Go Ask Daddy About Heroic Leaps, Basketball’s Birdman and Cosmetic Toxins


Behold, the selfie.

It’s the flagship of a generation. The first generation, in fact, to spend its camera time pointed at the taker, and not the scenery. Just as the cassette tape is foreign to them, so too is the notion that I must snap shots of my mug at close intervals.

Emily of the Just Being Emily blog researched the selfie’s origins. She discovered that Robert Cornelius of the 1800s was a selfie trailblazer.

My girls have absconded with my iPhone for a flurry of selfies. So a week ago here on the CD, I opened the floor to a kid selfie contest like no other.

The contestants are in. They appear at the end of this post. Vote for your favorite. The winner will get a yet-to-be-determined prize pack of unimaginable riches.

The kids had superheroes, regeneration and tattoos on their mind. And no, we’re not talking about a tatted superhero who can grow back limbs, either.

photo credit: Xenomurphy via photopin cc
photo credit: Xenomurphy via photopin cc

1. Why do superheroes always land the same way when they jump?

That catlike pounce on their haunches, hands at the ready to take on a mortal enemy?

It’s so they can kick ass, of course. What’s of greater concern to me is the physics of catching a damsel in distress as she falls to her certain death. As Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory points out:

“Lois Lane is falling, accelerating at an initial rate of 32 feet per second per second. Superman swoops down to save her by reaching out two arms of steel. Miss Lane, who is now traveling at approximately 120 mph, hits them, and is immediately sliced into three equal pieces.”

Physics has no place in comic books, then. A damsel thrice sliced is no damsel at all.

That superhero landing, though? Makes for cool posters.

photo credit: Martin LaBar via photopin cc
photo credit: Martin LaBar via photopin cc

2. Regeneration doesn’t happen in humans, does it?

For Lois Lane’s sake, I hope so.

Humans don’t grow back anything. Except for hair, the occasional tonsil or sometimes even a backbone, in a figurative sense. There’s a story of a Cincinnati hobby-store owner who grew back the tip of a finger to the amazement of science and medicine.

Extracellular matrix is a powder extracted from a pig’s bladder. It helps to heal horses’ ligaments and treat ulcers in humans. It’s collagen, the main structural protein in connective tissue.

A fetus can also regenerate almost anything, even toes.

So you’re in luck, Superman. For unborn babies, at least.

3. Who’s that guy in the NBA with all the tattoos?

A Tumblr page on the subject says the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons have the highest ink rate among NBA franchises, at 80%. Your Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) rank last at 29%.

A former Nuggets player, Chris Andersen, is like no other among the inked up ballers.

The Birdman, as fans know him, inspired Tat Sleeve night at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Imagine little kids with faux-hawks and arms loaded with pretend ink. He’s a canvas, and he’s also a force on the court, racking up a plus 28 plus/minus with the Miami Heat.

This means his team is 28 points better than its opponents when he’s on the floor. When he’s not on the floor? He’s a canvas. He’s a lesson in perseverance for a guy on the verge of an NBA championship ring.

His road took him from the D-league to league stardom to a drug suspension to a key role on a title contender.

4. Who was Benedict Arnold?

photo credit: Marion Doss via photopin cc
photo credit: Marion Doss via photopin cc

He’s the player to be named later in one of Birdman’s trades.

His story goes a little like Birdman’s. He was a hero of the American Revolutionary War. We found these noteworthy accomplishments on the back of his bubble-gum card:

  • Helped the U.S. capture a British garrison at Fort Ticonderoga in 1775
  • Played a key role in thwarting a British invasion of New York at the Battle of Lake Champlain in 1776
  • Helped force British General John Burgoyne’s army to surrender at Saratoga in 1777

Quite a three-year run. But the U.S. didn’t reward him with a new contract, so he signed with Great Britain. And became the poster boy for traitors for all prosperity.

