Dear Abby: My Man Has 6 Kids by 6 Women

The advice columnist Gay Best Friend received this amazing letter recently: I have been seeing a man from Nigeria off and on for about 15 months. I am seven months pregnant by him. I have been pregnant once before by him, but I had a miscarriage early on. He was mad the first time I had gotten pregnant and told me all kinds of horrible things on the phone. Then when I miscarried he was back up in it two weeks later, raw. He told me that he had a vasectomy after the first time I got pregnant and ... (read more)

I Fill Random Target Employees with Rage

The seven-week break I took on Workbench, which just ended 11 words ago, is the longest since I began my personal blog in 1999. I'm doing some work in social media these days and thinking about launching a new company to commercialize software I've been developing for my own use the past six years. I also am deep into the manuscript for a new edition of Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 24 Hours. My absence did not make Target employees fonder, as a recent comment to my five-year-old tale of shopping ... (read more)

Professor Wants to Raise His Own Clone

In a draft of his upcoming book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, the economist Bryan Caplan mentions that he'd like to clone and raise himself: I confess that I take anti-cloning arguments personally. Not only do they insult the identical twin sons I already have; they insult a son I hope I live to meet. Yes, I wish to clone myself and raise the baby as my son. Seriously. I want to experience the sublime bond I'm sure we'd share. I'm confident that he'd be delighted, too, because I would love ... (read more)

Parenthood: So Heart-Warming It Hurts

I posted a review on Mister Television of NBC's new drama Parenthood: The Parenthood pilot on NBC was the most exhausting television I've endured this season. The show begins with Peter Krause jogging down a Berkeley, Calif., street. The jog has left him wheezing for air, in spite of the fact that Krause is physically fit and doesn't appear to have an ounce of fat on him. (I make this observation in an entirely heterosexual way.) He's sitting on his taut buttocks (OK, that was a little gay) ... (read more)

IMDB Strikes Crude with 'Year One' Content Advisory

The movie reference site IMDb has a parents guide feature that's useful when determining whether a movie contains sexual content that would be inappropriate for your children. (Like most Americans I'm much more comfortable exposing the younguns to movies that contain bloodshed than any film that makes even the slightest reference to sex. I blame my Catholic upbringing and spaghetti Westerns.) The feature is edited by users in the manner of Wikipedia and does not get editorial oversight from ... (read more)

The Tale of the Naked Neighbor

Occasionally, my kids surprise me with something that I didn't know about them. I've worked out of my house for their entire lives, aside from 90 days as a university webmaster I'll never get back. Spending so much time under my watchful eye, my children ought to find it impossible to acquire even a scintilla of independent life experience. But sometimes kids develop lives of their own, as I was reminded recently when telling my mother about the first time I saw a nude woman. This is my first ... (read more)

Adam Rogers Failed His Wisdom Check

I've read a lot of tributes to Gary Gygax, the late Dungeons & Dragons cocreator who inspired me to spend my teen years with 20-sided dice, graph paper and painted metal half-orc prestidigitators. Although I mock myself as a former dungeon master -- and not the cool kind -- I disliked Wired editor Adam Rogers' tribute to Gygax in today's New York Times. Decades after his own adolescence, Rogers still feels defensive about playing D&D: Even in the heyday of Dungeons & Dragons, when his company ... (read more)

Down Syndrome Parents Wrestle with Extinction

There's an interesting hot-button issue on the Drudge Retort this morning: Parents of children with Down syndrome are concerned about a new trend some liken to eugenics -- 9-in-10 prospective parents, equipped with safe tests that detect the condition in the womb, choose to abort rather than raise such a child. "We want people who make this decision to know our kids," said Lucy Talbot, the president of a support group. "We want them to talk to us." From what I've learned through limited ... (read more)

The Seminal Moment at the Academy Awards

I watched the Oscars last night even though I haven't seen a single film for which an actor, director or screenwriter was nominated. I have to go all the way down the list to "best achievement in makeup" before reaching a winner that I've seen, the Chronicles of Narnia. I had the same experience with musicians at the Grammys and TV actors at the Emmys. At some point raising young kids and working obsessively have robbed me of all pop culture that isn't aimed at children. I was more excited ... (read more)

Wikipedia's a Sticky Wicket

The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article on Wikipedia are disputed. The Los Angeles Times gave up its wikitorial experiment after three days. Someone got their goat by adding one of the web's most infamous gross-out photos to the site. Jeff Jarvis defends the honor of wikis, blaming the Times: They didn't get that wikis are a collaborative medium where, even when people disagree, they try to find common ground, knowing there can be only one outcome, or else the wiki will, by its ... (read more)