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> Excerpts from the July 1, 2017 Salon.com entertainment news story by Taylor Link entitled:

Bill Maher Wants To Make Summer Great Again
The comedian says that since peak stupidity now reigns in America all year 'round, the Summer months have been rendered totally pointless






HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher went on an epic rant about the decline of summer in America during his “New Rules” segment Friday.

“Someone has to tell me how Summer, the time of year when we traditionally give our brains some rest, can retain its specialness if Stupid Season now runs on all year 'round,” Maher said while taking a break from the panel discussion.

“How can you feel good about earning a vacation for your mind if we’ve retired from the job of Thinking all together?” he asked.

Overcome with nostalgia, Maher noted that people used to enjoy their summers by reading trashy novels on the beach, watching “stupid” movies and disregarding any dress code.

"Now, people play 'Candy Crush' on their phones and dress ridiculously all the time. We have now ruined Summer because America insists on being peak stupid at all times,” Maher said.

“Our President is Donald Trump,” he added. “He’s on vacation all the time. Everything he does is trivial. How is my guilty pleasure time of year supposed to outdo that?”

“Before the Internet, the only escape from work was the Summer vacation,” he continued. “But now escaping work is as easy as closing the office door and typing the words 'Pornhub.com'.”

To end his rant, Maher gave his audience a call to action, demanding that they take back Summer.

“We have to get Summer back. We got to be able to enjoy stupidity again -- hard-earned respectable stupidity. That’s what my goal is in the age of Trump,” he said.





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Barbie's Boyfriend Ken Gets A Diverse Makeover


> Excerpts from the June 20, 2017 CNN MoneyWatch news story by Parija Kavilanz entitled:

Barbie's Boyfriend Ken Gets A Diverse Makeover





Barbie underwent a massive makeover in 2016, but this year is Ken's time to shine.

On Tuesday, Mattel unveiled a collection of diverse Ken dolls. Barbie's iconic boyfriend is now available in three body types: slim, broad, and original -- and seven different skin tones.

You can also choose from eight different hair colors, nine hair styles -- including a man bun -- and various eye colors. Fashion styles range from athletic wear to business attire.

Although 10 new Ken dolls ($9.99) arrive in stores today, five more will launch in the months ahead.





The new Ken dolls join Mattel's Fashionistas line. Last year, Mattel rolled out a diverse Barbie line with four body types, seven skin tones and 24 hairstyles to more broadly represent diversity among Barbie fans.

"We are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation," Lisa McKnight, senior VP and general manager for Barbie, said in a statement.





Mattel debuted the Ken doll in 1961. He wore red swim shorts and cork sandals. His look has since evolved over the decades.




In 2004, Ken and Barbie "broke up." In 2009, Ken let out his wild side, sporting a fedora and a tribal print shirt. Mattel branded him as "Hottie Ken" during that time.




The pair made up in 2011.














So, although he's been updated, Ken is still stuck with legacy plastic technology. How long will it be until he joins Barbie as an interactive hologram or has his own "Hello, Ken Mancave"?


> Excerpts from the February 19, 2017 CNN MoneyWatch news story by Parija Kavilanz & Jackie Wattles entitled:

Hologram Barbie Is Mattel's Newest Toy





Toy maker Mattel's latest invention is a digitally rendered interactive Barbie -- called the "Hello, Barbie Hologram" -- and it's hitting stores in late fall this year. The toy will be priced at under $300.00, the company says.

It was unveiled at the Toy Industry Association's annual fair in New York this weekend, and Mattel said the hologram on display is "just a glimpse" of what the final product will be.

A hologram of Barbie lives inside a plastic container and is active 24 hours as long as the toy stays plugged in. It's voice-activated, and kids can ask Barbie to change her appearance, including her clothes and skin tone.




Barbie also connects to the Internet and is able to hold conversations, teach dance moves, deliver animated weather reports, tell time, and even practice Yoga.

She can also be programmed to give her owner task reminders, and the device connects to Bluetooth so you can play her music via your phone or another device.

This is the latest tech innovation for the Barbie brand, coming on the heels of the talking "Hello, Barbie" and the voice-activated "Hello, Dreamhouse".

