Breaking Gender Stereotypes in the Toy Box

Did you conscientiously buy dolls for your son and trucks for your daughter, or did you try to avoid the whole thing and give them both gender-neutral artisanal wooden objects, only to be shanghaied by the princess industry and superhero underpants?

Looking at how children play with toys that fall into gender stereotypes gives us a window on children’s developing sense of what goes along with being a boy or a girl.

But it can also be an important indicator of what skills young children are acquiring as they play, and of whether their academic and professional horizons are comparatively wide — or whether they are already starting to rule things out for themselves.

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Blaze Erupts Beneath a Movie Set in Harlem, and a Firefighter Dies Rushing In

Firefighter Michael Davidson was a nozzle man — he’d be at the front of the hose line, leading the charge into a burning building. And that’s where he was, one last time, on Thursday night, after his engine company, No. 69, pulled up near a once-storied jazz club in Harlem that had a fire raging in the cellar beneath it.

He would die before the night was done.

The club, St. Nick’s Pub, had been dormant since a police raid shut its doors in 2011. But in recent weeks it was transformed into a set for an Edward Norton film, an adaptation — set in the 1950s — of “Motherless Brooklyn,” a novel by Jonathan Lethem.

On Thursday night the crew was filming a final scene at the bar — one in which the actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw makes an entrance — when a smell like wood smoke seeped onto the set. The crew tried to sniff out its source, and someone even sprayed a fire extinguisher at the lights over the bar, said Charles Kern, an on-set scenic artist. Then it became clear that the fire was coming from the cellar.

Everybody out, came the call. Crew members grabbed what equipment they could, Mr. Kern said. Roughly 30 extras fled. Outside, some crew members began to move several classic cars to make room for fire engines. Others tried to use their lighting equipment to illuminate a path for firefighters.

Michael Davidson was a 15-year veteran of the Fire Department.Credit…New York Fire Department

One city official briefed on the early stages of the investigation said the team’s air began to run low. When the canisters have about 7 or 10 minutes of air left, they vibrate and emit an alarm, the official said. The so-called vibra-alerts went off on the canisters, and the firefighters began to retreat, following a “hand line” to find their way out, the official said.

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Administration Imposes Sweeping Limits on Federal Actions Against Companies

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has adopted new limits on the use of “guidance documents” that federal agencies have issued on almost every conceivable subject, an action that could have sweeping implications for the government’s ability to sue companies accused of violations.

Guidance documents offer the government’s interpretation of laws, and often when individuals or companies face accusations of legal violations, what they have really violated are the guidance documents. Defense lawyers say the change in policy gives them a powerful tool to fend off allegations of wrongdoing against their clients.

It also advances a goal declared by President Trump in his first days in office: to reduce the burden and cost of federal rules and requirements. But consumer advocates say the move will crimp enforcement of crucial protections.

The new policy, issued by the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, Rachel L. Brand, is significant because federal agencies have issued hundreds of guidance documents on a wide range of laws covering issues like health care, the environment, civil rights and labor.

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The One Sport That Made Replay as Exhilarating as the Sport Itself

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — More times than not in short-track speedskating, it takes some slowing down to sort things out. That is why most races have two finishes.

The first is not much more than a blur, skaters darting in and out of traffic, colors whirling in a tight pack around tight ovals, one or more occasionally spit from orbit and sent crashing into thick safety pads at the rink’s edges.

That is exciting. There are cheers and groans as the survivors cross the finish line and the results light the scoreboard.

And then everything slows, almost to a stop, as if the whole event needs to make up for its chaos and find its equilibrium. The race is not always over. Referees huddle at the side wearing headphones and watching monitors, playing and replaying the replays. Fans in the arena and at home see replays, too. Athletes wait nervously for the verdict. Minutes pass.

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Kiribati Ferry Search Expands After 7 Are Found Alive

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Searchers examined an expanding zone of the Pacific Ocean around the islands of Kiribati on Monday in hopes of finding more survivors of a ferry sinking after rescuers found seven passengers alive on an aluminum dinghy following more than a week at sea.

The 56-foot wooden catamaran that vanished on Jan. 18 was believed to have been carrying at least 50 other passengers. On Friday, the New Zealand authorities were first alerted by the government of Kiribati — which is about halfway between Hawaii and Australia — that the vessel had vanished after leaving for what was supposed to be a two-day, 150-mile voyage.

New Zealand’s military joined the search the next day, and rescued seven people, including a 14-year-old girl, on the small dinghy. A spokesman for the operation said the group had survived “in the baking sun” for more than a week without supplies, shade or a motor for the dinghy.

Air Commodore Darryn Webb said Monday that the seven survivors were still on the fishing boat that had rescued them, because New Zealand’s military needed it to stay in the area in case more survivors were spotted during an air search.

An image from a military video showed survivors aboard the dinghy that was found Saturday adrift at sea.Credit…New Zealand Defense Force, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

He said the survivors had told rescuers that the ferry split in two and sank, and that they were able to use the dinghy because it detached from the larger vessel. Earlier in the trip, the ferry, the MV Butiraoi, had hit an atoll, forcing it to undergo repairs to its propeller shaft.

Despite information from the survivors about where the ferry sank, Commodore Webb said that a week of ocean currents and wind meant searchers were covering an “exponentially larger” area of ocean every day. The search zone now covered 200,000 square miles.

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