Archive for September, 2009

Barbie and Ruth by Robin Gerber

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009


I grew up with Barbie.  My grandmother and I created custom clothing designs, including one of a kind crocheted masterpieces.   I recall my delight when Gram surprised me by outfitting my entire Barbie collection as a wedding party, including home sewn tuxedos for my Ken dolls.

I always loved Barbie.  (I realize taking a public stance on this issue does not place me in the majority.) When I was young, Barbie wasn’t simply focused on being a fashion maven.  Mattel’s current trend of equating everything pink with Barbie limits possibilities for the toy line in my opinion. In the good old days, Barbie had style – and so much more.

In my house, Barbie was a woman on the move.  I always thought Barbie’s highly arched foot represented her power to run fast to get things done rather than “live” by the limitations imposed by a high heel only world.  My Barbie dolls were  always on a mission of some kind.  Okay, once in a while they went on dates, but they also went to the moon, constructed new building projects with the family’s colorful wooden building blocks.  They were teachers, doctors, Hollywood stars, investigators and crafty business women.

Barbie and Ruth enlightened me to the back story of one of my favorite dolls.   Robin Gerber takes the reader through Ruth Handler’s front door and into the Handler home.  I was surprised by the family’s strong reactions to Ruth’s entrepreneurial success.   The author also provides interesting facts about the early years and later ups and downs at Mattel Inc.

I hold great admiration for Ruth Handler, her business acumen, tenacity and her ability to switch gears when things got tough.  I highly recommend this book.  Ruth Handler’s story is inspiring.

It is refreshing to know that Ruth Handler’s legacy continues to shape our world.

Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I add my thoughts and opinions to the insights of others because in today’s culture of sharing and participation I can.

Eric Reasons

Cory Doctorow

I like Chris’ chart detailing scarcity and abundance on page 198.  The we’ll figure it out profit plan is rather sketchy as a guide for the future.  I enjoyed the read as a though-provoking look at the effects of the global market trends and developing business models.

Ed Peto’s rational for trying to find a means to make money in the music business briefly opens the door to business in Beijing. “The moment you put a fee on accessing music in China is the moment you cut off 99 percent of your audience,” says Peto.  “Music is a luxury for the middle class in China, a flippant expenditure.  This model works against that.  We simply use free music and media as a way of saying that ‘everyone is welcome,’ building a dialogue, building a community, becoming the trusted brand of the grassroots music movement in China.  To do this, though, we have to become all things to all men: record label, online community, live events producers, merchandise sellers, TV production company.”

Free:  The Future of a Radical Price is on the shelf at the Library, however you can also download it for FREE.

What the Critics Say

“As in Anderson’s previous book, the thought-provoking material is matched by a delivery that is nothing short of scintillating.” (Publishers Weekly)


You will have to read Free: The Future of a Radical Price for yourself to find out!

September by Ann Dow

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

September is a month sublime;
the days are getting cool.
It is the “back to business” time;
the kids go back to school.

But first we rest on Labor Day;
it is an old tradition.
we join our friends to eat and play;
this is our sacred mission.

The baseball season’s winding down,
while football’s gearing up.
The talk among some folks in town
concerns the Stanley Cup.

Will Philly have a winning year?
The fans are all aflutter.
We know that hope can disappear
like so much melting butter.

September, though, is full of hope;
we know not what’s in store.
Whatever happens, we can cope;
we’ve seen it all before.

So let’s enjoy these summer days
with all their special beauty
as autumn hovers in the haze
reminding us of duty.