That's right: Barbie's latest dreamhouse responds when you talk to it.






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Re: The "Making Summer Great Again" Thread For Summer-Appropriate Light (i.e. Dumb) News Stories
For a couple of days, these dumb Kens were all over my twitter feed. DUMB.
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"Monopoly" In The News!


> Excerpts from the June 28, 2017 UK Daily Mail news story entitled Jay Akbar entitled:

Man Hands "Monopoly" "Get Out Of Jail Free" Card To Police After Getting Arrested
So, Did It Work?




A suspect in Minnesota handed police a "Monopoly" "Get Out Of Jail Free" in an audacious bid to avoid arrest, it has been reported.

The unnamed man, 35, was arrested on a felony warrant in Ravenna Township, Dakota County, over the weekend.

Luckily the Dakota County Sheriff's Office saw the funny side, writing on Facebook: "We appreciate the humor! A for effort!"

The suspect was arrested for fifth-degree controlled substance warrant and his bail was set at $5,000.00, Fox 11 reported.

It is not the first time a suspected American criminal has turned to the board game to get out of trouble.

Last September, a man took to Reddit to tell of how he handed the same card from Monopoly to a policeman after being arrested in Iowa.

"I was arrested at a protest Wednesday," the Minnesota man began his post. "The trooper asked me what was in my pockets. He didn't believe me."

"Evidence Bag - when they emptied my pockets they put everything in here," he captioned the photo.



Photo of the evidence bag containing a written description of the card shows how serious the man was in his attempts

Reportedly, immediately after his arrest, the Minnesota man had also not been allowed to pass "Go", either. After being taken into custody and charged with trespassing, he was only released after paying a bond of $300.00 in real money.





> Excerpts from the June 28, 2017 Thrillist news story by Dustin Neilson entitled:

"Super Mario Monopoly" Changes The Rules To Make "Monopoly" Like "Mario Kart"



The world is lousy with special editions of "Monopoly". There's "American Choppers Monopoly", "Avengers Monopoly", "Bass Fishing Monopoly", and even a "Rick and Morty Monopoly". (The last one should be a birthright because, oh man, there's a plumbus token!) However, those editions are the same old "Monopoly" re-skinned with a new theme.

The Super Mario-themed "Monopoly Gamer Edition" is totally different. It twists gameplay to make it more like Mario video games.

The characters -- standard tokens include Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, with an option for "Power Packs" that contain additional characters like Toad, Wario, Diddy Kong, Boo, and Luigi -- race around the board to complete levels, collect coins, and battle bosses.




Each character has special powers that manifest when you roll a "Super Star" on the special dice.




The Gamer Edition also adds "Mario Kart"-esque twists on the rules. For instance, if you get a green shell card, you can throw it at the character in front of you to make them drop coins (no money in this version, only coins). Additionally, each character has unique abilities that impact how you play the game.

The stupid boot token in the original "Monopoly" game never did that. That useless lump of leather didn't do anything at all. Its special ability was losing its laces. Stupid boot! That's undoubtedly why "Monopoly" booted the boot as a token earlier this year.

Even better, instead of collecting $200.00 when you pass "Go," you trigger a boss fight. Any board game is obviously improved when you fight Larry Koopa instead of collecting a little scratch while arguing with friends about how free parking actually works.




"Monopoly" doesn't often take on totally-new rules while still being "Monopoly". Though, "Monopoly Ultimate Banking" and "Monopoly Empire" are notable exceptions. This isn't just a Mario facelift (that already happened); this is a fun twist on something familiar.

"Monopoly Gamer Edition" will officially be released in August, but a collector's edition is available starting today at U.S. GameStop locations. Those editions come in special packaging with a bonus Bowser token.





> Excerpts from the March 17, 2017 CNN Moneywatch news story by Parija Kavilanz entitled:

"Monopoly" Kicks Out Three Classic Game Tokens


The T-Rex, rubber ducky, and penguin are the new Monopoly game pieces, replacing the classic boot, thimble, and wheelbarrow tokens.

There's been a big shakeup in Monopoly's eight classic game pieces. Say goodbye to the boot, wheelbarrow, and thimble tokens.

