Tinker*Tailor loves Lalka via Flickr CC /

The Barbie doll has been targeted for her unrealistic proportions and for setting up an unattainable ideal for girls. Well, meet the new model - equipped with artificial intelligence, Barbie just got even more persuasive. Plus, “when a daddy really loves a mommy…” has long kicked off the story of how babies are made.  But what about now,  when surrogacy, same sex couples, and fertility labs are challenging old norms? We talk with the author of a series of books about sex for kids without gender, and without judgment. Today, we learn about the birds, bees, and biology.

Brent Danley via Flickr CC /

Donald Trump is praised as “authentic” because he speaks without a practiced politician’s filter.  Meanwhile, pundits knock Hillary Clinton for not putting on a good enough show of authenticity – so, what does that actually mean? And politics is not the only arena where the meaning of authenticity is open to interpretation -- what about food? Today we take a look at the myth of authenticity – in politics…cooking…and the internet. 

Yoyos: Coming Back Around

Jul 17, 2014
Molly Donahue

Back in 2013, downtown Concord, NH welcomed a new, unusual, addition. Yoyo Heaven is owned and operated by the father and son team Andy and Dan McBride, and it’s exactly what you could expect from the name. They sell assorted ‘skill toys,’ anything that engages people physically and can help build coordination, but the focus is on yoyos. They sell a wide range of yoyos and prices range from $5 to more than $200, and are more than willing to explain the different attributes of all of them.

Scott Lynch/ Gothamist

The gift shop at The National September 11 Memorial Museum has sparked controversy for such keepsakes as: a plush FDNY rescue dog and “survivor tree” earrings. While many find the items tasteless, the impulse to commemorate is as old as the country itself. NHPR's Brady Carlson takes us on a historical tour of tone-deaf keepsakes, from toy hand grenades to Confederate flag throw pillows. Plus, we'll speak to the founder of Letters of Note about the beauty and power of handwritten correspondence. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments

sheeshoo via Flickr Creative Commons

Whether it's a blinking laser gun, a noisy video game, or a robot doll that cries real tears, chances are this year's biggest selling holiday toys will be high-tech, battery operated, and chock full of bells and whistles.

Fighting back against the trend toward bright, noisy toys is Thierry Bourret of the toy company Asobi and founder of Slow Toy Movement, a website dedicated to promoting toys that educate and engage without plastic or power sources. Later this month, he will be announcing the winners of the 2nd annual Slow Toy Awards, and joins us for a preview.