The Makery Pops Up in Brooklyn

John Des Roches
Kids and adults can stop by The Makery to learn to use technology like the 3D printer shown above
Mario, the action figure, sits atop a paper rocket while a group of kids eagerly wait to blast him off. A loud pop fills the room and the rocket, along with Mario, shoots from a launcher, soaring high towards the ceiling and skimming the bottom of a light fixture.

One boy, the owner of both Mario and the red and green decorated rocket, leads the pack of running and screaming kids across the room as they check to see if Mario's OK.

"Mario made it," shouts the boy to the rest of the group; everyone cheers.

While this all might seem like an afternoon adventure a la The Goonies, it's actually part of a programming series put on by The Makery.

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Parents Now Pushing Unneeded Surgeries on Obese Kids

We're guessing that Dr. Ben Spock wouldn't suggest this...

The New York Times reports that parents of obese kids are increasingly treating gallbladder ailments by having their children undergo invasive operations to remove the organ.

Here's the thing: Most of the time, the kids don't need surgery -- their problems could be corrected with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

Obesity now causes most gallbladder disease in minors -- and some four times as many are being removed as in 1990.

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John Liu: Rats, Broken Equipment, Still a Problem at Some NYC Playgrounds

Looks like some City playgrounds aren't all that child-safe.

An audit released by City Comptroller John Liu's office claims that the Parks Department was slow to fix dangerous conditions in some playgrounds -- and might have missed regular inspections.

Liu, who's still dealing with the fallout from the arrest of his campaign treasurer, said that the agency would sometimes neglect to fix nasty problems -- such as rusted and broken equipment -- even after they were "flagged for repair."

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Street Kids: Groups Want to Make NYC Roads Child Safe

Remember, back in the day, when you used to go outside and scamper around the streets of New York with all the other rosy-cheeked neighborhood kids, playing stickball and tag and hopscotch as the summer sun sank gently into the horizon?

No? Well, not to worry, Runnin' Scared doesn't either -- and we can't really imagine New York being the kind of place where youngins would want to play outside, considering that NYC traffic puts speed over pedestrian safety. (It's even worse if you're a child from a lower-income household: Studies show that vehicle crashes disproportionately affect youth from poor areas.)

But a coalition of New Yorkers wants to change this.

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Little Girl Acts Like a Modern Woman to Make a Mockery of All of Us

In a video that will be oddly reminiscent of all of our lives (except we don't drive, and we rarely threaten to sue -- only if we're really, really angry), here is a little girl living the life of a modern woman: Wake up, dress, go to work, work (mediocre typing included), go home, eat dinner (and wine), and do it all over again. Yep, sounds about right. Except she does it cuter than we do.

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Illicit Tebowing Results in Suspension for Long Island High Schoolers

tumblr_lw9spzZE6I1r5ubj1o1_500.jpg (of course).
From planking to owling to horsemaning to Batmaning to whatever other stupid craze people are doing while, more often than not, getting their pictures taken and posting them online, enter Tebowing. What is Tebowing? Do you even have to ask?

What is Tebowing?
(vb) to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.

Groundbreaking! Conceptual! Dangerous.

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Corduroy Appreciation Club Seeks NYC Child Turning 11 on November 11, as Their 'Messiah'

Things you may not have known: There is a Corduroy Appreciation Club. It was founded by a man named Miles Rohan, with the purpose of (obviously) appreciating corduroy, an underappreciated fabric, to be true. (Our last discussion of the material involved spurious claims and took place in a college dorm, in fact.) The Corduroy Appreciation Club finds itself approaching a very important date, as they write on their website, "The Most Important Date In History: 111111" -- also known as, "The date which most closely resembles Corduroy, EVER."

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SAT Cheaters Did Not Dream Big

When the investigation into an SAT cheating ring led to the arrests of a bunch of Long Island high schoolers (and one college student, the test taker, Sam Eshaghoff, who was at Emory before all this happened), we were, perhaps wrongfully, somewhat enamored of the idea of an SAT cheating ring. After all, standardized tests only do so much in showing off one's talents, and we thought, organizing a cheating ring is almost akin to an extracurricular activity, requiring leadership and skills, no? Also, it's such a good movie! But alas. The kids in the cheating ring had lowly goals, apparently. The New York Post reports that two of the four Great Neck North High School students caught only wanted to go to Arizona State and the University of Boulder!

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Cage-Fighting Event for 8-Year-Olds Is O.K. With the Law, Say Police

It's hard to imagine that this would happen in the U.S., land of helicopter parenting, staunch litigiousness, and swiftly delivered Internet justice, but Europe is different. After 8-year-old kids were involved in a cage-fighting match (a sold-out event watched by 250 people, some of whom videotaped it), British police launched an investigation into the September 10 child-on-child fight at the Greenlands Labour Club in Preston, northwest England. While people are outraged, police have determined that organizers will not face any legal action because, in part, the club has a license to hold events.

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Forced Exercise Helps Teens Quit Smoking, Study Says

Taylor Momsen, teen smoker.
There is a new quitting-smoking study coming out in October, and this one focuses on teenagers at the beginning of their illustrious smoking careers. The study shows that a smoking cessation program in combination with exercise is the most successful way to get teenagers to stop smoking entirely, compared with a "brief intervention" (a 15-minute stop-smoking lecture that could only have elicited eye-rolls) and an old-fashioned smoking cessation program. The researchers think they've pinpointed the reason: More »