Today’s Found on Facebook – the princess effect

June 28, 2016

Lots of articles about it now but I’ll use the Time one I saw first:

A new study from Brigham Young University found that engaging with Disney princess culture could make young children more susceptible to gender stereotypes.

The small study, by family-life professor Sarah M. Coyne, looked at how much 198 preschoolers interacted with Disney princesses—through movies, toys and merchandise—and then assessed their behavior through reports from parents and teachers and a task in which the children were asked to rank their favorite toys among stereotypical “girl” options such as dolls, stereotypical “boy” options such as tool sets and gender-neutral options such as puzzles.

Now, from The Mic, people are pissed over the stereotypical portrayal of Maui in the new Disney movie Moana:

While Disney’s upcoming animated film Moana — in which Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson voices the boisterous Polynesian demigod Maui, who helps guide the young protagonist Moana to completing her coming-of-age quest — has been heralded for its diversity, it’s also now come under fire for what some people feel is a racist depiction of Polynesians.

Critics said Maui’s larger physique is misrepresentative to real Polynesian culture, and instead reinforces harmful stereotypes of Polynesians being obese.

Point being, it’s not just the ladies, ladies and gents. Think of Gaston. Think of Arial’s dad. Giant men, intended to be thought of as heroic and brave, if not the actual heroes of the films. Think of Belle’s dad. Think of Jasmine’s dad. Short, squat, prone to flights of fancy and silly behaviour. Adored by their only daughters, but hard to imagine they were ever sensible enough to get the bills paid or run a country.

Back to the princess study –

The researches found that 96% of girls and 87% of boys had viewed Disney princess media, and more than 61% of girls played with princess toys at least once a week, compared to 4% of boys. For both boys and girls, engagement with Disney princesses was associated with more female gender-stereotypical behavior a year later.

A New York Times blogger goes into more detail. Part of the concern is the future effect of princess mentality affecting girls in what could be considered negative ways, versus boys benefiting from a push toward traits and abilities long thought to be best suited to women. It’s useful for a boy to know how to care for a baby or cook meals or clean house, as it were.

The overall takeaway from this study has more to do with encouraging parents and guardians to be less passive about what kids are interested in. If a girl likes Belle, perhaps emphasize the intelligence and love of learning she has and the bravery and family love she shows. She’s not just a pretty face with a pretty dress on.

Which reminds me of this picture:

hotdog princess

Maybe the family is a fan of Adventure Time?


Holy Crayola! Jesus in crayons

December 20, 2011

Blurred as the image is, it really could be anything.

Sadly, the Daily Mail’s always seems willing to give face time to people who think they’ve experienced a pareidolia miracle.

A woman who prayed for a sign from Jesus got a little more than she bargained for when his image emerged out of some melted crayons.

Tara Gomez and her son put a few colourful sticks in the oven as part of an arts and crafts project they wanted to try out.

After cooling the mixture in the freezer, Ms Gomez was startled to discover Jesus’s face had emerged out of the swirling pattern at her home in Blue Springs, Missouri.

The young mother told ABC7: ‘I’d been praying and praying about certain things, and I asked God for a sign and I think the crazy thing about this… what better sign to get then right in front of you.’

The thing is, when you really want a sign, a sign can be anything.

Credit to the author of the piece, though, who reminded readers that it’s possible to buy Jesus toasters and give yourself a sign every day with breakfast, lunch or dinner. But probably not in time for Christmas.

The One Minion Search Party vol. 43

December 16, 2010

Getting back into the swing means looking at more search results to see what ultimately lures people in my direction. So, a small sampling since it’s been a few weeks since I last did this:

how much should i pay for messing up a school library book

Depends on the mess. If it’s a torn page, tape fixes pretty much anything. If the cover fell off, glue might set things right. If you cut pictures out instead of paying for photocopying, then they just might make you (or your parents more likely) give money for a new one.

Which reminds me. A friend of mine had borrowed a cat encyclopedia recently and her cat must have been so annoyed over the possibility of being replaced with one of those models, she opted to barf on one of the pages as a special kind of cat protest. As this friend is a library worker, she knew the right thing to do was confess to the damage. And since the library is probably not willing to continue circulating a book admittedly barfed on (as opposed to the so many out there they unknowingly circulate), I suspect an arrangement was made to cover the cost of a replacement copy which will get ordered and delivered to the public eventually. In the past, people have had the option of buying a replacement copy themselves instead of giving cash but I don’t know if that’s still a policy.

lego house

Can’t help you there. I did find a freakish Lego Santa though.

atheist festive messages

Happy Newtonmas! Newton was also born December 25th. Happy Solstice is popular in some circles. Festivus is gaining favour. Saskatoon Freethinkers is having our second annual Festivus party this Sunday, actually. Some atheists are satisfied with Happy Holidays, as people often take holidays this time of year anyway and it’s quite generic. And some say nothing at all in the hopes they can avoid even secular references to what many people insist is some religious date of note.

jack sullivan delusional deacon

Sullivan is the Deacon who claimed the long dead Cardinal Newman helped heal his back even though his doctors likely explained to him, with the shortest words they knew, that the procedure he would eventually undergo was going to do that.

three rubber boots bowl sour cream lyrics

It warms the cockles of my heart to see people still search for that 12 Days of Christmas parody song. “Five golden rings…of keilbasa!!.. four something something, three rubber boots, two somethings.. and a bowl of sour cream for me!” It was a small “hit” in the 1980s but I don’t know who by.

tom waits sound effects

The best place to hunt for that information is the Tom Waits Library, specifically the Other Instruments page. Anything he can find a use for he’ll use, from chairs to toy pianos to a shitload of instruments I’ve never heard of, and likely never heard before I heard his albums.

