When I was a little girl creating fun adventures for my Barbie dolls, her career choices probably included Fashion Model, Lifeguard, Stewardess, Ken’s Girlfriend, and that’s about it. Now of course, Barbie can be whatever the fuck she wants to be, even a Robotics Engineer. Yes, I just typed that. Here’s what Mattel’s website has to say about 2018’s Career of The Year Barbie:
Dream big with the Barbie® Robotics Engineer doll! This Barbie® Career of the Year doll comes with a laptop and robot figure to play out all kinds of cool stories. Kids can explore exciting opportunities in the high-tech world and code their own futures!
Great gadgets include a purple laptop that shows a screenshot of her robotics project — and a silvery robot with arms that move at the shoulder.
Barbie® has partnered with Tynker, a game-based platform that teaches kids how to code and inspires them to explore STEM ( which stands for science, technology, engineering and math,) opportunities!
Her versatile workday outfit is designed for success with a trendy graphic t-shirt and denim jacket, accessorized with protective goggles.
I love how they specifically say ‘kids” and not “girls” in order to be gender inclusive. And hey, if this fashion-challenged, nerd Barbie (this one has deep-purple hair, excellent) encourages kids to learn to code, I’m all for it.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Countryside: The Future Exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.
This tiny Pink Wooden Toy Robot, complete with articulated joints, was discovered by me in a box of stuff left for the taking on the top of the recycling bins in front of my apartment building. He was quickly rescued, given a good scrubbing with some soap and water, and placed in a new home here in the Chickpad, where all pink things are welcome.
Here he is, hanging out with his pink friends.
Update 12/29/20: I just discovered that he is called a Micro Cubebot and he folds up into the shape of a cube! Check him out here.
Street Artist Chris RWK (@RobotsWillKill) painted this version of his signature Robot character on the Eldridge Street side of The Ridge Hotel. The bright red heart he’s holding has a gift tag attached that says “From New York.” Sweet. This mural is part of what is officially called The Ridge Wall; a series individual mural vignettes by a variety of popular street artists that wraps the building’s facade from Houston Steet around the corner to Eldridge. Sponsored by the hotel and 212 Arts Gallery, which represents the participating artists, the Robot with a Heart went up in October of 2018.
OK, I have spent several days scouring the Internet for any indication that this very Banksy-sque stencil mural — which depicts a Wall Street Banker-type panhandling for “Any Job” while a female Robot hands him what looks like a Burrito (but is probably a handful of cash)– is, in fact, a Banksy, but I can’t find any evidence to confrm that suspicion. My guess is that the piece is called Looking For Any Job, as the man’s sign suggests.
The mural is painted just inside a cinderblock wall corridor adjacent to a service door at 7 Pine Street, in the Financial District, where I’m guessing employees of the building lurk while taking their smoking breaks, judging by the cigarette butt evidence that can clearly be seen. I have no idea how long it’s been there, but I’ve worked in the neighborhood for well over ten years and I just noticed it for the first time a few months ago, which means nothing. Is it a Banksy? Sound off in the comments!
NOTE: As of January 10th, 2020, this artwork has been painted over!
Sometimes, the only quality a song needs to make it into this column is that I like the way it sounds, and the way the video makes me feel. If you’ve ever tried to imagine what Echo and The Bunnymen’s “Killing Moon” would sound like reimagined as a country song, I suggest it might sound a lot like Neighbor Lady’s “Let It Bleed” — a minor chord masterpiece that captures and conveys a lifetime of memories in under four minutes. Wow.
Visually,“Let It Bleed” (which has nothing in common with the Rolling Stones‘ song of the same name) follows a lonely little robot who attempts to integrate with society, but eventually self-destructs, Or something like that. The story is definitely open to interpretation, so individual mileage may vary.
Atlanta based Neighbor Lady is comprised of vocalist / songwriter Emily Braden, Jack Blauvelt (Guitar), Merideth Hanscom (Bass), and Andrew McFarland (Drums), and the band (which began as began Braden’s solo project) has been called a missing link between indie-rock and classic country western. Braden reveals that, lyrically, her songs chronicle events in her personal life and her emotions surrounding those events. I feel her.
“Let It Bleed” can be found on Neighbor Lady’s debut album, Maybe Later, out May 11th, 2018 on Friendship Fever. Enjoy!
HAHA! Donuteater; a Homer Simpson/ Terminator/ Bender Mash Up design by Droidloot is available on a T-Shrt for just $15.95, and also on lots of other cool stuff like Zip-Front Hoodies and T-Shirts for Dogs (I kid you not) at This Link Right Here.
Two Words: Toy Robot! At a time when absolutely nothing original is happening in Music, NY based synth pop/rock quartet Jolly have miraculously delivered the most original DIY music video I’ve seen in 30 years! Created by the band themselves with only a cardboard box, construction paper and the aforementioned toy robot, “Lucky” is the fourth video from the album The Audio Guide To Happiness ll, out now on InsideOut Music. This crazy cool video features a cameo appearance by famed drummer Mike Portnoy (ex- (Dream Theater), who can be seen in the clip driving a Puppy Nursery van, and sporting his numerous tatts and blue beard. Mike Portnoy!
Sound-wise, Jolly lives up to its name with this upbeat, ridiculously melodic and hook-laden tune that for some reason reminds me of what Living Color might have sounded like if they had hit it big in the early ’80s. Also, tell me you don’t hear a little Faith No More in the mix, because I know you do. Furthermore: Lead Singer kind of Hot. Jolly is currently on tour in the US with plans to release new material in 2014. Find out more about Jolly and its very fun music at Jolly Band Dot Com. Enjoy!