Posts tagged “kids”

Learning from kids interviewing bands

Kids Interview Bands is a series of videos of, obviously, kids interviewing bands. I propose these videos as a lightweight teaching tool for interviewing as it’s curious to see what goes well and what doesn’t.

The different kid interviewers are coming with a set of stock questions which they ask one after another, with practically no followup. So they never become an actual conversation and the amount of insightful revelation is low. But the kids are real, as little kids, and many of the band members respond to them in a real way.

I first came across this interview with Tom Araya of Slayer as an overall bad example, but I found it incredibly charming.

These people have very little in common, and perhaps limited skills in overcoming that gulf, but Araya never talks down to them, he never plays up his persona, he just does his best to connect with them, never forgetting they are children.

In a slightly different vein, I also liked this interview with Pustulus Maximus of GWAR who absolutely stays within the bounds of his horrific persona, but is kind and entertaining with the kids. He manages to work within his character and the context of the interview, and even though he plays a sort of monster, he doesn’t act like one.

In some ways, the limitations of these interviewers (they are just kids!) highlights other aspects that can contribute to a good interview – participants that take on some of the labor of establishing rapport and making that connection with the other person. And even if the kids don’t ask good follow-up questions (or any), their naturalness serves as an invitation to the musicians to meet them in that state.

ChittahChattah Quickies

You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy

As a followup to yesterday’s KISS post a reader emailed me to suggest some makeup brands that KISS shouldn’t endorse. Of course, the band did do their own makeup product, back in 1978.

It’s not until you look back to their heyday that you really realize how far the brand has collapsed. While it’s still a goofy commercialization of a rock band, the KISS Your Face Makeup Kit enables us to imitate the band’s look, while the ad also shows kids miming to KISS songs with tennis rackets. The ad and the product tell a story that is authentic to how people were experiencing the brand. Skip to 2009 and you have to ask just what relevance (or resonance) does KISS as M&Ms have?

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Steve Portigal (center) and friends miming to KISS songs with badminton rackets, Burlington, ON, 1978 (without the use of KISS Your Face Makeup Kit)

The Tat That Brings Kids Back!

Safety Tat is a product based on the parental practice of writing a phone number inside a diaper or on a backpack.

It can happen anywhere-at an amusement park, zoo, school field trip, or even your local shopping mall. Your attention shifts for a moment, and suddenly your child or loved one has wandered out of sight.

So put the odds in your favor for a safe return, with SafetyTat. Designed by a graphics professional and Mom of three kids, SafetyTat is a fun and colorful kids temporary safety tattoo that’s uniquely personalized with your cell phone number.

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See also Forehead Advertising.

Thanks, CPT!

Cottonelle dumps



Spotted on BoingBoing is this special toilet paper just for kids. It’s printed with a puppy paw path that spans five sheets (and then begins again). It’s portion control for toilet paper, presumably there is a need to have kids learn how much to use? I’m a bit confused as to the actual need, and how this solves it. Wouldn’t the amount needed depend on what is being wiped? And who is being wiped?

I’d guess you’d want to teach kids to wipe until they are done – to pay attention to the bodily and other cues (visual?) to ensure that the hygiene need has been handled. Making it such an inflexible system doesn’t teach anyone anything!

And if you use a different amount than five sheets, ever, then the system breaks until you sync up back to sheet zero with the happy puppy. A training system that is intolerant of (highly likely) user error is not a good training system.

You must always use five and only five sheets. Regardless of what’s going on with your po-po! Cottonelle has forgotten that they work for us, not the other way around.

And their site includes this lovely FAQ (which is such as misnomer, since these are not likely to be frequently-asked-questions, but rather info they wish to convey) that suggests some product problems besides the obvious usability failures.


Why is my toilet paper printed on the inside? How do I fix this?

The good news is that this is an easy fix. The toilet paper isn’t actually printed on the inside. What’s happened is that the two plies have become separated, and the inside ply is wrapped around the outside of your roll (you’ll probably also notice that the perforations on the two plies don’t line up). To fix, first make sure your toilet paper is positioned so that it unrolls from the spindle with the sheets coming over the top. Next, steady the roll so it does not move in the spindle. Take the top ply (make sure you are only handling one ply) and unwrap it behind the roll. The print should now appear on the outside, as intended, and the bottom ply should now be longer that the top ply. Tear off the excess bottom plies (approximately 3) and you are ready to go.

and When I tear the toilet paper, the perforations on the two plies do not line up? How do I fix this? which offers the identical answer.

Now we’re taking on toilet paper maintenance tasks? Who the hell wants to fix their toilet paper? This is way too much work and this company hasn’t a clue about addressing real people’s needs.

Baby and toddler education technology – is it bunk?

The New York Times does a great cover story about all the technology products that make strong and unsubstantiated claims about how much smarter they’ll make your baby.

New media products for babies, toddlers and preschoolers began flooding the market in the late 1990’s, starting with video series like “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby.” But now, the young children’s market has exploded into a host of new and more elaborate electronics for pre-schoolers, including video game consoles like the V.Smile and handheld game systems like the Leapster, all marketed as educational.

Despite the commercial success, though, a report released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, “A Teacher in the Living Room? Educational Media for Babies, Toddlers and Pre-schoolers,” indicates there is little understanding of how the new media affect young children – and almost no research to support the idea that they are educational.

“The market is expanding rapidly, with all kinds of brand-new product lines for little kids,” said Vicky Rideout, vice president of the Kaiser Foundation. “But the research hasn’t advanced much. There really isn’t any outcomes-based research on these kinds of products and their effects on young children, and there doesn’t seem to be any theoretical basis for saying that kids under 2 can learn from media.

In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended no screen time at all for babies under 2, out of concern that the increasing use of media might displace human interaction and impede the crucially important brain growth and development of a baby’s first two years. But it is a recommendation that parents routinely ignore. According to Kaiser, babies 6 months to 3 years old spend, on average, an hour a day watching TV and 47 minutes a day on other screen media, like videos, computers and video games.

Others have less restrained marketing: The “Brainy Baby – Left Brain” package has a cover featuring a cartoon baby with a thought balloon saying, “2 + 2 = 4” and promises that it will inspire logical thinking and “teach your child about language and logic, patterns and sequencing, analyzing details and more.”

“There’s nothing that shows it helps, but there’s nothing that shows it’s does harm, either,” said Marcia Grimsley, senior producer of “Brainy Baby” videos.

Incredulous italics mine, of course.

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