At least he didn’t announce it on ESPN like one of Chris Andersen’s Heat teammates did.

photo credit: Lelê Breveglieri via photopin cc
photo credit: Lelê Breveglieri via photopin cc

5. Nail polish is toxic, right?

It’s rumored the American army tried to slip some into Benedict Arnold’s spot of tea, but it didn’t work.

Nail polish is an easy way to gain a new look, and is far less permanent than, say, neck tattoos. Your nails are porous, like your skin, and subject to toxins. Let’s make sure that massive box of polish you tote around doesn’t have these three ingredients:


It can affect your central nervous system. Bold fuchsia nails ain’t worth that.

Dibutyl phthalate

It’s banned in Europe, but not in America. It’s known for reproductive toxicity.


Low-level exposure might just bother your eyes or respiratory tract. High-level exposure can lead to chemical burns.

Geez, should we end on such a downer? I feel like Dr. Oz telling everyone not to eat donuts and potato chips.

You’ve come here on a Friday for fun and frivolity, not frump and frowns.

I feel like a real LeBron Arnold.

You know what I mean.

So let’s vote for those selfies.

Numero Uno

selfiecontest1Numero Dosselfiecontest2

Numero Tresselfiecontest3Numero Quatro


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      If clever had a lever, we’d be pulling it forever.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        If said were some bread we’d be toasting it instead.

        (I can do this all day.)

      2. You are good at your game…keep burning this flame( your writings)

      3. Eli Pacheco says:

        You got it!

        If I’m good like I should how can i be misunderstood?

      4. I am not falling for your charm even if there’s no harm…(just words, no intentions intended). Hey do visit my blog….just published a rhyme yesterday let me know…new to blogging but not to writing.

      5. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’m checking it out right now.

  1. The trouble with nail polish is that the minute you are done painting, you get called to help with a zipper, or to wipe a butt. Not cool. Maybe Superman could help? A kryptonite infused breath, and dry are your nails? Or better yet, let him do the fixing and the wiping!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      My girls don’t have the patience to sit and dry their nails. So they end up smudged and have to be redone. Superman might split a kid in half if he had to wipe a hiney.

  2. Aww, this week was so crazy and totally forgot to send you my kid’s selfie. Seriously, just so happy the weekend is almost here now, because I am done and fried totally after all I had to do this past week. But if nail polish is toxic, then I would be dead now for how many times I have painted my nails over the years. Just saying!! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I was hoping you’d get in it! I’m still recovering from the Great Virus that Wiped Out Pacheco Kids and Dad this week. At least Elise and I got to binge on Bones, season 1.

      I felt so alarmist writing that. I might even try out being a conspiracy theorist for a week or two.

  3. laurie27wsmith says:

    Toxicity in makeup is nothing new at all mate. The Egyptians used lead and other metals as the basis for their lovely faces. I do like the selfies, seeing the response wasn’t overwhelming I could have sent mine in. I was going to waffle on about Superman and Lois’ love life, then thought stop it Laurie it’s a family blog.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Can’t be any worse than what’s in a Coke or Twinkie, right mate? No wonder they’re mummies. I think you might have dominated this contest.

      Just wait until after 11 p.m. local time to get your spicy Lois Lane comment posted, mate.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        It’s why a lot of them were crazy from lead poisoning, they looked good though. yes my selfies would have given small children nightmares. I won’t post a Lois lane comment. Just bear in mind that every part of the man of steel would be like steel right. Even those microscopic………………

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        My favorite medium also dabbles in biology!

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Mate it’s an interesting subject especially when you think of an alien (Man of steel) in sexual congress with one Lois Lane, human. Everything about superman is well, super. Do I have to draw pictures here?

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        No mate – I get it. Super swimmers.

      5. laurie27wsmith says:

        Travelling at super speed. I read a Sydney university newspaper years ago. It had a cartoon series and one was of superman and Lois. I still can’t get it out of my mind.

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        I think oysters have the same effect, mate.

      7. laurie27wsmith says:

        I tried a dozen, only 10 worked.

      8. Eli Pacheco says:

        That’s still a pretty good rate, mate.

      9. laurie27wsmith says:

        I think so too.

