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Month: July 2010

The Blue’s Clues Ability to Skidoo Could Have Astounding Military Applications

On almost every single episode of Blue’s Clues the human character (either Joe or Steve, or in the UK, Kevin) and the dog Blue “skidoo” somewhere, which is an amazingly simple form of teleporting (transporting oneself from one place to another instantly), whether onto the surface of a globe or into the image on a picture or a computer game or into a diorama, but it always involves our human protagonist and Blue being transported to somewhere else that moments ago they weren’t. It seems that other characters on the show can also skidoo, like Mr. Salt when he needs to go to the grocery store.

And skidooing is an important plot point to the show, because while on their skidoo adventures the characters learn things and get to play and also may find a Blue’s Clue, which is  great and all, but you wanna know who else could really use skidooing, especially in these trying economic times?

The military. Could totally help them out.

On top of all of the budget cutting that could be done, getting rid of transport planes/ships that are no longer required, there’s the instantaneous benefits of such a power. Does the president need to insert a highly skilled team of Navy SEALs into Tehran RIGHT NOW to take out Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before he does something else crazy? Done! Does South Korea want to finally finish the Korean War once and for all and skidoo into Pyongyang and take on the entire populace of North Korea before they can completely mobilize? It’s doable. Anything could be doable, as long as we have a picture of where we need to put our military and our boys could remember those easy to recite words – “Blue skidoo, we can to.” Maybe end it with a “Sir, yes sir,” too.

If Robert Oppenheimer had been working on a secret skidoo project instead of the Manhattan Project our boys could have ended WWII early and gotten to Berlin even before the Russian army was thinking about moving westward from Stalingrad and we never would have had to invade North Africa or Italy or obliterate the Atlantic Wall. And LBJ could have won the Vietnam War, probably, if we’d been able to skidoo into Hanoi and convince Ho Chi Minh that we really did want him to be in favor of democracy. He (LBJ)  might even have decided to run for reelection and change the course of history.

The major drawback is that our people need a picture on the other end of the skidoo to return the same way. If they lose that picture…well, Mr. Secretary of Defense, order a new transport, since we got rid of them after the budget cuts allowed through skidooing. Enjoy hitchhiking home, soldiers!

But we could get rid of Air Force One, also, just keep that little blue dog with the President whenever he goes on the road.

I think Blue would have to remain non-partisan though. Can’t be favoring one political party over another. He’d also have to have a code name.

Anyway, just an idea. A completely cool idea, but just an idea.

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George is a Monkey, and He Can Do Things That You Can’t Do. Ever.

My oldest son loves the Curious George show on PBS. He laughs along with it and afterwards will tell me the intricate plot points that moved the show from point A to Z. He has his favorites and his not-so-favorites, but generally he enjoys all of them, somewhat, even if he doesn’t love all of them.

I think Noah likes the show because it reminds him of himself. George is curious, fairly bright, and always getting into situations that he’d be better off not getting into. He’s smart and funny and cute, just like George, and he probably smells better than George, even though TMWTYH bathes George regularly.

But the show does one thing that, the first time I heard it, I knew immediately what it meant when I heard it.

In between the two CG segments of the show they will cut to kids taking some lesson that George learned and put it to practical real-world use. Kids will make telescopes out of paper towel tubes or trace their shadows and watch the sun move and stuff like that, but they always say the same thing after each cartoon segment: “George is a monkey, and he can do things that you can’t do.”

Really? It’s really come to that? Telling kids that a monkey might be able to climb up telephone poles and swing from power lines without being fried to a crisp? Or that he can knock down an entire dinosaur exhibit and put it back together before some scientists return? What is the meaning of this?

If you’re like me you already know what this is – the legal disclaimer. Yes, George is a monkey, and he can do things that you can’t do, like get kidnapped from his homeland in Africa and be brought to New York City (wait – some people a long time ago did do that), or go up in a rocket and repair a satellite (that’s been done too), or go skiing and rescue a pig (I’m sure someone has done those exact same things on a ski trip before).

Get real, PBS. Kids are just as smart and brave and crafty and mischievous as Curious George, and while the disclaimer could read “George is a monkey, and he can do things that you shouldn’t do without asking your parents first,” all of the things he does are in fact doable, but some little kid might get hurt or die doing what George does on your show.

When I was a kid there was a park near my house and it had great things to play with there. My favorite thing to do there was swing as high as I could on the swings and then jump off the swing at its highest point, flying probably ten feet or so from a height of about nine to ten feet in the air. It was pretty thrilling to do, and I never broke my arm or ankle, and I could have, but it was fun. And Curious George has fun too, but PBS, don’t tell kids they shouldn’t be adventurous. That sometimes takes all the fun out of being a kid, and if that’s the case you might as well just call him Dullard George.

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