Happy Birthday, Barbie! (March 9th)

20 Surprising Things You Don’t Know About Barbie

All those years spent playing together and you didn’t even know her real name.

Barbie®

Barbie® is a doll!

posted on May 20, 2013, at 2:20 p.m.
by Brian Galindo, BuzzFeed Staff

  1. Barbie’s real name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
  2. In 1959, the first Barbie doll sold for $3.00 (that would be the equivalent of $23.97 today)
  3. The first Barbie doll was available as either a blonde or a brunette.
  4. The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan and their clothes were hand-stitched by Japanese workers.
  5. Barbie isn’t from Malibu, she is actually from (fictional) Willows, Wisconsin.
  6. Barbie was originally a 17-year-old “Teen Age Fashion Model.”
  7. Over the years, Barbie has had seven siblings: Skipper, Stacie, Chelsea, Krissy, Kelly, Tutti, and Todd.
  8. She has had more than 130 careers; they have included being an elementary school teacher, a business executive, a McDonald’s cashier, a doctor, an astronaut, and yes, even a rapper. Plus, she’s vied for the Presidency of the United States.  Barbie first ran for the office in the early 1990s and hasn’t showed signs of quitting.
  9. Ken is two years and two days younger than Barbie (he was introduced in 1961). Also, his full name is Ken Carson. Ken® doll was named after the son of Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler.
  10. Ken has never put a ring on it (he and Barbie have never officially been married).
  11. The very first Barbie car was a 1962 Austin Healy roadster.
  12. Barbie’s first pet was a horse named Dancer. Since then, she has had more than 50 other pets, including 21 dogs, 6 cats, a chimpanzee, a panda, a parrot, a lion cub, a giraffe, and a zebra.
  13. Brown is the color most frequently used for Barbie’s eye shadow.
  14. In 1985, Andy Warhol created a silkscreen painting of Barbie. According to his posthumous book, The Andy Warhol Diaries, he hated it and cringed when he unveiled it for the President of Mattel.
  15. Totally Hair Barbie

    Totally Hair Barbie© came with Dep® hair styling gel for her owner.  (Via images.businessweek.com)

    Totally Hair Barbie (1992) is the best-selling Barbie doll ever.

  16. In 2004, after breaking up with Ken, she had a rebound relationship with Blaine, an Australian surfer. Ken and Barbie got back together on Valentine’s Day 2011.
  17. Barbie has never been pregnant (only her best friend Midge has).

    Dr. Barbie© alongside her best friend Midge and Midge's family

    Dr. Barbie© was in the delivery room with her best friend Midge.  Here she poses with Midge, her husband, Alan, and kids.

  18. Aqua’s 1997 song, “Barbie Girl,” was the subject of the lawsuit Mattel v. MCA Records. In 2002, Mattel lost the lawsuit, a Court of Appeals ruled that the song was protected under the First Amendment as “parody and a social commentary.”  In 2009, despite the lawsuit, Mattel released a music video of Barbie singing, “Barbie Girl” (a re-recorded version with modified lyrics).
  19. If Barbie were a real-life person, she’d be the same age as other celebs born in 1959, like Emma Thompson, Marie Osmond, and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
  20. Presidential Candidate Barbie

    Barbie is not afraid of politics. She first ran for U.S. President in the 1990s.

    Like any baby boomer, she’s witnessed plenty of historic moments and changes in the modern era.  Barbie’s life can only be described as colorful. She came into existence around the era of old-school glamour, became an astronaut during the space race, discoed her way through the 1970s, broke the “plastic ceiling” as a woman in business in the 1980s, entered politics in the 1990s, and even survived a high-profile breakup in 2004. She’s gone from just a pretty face to becoming an athlete, teacher, vet, and even a Naval officer. She really has proven she won’t be confined by a box.

Facts via: Barbie MediaDoll Diaries, and Huffington Post

Family & Friends

Barbie’s family tree may look like a giant Sequoia, but the Barbie Dream House always has room for friends and family, including:

Sisters

Barbie® has three sisters: Skipper, Stacie, Chelsea

Friends

Barbie® has lots of best friends, but her oldest friend is Midge® (shown here), who she grew up with in Willows. Barbie was even Midge’s maid-of-honor at her wedding to Alan in 1991.

Ken© and Barbie©

Like every couple Barbie® and Ken® have have had some bumps in their relationship but have managed to stay together for over 50 years. However, they have NOT been officially married!!!

Barbie® doll’s boyfriend, Ken®, debuted two years after Barbie® in 1961. Ken® doll’s official birthday is March 11, 1961 – making Ken® 2 days and 2 years younger than Barbie®. Starting out with nine outfits, a skinny frame and fuzzy crew cut, he’s always stood by Barbie.

Barbie® doll was named after the daughter of Mattel Founders Ruth and Elliot Handler and Ken® doll was named after their son.

Barbie doll® creators Ruth and Elliott Handler pose with their children, Kenneth and Barbara.

Barbie doll® creators Ruth and Elliott Handler pose with their children, Kenneth and Barbara.

Ken® and Barbie® broke up on Valentine’s Day in 2004 after being together more than 43 years, they rekindled their romance announcing their reunion after seven years of being apart on Valentine’s Day 2011.

Happy Birthday, Lewis Carroll (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898)

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll (Self-Portrait) circa 1856

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll, was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem Jabberwocky, and the poem The Hunting of the Snark, all examples of the genre of literary nonsense.

He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.

 

Here are 13 of his quotes:

 

1. “I can’t go back to yesterday — because I was a different person then.”

2. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

3. “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

4. “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

5. “Always speak the truth, think before you speak, and write it down afterwards.”

6. “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

7. “Everything is funny, if you can laugh at it.”

8. “If you set to work to believe everything, you will tire out the believing-muscles of your mind, and then you’ll be so weak you won’t be able to believe the simplest true things.”

9. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland

10. “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

11. “I’d give all the wealth that years have piled, / the slow result of life’s decay, / To be once more a little child / for one bright summer day.”

12. “If you limit your actions in life to things that nobody can possibly find fault with, you will not do much!”
13. “If you believe in me, I’ll believe in you.”

 

Celebrating John Lennon’s birthday!

 John Lennon was born October 9, 1940.  The founder of The Beatles would’ve been 75 years old today.  He and his bandmates, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, shook the world with Beatlemania.

Individually the four continued to influence the culture but together they were a powerhouse.

“In My Life” is one of the many songs penned by John Lennon.  Enjoy the video of the “four lads from Liverpool.”

In Remembrance – William Shakespeare

Perhaps the most prolific and influential writers in the world, William Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. birth date is not known, but was baptised on April 26, 1564.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (April 1564 to April 23, 1616)

He was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon.” His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, of which the authorship of some is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and brought up in  At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare’s private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare’s. It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as “not of an age, but for all time.” In the 20th and 21st century, his work has been repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

Shakespeare died at the age of 52 on April 23, 1616.  He was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. The epitaph carved into the stone slab covering his grave includes a curse against moving his bones, which was carefully avoided during restoration of the church in 2008:Shakespeare's grave

Good frend for Iesvs sake forbeare,

To digg the dvst encloased heare.

Bleste be  man  spares thes stones,

And cvrst be he  moves my bones.

(Modern spelling: Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear, / To dig the dust enclosed here. / Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones.)

Sometime before 1623, a funerary monument was erected in his memory on the north wall, with a half-effigy of him in the act of writing. Its plaque compares him to Nestor, Socrates, and Virgil. In 1623, in conjunction with the publication of the First Folio, the Droeshout engraving was published.

Shakespeare has been commemorated in many statues and memorials around the world, including funeral monuments in Southwark Cathedral and Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

(source: Wikipedia.org)

Check out Swide’s Top 10 best Romeo and Juliet movies ever.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! (1904-1991)

Dr. Seuss postage stamp

Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss was featured on a 37-cent postage stamp in 2003.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He published his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, under the name of Dr. Seuss in 1937.

His early career began in advertising.  His articles and illustrations were published in various magazines including Life and Vanity Fair.

He also contributed to the war effort by creating animated training films and drawing propaganda posters.

Political Cartoon - Holocaust in France

Over 70 years ago on July 20, the cartoonist known as Dr. Seuss drew a forest filled with corpses hanging from the trees, with a sign reading “Jew” pinned to each body. Adolf Hitler, with extra rope draped on his arm, and Vichy leader Pierre Laval were shown singing happily. Read more on the JNS.org blog written by Dr. Rafael Medoff. Credit: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.

 

According to Bio.com, “A major turning point in Geisel’s career came when, in response to a 1954 LIFE magazine article that criticized children’s reading levels, Houghton Mifflin and Random House asked him to write a children’s primer using 220 vocabulary words. The resulting book, The Cat in the Hat, was published in 1957 and was described by one critic as a “tour de force.” The success of The Cat in the Hat cemented Geisel’s place in children’s literature.”

Author and illustrator of 46 children’s books, Dr. Seuss is one of the most well-known and beloved authors of all time, with his work having been adapted into 11 TV specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical, four television series and a theme park over the years.

Prolific and adored, he won the Pulitzer Price, a Peabody and an Academy Award (for a documentary), and his works have been translated into more than 20 languages with sales of over 600 millions copies worldwide.

 Here are some quotes from Dr. Seuss:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

“Why fit in when you’re born to stand out?”

Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat

The famous Cat in the Hat

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.

“Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.

“It is better to know how to learn than to know.

“Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

“You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

“Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
“Fun is good.”

Elvis Presley’s Birthday Celebration

“The King” would’ve been 80 years old if he were alive today, January 8, 2015.

 

According to Rolling Stone magazine,  a new website called ElvisTheMusic.com will go live on Elvis’ Presley’s birthday.  It will feature a comprehensive online database of all things Elvis. Graceland will also livestream an 80th birthday celebration for the singer starting at 10:15 a.m. EST; Priscilla Presley is scheduled to appear at the event.

Lisa Marie plane for sale

Own a piece of Presley by purchasing this plane.

One can have a bit of Presley property.  You can now bid on Presley’s private planes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II. Julien’s Auctions will auction off the aircrafts, which have been parked outside Graceland for over 30 years, on February 2nd. While the planes are no longer suitable for flying, they preserve the original interiors from Presley’s time onboard.

 

Jack Kirby Remembered

If you know the story of Captain America and the Fantastic Four, then you know of Jack Kirby’s work.  He was the creator of the aforementioned Marvel Comics characters.
Jack Kirby

 

If he were alive today, Jack Kirby would be  97 years old.  He was born August 28, 1917 in New York City, New York.   He died at age 76 from heart failure in 1994.

He worked with both of the industry’s main publishers – Marvel and DC, and was responsible for the creation of many of the format’s best-known characters, including Iron Man, X-Men and The Hulk.

As well as an extraordinary imagination as a creator, Kirby also possessed a pioneering talent in illustration.

His dynamic pencil and ink work expressed movement and action with an explosive energy that became the standard illustration style for the entire format.

Fantastic Four drawing by Jack Kirby