Finally, ‘dad bod’ Ken dolls that can appeal to middle-aged men

For all you middle-aged men out there who have long yearned for Barbie dolls that are more reflective of your self image, I’ve got good news. Toymaker Mattel has released a new wave of Ken dolls, including one with a so-called “dad bod.”

(“Dad bods” are what some folks are now calling the somewhat tubby — but still maybe kind of attractive — physiques many of us get after settling down and having kids, in case you’re not up with the latest terms of objectification.)

Although the fuller-figured Ken is a step in the right direction, I’m holding out until these Ken dolls are personalized to look exactly like me. I want him sporting a big nose and five o’clock shadow, wearing a camouflage BDN ballcap and carrying around a tough old laptop in a dirty, gray satchel bag. I want Barbie to be thoroughly unimpressed with this guy.

Amazingly, there are some other things worth thinking about, too.

What we’re talking about

The owner of the landmark J’s Oyster Bar will plead guilty to tax evasion, and as part of the plea agreement, Cynthia Brown will spend four months in jail and pay back more than $1 million in unpaid state sales taxes. Brown acknowledged to the BDN’s Jake Bleiberg that she was behind on her taxes, and said she’s going to work hard to pay off the debt.

Westbrook’s Pat Gallant-Charette swam the English Channel at 66 and broke a record, becoming the oldest woman to ever do so. She previously set the record as the fastest U.S. woman to cross the Strait of Gibraltar.

Gov. Paul LePage signed a first-in-the-nation food sovereignty law, which gives cities and towns the authority to enact rules allowing local food producers to sell to customers for home consumption or community events without being subjected to state licensing and inspections. So the farm-to-table movement now has fewer regulatory steps between the farms and the tables.

The Portland City Council went ahead and approved stricter rules for golf carts on the Casco Bay islands, according to the local ABC affiliate WMTW. Islanders had previously complained that drunken wedding guests were bombing around the islands on golf carts unsafely, and the new rules explicitly make some of that bad behavior illegal, such as driving with a passenger on your lap or standing on a golf cart in motion.

The council also passed a resolution calling on the federal government to add a new fee on fossil fuels, the Portland Press Herald reported. I’m sure the federal government will get right on that.

Tweet of the day

From Oxford University researcher Max Roser:

Hear that, ladies? His “oats and potatoes are bully” (if you know what I mean)! Swipe right!

The Big Idea

‘Sanctuary cities’ around the country are helping immigrants stay a step ahead of President Donald Trump. Some examples: Denver changed its local sentencing limits to avoid triggering federal alarms, Los Angeles set aside $10 million in a legal defense fund for those facing deportation, while Santa Fe will require federal immigration agents to get search warrants to access any non-public area. Trump had signed an executive order threatening to cut aid to communities that don’t help with deportations.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at, or tweet @JZBleiberg.

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