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Updated: 11/26/02

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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002

She's just bad to the bone. And Barbie needs to be stopped. At least in Russia. (Via Tim Blair).

The Russian Ministry of Education has included Barbie along with a list of other toys and games, such as Pokémon, that face a ban because of the supposedly harmful effects they have on the minds of young children. Barbie, in particular, is under fire because the doll is thought to awaken sexual impulses in the minds of the very young, and encourage consumerism among Russian infants.

The move will be seen as part of the Kremlin's attempts to control the sense of identity of young Russians. Russian President Vladimir Putin is keen to foster ideals of family and patriotism alongside the belief that Russia was, and can be again, a great imperial power.

[Sociologist and children's psychologist Natalia] Grishayeva said Barbie could spoil early development in a child and may be foisting Western paranoia about slim figures on Russian females at an early age. 'The doll creates a particular idea about body image,' she added. 'Young children try to correspond and dreaming of growing up to be two metres tall, with slim hips, and huge breasts. My advice to Barbie producers would be to offer lots of different body types.'

The government answer to Barbie, Ken, and their assorted paraphernalia, has been Natasha and Dima. Boris Bukharov, Deputy Director of Science at the Moscow Institute of Toys, said: 'They were recently put into production, along with a daughter, a friend and a complete set of furniture.' He admitted: 'Our dolls still suffer from a lack of glamour and diversity.'

Wait, wait, so Natasha and Dima still aren't glamorous even with the daughter, the friend AND the complete set of furniture? Who would have thunk it?

Here's an interesting article in The Guardian:

Surgeons are preparing to carry out the first full-face transplants for patients who are seriously disfigured.

A team of clinicians is being assembled by experts at the Royal Free Hospital in north London, who claim that new microsurgical techniques have made it technically possible to graft a new face on to another person.

The prospect of facial transplantation, in which a patient would undergo at least 10 hours of surgery to receive new skin, bone, lips, chin, ears and nose from a donor, may seem more akin to a science fiction plot. In the film Face/Off, John Travolta, playing a special agent, and Nicolas Cage, a master criminal swap faces using laser technology. The plot revolves around their new identities.

Eight different blood vessels, four arteries and four veins, which provide the blood supply to the face, would have to be removed, or harvested, from the donor.

A separate team of surgeons would remove, or 'de-glove', the face, facial muscles, skin and subcutaneous fat from the recipient.

Once they had the new face, they would begin to attach the nerves that control movement and feeling in the face. Without successful nerve regeneration, transplantation would be useless. The blood vessels would also be connected to the recipient's vessels, with tiny, microscopic stitches.

Now, I'm sure that some people will find a reason to be outraged and up-in-arms about this, but so what. Only those with disfigured faces should be allowed to weigh in on this issue, in my humble opinion.

But here's the weird part: imagine that you are the person having your face replaced. Unlike plastic surgery, the only part of you that's left is your bone structure, and even that may have had to be altered to make sure it's a fit. You wake up after surgery and look in the mirror - whoa. I mean, maybe it's like a new haircut - it just takes some time to get used to, but man, that's gotta be strange. Peter Butler, a plastic surgeon adds:

'With the face, it would be a very select group of people who would be eligible for this: those who have suffered severe facial deformities from burns, cancer patients who have had facial surgery, or people who have been disfigured in accidents could benefit.

Say . . . I bet Michael Jackson will be the first on the sign-up list for this. Maybe he can get Liza Minelli to donate her face.

And speaking of The Gloved One, his ex-wife, Lisa Marie presley has just split from her latest husband, Nicholas Cage. He filed for divorce yesterday, just three months after their double-secret probabtion wedding in Hawaii, citing those dreaded irreconcilable differences.

Responding to the divorce filing, Lisa issued a statement to ET through her spokesperson saying, "I'm sad about this but we shouldn't have been married in the first place. It was a big mistake."

[Gee, she did so well with her last choice.]

OK, this is pretty darn funny. And a bit scary since this is what the militant Islamofacists really want from us. Be sure to read all the way to the end.

["But if we only try harder to understand them . . ."]

And just in case this isn't clear yet, the deputy governor of a largely Islamic state in northern Nigeria has called on Muslims to kill the Nigerian woman who wrote the newspaper article about the Miss World beauty pageant that sparked deadly religious riots.

While state officials in Nigeria cannot issue fatwas, the deputy governor, "like all Muslims," considers the death sentence against Daniel as "a reality based on the teachings of the Quran," Zamfara state Information Commissioner Tukur Umar Dangaladima said Tuesday.

Islam's holy book "states that whoever accuses or insults any prophet of Allah ... should be killed," Dangaladima told The Associated Press. "If she (Daniel) is Muslim, she has no option except to die. But if she is a non-Muslim, the only way out for her is to convert to Islam."

[And THEN she can die.]

~ ~ ~

Quote du jour:

"If Woody Allen were a Muslim, he'd be dead by now."

-- Salman Rushdie (1947 - ____) Indian-English novelist

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