  4. This low maintenance mama ain’t got time for pretty nails! But my daughters sure love to lacquer up. Better make sure Grandma’s stash is toxin-free!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Painted nails and runners don’t seem like a common pairing. Little girl nails are so tiny, how do they not just paint the whole end of the finger?

      Grandma might have stuff from the Cold War era.

  5. Yikes I didn’t know that about nail polish. I have a friend who refuses to paint her nails because she says it’s toxic, but I say she’s a hippie, so I never listened to that nonsense. Also, fun fact about a fetus regenerating toes!! That is the most interesting thing I’ve heard all day (granted it’s only 8:30 and I haven’t spoken to a single human being yet). Have a great long weekend!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel like such a doomsdayer. I told Nicole runners and painted nails weren’t a match – I think hippies and painted nails has to take the top spot in that race.

      What happens to severed fetus toes, though? What happens in the amniotic fluid stays in the amniotic fluid, I say.

      The facts and opinions expressed on this blog are not to be confused with human contact. We appreciate your cooperation.

  6. I laughed my head off imagining Lois Lane in 3 pieces. 🙂 How boring would it be if Superhero journeys were closer to reality!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m more of an MJ guy myself (from Spiderman). If a superhero journey were closer to reality, he’d just be a dude in tights. With his underwear on the outside.

  7. Can’t even remember the last time I painted my nails. It’s a lot of effort.

    Love all the selfies!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Me either, on the nails, Hol. My hands are in shambles.

      The selfies rock, don’t they?

      1. Indeed they do!

  8. Cheryl says:

    Here’s a little known (in my opinion) fact: Eyebrows don’t always grow back. My grandmother didn’t like the way my mom had shaped her brows when she was in high school so she made her shave them off. Guess who’s still without eyebrows to this day! Thank goodness for eyebrow pencils 🙂

    It also never occurred to me to check my nail polishes for toxins. My nails are always painted. Guess I have my work cut out for me tonight!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I know mine have partially grown back. I tried to trim once, and went a little too far … and it filled in eventually. Or maybe the wind blew and the other hair just covered it.

      She should pencil in political messages in her brows during election season. Or adverts.

      Time to purge, right? Seems as if you got your polish from Luxembourg, you’re safe. Just don’t get them in Cincinnati or Topeka.

      1. Cheryl says:

        Seriously. I needed the “don’t drink anything while reading this” disclaimer again. I have learned my lesson.

        Purge my polishes? never! I’ll just take my chances. You never know, it could make me grow an extra toe to paint another pretty color!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        That’s cool – unless the toe grows out of your forehead.

      3. Cheryl says:

        That would be unfortunate

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        It’d get you on Maury Povich, though.

      5. Is that a pro or con??!!

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        Depends on if its sweeps week.

  9. Kim says:

    I feel sure that the stuff that goes on to make my fake nails is all perfectly healthy:) (or I’m just going to pretend it is….)
    And, I was going to answer Dennis Rodman – I guess that shows my age!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I don’t think all nail polish has this stuff, or women worldwide would be getting their hair did with nubs on their hands.

      Dennis Rodman! My girls could see a picture of him tatted up and pierced like a corkboard and they’d say ‘why did they wear such short shorts back then??’

  10. I’m just going to tell myself that switching to nail wraps and spending the money on them is to save myself from the harmful effects of polish. Yeah…that’s it…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Just make sure you buy your nail polish from Belgium, that’s all, Rox.

  11. ksbeth says:

    i love spidey and his crouchy landing and his tights and i am proud of my pistons’ ink (though not an nba fan), and i love my lipstick. selfies were so cute )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I love spidey especially when MJ is around. I wonder if you play for the Utah Jazz and you have ink, if you’re the only one in Salt Lake City who is tatted up.

      Tats *and* lipstick in the NBA? The Association isn’t ready for that – yet.

      1. ksbeth says:

        lipstick for me, tats for them, each with it’s own place. and i’m really more of a college bball woman anyway )

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        you as a spartans or wolverines fan is much more palatable than to think of those pistons. or especially that hockey team.

