia Herman-Giddens, a researcher at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The results shouldn’t be interpreted to establish a “new normal,” says Herman-Giddens. "Just because this is happening doesn’t mean this is normal or healthy."

    Keep reading


  5. In the first half of a new commercial from Luvs Diapers, a frazzled first-time mom sits alone in a restaurant, struggling to breastfeed her son under a blanket so as not to offend her fellow patrons. Cut to the second half of the clip, and a slightly older and wiser mom is in the same restaurant, this time breastfeeding her second baby in plain view while her firstborn, now a few years older, sits beside her. The shocked waiter can’t take his eyes off the woman’s chest, but the cool-headed and confident mom handles it like a pro, pointing to her face and saying, “Hey, up here.” 

    Luvs’ new ‘public breastfeeding is awesome’ ad


  6. Feel like some peace and quiet while traveling by plane? You’re in luck.

    One low-cost airline, AirAsia, will soon offer an adults-only “Quiet Zone” on long-haul flights. Only passengers age 12 or older will be allowed to sit in the first seven rows of the airline’s economy class. 

    Any chance we’ll see Quiet Zones on U.S. flights?


  7. After assessing years of life-altering injuries, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging pediatricians to discourage parents from setting up trampolines at their homes. Here, a look at the numbers behind this risky contraption:

    111,851Trampoline-related injuries treated in the ER in 2004

    97,908Trampoline-related injuries treated in 2009

    3,100Those who were required to remain in the hospital in 2009

    10,700Children in the U.S. hospitalized every year as a result of bicycle crashes

    61,000Children in the U.S. injured every year because of skateboarding 

    75Percentage of trampoline-related injuries resulting from multiple people jumping on the mat at the same time

    More numbers

    (Source: theweek.com)


  8. A new study by public health analyst Christine Jackson of the research institute RTI International, along with colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that an unexpectedly high number of mom and dads think they can avoid raising kids who become irresponsible drinkers by exposing them to small amounts of alcohol — a sip of beer, a little wine — at a young age. Is that really a good idea?

    "Try and delay exposure to alcohol for as long as possible," says Ralph Hingson, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research.

    Keep reading…


  9. In a stinging report, the Los Angeles Times charges that the Boy Scouts of America concealed the crimes of hundreds of child molesters in its ranks from 1970 to 1991.

    In one 1982 case, a Michigan Boy Scout camp director said his bosses, learning of an abuse charge, told him to "keep it quiet" to protect the reputations of the Scouts and the staff member accused of the crime.

    In a 1987 casein Milwaukee, local Scout leaders got the help of an influential board leader, a newspaper publisher, to keep the news quiet.

    How extensive was the alleged cover-up, and what, if anything, should be done about it now? Read more.

    (Source: theweek.com)


  10. "A cigarette — in a 4-year-old’s mouth?!?" 

    Toddlers & Tiaras mom Lisa Christian “sent her daughter sashaying on stage in a Grease-themed costume” — with a candy cigarette in her mouth as a prop! She coached the kid, saying, of all things, “Don’t forget to smoke!”

    5 Toddlers & Tiaras controversies


  11. On the first day of her “Sex, Gender Culture” class, American University Assistant Professor Adrienne Pine found herself in a conundrum when her baby awoke with a fever. Unable to drop the infant off at daycare, Pine brought her to class and began to lecture, keeping an eye on the baby as she crawled on the floor; at one point, a teaching assistant held and rocked the baby.

    But then the baby grew “restless.” Pine chose to breastfeed the baby while continuing to lecture, until her offspring fell asleep. Though Pine saw the situation as a non-issue, AU’s student newspaper tried to interview her on the “incident” — and the controversy has grown exponentially from there.

    Facing public scrutiny, Pine has published a defense, declaring “whether it is private or public has no bearing on whether I would choose to feed a hungry child.” But critics have argued that her actions were inappropriate and unprofessional. 

    Did Pine cross a line?

    (Source: theweek.com)


  12. 800,000 women in the U.K. use a birth control called Implanon. It’s a match stick-sized device that is placed under the skin in a fat layer of the upper arm. It’s designed to release hormones that stop ovulation, preventing conception for up to five years. It’s a fairly simple procedure, and the implant can be taken out at any time. But it must be put in, and taken out, by a doctor. 

    But hundreds of British women who were using an implant nevertheless wound up pregnant last year and — after visiting doctors to have the implants removed — discovered that the implants were nowhere to be found. 

    The birth control that’s getting lost in women’s bodies


  13. Top: Mattel’s affectionately dubbed “Drag Queen” Barbie was made to resemble her cross-dressing designer, Phillipe Blond. She comes complete with a mini dress, a full-length faux fur, and a heavily made up face. “I can already hear the complaints” about this being “an abomination,” says Michele Zipp at The Stir. “Don’t like it? Don’t buy it.

    Bottom: Mattel and Nabisco thought they hit marketing gold when they paired America’s favorite doll with its favorite cookie in 1994. Selling in both grocery stores and toy stores, the Caucasian Oreo fun Barbie doll flew off the shelves. When Mattel introduced a black version, it was clear that the company hadn’t given much thought to the fact that the word Oreo can be derogatory — it’s used to describe blacks who are accused of being sellouts to the race.

    10 controversial Barbies (Featuring Pregnant Barbie, Busty Barbie and others)