If you’re feeling less than enthusiastic about the tuna sandwich waiting for you in the office fridge, you might want to take a look at NeverSeconds, a food blog curated by nine-year-old Martha Payne. For the past month, Martha has borrowed her father’s camera and diligently documented the lunch offerings at her Scottish primary school, including important stats like health ratings and how many hairs she found in her food. She also often complained of not feeling full: “I’m a growing kid and I need to concentrate all afternoon and I can’t do it on 1 croquette. Do any of you think you could?” Her daily musings soon gained an international following (over 1.5 million pageviews so far), a Twitter shoutout from Jamie Oliver, and school lunch photo submissions from other kids all over the world. It also effected a major change in her school’s policy: yesterday, Martha announced that her cafeteria was now allowing unlimited side dishes. Martha, keep doing your thing, and if you ever visit the States, we’re totally taking you out to lunch. [NeverSeconds]
She may be a bit of a kid at heart, but Zooey Deschanel doesn’t want any of her own. ”[Having kids has] never been my focus,” she tells the current issue of Marie Claire. ”My sister was always very motherly, babysitting and stuff. I like kids, and I like being around kids–but it was never an ambition, something, like, I need … I like working. That’s what I like doing. I like to work.”
I have to say, I’ve been on the fence about Zooey for awhile, but this interview painted a pretty interesting picture of her. (She also spoke about getting spit on by a bully in middle school: “I really don’t know why she spit at me. I guess I wasn’t allowed to talk to her. I remember I couldn’t believe it.”) And she’s not alone in not wanting kids; plenty of successful Hollywood stars plan on staying rugrat-free. Here are 10 more!
Six-year-old girl Salecia Johnson landed herself in the slammer recently after throwing a temper tantrum. Georgia police arrived at Creekside Elementary School where the kindergartener was accused of tearing items off the walls, throwing furniture and knocking down a bookshelf that “injured” the principal. When officials attempted to calm her, she “resisted,” so cops handcuffed and hauled her little booty downtown. (The police chief told the WMAZ local news that anyone transported to the station must be placed in cuffs while riding inside a cop car.) Salecia, pictured above, was charged with damage to property and simple assault and was suspended for the remainder of the school year. Keep reading »
Heidi Hankins has always been a smartypants: by age two she could read and count to 40, by age three she could add and subtract, and now, at age 4, she has been inducted into Mensa with an IQ of 159. To put that number into perspective, the average adult has an IQ of 100; Stephen Hawking has an IQ of 160. Heidi’s parents, a public health lecturer and an artist from Winchester, England, suspected she was bright but were shocked when they heard the results. And according to her father, Heidi’s already mastered the art of sarcasm as well: “The other day I gave her mash and fishfingers for dinner — something quite boring — and her response was ‘that’s impressive,’ so she has a sense of humor, too.” Damn, between the 86-year-old gymnasts and the 4-year-old geniuses, I’m feeling like quite the underachiever these days. [BBC News]
It’s common knowledge that toys are marketed to boys and girls in hugely different–and often troubling–ways. Media literacy advocate and video artist Jonathan McIntosh has come up with a super effective way to illustrate those differences. It’s called the Gendered Advertising Remixer, and the concept is simple: on one side of the screen is a selection of ads targeting boys, on the other side are ads targeting girls. You drag one ad to the audio box, one to the video box, click “Mashup,” and you’ll watch a sweet, maternal ad for a baby doll accompanied by the explosions and violent rhetoric of a GI Joe commercial (or swap the audio and video for equally confusing results). Some of the remixes are funny, but all of them bring up major questions about our culture’s definitions of gender, how early they are instilled in us, and how harmful they can be. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Remix some ads for yourself! [Gendered Advertising Remixer]
We should have known that the kids from PS22 would create perhaps the most touching tribute to Whitney Houston. Last week, the kids taped this moving rendition of Houston’s “Greatest Love of All,” featuring incredible, goosebump-producing solos from Kahlil and Kiarah. We love these kids. And we also love that chorus instructor Mr. B finally cut off that man ponytail. Lookin’ good! [YouTube]
I grew up with one foot in the hardcore music scene. I say only one foot because the scene was largely dominated by aggressive dudes bent on expressing themselves through violence, pushing girls to the back to act as real, live “coathangers” (i.e. coatholders) for the boys. But that may all be changing if 8-year-old Aussie Juliet has anything to say about it. Juliet recorded this incredible hardcore song and video about how much she loves her dog Robert and her fish. So maybe hardcore’s getting better, after all. [YouTube]
Hold onto your ovaries, ladies! This is Ryan. He’s six years old, a child model for Nordstrom and Target, and living happily with Down syndrome. His mom writes that modeling is “an extreme confidence booster.” Also, “He received so much warmth and caring from the Nordstrom crew that he thought they were there just for him!” (Thinking everybody is there for him? Yup, sounds like a model all right.) We hope Ryan sticks with modeling and keeps sharing his cuteness with the world. [The Daily What via NoahsDad.com]
Let’s do the Time Warp, yeaaaah!
Amelia has gone back in time and unearthed a video of Baby Jessica Wakeman (real name: Riley), who is just as opinionated as she is in adult form. Riley is seen shopping in a toy store, with a man I presume is her father, when she goes off on a rant about how pink is not just for girls. You tell ‘em, Riley! And in another 15 years, there is an internship waiting for you at The Frisky. [YouTube] Keep reading »