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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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Tiny Star Wars Fans Can Now Cruise Around in Their Very Own Landspeeders
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Radio Flyer

Some kids collect Hot Wheels, while others own model lightsabers and dream of driving Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder through a galaxy far, far away. Soon, Mashable reports, these pint-sized Jedis-in-training can pilot their very own replicas of the fictional anti-gravity craft: an officially licensed, kid-sized Star Wars Landspeeder, coming in September from American toy company Radio Flyer.

The Landspeeder has an interactive dashboard with light-up buttons, and it plays sounds from the original Star Wars film. The two-seater doesn’t hover, exactly, but it can zoom across desert sands (or suburban sidewalks) at forward speeds of up to 5 mph, and go in reverse at 2 mph.

The vehicle's rechargeable battery allows for around five hours of drive time—just enough for tiny Star Wars fans to reenact their way through both the original 1977 movie and 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. (Sorry, grown-up sci-fi nerds: The toy ride supports only up to 130 pounds, so you’ll have to settle for pretending your car is the Death Star.)

Radio Flyer’s Landspeeder will be sold at Toys “R” Us stores. It costs $500, and is available for pre-order online now.

Watch it in action below:

[h/t Mashable]

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5 Takeaways From the Study That Found Second-Born Boys Get Into More Trouble
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Researchers have tried to understand how siblings' birth order affects their competitiveness, intelligence, kindness and other personality traits for more than a century. Now, a new study [PDF] backs up what plenty of older siblings have long argued: their younger brothers are more prone to get in trouble. Here are five takeaways from the thought-provoking research.

1. SECOND-BORN SIBLINGS ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET IN SERIOUS TROUBLE.

The study focused mostly on older brother/young brother and older sister/younger brother sets of siblings. Among two brothers, the younger boys were found to be 20 to 40 percent more likely to be disciplined in school or get in trouble with the law compared to the older boys. As study co-author Joseph Doyle, an economist at MIT, told NPR, "I find the results to be remarkable that the second-born children, compared to their older siblings, are much more likely to end up in prison, much more likely to get suspended in school."

2. THE EFFECT WAS MORE PRONOUNCED FOR BOYS.

Doyle and his colleagues didn't find the same trend among second-born girls with older brothers or sisters. Boys and girls have different rates of delinquency; in this study, the average number of delinquent first-born girls in sister pairs was 54 to almost 100 percent lower than first-born boys in brother pairs. "The gaps in delinquency are smaller when we investigate the effect of being a second-born girl," they write.

3. THE RESULTS WERE SIMILAR IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS.

The researchers used birth registries in Denmark and in Florida that identified siblings so birth order could be determined. Then, they compared that data to school records, criminal databases, and medical or public health records. Despite differences in racial demographics, education levels, parental employment, and approaches to crime and punishment between the two locales, the researchers found that "second-born boys are substantially more likely to exhibit delinquency problems compared to older siblings" in both Denmark and Florida.

4. FAMILY DYNAMICS PROBABLY PLAY A PART.

Among the families studied, first-born and second-born siblings were equally healthy and achieved similar levels of education, so those factors did not play a large part in explaining the younger kids' propensity for trouble. Instead, the researchers suggest there is less maternal attention paid to second-born children. First-born children "experience their mothers' maternity leaves … both following their own births as well as following the births of the second-born." In other words, Jan Brady might have been right about her sister Marcia.

5. OTHER STUDIES HAVEN'T UNCOVERED THE SAME LINK.

Previous studies have found little connection between certain personality traits or intelligence and the order in which siblings were born. A 2013 paper suggested that "contrary to popular belief, the relationship between birth order and delinquency is spurious." When it comes to interpreting the effects of birth order, researchers are still—metaphorically, at least—fighting over the TV remote.

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