Barbie Fans Breathe Sigh of Relief
“Sadly, I’m no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts,” the actress said in a statement to Variety. “The film has so much promise, and Sony and Mattel have been great partners. I’m bummed, but look forward to seeing Barbie on the big screen.”
The big screen adaptation of Mattel’s iconic toy line was expected to start production this summer on June 23, but Schumer’s busy schedule includes a lengthy promotional tour for her new Fox comedy “Snatched,” which opens in May, as well as an upcoming shoot for Rebecca Miller’s “She Came to Me” opposite Steve Carell.
Sony needed to stick to its June 29, 2018 release date since Mattel already has merchandise and product cycles in motion–shifting the production to accommodate Schumer would have put on a strain on other partners on the film, according to insiders. Read the rest of this entry »
The Doll records children’s speech with an embedded microphone and sends it over the web
An advocacy group protested on Wednesday a so-called “eavesdropping” Barbie, which records children’s speech and sends that data over the Web.
The Doll records children’s speech with an embedded microphone and sends it over the web, which leaves kids vulnerable to stealth advertising tactics, the group said.
Chief executive Oren Jacob of ToyTalk, the San Francisco-based startup that created the technology in the doll, told the Journal that the captured audio files is “never used for anything to do with marketing or publicity or any of that stuff. Not at all.” Instead, the technology is used to improve speech recognition, Jacob said.
Children press a button to chat with Hello Barbie, which “listens” to their speech and sends the audio recording over a WiFi connection to ToyTalk’s cloud-based servers, where that speech is recognized and processed. The Barbie can then make a response….(read more)
From across the pond, by way of Arts & Letters Daily, this item: Even Germaine Greer, that curmudgeonly old feminist (her words!), has found cause to rejoice: Glossy women’s magazines are on the wane..
For The New Statesman, Germaine Greer writes: The most curmudgeonly old feminist has got to be glad that in February 2012 two young women set up a blog raging about the insidious nastiness of the women’s press and got seven million hits in its first year of operation.
“Feminism in Britain has had two strands: as a media phenomenon and as an academic discipline. The vast realm of reality that lies between remains unaffected by either.”
The hope springs up that there might be sufficient angry women out there and they might be sufficiently angry to bring about actual change. But then we’ve thought that before and before any difference could be made to anything, we were told that it was over and that feminism was a dirty word again. Feminism in Britain has had two strands: as a media phenomenon and as an academic discipline. The vast realm of reality that lies between remains unaffected by either.
Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, who set up the Vagenda blog, have now uttered a book of the same name. The title was meant to be an ironic version of the portmanteau words adopted by the lower end of the women’s press – a compound of “vagina” and “agenda” – but, like much of the wordplay on the blog and in the book, it doesn’t really work, being neither amusing nor informative. “Vagina” is a vile name for any female orifice, because it means “scabbard”.
[Germaine Greer’s most recent book is White Beech: The Rainforest Years]
No feminist could in conscience adopt it despite the never-ending afterlife of the ghastly Vagina Monologues. A similar insensitivity besets The Vagenda, the book. The jacket design is as offensive as anything ever seen in print. It is based on the logo for the blog but with a hideous refinement; the image of a nude female from waist to nearly knee, now photographic, has a chunk ripped out of it, extending from hipbone to hipbone to below the mons pubis, forming a gaping black triangle, in which appear the words “The Vagenda” in Barbie pink. The page design is almost as brutal as the cover.
The writing style of the book takes its cue from the hyperbole of the magazines that are under attack and struggles to outdo it. Baxter and Cosslett (who also write the V Spot blog on the New Statesman website) tell us that, in their personal experience, “Losing your hymen is about as pleasurable as having someone rap your knuckles with a frozen veggie sausage.” Do they seriously wish us to believe that their hymen somehow got lost and that they were aware of its getting lost at the time? That is no more likely than that someone, anyone, would have rapped them on the knuckles with a sausage of any kind, much less vegetarian, much less frozen. To refer to a first episode of penetrative sex as hymen loss reveals a level of ignorance that is positively medieval. Read the rest of this entry »
Though these two articles aren’t directly related, they share a common theme: “Girl Power”!
First, commenting on the real vs. unreal-proportions Barbie debate, is author Virginia Postrel, in an essay provocatively titled called ‘Average’ Barbie Is Just as Fake’, Postrel begins with reflections drawn from her own childhood experiences with dolls:
“When I was a little girl, my favorite dolls came from Mattel and had wildly inhuman proportions. To me, they were magical and special and didn’t look the least bit strange…”
Then gets into the business with Mattel:
“…As a mass-produced product, a doll represents a single version of female proportions. Taken as a role model, any single standard excludes those with a different build. Celebrating “average” doesn’t solve the problem. Instead of trying to create a plastic role model, it’s both kinder and more honest to treat a doll as an object of escapist fantasy — a plaything.
Barbie’s popularity is waning, a fact Lammily boosters rarely fail to mention. But Mattel is in the business of selling play, not social commentary…”
Like most guys, other than G.I. Joes (and nobody really talked much about the Joe’s body image) I have no experience with dolls (honest!) and defer to thinkers like Postrel for insights. Put those dolls away and read the whole thing.
The second article involves the recent “Ban Bossy” campaign — featuring the comments of a author Jonah Goldberg, who I’m sure would agree is equally knowlegable discussing Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, or Foghorn Leghorn — and who also draws from personal experience.
