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The best girls' toy ever? Or more of the same?

Posted by Joanna Weiss November 25, 2013 03:12 PM

Has any toy ever won and lost so much goodwill, so fast, as Goldie Blox? The pink and purple building toy was a national sensation because of its viral ad: a Rube Goldberg extravaganza, to a bastardized version of the Beastie Boys' "Girls." Then the Beastie Boys pointed out that the song was used without permission. Goldie Blox sued them preemptively, lost its good vibes, and backed down. Here's a new version of the ad, with boring music:

The Beastie Boys episode was really a distraction from bigger questions about Goldie Blox: Is this the holy-grail toy that will get more girls interested in science, or a clever way to tap into marketing trends? Is it the end of princess toys, or more of the same? We've compiled some reviews. Tell us where you stand, and whether you've already bought the toy for someone on your list. Add a comment, or tweet us @BostonComment.

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Will you shop on Thanksgiving?

Posted by Joanna Weiss November 25, 2013 06:42 AM

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And should you? The retail arms race that is Black Friday has officially extended into Turkey Day, as stores compete to capture shoppers during a shrunken holiday season. Yes, there's a backlash: complaints and petitions, often on behalf of low-wage retail workers, who have to leave their own Thanksgiving dinners to service someone else's shopping fix. But others argue that, since shopping can happen 24/7 online, it's unfair to keep brick-and-mortar stores out of the action.

How do you feel about the Black Friday creep? Do you expect stores to open even earlier next year? And if you're in Massachusetts -- where blue laws keep stores closed until midnight on Friday -- will you cross the border to New Hampshire to shop? We've compiled some opinions below. Tell us yours in the comments, or tweet us @BostonComment.

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Do we need anti-rape underwear?

Posted by Alex Pearlman November 11, 2013 10:10 AM

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You've heard the debates over steps women should take to protect themselves from sexual assault. Where does "Anti Rape Underwear" fit in? After putting a request on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, two women from New York raised more than $50,000 to manufacture what amounts to body armor: stylish, flexible, able to fit sleekly under a little black dress, and removable only by the wearer. It's not an entirely new idea.

In India, where sexual assault is an ever-present threat, engineers have manufactured underwear that uses electricity to shock a would-be rapist. Both evoke those Middle-Age chastity belts that probably never existed (see below). And they've sparked renewed debate over rape, risk, and messaging.

We've collected some opinions, and some historical context on armored underwear. Watch the video proposal and tell us where you stand. Would you wear it? Recommend it? Or do you think it sends the wrong message to women and men? Add your thoughts to the comments or tweet us @BostonComment.

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What's your final pitch for mayor?

Posted by Alex Pearlman November 4, 2013 09:25 AM

Last weekend, while the Red Sox were parading and carved pumpkins were biodegrading, Boston's fierce partisans made their last, best pitches for tomorrow's mayoral elections. Some local entrepreneurs took to Facebook to endorse John Connolly. Some Red Sox fans and teammates pitched Marty Walsh, in the midst of the rolling rally.

What's been in your eyesight and your news feed? On Twitter and in the comments, tell us the what you've heard and make your own 11th hour argument for who should be Boston's next mayor. Then tune in live tomorrow night on Boston.com as we offer returns and analysis, Boston.comment style.

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About Boston.comment

weiss.jpegBoston.comment is an exchange for ideas about Boston and beyond, brought to you by the Boston Globe editorial page and edited by Globe columnist Joanna Weiss. We're the sponsor of Boston.com's #LabDebates and the creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure mayoral game.

Our producer is Alex Pearlman, with contributions (and sea monsters) from Noah Guiney. To join the conversation, post a comment, tweet with our daily hashtag, or follow us on Twitter @BostonComment.

A note on comments: Be honest, be open, be polite. And be warned: Personal attacks will be removed.

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