A product called "Mousr" will be—according to its manufacturer, Petronics—the first "artificially intelligent cat toy" when it comes to the store later this year. Come up with the name of the next high-tech toy for a pet.
How to enter: Submissions should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. This week, kindly type "PET TOY" in the subject line. Entries are due by 11 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, Feb. 8. Winners will appear on Feb. 12. In the case of identical or similar entries, the first one received gets credit. First prize is a one-year digital subscription to Reason magazine, plus bragging rights. While we appreciate kibbitzing in the comments below, you must email your answer to enter the contest. Feel free to enter more than once, and good luck!
And now for the results of last week's contest: After Mattel unveiled its three new Barbies, we asked you to come up with the next iteration of Ken.
SJW Ken™ wears Barbie's clothes, hates Mattel — Colin Blake, Boston, MA
Cis Ken: GI Joe doll with Old Navy cargo shorts — Russell Seitz, Harvard University
Defeated by Life Ken: World weariness in face (lines, eyebags) and slightly hunched over posture. Talking version bemoans how Barbie and the world have changed so much… — Bob Magee, Stamford, CT
Meth-head Ken: Skinnier than Barbie.
Old Biker Ken: Complete with cane and trike—Tom D, Phoenix, AZ
Ken Likes Men! (same as original Ken, but comes with a salmon polo) – Brian Heersink, Alamosa, CO
Ken with No Ears (because men don't listen anyway).—Christopher P. Brown, Idlewylde, MD
Dad-Bod Ken—Anthony Fuller, Avon, OH
Civil Forfeiture Ken with Car (Car not included)—Colin Blake, Boston, MA (yes, again!)
Filthy-rich Ken: The box doesn't show what he looks like, but it's not as though anyone cares.
Trend-victim Ken: Has man bun, perpetual 3-day beard, and Chinese tattoo that no one who reads Chinese can read; comes with tiny plastic Mini Cooper.——David J. Edmondson, Washington, D.C.
Ken! (A doll nobody wanted to play with, even after the addition of the exclamation mark.)—Tracy Davis, Lawrence, KS
Ken has traditionally been portrayed as an upper-class, uptight, plastic member of society. To reduce the socioeconomic stereotype, Ken is putting down his sweater and tennis racket. Introducing:
Perennial Student Loan Ken, complete with guitar, donation cup, and music-appreciation degree—Tim Whalen, Manassas, VA
KombOver Ken—Mark Ellis, Vancouver, BC
Introducing 4 new Ken dolls to reflect the progressive world of 2016
Men's Rights Activist Ken: Slightly overweight, slightly balding, unkempt beard, T-shirt reads "It's about journalism integrity in gaming"
Ally or Feminist Ken: Goatee, man-bun, scarf, works as a barista
White Male Privilege Ken: Basically the existing Ken—CG
Anatomically ambiguous Ken—Jim Noble, Boulder Creek, CA
"Call Me Kenlyn" Ken (win/win: first transgender Ken would be very PC, plus would just need to repurpose the original Barbie for new Ken doll)—Christopher P. Brown, Idlewylde, MD
Occupy Wall Street Ken (Comes with iPhone 6, MacBook Pro and a Soy, Java Chip Frappuccino… with caramel drizzle!) — Greg Peters, Palmdale, CA
Taken: Clean cut, married Ken
Munchken: Short overweight Ken who likes to snack
Broken: Ken's bankrupt brother
Faken: Actually Juan using Ken's identification to get a work permit
Pumpken: Muscle guy Ken with spray-on tan
Woken: Transgender Ken
Smoken: Very attractive and marijuana-growing Ken
Packen: Recently divorced Ken
Baken: The old-fashioned breadwinning Ken who has learned to cook and share household duties
Spoken: Articulate Ken, Barbie's favorite.
Mistaken: Average everyday guy Ken, often misunderstood by Barbie—David Williams, Raleigh, NC
AND FROM THE COMMENTS:
Angry Ken: Comes with a restraining order from Barbie and a drinking problem
Realistic Ken: Has a pot belly, bald spot, and fading tribal armband tattoo. Accessories include a sixer of Milwaukee's Best and a laptop so he can Facebook-stalk Skipper's friends.
Balding Overweight Ken to go with Curvy Barbie.
Fatphobic Ken: refuses to touch "curvy" Barbie
NY douche bag investor Ken: Comes with blue suit, hookers, and blow
Prepper Ken" Comes with poncho, bomb shelter, and cans of Spam
FeelTheBern Ken: Accessories include Comparative Lit degree from Berkeley and his parents, whom he lives with
Ken, eh? Ken's Canadian cousin from Saskatchewan. Comes with flannel shirt (which cannot be removed); is maple-scented
Lies to Himself Ken
Cross-fit Ken. He is fit, intense, and passionate about his exercise regimen. God help you if a carb gets anywhere near him.