Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dolls & Technology

Dolls have been around for a long time. They have always been one of the main toys children, particularly girls, have enjoyed playing with. When I was a child - a million years ago - what made a doll special was the hair or the dress or even the size of the doll. About two decades ago, this shifted and the most important feature of dolls became what they could do. Some dolls were built to laugh, others to cry, and some even to speak. The dolls that only have beautiful hair or a beautiful dress are just not as popular anymore. Children want something more. They want the doll to accomplish something. A doll is just not a child's favorite toy anymore unless it can do something.

Nowadays, collectors are the main buyers of traditional dolls. Children are now more interested in electronic devices than in beautifully dressed dolls. With the advance of technology, dolls have become more sophisticated. The traditional dolls are being replaced by action figures and electronic dolls. Some of these electronic dolls are being used in schools to teach teenagers about the responsibilities of taking care of a baby. Other dolls are used in schools for other purposes, such as sex education.

Many parents have different opinions about the "marriage of the micro-chip and silicone rubber latex" (Belinda Youlten) and the creation of these advanced dolls has created much controversy. Not every parent is comfortable with having little robots that can walk around in the house. Maybe if these dolls did some of the house chores, more parents would become interested. Maybe, in this case, even adults with no children would consider them.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Celestia is a free program that can be easily downloaded. This tool can be used for all kinds of explorations in astronomy. The solar system is only one of the many topics I know nothing about. Celestia allows me to navigate through space in real time. The images in this program are amazing. I recommend this tool for anyone interested in exploring space. D. Thornburg says, "The only downside of this tool is that, once you start using it, you will probably lose track of time."