Wednesday, February 01, 2006

An update from the world of update journalism

Updating you on some stories we're following here in the 19 Minutes World Media Headquarters...

You'll recall my column in Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine, one of the best free magazines you can pick up in the foyer of health clubs in the greater Flagstaff area, was cancelled in order to - in the words of my editor - "include a greater diversity of voices in the publication." Well, you'll be excited to learn that - in the two months since my column disappeared from the back page, NAMLM has run columns by... the former editor and the current editor of the magazine. A stunning blow for diversity.

Some time ago, I was one of the first to note the details of a South Korean study linking kimchi and/or sauerkraut consumption to a reduced risk of contracting avian flu. Four months and thousands of ill-directed Google hits later, there's still no definitive proof of shredded cabbage's medicinal properties (nor, might I add, any word as to why scientists first decided to feed kimchi to the chickens in the study in the first place). On the other hand, the South Korean scientists who conducted the study haven't been accused of fabricating their data, so perhaps we can't write it off, yet.

Speaking of thousands of ill-directed Google hits, Canadians by the blog-load continue to wind up on this website in search of nude curling pictures, of which there are none. The Winter Olympics are a few short days away, and with around a dozen hours of curling coverage planned in this country, plus a telegenic US Women's Curling Team, the 19 Minutes staff is hard at work, planning how we might respond to the additional influx of novice curling fans. So we're pleased to provide this link to yet another picture of curlers.

Finally, we provided our own, realistic, update to the "What to Expect" series of child-rearing books a few months ago, including suggestions for how to deal with situations such as a toddler that insists on wandering into Victoria's Secret at the local mall and rummaging through drawers full of bras and panties. As you might expect, several more situations have presented themselves in the intervening months, so here are a few more parenting tips:

Problem: You're walking by the food court at the aforementioned mall. 19-month old daughter insists on waving at probable gang members dining at a nearby table. She won't continue walking until at least one of them waves back.

You'll probably: Attempt to drag her towards the store you were going to, causing her to start to protest loudly, drawing the attention of the probable gang members, who are now unlikely to wave at your daughter - plus they look at you like you're the worst parent who ever lived, an opinion based on their experiences of each fathering six kids before they were 18.

Real solution: Let her wave, and be glad she's 19 months, not 19 years.


You're house-hunting. You have 23 houses to look at in 2 days' time, and you have no babysitter to fall back on, so your 19-month old is coming along.

You'll probably: Keep an artificially close eye on your daughter, so that she doesn't destroy anything in the occupied homes, and doesn't fall down the stairs in vacant homes.

Real solution: Let her loose. As a bona fide 19-month old, she'll find potential hazards way faster than any building inspector. [Editor's note: Our particular 19-month old was amazingly well-behaved in all the houses we checked out, save for the one with the daycare in progress. And the woman who owned that house deserved all of Sylvi's whining.]

And finally, we bring you an update on the situation surrounding Mark Felt, the man identified last year as "Deep Throat" in the Washington Post's Watergate reportage:

Mark Felt is still alive. As far as we know.

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