On the menu

The never-ending kerfuffle about bringing small, boisterous kids to swanky dining establishments was dished up again last week when some parents -- whose baby sitter canceled at the last minute -- toted their crying infant to Chicago's 4-star Alinea restaurant (so swanked out, you can't even get in without a nonrefundable ticket!).

The debate made it onto "Good Morning America" and, shockingly, raged away on Twitter, even spawning an account called @AlineaBaby with the profile description, "I'm a baby who likes fine food, fine drinks, and crying." As of Wednesday, the bogus baby had 985 followers. Really, people?

Anyway, all that's chicken feed, because babies may soon even be banned from public streets, thanks to the recent "Devil's Due" movie publicity stunt in New York City, in which an amazingly lifelike (or undead-like, as the case may be) animatronic infant in an unattended stroller popped up spewing goo and freaking out many a passer-by. Kind of in the old "Candid Camera" style, but evil.

Video of the little hellion was all over the place, but if we've learned anything from "It's Alive!" a demon baby just never gets old. So here it is again on the Huff Post site: http://huff.to/1drdpZg. Enjoy.

Huddle/cuddle?

Babies -- if not possessed by the devil -- are admittedly cute. But some might say kittens are even cuter, and certainly more adorable than burly overpaid football players cracking their domes together for the love of a pigskin. So, as an ahhhwww-lternative to that, the Hallmark Channel will present the "Kitten Bowl" Feb. 2, featuring "players" such as Meowshon Lynch and Tomcat Brady in a game involving toys on strings and laser pointers. Gotta wonder if they'll use the ol' "mousetrap" play. (It's a real football thing. Look it up.)

The kittens are apparently the feline foil to Animal Planet's long-running "Puppy Bowl," the original cuteness counter to the actual Super Bowl. But all of the above may now be drowned out by the appeal of Nat Geo Wild network's first "Fish Bowl." It's goldfish. Swimming. In a bowl. For four hours. (It's a real thing. Look it up.)

Number Two

Yes, it's what you think. The San Francisco Zoo's latest special exhibit is called "The Scoop on Poop" (www.sfzoo.org) and, yes, it's all about the typically unmentioned remains of the day produced by critters and humans alike.

This excellent excrement exhibit opens Jan. 25 in the Pachyderm Building, and visitors can learn how animals do that doo-doo they do do so well, some using it to build homes, attract mates and even hide from enemies.

Fun fecal facts: A company in Indonesia uses the leavings of the palm civet to make gourmet coffee that sells for $175 per pound (considered good to the last dropping.) And the world's best fertilizer is said to be guano from Peruvian seabirds.

Best part of the SF Zoo's poop exhibit? Dung beetle races. Me thinks a "bowl" might be in the making.

Contact Angela Hill at ahill@bayareanewsgroup.com, or follow her at Twitter.com/giveemhill.