By GRACE TSOI
Even innocuous topics have become controversial for Wikipedia editors from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and compounding the issue are language differences.
Man 'Butt Dials' 911 During Drug Deal
By Samantha Grossman
Police dispatchers are no strangers to accidental calls, but these "butt dials" usually reveal little more than muffled, innocuous chatter, broadcast from the pocket of an innocent civilian
Since late March, when Google moved its search operations out of mainland China to Hong Kong, each response to a Chinese citizen’s search request has been met at the border by government computers, programmed to censor any forbidden information Google might turn up.
“Carrot” — in Mandarin, huluobo — may seem innocuous enough. But it contains the same Chinese character as the surname of President Hu Jintao. And the computers, long programmed to intercept Chinese-language searches on the nation’s leaders, substitute an error message for the search result before it can sneak onto a mainland computer.
UK children 'trafficked for sex'
By Paul Deal
Girls are often threatened with violence by men who had befriended them
Children as young as 10 are being moved around the UK to be sexually exploited at parties organised by paedophiles, a charity says.
World Health Organization Raises Swine Flu Alert Level
By DENISE GRADY
On the day that a Mexican toddler became the first person to die of the disease on United States soil, the W.H.O. warned that a “pandemic is imminent.”
我 女儿所在的小学，是当年向垃圾食品宣战的明星大厨吉米•奥利维尔（Jamie Oliver）发动“学校厨房革命”的根据地之一。我曾为此做过一个特别的专题节目。在联系采访时，我提出要拍几张学生就餐的照片供BBC中文网发稿时 用。校长Hunter夫人说，别的她都可以做主，唯独这个要求不能由她拍板，而要由家长说了算。
Note: click on a word meaning below to see its connections and related words.
The noun has one meaning:
Meaning #1: an adult who is sexually attracted to children
--> n.The act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children.
pedophiliac ped'o·phil'i·ac (-ăk) adj. & n.
- Main Entry:
- from Lolita, character in the novel Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov
: a precociously seductive girl
- Having no adverse effect; harmless.
- Not likely to offend or provoke to strong emotion; insipid.
[From Latin innocuus : in-, not; see in-1 + nocuus, harmful (from nocēre, to harm).]innocuously in·noc'u·ous·ly adv.
innocuousness in·noc'u·ous·ness n.
February 3, 2008
You made the Lolita bed, so lie in it
We need to get away from the notion that middle-class parents have nothing to do with the sexualisation of children
Nevertheless, the Lolita Midsleeper Combi, a whitewashed wooden bed with a pull-out desk, suitable from age six, was, until last week, available on the Woolworths website, yours for £395.
Woolworths has since withdrawn the Lolita bed, following a campaign started by an online group for mothers. A spokesman for the company told The Times last Friday: “The staff who run the website had never heard of Lolita and to be honest no one else here had either. We had to look it up on Wikipedia. But we know who she is now.”
This is quite depressing in itself: the baffled staff, scratching their heads, wondering what a Lolita is and needing to look it up. They remind me of someone I knew in the 1980s, grumbling because their Special AKA record didn’t apparently include a “free” Nelson Mandela, whatever a Nelson Mandela might be.
The bed itself is part of a long line of age-inappropriate merchandise for young children: padded bras for girls too small to actually have bosoms, thongs for eight-year-olds, Playboy stationery and bedding, tiny glittery T-shirts saying “Babe” or “Hands Off!” (I once saw a girl of about 11 wearing one saying “Porn Star”).
The inside back page of celebrity gossip magazines such as Heat often features advertisements for downloadable mobile phone wallpaper: a recent issue’s offerings included “Instant slut – just add alcohol”, “U + Me = Sex” and “Slapper”. Put it this way – I doubt they’re being downloaded and proudly displayed by women in their thirties. Or twenties. Or late teens.
Eighteen months ago, Tesco removed a pole-dancing kit from the toys and games section of its website, and so it goes on.
A new item of this kind springs up for every one there has been an outcry over and frankly it’s no wonder, since even dolls for five-year-olds look like prostitutes. This in turns leads to five-year-olds, who love their dollies, thinking it’s a very good look and equating attractiveness with the crassest, most obvious kind of sexiness and – recipe for future unhappiness, this – physically impossible features, such as micro-noses and eyes as big as your hand.
Barbie, whose real-life statistics, someone once worked out, would be 39-18-33, looks old-fashioned in comparison – plus, maligned as she was, she actually did stuff: she could be, among other things, Astronaut Barbie or Doctor Barbie, and she has come in different skin tones since 1968.
As usual, it is easy to blame all this child-sexualising stuff on manufacturers, but they wouldn’t make it if people didn’t buy it. And buy it they do, by the shedload, from the relatively innocuous – miniature make-up and nail polish for toddlers (I am under constant pressure to buy these and don’t quite know what to make of them: I basically disapprove, but am hard pushed to see how pretend make-up differs from the homemade alternative, face-paint make-up) – via the dubious – baby T-shirts saying “Future Boy Magnet” – to the downright creepy likes of the pole-dancing kit.
We may not like the idea as parents, but we are all complicit to an extent, unless we force our children to play with peg dolls and brown paper and to dress up only as trade unionists or Beatrice Webb.
Even the proliferation of pink – pink room, pink bed, pink clothes and shoes and hairclips and coats – is arguably instilling the notion that there’s only one way to be feminine. We still do it, though, or at least I do (says the woman who has spent the morning trying to find instructions on how best to make a Cinderella birthday cake. Maybe I’ll atone for my pink sins and make a Germaine Greer one instead. Except then I’ll have 24 crying four-year-olds).
On the same day as reports of the Lolita bed hit the headlines, so did the news that 89% of parents, according to a survey of 1,000 families, preferred playing their children pop music than singing to them. The consequence is that nursery rhymes are on the way out: more than 80% of parents questioned thought they knew the second line of Incy Wincy Spider, but a quarter of them could not recite it correctly; 20% could not sing Baa Baa Black Sheep or Humpty Dumpty.
Apparently this may be a direct consequence of the X Factor culture, whereby adults are so afraid of criticism (what, from a two-year-old?) that they dare not sing to their children.
I think that if we’re ever going to knock this problem on the head, we need to get away from the widely held notion that nice middle-class parents have nothing to do with the sexualisation of children, and that it’s only people who don’t know any better who encourage their offspring into terrifying precocity.
The truth is, we all do it, whether it’s by encouraging a devotion to make-up, or buying our daughters clothes that make us feel uneasy, or not asking to see the contents of the computer game, or thinking it’s funny that a 12-year-old boy reads magazines whose mainstay is topless women who are gagging for it.
When I was a child I had friends whose parents wouldn’t allow them to read Enid Blyton, or to play with Barbies or toy guns. I felt very sorry for them because they would come round and fall slavering onto any of these thrilling forbidden goods, but I am forced to admit, decades later, that it didn’t do them any harm and possibly quite a lot of good: they spent their time doing rather more interesting stuff, such as music or (how I used to snigger) nature walks.
So while I hesitate to urge an outright banning of anything dubious, and while I weary of parents who are constantly decrying the demise of conkers and “making your own fun”, I do think that you can’t complain about the Lolita bed if your child owns more than one piece of inappropriate clothing (which you’ve probably bought because, tragically, you’re more interested in being her “friend” than her mother). It’s our fault, too.
Pronunciation: /iˈnäkyo͞oəs/Translate innocuous | into German | into Italian | into Spanish