No. 402: "Child Dish"

No. 402: "Child Dish"

No. 402: "Child Dish"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
March 21 2000 3:00 AM

No. 402: "Child Dish"

Fill in the blank as Dr. Steven Hyman of the National Institute of Mental Health underscores a new White House policy: "As a rule of thumb, doctors, psychologists and social workers should attempt to modify the behavior of a child and deal with family crises before ______________."

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Send your answer by noon ET Tuesday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Thursday's Question (No. 401)—"Dawn Monkey":

Speaking for his colleagues at Northern Illinois University, Dr. Daniel Gebo announced the discovery of something they call "dawn monkey." Why is this important?

"You can dress it up with a fancy-shmancy name, but cold fusion still won't work."—Michael Manella (Ellis Weiner had similar answer.)

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"And God said let there be dawn and, lo, there was monkey and that's what they'll be teaching in schools all over Kansas tomorrow."—Alfa-Betty Olsen (similarly, Peter Lerangis)

"There's finally a scientific term for 'guy who looked just like Johnathon Schaech in the bar last night, four hours later.' "—Jennifer Weiner

"Important because they were already in trouble for their comments about people who ride the No. 7 train."—Cliff Schoenberg (similarly, Beth Sherman)

"I don't know, but can we get one, please Dad, huh? Can we can we can we?"—Sophie Pollitt-Cohen

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Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

My life in show business: another monkey moment. When I worked at the Letterman show, I used a plucky but inadequate spider monkey in the initial experiments for Monkey Cam: He was just too small to tote the bulky cameras of the day. (Back then, we lacked the technological sophistication that now lets some curvy and financially savvy co-ed install a dozen tiny cameras in her dorm room, hook them up to the Internet, and earn her college tuition every time she showers.) And so, reluctantly, I went with a chimp, Zippy. (They're all named Zippy; I believe it's a Guild thing.) I was reluctant—not because of any lack of skill on Zippy's part, but because chimps are so old show business, the Catskill comics of the higher primates, while monkeys are modern science, particularly when they wear those cigarette-smoking facemasks. Confounding my prejudices, Zippy did a great job under some rough conditions—the batteries in his little backpack caught fire; Dr. Ruth was a guest on the show. Later, when I stopped by his dressing room to thank him, he looked me up and down and then he shook my hand. His trainer said he doesn't shake everyone's hand, only people he likes. I was astonished how good I felt to have that chimp's approval: He looked so smart, so knowing. Henry Mancini's handshake, same way.

Nocturnal, Solitary, and Occasionally Eaten by Owls Answer

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Eosimias—"dawn monkey"—is the earliest known relative of the primate lineage that led to monkeys, apes, and humans. And, on a personal note, it is the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life.

The discovery of dawn monkey's tiny li'l fossil remains—hardly bigger than your thumb—enabled the team of paleontologists (mostly normal height, apparently, and not all that cute) to fix the time and place of the fateful evolutionary branching when lower primates (prosimians) went their separate way, developing into today's lemurs, lorises, and bush babies, while the diverging higher primates (anthropoids) evolved into creatures including Texas Gov. G.W. Bush (entirely uncute; it's the sneer).

The earliest primates of any kind appeared in Asia about 55 million years ago. Eosimias lived about 45 million years ago in what is now China. Humans emerged in Africa about 100,000 years ago. I moved to my current apartment in 1992.

Eosimias is half the size (i.e., twice the cuteness) of the tiniest living primate, the 1-ounce mouse lemur of Madagascar. And let me just add that dawn monkey had ankle bones the size of a grain of rice. Awwwww.

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Charlie Glassenberg's Sweet 16 Extra

Disregarding seeds and players, one can easily pick the winners in the next round of the NCAA basketball tournament by comparing mascots, my trademarked MascotMatcher method. Basic rules include: the supremacy of the supernatural (devils, demons), judging teams named after groups (volunteers, cowboys) by their moral virtues, and the utter weakness of all birds (cardinals especially).

West:

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Louisiana State University Tigers: Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' badgers! LSU.

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs: The bulldog is a tough little pup, but it can't stand up to a good stiff drink. Purdue.

Midwest:

Michigan State Spartans vs. Syracuse Orangemen: The naked warriors of the Peloponnesus will rout the jaundiced boys from Syracuse. Michigan State.

Iowa State Cyclones vs. UCLA Bruins: The bruins will head for the storm cellar, but they ain't in Kansas anymore. Iowa State.

East:

Duke Blue Devils vs. Florida Gators: You don't have to play any records backward to see what the devil will happen here. Duke.

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Seton Hall Pirates: Aye, maties, 'tis the end of the line for ye here. Yee-haa! Oklahoma State.

South:

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Tennessee Volunteers: The upstanding volunteers should make quick work of the sticky footed mob from Carolina. Tennessee.

Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Plural always beats singular. Miami.

Common Denominator

Early risers.