The ouster of the classic trio is the result of an online vote Monopoly parent Hasbro held in January at VoteMonopoly.com, marking the first time in Monopoly's 82-year history that Hasbro crowd-sourced the future of the game.

Voters were faced with a choice: Should Hasbro replace some -- or all -- of the traditional game pieces like the top hat and boot with more culturally relevant items like a hashtag, emoji, or computer?

More than 4,300,000 votes determined the newly configured group of eight: a T-Rex, rubber ducky, and penguin will join the five classic tokens Scottie the dog, hat, car, cat, and battleship. The boot, wheelbarrow, and thimble won't appear in the game starting this fall.

"Monopoly" fans were asked to select their favorite eight tokens from 64 possible options. A total of 56 were entirely new, while the other eight were the classics. The thimble and boot have been a part of the board game since 1935 and the wheelbarrow was introduced in the 1950s.

"While we can't say why these exact tokens were chosen or who exactly chose them, we know they represent the voices of our fans -- young and old -- from around the world," said Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming.



Jonathan Berkowitz

Still, he said fans of the now rejected boot, wheelbarrow, and thimble did rally hard to keep them around longer.



The most recent classic 8 "Monopoly" game pieces

"We saw a lot of passionate fans out there, including Singer Sewing Co., who rallied their fans on their social pages to keep the thimble token," said Berkowitz.

Hardware chain Ace Hardware used social media to drum up support for the wheelbarrow.

"I imagine that the thimble, boot, and wheelbarrow tokens don't resonate as much with today's fans," Berkowitz said.

Although crowdsourcing input is unique for the brand, Hasbro has launched 300 different versions of Monopoly to date. Most recently Hasbro released a cashless version of the game, Monopoly Ultimate Banking, which used bank cards and an electronic banking unit instead of paper bills.

"We're always listening to our fan base," said Berkowitz. "They're very engaged with the brand, especially on Facebook. We want them to continue to weigh in with ideas."





> Excerpts from Reader's Digest via Reminiscence Extra by Kay Maghan entitled:

9th Graders From Louisiana Inspire A Fascinatingly Historical Spin On "Monopoly"
Teacher Kevin Boone’s hands-on approach to history has spread beyond the classroom to the living room.



A new "Monopoly" game, "America’s World War II: We’re All in This Together", came out of a project done by Kevin’s world geography students at Salmen High School in Slidell, Louisiana, as they prepared for a field trip to the National World War II Museum in nearby New Orleans.

Kevin’s students were unfamiliar with many parts of the war, so he issued a challenge: Each of his five 9th-grade classes would develop a board game with a World War II theme, with students doing their own research to come up with the game questions and strategy.




In spring 2012, when the students made their trip, Kevin spoke to the National War War II Museum’s director of retail services and learned that officials there had been thinking along similar lines. After they chatted, the retail director began talks with Hasbro Inc., which owns the "Monopoly" name and format.



Chris Michel, Director of Retail Sales for the National World War Ii Museum, dressed up as. Mr. Monopoly on the left, and Teacher Kevin Boone.

The result was the new board game, which retails for $40.00. The format is familiar, but many of the details have been tweaked. Military troops replace cash, while houses, hotels and utilities become camps, headquarters and defense plants. The six game tokens evoke both the battlefield and the home front: a B-17 bomber; a pair of combat boots; a helmet; a Sherman tank; a cathedral-style radio; and an LCVP ship, a Higgins beach-landing craft.








> Excerpts from the June 7, 2017 Rolling Stone magazine news story by Althea Legaspi entitled:

Brian May Has Unveiled An Unboxing Video Detailing The Forthcoming "Queen Monopoly Game"





Queen's Brian May has unveiled a new video detailing the forthcoming Queen Monopoly game, which takes fans through pivotal moments in the band's history.

The guitarist says in the new unboxing video that they worked on the Monopoly project for a year and a half and compared it to making an album. He explains that the game is designed to mimic being in your own band. "You've got your band on the road and you have a career, and all the milestones that happen in real life will happen to you," he says. "All the good stuff and all the bad stuff, too."

In the 18-minute clip, he discusses the rules, and shows off the game pieces and the board. "This is all about live, this is about Queen live," he says. As the game is played, he explains, "You're out there facing the challenges that people actually do face on the road."

