The Kiddy Pool: Olympic Parenting

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. On the court, Kerri Walsh-Jennings is a fierce competitor with 2 Olympic gold medals and 4 World Championship medals (3 gold, 1 silver). Between her victory in 2008 in Beijing and her bid for another medal in London, Walsh-Jennings gave birth to two sons, Joey and Sundance. While I watched Walsh-Jennings tear up the sand this week, the announcers kept her story … [Read more...]

Invisible Ethics in the Tour de France

On Sunday, July 15th, riders in the 99th Tour de France faced an unexpected challenge as they began their ascent in stage 14, the Mur de Peguere: someone had covered the road with tacks, affecting over 30 riders. One crash claimed Croatian rider Robert Kiserlovski, who left the race with a broken collarbone. Eventual winner Bradley Wiggins made a precautionary bike change and defending champion Cadel Evans suffered three flat tires that nearly removed him from contention in the race. Wiggins, … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Raising an Olympian

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. As I watched the parade of nations on Friday evening, I noticed how many athletes there were. Athletes who will not advance to the finals of their events. Athletes with no real chance of medaling. Athletes who are, in some cases, the only representative of their country, or who keep company with only a handful of compatriots. The Olympic motto of “stronger, higher, … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Christmas in July

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. When my husband and I started dating, we invented a “liturgical scale” to help us find a church that worked for both of us. On the scale, a “1” would be an un-programmed Quaker service and a “10” would be a Roman Catholic high mass (in Latin, naturally). Based on that rubric, I’m an “8” and my husband claims he is a “5”. I love liturgy and find … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: It Takes a Village (of Time-Traveling Dinosaurs)

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. My toddler and I watch Dinosaur Train nearly every afternoon after she wakes up from her nap. The PBS show follows the Pteranodon family, a nuclear clan of 5 pteranodons and an adopted Tyrannosaurus Rex named Buddy. During each episode, Buddy and his family explore the Mesozoic Era, meet its inhabitants while learning about the natural world, sing catchy tunes, … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Waiting on Faith and a Fictional Goose

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. My elder daughter has developed a mild obsession with the book Here Comes Gosling, written by Sandy Asher and illustrated by Keith Graves. The story tells the tale of a frog who spends all day eagerly preparing a party to meet his friends’ new baby gosling. Froggie even makes up a song about waiting, and repeats the song and the line “Can’t wait!” until the … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Having It All…Or Not

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. By many standards, my husband would appear to “have it all”, a phrase thrust into the media mainstream by Anne-Marie Slaughter’s controversial article in The Atlantic this week. My husband works as an English professor in a tenure-line position: his work is intellectually fulfilling and he enjoys his colleagues as well as his students. His summers are devoted … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Karen Klein, Jerry Sandusky, and Redemption

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. New York bus monitor Karen Klein made national headlines last week when the video of middle-school boys bullying her went viral. I have abstained from watching the video itself, because the coverage of the incident depicts the vulgar and graphic cruelty sufficiently enough that I don’t think I can stomach witnessing it firsthand. Since the video became fodder for … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Facebook for the Whole Family?

This week, Facebook proposed allowing children under thirteen (the site’s current age requirement) to sign up; the kids’ accounts would be linked to and monitored by parents’ accounts, at least insofar as parents take on that supervisory role. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act limits the information that websites can legally collect from children under thirteen, but connecting to parental accounts bypasses those restrictions and, let’s be honest, offers Facebook a new … [Read more...]

The Televangelist: Pretty Little Liars Unravel the Truth

Each Friday in The Televangelists, one of our writers examines the met and missed potential of television. Tuesday’s Season Three premiere of Pretty Little Liars displayed all the elements that make the show, part teen drama and part mystery, successful: vulnerable but brave teenage girls, rainstorms and secluded rural settings, and layers upon layers of plot twists. This season, there’s a new “A” in town, and the four protagonists face the uncertainty of figuring out the identity of … [Read more...]


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