Barbie and the world of possibilities

Mattel has a new ad campaign for Barbie. Probably because someone at the company realized that promoting the doll as a ditzy babe isn’t working anymore, so, make the focus about career women:

No talk about Ken. No visits to the Dream House. Just letting little girls know they can grow up and be anything they want to be.

That’s not so bad. The folks on the hidden camera, though, are trying to figure out what the hell is going on, but at least they’re playing along.

Back to the future … in the real future

So, back in 1985, Marty McFly, his girlfriend Jennifer, and Doc Brown got in the Delorean and traveled to 2015 to help get Marty’s and Jennifer’s kids out of trouble.

This is what they saw in “Back to the Future II

But the date they went to was Oct. 21, 2015. That’s tomorrow. Unless something really radical happens today, I don’t think I’m going to see any flying cars, or hover boards. Or holographic movie ads on the city streets. I’ll see this:

Just goes to show. The future isn’t what it used to be.

A side note. This was the front page of USA Today in 2015 in “Back to the Future II”:


Notice the sports news in the upper left hand corner. If you’re betting on baseball, “Cubs sweep series in 5.” Now that’s way out there. (Also, you can’t sweep in five. A sweep is four games.)

To shill a mockingbird


Would you like to understand how the “new” Harper Lee novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” came to be billed as a long-lost, blockbuster sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird” — one of the definitive books of the American 20th century — when, by all the known facts, it’s an uneven first draft of the famous novel that was never considered for publication?

Would you like to get a glimpse into how clever marketing and cryptic pronouncements have managed to produce an instant bestseller, months before anyone has read it?

If so, click on this Washington Post story.