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15 Fun Facts About Rugrats

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Hang on to your diapies and get the scoop on Rugrats.

1. The Rugrats creators are behind The Simpsons' signature yellow skin and Marge's blue hair.

Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó married and started the animation studio Klasky Csupo. Before Rugrats, they worked on The Simpsons. After their divorce, the two stuck together, producing more iconic Nicktoons including Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberrys, Rocket Power, and As Told By Ginger.

2. The show was inspired by one incredibly simple question.

Arlene Klasky said she asked herself, "If babies could talk, what would they say?" More pointedly, she also said she wondered about "the logic that drove tiny humans to desperately want to stick their hands in the toilet."

3. All of the babies were voiced by women.

Sure, three of the four main characters were boys, but all of them were little enough to merit high-pitched voices. Christine Cavanaugh, who played Chuckie Finster for more than a decade and also voiced the title characters in Dexter's Laboratory and Babe, died in 2014 at the age of 51. 

4. Elizabeth Daily, who voiced Tommy Pickles, once recorded for the show while she was in labor.

She told The Guardian: "The engineer was like: 'Your contractions are coming really quickly now.' And I was like: 'No, I’m fine.' Very soon after that, I had my daughter."

5. Rugrats is the second-longest running Nicktoon of all time.

With 172 episodes, it's second only to SpongeBob SquarePants.

6. The babies have their very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Rugrats is the only Nickelodeon show to hold that honor. They're also the proud owners of four Daytime Emmy Awards.

7. Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh wrote the theme music.

But that wasn't his only contribution to the show. Chuckie Finster's distinctive look is modeled after Mothersbaugh's. "We both had thick glasses. We're both near-sighted," Mothersbaugh told Splitsider. "And had I pretty wild hair back then. I didn't have kids yet, so it still had color in it." 

8. An invoice for Didi reveals the Pickles live in California.

Specifically, at 1258 North Highland Avenue in Los Angeles. In real life, that's the original home of the Klasky Csupo production office.

9. Tommy's shirt is red in the show's first episode.

Powder blue is the color everyone knows and loves from later episodes. In "Tommy's First Birthday" he also sports overalls instead of his usual shirt-and-diaper look. 

10. There's a creepy fan conspiracy theory suggesting the babies are all a figment of Angelica's imagination.

In reality, goes the theory, Chuckie died along with his mother and Tommy was stillborn. When the DeVilles had an abortion, Angelica didn't know the baby's gender, so she imagined them as twins.

11. Pat Sajak made a cameo.

In "Chuckie Is Rich," the Wheel of Fortune host presents Chas with a check for $10 million after he wins a sweepstakes. 

12. The Rugrats comic strip was once accused of being anti-Semitic.

In 1998, The Washington Post ran a comic strip the week of the Jewish New Year featuring Grandpa Boris, who has a long nose, reciting the Mourner's Kaddish, a solemn prayer. The Anti-Defamation League pushed back against the use of the prayer and called Boris' appearance "reminiscent of Nazi-era depictions of Jews." Nickelodeon apologized, promising not to run that strip again, or any featuring Boris.

13. Rugrats was the first Nicktoon to release a movie.

In 1998, The Rugrats Movie featured voices from a host of celebrities, including David Spade, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Cho, and Busta Rhymes. The film introduces Tommy’s baby brother, Dil. 

14. A Rugrats-Wild Thornberrys crossover movie exists.

The 2003 release Rugrats Go Wild was just one interesting, if not hugely successful, spin on the cartoon. You might remember All Grown Up featuring the gang as pre-teens. There was also Pre-School Daze, a very short-lived series following Angelica and Susie. 

15. A Nickelodeon president once lauded Rugrats as the network's "Mickey Mouse."

In 1998, Nickelodeon's then-president Herb Scannell told The New York Times that Rugrats had "reached a kind of phenomenon status. We think in some ways this is our Mickey Mouse.'' Of the show's all-ages appeal, he noted that: "It's tough to be a kid in an adult world. Kids don't always get it right and adults don't always have all the answers. In that sense, it's a manifesto of the Nickelodeon philosophy."

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No One Can Figure Out This Second Grade Math Problem
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iStock

Angie Werner got a lot more than she bargained for on January 24, when she sat down to help her 8-year-old daughter, Ayla, with her math homework. As Pop Sugar reports, the confusion began when they got to the following word problem:

“There are 49 dogs signed up to compete in the dog show. There are 36 more small dogs than large dogs signed up to compete. How many small dogs are signed up to compete?”

Many people misread the problem and thought it was a trick question: if there are 36 more small dogs and the question is how many small dogs are competing, then maybe the answer is 36?

Wrong!

Frustrated by the confusing problem, Angie took to a private Facebook group to ask fellow moms to weigh in on the question, which led to even more confusion, including whether medium-sized dogs should somehow be accounted for. (No, they shouldn’t.) Another mom chimed in with an answer that she thought settled the debate:

"Y'all. A mom above figured it out. We were all wrong. If there is a total of 49 dogs and 36 of them are small dogs then there are 13 large dogs. That means 36 small dogs subtracted by 13 large dogs then there are 23 more small dogs than large dogs. 36-13=23. BOOM!!! WOW! Anyone saying there's half and medium dogs tho just no!"

It was a nice try, but incorrect. A few others came up with 42.5 dogs as the answer, with one woman explaining her method as follows: "49-36=13. 13/2=6.5. 36+6.5=42.5. That's how I did it in my head. Is that the right way to do it? Lol I haven't done math like this since I was in school!"

Though commenters understandably took issue with the .5 part of the answer—an 8-year-old is expected to calculate for a half-dog? What kind of dog show is this?—when Ayla’s teacher heard about the growing debate, she chimed in to confirm that 42.5 is indeed the answer, but that the blame in the confusion rested with the school. "The district worded it wrong,” said Angie. “The answer would be 42.5, though, if done at an age appropriate grade."

Want to try another internet-baffling riddle?


Here's the answer.

[h/t: Pop Sugar]

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Open Einstein
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You Can Now Print 3D Replicas of Einstein's Childhood Toys
Open Einstein
Open Einstein

For children, playtime is an essential part of cognitive development. Now, you can give them toys that befit their genius: 3D replicas of the ones that Albert Einstein himself played with.

The LEGO Foundation, Unilever, and IKEA have launched Open Einstein, a site where you can download a 3D printing kit that allows you to make exact replicas of the wooden blocks the Nobel Prize-winning physicist played with during his childhood in Germany. "Play empowers children to create and learn for the rest of their lives," the site declares. "It is a fundamental right for all children."

The 3D printing kit provides designs for 36 toy blocks of various sizes and shapes. Einstein's wooden boxes of blocks, made by the German company Anker-Steinbaukasten, are currently held by a collector named Seth Kaller. (According to his website, you can buy them if you have $160,000 on hand.)

A dark image labeled 'Open Einstein' with wooden blocks in the background
Open Einstein

The 3D printing kit contains model instructions for only a fraction of the 160 blocks in the original set, which Einstein reportedly used throughout his childhood to erect complex structures at home. He wasn't the only famous fan of the toys: Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, and other notable creatives played with the same blocks.

If you're looking for a particularly erudite toy to nurture your child's mind, blocks—whether Einstein-related or not—are a pretty good choice. The National Association for the Education of Young Children says that playing with blocks can enhance problem-solving skills, fine-tune motor skills, and boost creativity.

Your child may never come up with world-changing scientific theories, but if nothing else, hopefully the set will impart some of the genius's sense of creativity. Or at least his delightful playfulness.

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