As players advance around the board, they land on various concert venues that have been significant to Queen's career. In this version of the game the cards are also Queen-specific: Stations are Global Hit Records, Chance is a "kind of magic," Community Chest becomes "In the Lap of the Gods" and the Water and Electric Company become "Lighting" and "Sound Company" cards.

While the guitarist jokes about it being a "very, very dangerous game," he seems to be enjoying himself while building staging blocks and full stage production pieces.




Game tokens include a Brian May guitar, a "News of the World" robot, a lady on a bike ("She's a Fat-Bottomed Girl" or "She's A Bicycle Rider," May says), a vacuum cleaner that nods to the "I Want to Break Free" video, a hammer for "Hammer to Fall" and a wartime radio representing "Radio Ga-Ga."

"'Monopoly' has always been about the pursuit of money, I guess," Brian May says. "But in this case, you're pursuing not just money but in a way excellence in your craft because as Freddie [Mercury] used to say when they asked him if he liked being rich, Mercury said, 'Yes, I like getting lots of money, because it tells me that people like what I do. It tells me that what I do has some value.' So there is that kind of ethos behind this game."

Queen Monopoly will be released on June 23rd and can be ordered via Queen's online store at: http://www.queenonlinestore.com/*/*/Queen-Monopoly/5IDU00000...








> Excerpt from the June 6, 2017 Salem News newspaper news story by Ethan Forman entitled:

Danvers Boy Receives Personalized "Monopoly" Game


Kyle O'Grady plays "Kylopoly" with his family and Care Dimensions staff at his home in Danvers.

DANVERS — Kyle O'Grady's legacy has been captured on a personalized version of "Monopoly", created especially for him by Rhode Island game maker Hasbro.

Kyle, who is 15, has an incurable form of brain cancer and is receiving hospice care. The "Kylopoly Game" includes all the things he likes and some of what he doesn't.

The game, which the family recently received at their Maple Street home, has the same rules as Monopoly, only it's personalized for Kyle.

Railroads have been replaced by his favorite states, like California, Florida, and New York. Fortune cookies cards have replaced those of Community Chest and Chance. Properties include Mia and Papas, Our House, Starbucks, and Woodman's in Essex.

A corner space called "Put On C Diff Precautions," refers to universal precautions taken in the hospital to keep an infection from spreading, something Kyle knows about all too well.

Kyle agreed it was cool to have his very own "Monopoly" game.

"It's like I'm on a whole new level!" he joked.

His mother was touched.

"When I opened it and saw that even the instructions were personalized, I just started crying," said his mother, Abbie O'Grady. "They just went so far beyond what we thought they would do. It tells the story of everything that is important to Kyle, and everything that he has been through with treatment, and it puts a funny spin on it, which is how he's looked at it."

It's the legacy project his family and caregivers had been urging him to create, but he was reluctant to do. His family includes his dad, Brett Desrosier; sister, Morgan; and younger brothers Brady, 5, and Connor, 3.

Kyle was diagnosed in May 2014 with a rare childhood brain cancer called High-Risk Medulloblastoma. He was treated for it, but now it's come back in an untreatable form.

His mother is on leave from her job as a hospice nurse with Care Dimensions to spend time with her son, whose prognosis is "poor." He's not strong enough to go to Danvers High School.

A team from Care Dimensions' pediatric hospice program has been providing care and support, and they helped Kyle come up with "Kylopoly" over the course of three months.

"It was a good goal for Kyle, and it kind of helped him health-wise to have a goal," said Patty Condon, Kyle's nurse and case manager.

"I don't really remember how we came up with the idea," Kyle said, "I just remember, I know I wanted to make a game. So we were just going through what kind of game we could make and we decided on making a 'Monopoly' game, because I had so many little ideas."

They first version of the game was made out of paper. Anne Williams, a spokeswoman for the agency, said a game company called Winning Moves Games, which is located in the same building as Care Dimensions, connected the agency with Hasbro. Winning Moves Games also makes classic versions of "Monopoly".

"We went out to Hasbro and we kind of pitched them the idea and they said, 'This would be awesome; we could totally do that'," Kyle said.


 
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