THE SHRINKING CHILDHOOD: Children are in a rush to grow up
: "Today, parents buy cell phones and ultra low-rise jeans for their 10-year-olds. Middle-schoolers post profiles of themselves -- sometimes claiming they are older than they are -- on Web sites like MySpace.com. Kids as young as 13 go to dances with dates in limousines."Someone asked me once if my child liked Usher. When I replied in the negative they asked me "why." "Because I don't like Usher," I replied. "She is partial to Al Green and Ray Charles though. I haven't gotten her to appreciate Mingus, but she is coming around to Coltrane." Basically what I told him was that if she listened to music at all, it was what I listned to. The person looked at me as if I had 2 heads (I get even stranger looks when I tell people that she doesn't watch much TV). My daughter was 5 at the time (7 now). How in the world do you give a 5 year old the leeway to make those types of choices? I'm sure that in the teen years there will be a major culture clash. It's what I signed up for. But until then, I get to make the rules. - Barry
From the Boston Globe
: A group of small retailers and wholesalers in Michigan is asking for a change in the way the state administers the federal assistance program. The merchants hope that spreading out food stamp distributions can eliminate such swings in customer traffic, which make it difficult to keep stores adequately staffed and stocked.
In February 1987, the BBC aired a program on Savant Syndrome entitled "The Foolish Wise Ones." One segment featured a then twelve-year old autistic boy, Stephen Wiltshire, drawing from memory on camera a remarkably accurate sketch of St. Pancras station which he had visited for the first time only briefly several hours before. As the camera recorded, he quickly and assuredly drew the elaborate and complicated building exactly as he had seen it with the clock hands set at precisely 11:20, the hour he had viewed them.