Thursday, March 5, 2015
“Today you are you, that is truer than true.”
For many of us, the books we grew up reading left a lasting impression on us.
Maybe the words of Dr. Seuss taught you that it was OK to be yourself.
Or Roald Dahl's Matilda reminded you that beauty comes from within.
Perhaps Alice In Wonderland made you question the world you lived in.
“My family doesn’t love me, but I don’t want to talk about it.”
The account, @BroodingYAHero, brilliantly points out the absurdities of the heroes of these books, who always manage to sweep the heroine off her feet despite being kind of lame.
seriously-saranghae.tumblr.com / Via Giphy
Meet the stuffed animal that started it all.
Dan Meth / Via BuzzFeed
On June 3, 1995, Ty Inc. released a royal-blue-colored Beanie Baby named Peanut the elephant.
The suburban Chicago small business had been selling the line of five dollar animals for the past year and a half. Sales had been so poor that stores told Ty Warner, the company's owner, that they would only buy Beanie Babies six at a time — instead of in the twelve-packs he was offering on his order forms. Even then, most buyers passed. Ty was unfazed. "Most retailers don't know what they're doing," he wrote in a note to an employee. "When retailers are angry with you, it means you have a good product."
At first, Peanut did nothing to substantiate Warner's instincts. Entrepreneurs of lesser conviction might have moved onto their next idea, but Ty wasn't done.
Four months after Peanut was released, Ty reached a decision: He would change her color, taking her fur from royal blue to baby blue.
The change was part of an ethos that Warner's ex-girlfriend Patricia Roche, who'd been with him when he started selling plush animals out of his condo in the mid-1980s, remembers as his "never-ending striving for a perfect that doesn't exist." Warner once proclaimed that "Even perfection has room for improvement," and Roche remembers the eight hours that Warner once spent taking a photo of a single stuffed cat for his company's catalog.
In the case of Peanut, punctiliousness paid off. In the span of less than three years, the decision to change Peanut's color after only a couple thousand royal blue ones had shipped would, perhaps more than any other decision he ever made, propel Warner from small-time toy baron to the richest man in the history of the industry.
Prototypes for Ty Warner's "Nana," a now valuable Beanie Baby.
Via Zac Bissonnette
By the beginning of 1996, four months after Peanut's color changed, Beanie Babies were taking off as a popular toy in Chicago's northern suburbs. Ty Inc. was shipping more than half of the Beanie Babies it sold to retailers within Illinois, and their popularity was spreading without the benefit of any advertising. That was unusual in an era when virtually all popular toys were promoted on television.
In an embodiment of the consumerism-focused soccer mom culture that defined 1990s America, the collecting was quickly taken over by mothers. What had been a children's toy was to become, as Dave Barry put it in a 1998 column on the Beanie craze, "an obsessive, grotesquely over-commercialized 'hobby' with the same whimsy content as the Bataan Death March."
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The U.S. Postal Service is commemorating the beloved I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings author.
2015 U.S. Postal Service
The U.S. Postal Service will honor Maya Angelou — the beloved author, poet, actress and champion of equality — with a Forever Stamp.
"Maya Angelou inspired our nation through a life of advocacy and through her many contributions to the written and spoken word," said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. "Her wide-ranging achievements as a playwright, poet, memoirist, educator, and advocate for justice and equality enhanced our culture."
2015 U.S. Postal Service
Hug your editor / for National Grammar Day. They make you look smart.
To celebrate National Grammar Day on March 4, the American Society of Copy Editors (ACES) held a haiku-writing contest on Twitter.
...because grammar — and style and spelling and the like — deserve our complete attention, at least once a year.
Paramount Pictures / Via nomorethan150.wordpress.com
Here are some of our favorite haiku (plus a few from BuzzFeed's copy editors!):