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Scott Roberts

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42. Listen to a fable at the Wren’s Nest

To hear Akbar Imhotep, one of the rotating storytellers here, weave a Brer Rabbit tale is to witness a maestro preserving an almost lost art form.

6. Learn how to really put on a puppet show

The bonding that goes on during the Create-A-
Puppet workshops held after certain Center for Puppetry Arts performances is more about parent-and-child than glue–and–cutout shapes.

The Innovation Index

Arthritis Simulation Gloves
Here’s a novel way to make jars and packages easier to open: Let manufacturers see what it’s like to handle products with arthritic hands. These gloves, developed by Georgia Tech Research Institute engineers, stiffen the joints and make it harder to grip, turn, and push down on lids. Some manufacturers are already using the empathy-inducing handwear in product trials, and builders are using them to test doorknobs and cabinet drawers. That should enable companies to prepare for an aging population.

Barbie Redo

For more than half a century, the name "Barbie" has conjured indelible images into the psyches of children and adults alike: carefree, shapely, blond, and white. Now Mattel has enhanced the image of its fifty-something doll with the addition of So in Style Locks of Looks Barbie, a version inspired by Atlanta’s own hair-product juggernaut, Bronner Bros. The toy giant approached the sixty-five-year-old African American–owned company about making a special doll to coincide with Bronner's spectacularly successful, twice-a-year hair-care trade show—next one is February 18 to 21. (The show attracts about 60,000 attendees and was featured in Chris Rock's 2009 film "Good Hair.") Mattel enlisted designer Stacey McBride-Irby—the originator of the company’s first black doll line—to create the dolls, which come in three different models and are available at Walmart, Kmart, and other select retailers for about $20 each. All three models come with four hair extensions and a younger sister. "I want African American girls to know that dolls can represent their career aspirations, hobbies, and ethnic backgrounds," says McBride-Irby.

The first Atlanta International Pop Festival

“There it was, man, pop culture in the middle of an unreal dust bowl with a wide asphalt rim.” Thus wrote the Atlanta Constitution’s Albert Scardino forty-two years ago about the first Atlanta International Pop Festival, which took place on the Fourth of July weekend in 1969.

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