“knitted me a sweater” christmas poem

This is not it but I’m at a loss as to what Christmas poem this would be from. The only Christmas sweater thing I can think of is a short story made into a National Film board of Canada film called “The Sweater” by Roch Carrier.

Till next time…

Some toys not good enough for Salvation Army

December 11, 2010

And by good, I mean that there are actually toys considered too evil for that charity to pass along to children wanting presents Christmas morning. Apparently anything to do with Harry Potter or the Twilight series has to be “disposed of” rather than donated.

The man called himself an admirer of the Salvation Army and was impressed by the massive quantity of toys collected in city malls, schools and police stations through the Toy Mountain campaign.

But he questioned why the charity would be sifting out Harry Potter and Twilight toys, which involve sorcery and vampire themes, respectively.

“I was told to withhold a six-inch Harry Potter figure, but when I picked up a plastic M-16, I was told, ‘That’s for the 10-year-olds,'” he said.

“I was shocked…war-themed toys and toys from TV shows and movies with far more violence than Harry Potter and these were considered appropriate toys?”

The Sally Ann refuses to distribute the Twilight and Harry Potter toys because of their wizardry, vampire and werewolf content, said Capt. Pam Goodyear.

“The Salvation Army is based on Christian principles, so these things are not in line with those,” said Goodyear.

Whereas death and war and violence are all part of the glorious word of god and therefore okay to promote in terms of gift-giving?

Makes sense to me.
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Sorry. That was just my brain melting. It’s better now. Apparently they’d prefer if toys promoting violence were left out of the gift giving, too, but it’s not as firm a ban as witchcraft, werewolves and wizardry are. After all, what’s more dangerous?

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Pink Ouija boards are tacky, but dangerous?

February 8, 2010

Only if you get clubbed in the head with one. Otherwise they’re just lame games that can freak out your friends during sleepovers. Still, Fox sees fit to make them news anyway.

It’s designed for young girls ages 8 and older, but some say the mysterious product is a “dangerous spiritual game” that opens up anyone, particularly Christians, to attacks on their soul.

The game continues to be sold at Toys R Us locations in the U.S. and Canada for $19.99, although it’s currently being “phased out,” company officials say.

“There’s a spiritual reality to it and Hasbro is treating it as if it’s just a game,” said Stephen Phelan, communications director for Human Life International, which bills itself as the largest international pro-life organization and missionary worldwide. “It’s not Monopoly. It really is a dangerous spiritual game and for [Hasbro] to treat it as just another game is quite dishonest.”

But it is just a game! That shit’s not real. Impressionable brains can make it feel real but Ouija boards aren’t soul stealers.

The pink edition is also available for $33.99 on, where some commenters likened the game to occult materials targeting “tween” girls.

“Just unbelievable,” one posting read. “Hasbro — you should be seriously ashamed — you have lost your way. Ouija boards are NOT ‘games’ and they certainly should not be marketing these to children.”

Toy expert and consultant Chris Byrne said he found “absolutely nothing” wrong with any version of the game.

“And if something doesn’t fit your value or belief system, you don’t have to buy it,” Byrne said. “There’s absolutely nothing remotely Christian or un-Christian about it. I think people are projecting their belief system on it.”

Byrne, who writes for, said he was unclear of the origin of the notion that Ouija players can somehow communicate with spirits or the dead.

The history of the game is pretty tame, really, but there are some inconsistencies over who should get credit for it. Essortment suggests E.C. Reiche and Charles Kennard based their game on earlier “automatic writing” devices assumed to be capable of letting spirits get a word in edgewise.

While using this new invention, Reiche received a message to call the board Ouija after the Egyptian word for luck. Unfortunately, ouija is not the Egyptian word for luck but it is such a cool sounding word that it has remained the name of the most popular talking boards to this day.

Kennard marketed these talking boards through the Kennard Novelty Company, beginning in 1890. His advertisements claimed the Ouija board would “give an intelligent answer to any question”. Unfortunately for Kennard, his shop foreman orchestrated a hostile takeover by his financial backers and by 1892, the Ouija board was in the hands of William Fuld.

Mitch Horowitz offers a slightly different version.

The patent for a “Ouija or Egyptian luck-board” was filed on May 28, 1890 by Baltimore resident and patent attorney Elijah H. Bond, who assigned the rights to two city businessmen, Charles W. Kennard and William H.A. Maupin. The patent was granted on February 10, 1891, and so was born the Ouija-brand talking board.