“…It seems patently untrue that a) Bossiness is the same thing as “leadership,” b) That bossiness is a gender-specific issue for kids, c) That girls are falling behind in leadership nationally or in schools. Some of my views are based on the fact that I am the father of a little girl and some of it is based on informed common sense…”
And questions the premise that girls are disproportionately disadvantaged in the first place:
“In every conceivable way women are doing better and better. Sheryl Sandberg is herself proof of that. No rational or objective person believes that things aren’t getting better for women in the workplace or the executive suite.
Breatharianism, is a cult that believes food – and possibly water – are not necessary
Some have said she uses plastic surgery and Photoshop to create her doll-like image, but her impossibly thin waist could actually be down to not eating for weeks.
The model, 23, has said she is now converting to ‘Breatharianism‘ – training herself to live off only light and air.
Valeria Lukyonova, the human Barbie, is reportedly not eating or drinking anything anymore
‘In recent weeks I have not been hungry at all; I’m hoping it’s the final stage before I can subsist on air and light alone,’ she has said.
The model and singer’s new vice, Breatharianism, is a cult that believes food – and possibly water – are not necessary.
A breatharian is said to be someone who never eats or drinks as they can exist on ‘cosmic micro-food’, according to the International Business Times.
The practice is criticised as potentially lethal pseudoscience, and several practitioners have reportedly died of starvation. None have submitted themselves for comprehensive medical testing. Read the rest of this entry »
Definitely–too good not to share. Good find!
A new gift idea for your loved ones: Graduate School Barbie (TM)
Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master’s Barbie (TM) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (TM).
From the Curators of Crazy at RocketNews24: We’re not sure what’s happening in Ukraine, but it might be time to call Scully and Mulder: It seems like all the women are turning into dolls!
A of the real life doll staring directly into your soul
As the group of real-life dolls grows from a few ladies on YouTube into something resembling an international movement, the seventh “real doll” out of Odessa, Ukraine has appeared! Named Alina Kovaleskaya, the 20-year-old woman is as convincing and startling as any who’ve come before, though she insists there’s a key difference.
We’ve already told you about the real-life Barbie, her friend the anime character, the real-life Russian doll, the Hatsune Miku-look-alike, and the Japanese woman who’s transforming into a French doll. And, aside from the real-life Barbie and anime character, there were apparently four more real life dolls in Odessa, Ukraine until Alina showed up.
(AP) America was shocked when news accounts first emerged outlining gruesome details of an unimaginable crime involving two iconic celebrity sweethearts, Barbie and Ken. When Ken’s headless body was discovered by Los Angeles Police, in Barbie’s Malibu apartment, a homicide investigation was launched, and only one suspect emerged.
Photographic evidence collected during the investigation, implicating Barbie in the crime, appeared on the internet, allegedly leaked by the District Attorney‘s office. In a shocking display of macabre cheerfulness, Barbie is depicted cleaning up after the murder, attempting to destroy DNA evidence. Barbie, America’s beloved icon, was arrested, and held without bail.
Grand Jury testimony revealed enough evidence to charge Barbie on four counts, aggravated assault, conspiracy, first degree murder, and obstruction of justice.
Los Angeles Law Enforcement Officials described the crime as “heinous”, and urged parents not to discuss the crime with children, at least until after the Christmas holiday. “It’s tragic”, said one investigator “We’ve been called to Barbie’s Malibu residence on a few minor domestic disputes, but there was nothing to suggest anything like this. She must have just snapped”.
Reason Magazine’s Ira Stoll has a novel take on Romney’s sideswipe at Garage
Bands Banks, and asks, hey, what’s wrong with garage-based businesses? …or even garage-based financial institutions? It’s worth reading…
The most infuriating moment of the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.
That moment was when Governor Romney, the Republican, in response to a question about regulation, declared it “essential” and went on, “You couldn’t have people opening up banks in their — in their garage and making loans.”
That sound you heard during the debate was the echo of me ripping my hair out while throwing my drink at the television in frustration at the idea of a Republican presidential nominee who portrays himself as the defender of free markets yet who also describes garage-based businesses as a grave danger that must be regulated out of existence.
Among the successful American businesses that began in garages are:
- Hewlett-Packard, which began in a 12-foot by 18-foot garage at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, Calif., and grew into a company with nearly 350,000 employees and more than $100 billion a year in revenue.
- Apple, which assembled some of its first computers in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, Calif. Apple now has a market capitalization of more than $600 billion.
- Google, whose official company history explains that it set up workspace in September 1998 in Susan Wojcicki’s garage at 232 Santa Margarita, Menlo Park, Calif.
- Amazon, which for nearly a year in 1994 and 1995 consisted of founder Jeff Bezos and five employees working in the garage of a Seattle home that Mr. Bezos had rented.
- Mattel, the toy company that is known for Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars and that began in a Southern California garage. Senator Marco Rubio spoke about it in his maiden speech.
- Lender’s Bagels, which began in a West Haven, Conn., garage and grew into a business with tens of millions of dollars in annual sales.
Okay, none of those garage-based startups was in the lending business. But there’s no reason that the same kind of garage-style innovation that brought growth and dynamism to the technology, toy, and bagel businesses can’t also penetrate into lending…
More via Reason.com