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Archive for November, 2010

Harry Potter Tickets Going Fast

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (AP Photo/Warner Bros., Jaap Buitendijk)
If you’re planning to catch a showing of “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part I” the moment it opens, you might want to grab those tickets now. Fandango.com, the online movie ticket agency, says 500 screenings were already  sold out as of this morning – two weeks before the flick opens – and 61% of their daily ticket sales have been for the boy with the lightning scar. They’ve also been paying visits to the HP&TDH set, and they’ve got the latest sneak peeks posted here. We were particularly charmed to hear that the actor who plays Griphook, Warwick Davis, played Ewok Wickett in “Return of the Jedi.” You remember him, don’t you? He was the adorable one – ok, they were all adorable, but he was the really cute one Leia befriended.

Soooo, got your HP tickets yet?

Posted on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Under: Movies | 2 Comments »

Disney’s ‘Tangled’ & 21st Century Princesses

"Tangled" (Disney)
So, Disney’s new take on the Rapunzel fairy tale opens Nov. 24, and the girl with the long, long hair has been considerably updated. In the new, “Tangled” version, Rapunzel has had it with this locked tower gig. She’s about to turn 18, and the curious, adventuresome teen is about to make an exit with the help of Flynn Rider, a charming rogue who did not sign up for this, and, oh, 70-feet of blond hair. Looks pretty darn cute, and the story was certainly due for updating. The original Grimm tale was grim indeed – the prince gets blinded by thorns, for heavens sake – and old-school Rapunzel wasn’t exactly the spunky, strong-minded heroine we 21st century Hermione-lovers favor. So this looks like it will be fun – and the previews are pretty adorable.

But it makes me wonder which other Disney princesses are overdue for a spunky makeover. Snow White – passive victim who ends up shacked up with seven old men and sings while she mops? Sleeping Beauty? She’s asleep for most of the movie, people. OK, your turn:

Posted on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Under: Movies | 2 Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Philharmonic Baroque family concert

Viva Vivaldi: Grab your music-loving kids and head over to the Philharmonia Baroque family concert at 4 p.m. Nov. 6 at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church, when they perform the Winter and Spring movements of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” The kid-friendly show includes plenty of Vivaldi lore and a chance to get up close and personal with the historical instruments (pictured, above). Tell your kids, in terms of sheer fame and artistry, Vivaldi was the Lady Gaga of the baroque period. Elton John would have killed to play with him. Tickets: $7.50 for kids, $15 for grown-ups; www.cityboxoffice.com.

Oh, Viola Swamp: When a sweet-tempered teacher goes AWOL and the worst substitute ever arrives in Harry Allard’s classic children’s book, it’s up to the rowdy schoolchildren to figure out what happened. Now “Miss Nelson is Missing” is going theatrical with a zany, musical at San Ramon’s Front Row Theater, staged by the Bay Area Children’s Theatre Nov. 2-14. Tickets $14-$20. www.bactheatre.org. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Under: Family Entertainment, Family Outings | No Comments »

Unhappy Meals

Happy meals (Lexington Herald-Leader illustr)There will be no more cartoon figurines, roly cars and playful gizmos in unhealthy happy meals. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors just passed a ban on free toys in fast food kids’ meals that have too many calories, sodium or fat. And it was passed  on the first read, by an 8-3 majority, which renders the vote, we’re told, veto-proof. The ban begins Dec. 1, 2011. Santa Clara County’ enacted a similar ban last spring.

So, how many happy meals does this render unhappy? More than a billion kiddie meals are sold every year. Not all of them are dietary land mines, but … OK, yeah, most of them are. You want fries with that?

The ban affects kiddie meals that top out at more than 600 calories, or have more than 640 mg sodium, or get more than 35% of their calories from fat (exceptions are made for peanut butter, eggs and reduced-fat cheese). (You can read the full edited text here.)  The news came in moments ago from Corporate Accountability International, a grassroots watchdog organization and one of the bill’s supporters.

Posted on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
Under: Health & Safety | No Comments »

10-Year-Old Gives Birth

Teenage parents (Illustration/Fresno Bee 20007) Oh. My. God. I know we’re all worried about teen pregnancy rates, but maybe we should be worrying about tweens, as well. A 10-year-old has given birth in Spain, according to the Associated Press.  Spanish authorities say the father of the child is a minor too.  Spanish press reports say the girl is actually Romanian, not Spanish, and that the girl’s mother said this kind of pregnancy is common in her country. I imagine the Romanian authorities are preparing a snippy retort.

While it’s true that Romania’s teen birth rate isn’t great – 37 per 1,000 teens  – those statistics refer to girls ages 15-19, and the numbers are considerably worse in the United States: 52 per 1,000  in 2002.  Frankly, it’s hard to find any tween statistics  save for this U.S. figure  from 2007-08 which found the rate holding steady for girls, ages 10-14, at 0.6 per 1,000. And I’m betting most of those are from 14-year-olds, not fifth graders. I  find it hard to imagine that poor Romania, which just got slammed by the family of a post-partum 10-year-old, has a rate higher than that very low figure.

So, what do you think? Total fluke? Or do we need to start passing out condoms in elementary school?

Posted on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
Under: Just Bizarre | 2 Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Parenting Conference

Brainy toddler (Rick Nease illustration/Detroit Free Press) Great Parenting Academy Conference
November 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hilton Hotel, Concord
This all day parenting conference features panel discussions and talks by Brenda Wade on parenting and self-confidence, and John Gray, author of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” on other parenting topics. Tickets $75 in advance, $100 at the door.

Childhood Matters
November 7 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.org
Join nurse Rona Renner and guests as they discuss parenting issues. Free.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, November 1st, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »