Monday, April 23, 2007

Tap Dancing and Teletubbies

The British Heart Foundation says that somebody dies of inactivity every 15 minutes and that 30 minutes of physical activity a day will help prevent heart disease. The solution seems to be tap dancing so I shall have to pass on this one. Meanwhile, Aric Sigman is says children under three should see no television. It causes sleep and behavioural problems and, of course, obesity. Can under threes tap dance? Sigman is not just talking about television but 'screen media' so introducing toddlers to the wonders of the web also seems to be a bad idea. I don't doubt that all these things are true - though that one death every fifteen minutes is, I am pretty sure, an unverifiable headline grabber - and that staring at a screen is not as good as bumping into real things, which is what I would be doing now if I were tap dancing. The unthinking, blogging boosters of Web 2.0, who have, unsurprisingly, been misunderstanding my article all over the net, will doubtless be incensed by any suggestion that a screen is anything less than humanity's salvation. But it seems to me obvious that a screen-soaked toddler is going to have trouble with the real world. On the other hand, it is sad to discover that the Teletubbies are the toddler equivalent of a 60-a-day habit. I bumped into them once and, though unexpectedly large, they seemed harmless enough.

17 comments:

  1. oh, firstly a happy st. george's day to all your christian contributors. I didn't see too many flags or roses on display on my way in to work. Just one English christian patriot - is it too much to ask?!

    ''Dr Sigman wants parents to be given recommended daily TV amount guidelines by the government, as they are for salt.''

    and for Dr. Sigman's theory - as in ''a pinch of''.

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  2. not even Google UK is acknowledging it's St. George's day - they're usually quite topical with their home page graphics. soon no one will give a rat's fart... if they ever did.

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  3. Incidentally, Ian, the Greece Independence Day Parade brought the sidewalks of New York's 5th Avenue to a standstill yesterday and was a very good-natured event.

    I fear any formal celebration of St. George would descend into a riot of football shirts and lager-fuelled Johnny Foreigner-bating. We already have England football matches for that.

    In which case it would surely be more appropriate to revive the memory of St. Crispin and let Shakespeare have his way.

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  4. And, of course, it's Anzac Day this Wednesday. I'm all for it since my Aussie missus is baking special biccies tonight.

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  5. are you johnny foreigner, johnny or perhaps some other johnny - blogger is urging you to activate your profile so we know. ;o)

    there is, as I understand it, a certain irony in baiting johnny foreigner in the name of st. george and I'm certain you're aware of this.

    I didn't make the choice or the traditions. I think different nations have a different sense of what patriotism is. I've never understood why the burning of the union flag should get my gander up. It was probably mass produced in the country of burning, nothing to do with me, squire!

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  6. love it! happy Anzac day and have a beer and biccie for me.

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  7. Strictly speaking, Ian, I'm Johnny Three-Quarters-English-And-One-Quarter-Italian. Or Johnny Part-Foreigner for short.

    And my blogger profile is merely dormant, awaiting the moment when/if I start a blog of my own.

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  8. I guessed as much. You should. Why ever not?

    I'm afraid none of us can be sure of 100% pedigree. It's how you feel that counts. Nevertheless, it's a good mix you have, johnny. So, what's your favourite pizza topping? (always a good indicator.) fwiw, mine's tomato, onion, black olive and anchovy (no cheese).

    you gotta love those pizzas.

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  9. Most people (there are some exceptions) with children under three shouldn't listen to these child-rearing "experts", unless the same "experts" are willing to pop around for an hour or two each day to lend a hand. Otherwise, they can F... Off!

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  10. Sorry, that was a bit rude. You see, I don't need more advice, I just need more time to spend with my children. That's it.

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  11. Thanks for dragging us back to the subject at hand , Neil. Not that I mind digressions...

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  12. Then you'll forgive me, Bryan...

    The prerequisite ego and self-regard are present, Ian, but the motivation and application continue to prove elusive.

    And hot and spicy: pepperoni, jalapenos, green pepperts, red onions, black olives and loadsa cheese. Pizza without cheese is like Take That sans Gary Barlow.

    Back on topic...

    What troubles me most is that Mr Sigman's common sense-dressed-up-as-science is given such a lengthy airing by the BBC; though I suppose I should be less surprised by a room full of mouth-breathing, control-freak MPs egging him on.

    I'm not a parent, but do we really need to be told any of this? Bad parents will still be bad parents, TV timetable or not - if they somehow can't work it out for themselves then they're beyond help. It's just needless and patronising to everyone else.

    Speaking from my own experience I'd say having a TV in the child's bedroom from a young age is something I'd certainly avoid if and when I have kids of my own.

    But that still applies as an adult - falling asleep in front of the box and being woken up by the test card (does any channel still use that?), or mindlessly channel-hopping while horizontal is hardly conducive to a good night's sleep. And neither is posting on the Internet. Whoops.

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  13. Bryan, the Teletubbies may look harmless, but don't be deceived. They are pure evil!

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  14. Susan B., foreign film aficionadoApril 24, 2007 3:12 am

    Pizza? We just had a Hawaiian pizza (pineapple & ham toppings) and watched a bizarre Mongolian movie called "The Story of the Weeping Camel." The little boy in the story really, really wants to get a TV for the family yurt: And the movie ends, curiously, with his getting it. (We see him and other kids watching Western cartoons on it -- sure to stunt his spiritual growth.)

    Acquiring the TV was a strange development in a movie otherwise about the old ways of dealing with fractious animals (read, camels). My husband wouldn't stop making fun of the stilted dialogue and, obviously, the best thing to pair with this film would not be a pizza but a spliff.

    Which reminds me: How's Wife in the North doing, Bry?

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  15. She's gone quiet, Susan, or mayhbe I haven't been paying attention.

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  16. Pizza without cheese is like Take That sans Gary Barlow.

    Remind me - isn't this the pale, fat, dull looking ingredient? well, one down, three to go is the way I look at it. Hawaiian! See, pizza is the only universally accepted meal... what else can one do with a pineapple and what on earth did they serve with ham before it.

    apparently roast chicken pizza is popular in Essex. I'll look out for that film, susan - thanks for the tip.

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  17. it only takes a minute girl
    to fall in love...
    to fall in love...


    maybe so. but that's 35 seconds longer than it takes me to get annoyed.

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