Barbie's Dream House Now Has Wi-Fi

Barbie’s Dream House is getting a technological upgrade. Until now, Barbie and her family have been living in the pre-Internet era, but toymaker Mattel is finally bringing the doll into the 21st century. The new Hello Barbie Dream House will have an elevator, customizable lights, a fireplace, a fridge, and, of course, be able to connect to an accompanying app via Wi-Fi.

The goal, according to The Atlantic, is to create a home that better reflects modern-day aspirations. While the Dream House of the past—with it spacious closets and sliding doors—reflected a distinctly 1960s middle class ideal, the new Dream House will mimic the Smart House of the future. 

Mattel first unveiled the updated Dream House at the International Toy Fair earlier this month. According to Mashable, kids can talk directly to the house, ordering it to perform household tasks like turning on the lights or operating the elevator. But kids can also interact with the house as part of their narrative of play. For instance, announcing it’s “time for school” prompts a recording of Barbie's voice and activates the shower. (It's not all fun and games—there's also a "Party Mode" for when Barbie and her friends want to dance.)

The Hello Barbie Dreamhouse will be released sometime this fall and retail for $299. Check out the demo from the International Toy Fair above.

[h/t The Atlantic]

Banner Image Credit: Techlicious, YouTube

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The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
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The Indo-European language family includes most of the languages of Europe as well as many languages in Asia. There is a long research tradition that has shown, though careful historical comparison, that languages spanning a huge linguistic and geographical range, from French to Greek to Russian to Hindi to Persian, are all related to each other and sprung from a common source, Proto-Indo-European. One of the techniques for studying the relationship of the different languages to each other is to look at the similarities between individual words and work out the sound changes that led from one language to the next.

This diagram, submitted to Reddit by user IronChestplate1, shows the word for two in various Indo-European languages. (The “proto” versions, marked with an asterisk, are hypothesized forms, built by working backward from historical evidence.) The languages cluster around certain common features, but the words are all strikingly similar, especially when you consider the words for two in languages outside the Indo-European family: iki (Turkish), èjì (Yoruba), ni (Japanese), kaksi (Finnish), etc. There are many possible forms two could take, but in this particular group of languages it is extremely limited. What are the chances of that happening by accident? Once you see it laid out like this, it doesn’t take much to put *dwóh and *dwóh together.

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Beyond Plumbing: 19 Other Jobs on Mario's Resume
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Nintendo made news this week by subtly announcing that Mario is no longer a plumber. In fact, they're really downplaying his whole plumbing career. On the character's Japanese-language bio, the company says, "He also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago."

But Mario has always had plenty of jobs on the side. Here's a look at his resume:


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