The opening of the latest Toy Story has people remembering their favorite toy as a child and, judging by this blog post from Bob Mondello with NPR personalities showing their favorite toy, many people have rescued theirs from the ash heap of history.
Try as I might, I can't recall a favorite "toy" as a kid. I'd kill, still, for a good Wiffle Ball game, but that's not something you save. I played a lot of "dice baseball" games and I still have some of those around, but that's only because I played it as an adult, too.
A few years ago, my mother sent this to me:
The problem is I can barely remember playing with it. I must have, though. Its eyes are gone, the music box attached to its belly as if it were a State Fair cow stomach exhibit doesn't work anymore, and it appears to have been squeezed regularly. But it has no particular emotional meaning, as evidence by the fact that it currently is guarding the detrius of the workbench in the garage.
I have a few toys -- besides the closet full of Beanie Babies -- that the kids had when they were small, but they probably have more meaning to me, than them.
Do kids still play with toys? Toys that you can hold, or throw, or shove in the closet at some point until their mother digs it out and sends it to them decades from now? Or will today's kids some day find an old -- probably cracked -- CD, and suppress a tear as they recall their moments snuggling with World of Warcraft?
Let's see Pixar make a movie out of that!(3 Comments)
Posted at 8:05 AM on June 19, 2010
by Bob Collins
Courtesy of MPR interactive guru Julia Schrenkler, here's video of last night's Wits with John Hodgman at the Fitzgerald Theater. More information here.
After about two months, our short attention span starts to wander from most big news stories. But the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is different. Even after all of this time, the images are as compelling as ever, even as more of the coverage begins to dwell on the political recriminations rather than the environmental story that's obvious.
A group of photographers and videographers for TEDx have posted some of their (still) photography along with a narrative that documents the destruction.
And here's the Flickr pool of the National Wildlife Federation's images:
Here's a Flickr slideshow of images relating to last Thursday's weather. Many photographers captured the color of the sky perfectly. As these are pulled directly from Flickr, some of these will not make sense; most will. There's more beauty here than destruction.
Manute Bol, the former NBA basketball player has reportedly died. Despite being among the tallest people in the world, he never became the basketball force his height suggested he might be. And that's OK, because upon his death, we can define him by other yardsticks as the Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger did recently.
The Heat once fined Bol $25,000. He missed two exhibition games, so the fine wasn't out of line, except this: he was in Washington D.C. for Congress-sponsored peace talks between rebel leaders from Sudan.
The team donated the money to Bol's charity, but he was still annoyed, hinting out loud that trying to bring peace to a war-torn country might be a decent excuse for missing a couple preseason games.
You could do worse than that for an anecdote of Bol's place in this world. According to reports, he made nearly $6 million in his career, and, aside from a few American comforts, spent it all trying to save lives and educate children back home. He has given so much and received little in comparison.
He was once lured back to his home country with the promise of a cabinet post, only to find out he would be required to convert to Islam. When he refused, he was stranded for nearly five years. His trust and good intentions have been abused so many times.
Even while playing, he went into war zones to help the Lost Boys and other refugees. Sometimes, those visits were interrupted by bombings from warlords who viewed Bol as a threat.
His family was wiped out by Darfurians, but when that country became victims, Bol was one of the first Sudanese to speak out in support. A Christian, he told his people that extremists were the enemy, not Muslims.
In the Sunday papers, you'll probably find his obituary on the back pages.