January 19, 2019

Enough with the Parties, Already!

“Earlier this week, news outlets published the results of a public-records investigation into what caused a massive wildfire in Arizona’s Santa Rita foothills last year. The video footage procured by Arizona Daily Star reporters confirms what those who’d been following the case feared: The blaze began with a giant eruption of blue powder.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent and then-expecting father was attempting to create a spectacle out of the revelation of his baby-to-be’s gender, so he shot a rifle into a target filled with an explosive combination of oxidizers and fuel. As one journalist put it, the plan “was doomed from the start”: The area had been experiencing less-than-average rainfall and unusually high winds. Upon exploding into a plume of cerulean-colored smoke—it was a boy!— the target set off a blaze that ravaged the surrounding mesquite trees and yellow grassland. The man’s gender-reveal party ended up burning 47,000 acres of parched state land, and cost $8.2 million to extinguish.

While this man and other parents-to-be have approached lethal extremes in pursuit of a legendary gender reveal for their unborn baby (see also: the Louisiana couple who recruited a 10-foot alligator named Sally to help them divulge the surprise), most participants in the gender-reveal trend have more manageable celebrations. Take the 20-year-old Juliann Mladineo. Just a few months into her first pregnancy, Mladineo was convinced she was having a girl. She and her 21-year-old boyfriend had initially decided to hold off on learning the baby’s sex until birth, and the mystery made the already special pregnancy process “extremely exciting,” Mladineo says.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"