- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2003

SuperHef?

“Could Playboy founder Hugh Hefner be the next superhero to save the world?

“The pajama-clad magazine magnate is teaming up with comic book legend Stan Lee to create an adult-themed animated series called ‘Hef’s Superbunnies’ that can be described as a cross between ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘The Superfriends.’

“It stars Hef as himself leading a team of super-powered Playboy bunnies out to rid the world of evil-doers.

“‘Unlike Charlie [in “Charlies Angels”], I’m seen and I have a daytime job with running a magazine and dealing with the bunnies etc.,’ Hefner [said] of his character on the show. ‘But at night or when called, the bunnies and I are crime-fighters.’ …

“The animated show will also give Hef a chance to bring back his pipe, which was something of a signature accessory of his until he quit smoking years ago.”

Don Kaplan, writing on “It’s Playboyman,” Tuesday in the New York Post

Frieswiththat.com

“A decade ago, pundits were declaring that the future held two kinds of jobs: computer programming and hamburger flipping — or, in the highfalutin language of Robert Reich, those held by ‘symbolic analysts’ and ‘in-person service providers.’ …

“Five years later, that pessimistic conclusion had taken on a wildly optimistic tone. … Matter and manufacturing were passe. On the Internet, nobody knew you were a dog or a teenager, or a guy who hadn’t changed his clothes in several days. Symbolic analysts were indeed the future.

“In today’s economic slowdown, it has become clear that both the early-‘90s pessimists and the late-‘90s boosters misunderstood the true source of economic value. Manufacturing and technology generate wealth only when they make matter and information serve human desire. Desire is the true source of economic value. …

“These days, dotcommers are searching for new jobs, but the entrepreneurial kids from shop class and cosmetology school are doing all right.”

Virginia Postrel, writing on “The Aesthetic Imperative,” in the July issue of Wired

‘Dick and Jane’ and Tom

For years I’ve been warning parents how easy it is for a child to become learning disabled or dyslexic by the faulty teaching methods used in most American public schools. …

“And so I was very much interested in what Tom Cruise had to say about his lifelong struggle with dyslexia in the July 21 issue of People magazine. He writes that when he was 7 years old, he was labeled dyslexic. … [T]he primary schools he attended used the look-say, whole-word or sight method of teaching reading — known as the Dick and Jane method — which creates reading disability and dyslexia.

“That this method of teaching creates learning problems was known as early as 1929. …

“[T]he Dick and Jane program was adopted by virtually every primary school in America, with the result that we’ve had a precipitous decline of literacy in America and an explosion of learning disabilities and dyslexia.

“Tom Cruise describes what it was like to be dyslexic: ‘I’d try to concentrate on what I was reading, then I’d get to the end of the page and have very little memory of anything I’d read. I would go blank, feel anxious, nervous, bored, frustrated, dumb. I would get angry.’ …

“This is what millions of children go through in American schools. …

“Why does the look-say method cause dyslexia? Because it requires children to memorize the printed word by their whole configurations. … [I]t becomes a conditioned reflex, which prevents the student from seeing the phonetic structure of our alphabetically written words. In short, dyslexia can be defined as the inability to see the phonetic structure of the printed word.”

—Samuel Blumenfeld, writing on “Tom Cruise victimized by ‘Dick and Jane’?” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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