  12. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Nail polish can’t be THAT toxic, right? I mean, I wear it all the time and nothing is wrong with me…


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      And conversely, look how I turned out. I’ve never had painted nails.

  13. tamaralikecamera says:

    Oh no! Scarlet painted her nails tonight. Purple glitter. It’s ok, though. She washed them off 30 seconds later. She can’t be tied down.
    It’s nearly impossible to vote for one of these selfies! Can’t I vote for all?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      No, my left-wing friend, you must pick a winner!

  14. Lauren says:

    #3! #3!

    And a confession: I am really, really bad at painting my own nails. Years and years of Classical piano lessons where I was not allowed to paint them has left me unequipped for this life skill.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Make sure and vote at the bottom of this post, Lauren.

      Years and years of playing in the dirt and picking my nose and just being a boy have left me unequipped for that life skill, too.

  15. Nina says:

    Okay I don’t feel so bad for not having put nail polish on in forever. I have no excuse other than pure laziness and wanting to save me some $20 lol. And cute pics of kids! I voted.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I prefer “energy efficient” to “lazy.” And your efficiency has resulted in a reduction in exposure to the toxins. I still feel so alarmist. Like, vulnerable, too. Makes me want to wire money to that woman who sent me an email recently and promised to share her fortunes with me if only I wire here $350 at once.

      Thanks for voting! Less than a week to go. I think this will become an annual thing.

  16. Rorybore says:

    Loving the Stormtrooper Selfie. I prefer to take pictures of what is in front of me — but my kids definitely love the other trend: Photobomb.
    I am looking at my nice purple toes right now …..and feeling a bit sick to my tummy. I mean really? why are these chemicals allowed here, if other countries have banned them? How in the….

    I never thought about that Super Hero catch thing. Now I have to rethink all my fangirl fantasies.
    But I will tell you what defies gravity: goats. Tell your girls about goats in trees. seriously.
    Goats are the 4th dimension.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m glad you noticed the stormtrooper selfie. The photobomb is an art in itself.

      Like I said, I feel like such an alarmist over the nail polish, but hey ,the kids asked. Maybe Canada does a better job on this than the U.S. – I mean, you took over hockey (temporarily), so why not?

      I think fangirl fantasies come with inherent dangers that you have to accept. Like, if I wanted to hang upside down to kiss MJ like Spiderman does, there’s a good chance I’ll pass out from the rush of blood to my head.

      “Is that real??” that was Camdyn’s reaction to the tree goats. I think that might be the nickname of her next soccer team.

  17. Sandy Ramsey says:

    I like selfie #3 simply because I wish to make that face many, many times but I couldn’t pull it off quite like he did. So I am going to live vicariously through him.
    Now I’m going to have to try to read all the teeny tiny letters on the back of the nail polish letters and this coming from a woman who will soon be reading everything in large print…thanks, man.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s the facial expression I have when:

      1) The kids start another episode of Zack and Cody
      2) They come to the rapping part of Katy Perry’s “Darkhorse”
      3) I throw a golf disc into the wood and hear cats screeching and hounds howling.

      If everything I gave you here in this space was positive, you wouldn’t appreciate it nearly enough, Sandy Ramsey. Balance. You’re welcome.

  18. Dana says:

    The liver can actually regenerate – as little as 25% of it can regenerate the whole thing. That’s pretty awesome, especially when your infant is the one with liver damage. And I like selfie #4 because he reminds me of that infant who grew into a little boy with the liver of Superman.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d forgotten about that! Don’t you wish more organs got with that program? I hope you cast your vote for selfie #3, then. And more glad that you have a superman in the house.

      p.s. I shared your Coach Daddy guest post in a link up I joined today. Hope you don’t mind. It’s a fave.

      1. Dana says:

        Not at all! It’s one of my faves too. I always feel like I write better when it’s on someone else’s site.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        It’s the same thing that makes our kids behave at other people’s houses, but not at their own.

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