And Reiche, or perhaps Reichie, had nothing to do with it.

this figure appears virtually nowhere else in Ouija history, including on the first patent. His name came up during a period of patent litigation about thirty years after Ouija’s inception. A 1920 account in New York’s World Magazine – widely disseminated that year in the popular weekly The Literary Digest – reports that one of Ouija’s early investors told a judge that E.C. Reichie had invented the board. But no reference to an E.C. Reichie – be he a cabinetmaker or coffin maker – appears in the court transcript, according to Ouija historian and talking-board manufacturer Robert Murch.

But maybe it doesn’t matter much anyway. Horowitz makes mention of the fact that a lot of people had homemade boards back then that did the same thing the “official” board does: passed the time and entertained people.

At his online Museum of Talking Boards, Ouija collector and chronicler Eugene Orlando posts an 1886 article from the New-York Daily Tribune (as reprinted that year in a Spiritualist monthly, The Carrier Dove) describing the breathless excitement around the new-fangled alphabet board and its message indicator. “I know of whole communities that are wild over the ‘talking board,’” says a man in the article. This was a full four years before the first Ouija patent was filed. Obviously Bond, Kennard, and their associates were capitalizing on an invention – not conceiving of one.

It’s entertainment. If people want to believe there’s real spiritual connection going on, I guess they don’t have to buy the game.

People are so darn silly.

My name is Minion and I’m addicted

December 4, 2009

I picked up an iPod today. I paid for it, too. Or at least, the Visa company did. I’ll pay them back later. This is much sweetness. Oooh, free apps and games. I’m gonna go play some of those in bed now. May get around to adding something insightful in here later this weekend. Hopefully…

I figured Vanity Smurf was, and maybe even Hefty…

December 2, 2009

Oh, but Christwire isn’t actually freaking out about homosexual smurfs. They’re getting their freak on about how the sultry Smurfette is the only chick in a land of men. (Sic throughout – FYI: homonyms only sound homosexual, dear deer reed readers…)

My dear White Christian American friends, I am hear [sic – here] today to alert the God-fearing American public of yet another subversive attempt of the homo-infested Hollywood to further promote the homo-gay agenda. Homowood is resurrecting this 1980`s television series that was riddled with homogay undertones and, just as horrible, was targeted at none other than CHILDREN! I sputter with indignation to know that children across the country grew up watching this depraved example of Liberal-spewing, fag-loving, drug-use endorcing [sic – “endorsing”] propaganda. I just thank the Lord everyday that I was not a child in the 80`s [sic – 1980s or ’80s] and therefore managed to emerge from the depths of youth without having been brainwashed by this disgusting, evil show that certainly must have been produced by none other than Satan himself.

Well, more than a few things are wrong here. Peyo, a Belgian, invented the Smurfs in 1958. According to Wiki, there used to be a Normal Smurf. Obviously he was unpopular…

I don’t even need to resort to Wiki to clear some other stuff up, though. Storks dropped new Smurfs off once in a blue moon, which doesn’t happen very often. Smurfette was designed magically by Gargamel, who had a real hate on for the little blue dudes. She was sent in to destroy them, a black-haired rabid little monster. But once she got to know her “enemies” she discovered she was on the wrong side of the whole business and through some other kind of magic became blonde and vapid and treasured by all of them for being a one of a kind thing. Sassette was later created by other Smurfs using Gargamel’s method, without realizing at the time how much Smurfette had actually changed. I always like that red headed little hellion for some reason. Sassy!

I don’t recall any drugs being used. They lived in mushrooms and tried to avoid being caught in Gargamel’s ridiculous plans. Brainy would say something annoying, Hefty would strong man his way into situations, and Jokey Smurf would manage to surprise his long suffering pals at least twice per episode. If anyone needed a kick in the ass, it was Jokey. Oh, and then Papa Smurf would solve all their problems while Vanity preened.

What a fun show that was. I miss that show. I found a couple decent quality Smurfs for a dollar at a flea market last year. I still have my other ones, plus a figurine, plus – if you can believe it – a Smurf blanket. No idea where the folks got that, but it’s a treasured possession. Love that blanket.

Well anyway, turns out a Smurf movie might be in the works for 2011.

All of those “little blue men“ running around, living in “mushrooms“ with their suggestively phallic white hats, and shirt-less chests – AND ONLY ONE, SINGLE SMURFETTE IN THE WHOLE GOD-FORSAKEN SHOW!!!!! Sick! Disgusting! Deprived! Shameful! Truthless!

… and the film is to be produced by homogay supporter, Jordan Kerner, producer of such homogay filth as Charlotte`s Web, George of the Jungle, Inspector Gadget, and Fried Green Tomatoes. If his list of credits were not proof enough of Kerner`s allegiance to the homogay agenda, he is also the Dean of a school of filmmaking at a “performing arts“ school that is, in fact, an institution for teaching American college AND high school students that homogayality is ok. This subversive institution is located in America`s own Holyland, the South, and goes by the name of “The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.“ The fact that the homogays would dare to infiltrate America`s Holyland brings a shiver of disgust to my bowls.

Christwire does the very same thing to me. Is this site for real, or for mocking people who’d really think this way?