The Educational Values of Barbie Dress Up Games

Contrary to popular opinion, Barbie dress up games have their educational values! This is despite the first impression that these online flash games are designed for small girls and pre-teens who love to dress up their virtual Barbie dolls in various glamorous outfits complete with shoes, bags and jewelry. Most parents are surprised about the values and skills that their young children learn from playing these flash games for an hour or so every day.

Empowerment for Women

Why is such misconception still prevalent in our society? The blame can be laid at the feet of Barbie doll detractors whose main point of contention lies in the apparently unhealthy focus on the ideal body – ample bust, small waist, and feminine hips – and unattainable fashion sense – one unique outfit for every day of the year – promoted by Mattel.

But this is far from the truth! Barbie encourages young girls to be empowered women in their later years in so many ways.

First, by playing Barbie dress up games, young girls are introduced to the numerous possibilities of their future careers from teachers, doctors and nurses to astronauts, engineers, and even presidents of their own companies, among others. The Barbie lifestyle as simulated in these flash games encourages players to live an independent life coupled with a successful career, modern skillsets, and good moral values.

Second, young girls learn from playing these games that their choices are, indeed, aplenty! From their choices, be it clothes and education, can determine their future but even when they make mistakes, they can start all over again. Now that’s what we call women empowerment starting at a very young age.

Beyond Physical Appearances

Admittedly, Barbie dress up games are designed to allow young girls to play around with the clothes, shoes and bags as well as hair and makeup of the virtual Barbie dolls so as to achieve the best possible appearance for their characters. But there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it either.

At an early age, young girls – and boys, for that matter – are encouraged by their parents to look their best especially when meeting other people. Keep in mind that looking your best results in greater self-confidence when meeting and mingling with others. It is then not surprising that every parent wants their children to put their best foot forward.

Indeed, valuing your physical appearance goes beyond looking good itself – it is also about feeling good about yourself even in mixed company. Such appropriate value in looking and feeling good can be nurtured among young girls by allowing them to play Barbie dress up games!

Think about it: By the time young girls are ready for the workplace, they already have clues about appropriate office wear partly because of her fondness for dress up games starring Barbie and her gang. This is also true for other occasions like casual parties, social events, and hot dates where first impressions are often the lasting impressions.

Parents, don’t hesitate to let your young girls play Barbie dress up games. The trick is in supervising their game time so that they can learn valuable lessons without becoming addicted to the world of online flash games.

Way Out West – Wickenburg, AZ

Sitting in the shadows of the rising Phoenix, a small town full of cowboy history and culture awaits just a short jaunt away. I could have used the description short “drive”, but out here a horse is considered a major part of the public transportation system, and many locals tend to “drive” the cows. This town is well known for dude ranches and open spaces, but more know it as the stop on the way to the gambling destinations of Nevada. Why not take a gamble on Wickenburg, Arizona? It is your best bet along the way.

Wickenburg was founded in 1863 when Henry Wickenburg, a Austrian prospector, found gold around the area of the Vulture Mountains of central Arizona. Soon after the mining and ranch foundations of the town were laid, and a western town was born. The town celebrates it’s history in many ways, much which can be seen still today. From ghost towns to festivals, there are numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in Wickenburg’s western heritage.

One of the biggest western festivals of it’s kind, the annual Gold Rush Days draws thousands of visitor’s from all over to celebrate the mining history of the area. The weekend in February offers mining competitions, melodramas, and one of the largest parades in the state on Saturday. If you are in town at any time of year, be sure to visit the Chamber of Commerce located in the historic railroad depot on Frontier Street. This is a great place to start and get the skinny on the history of the town and the places and things you will want to do. Be sure to check out the old Santa Fe steam engine right outside the station. Many shops and artisans are located around the downtown area from here. Some of the highlights include Ben’s Saddlery Shop, Buckshot Babe’s, and some of the best Turquoise jewelry in the state at Danny’s. Take a walking tour of downtown and you will find a few “guides” around town to help you learn a little about it’s history. These guides are actually statues located around town and with the push of a button will tell you a tale of the town’s past.

For a town of it’s size, the selection of restaurants is pleasantly plentiful. The best thing you will find about Wickenburg’s eating establishments is character. Mom and Pops are very well represented, with Anita’s, Rancho Bar 7, and the Cowboy Cafe to name just a few. After a good meal check out a movie over at the historic Saguaro Theater, built in 1948 it’s signage and original ticket booth are still intact. And as far as movie popcorn goes, this place knows how to pop those kernels. Wickenburg is the obvious place for that Dinner and a Movie date that you need to take.

The two best things about Wickenburg to do we have yet to mention. Desert Caballeros Western Museum and the Vulture Mine townsite. For a town of less than 10,000 people, the museum here is the toast of the town. With a western art collection that includes greats like Remington, Russell, Moran, and Weighorst, this is the little museum that could…and does. Besides the ever changing exhibits to keep you coming back, the permanent historical part of the museum includes a 1915 Arizona street scene complete with a saloon, watch shop, livery stable, post office, church, and general store. There is also a Victorian house recreation to show how things were back in the old west. This is a must see in Wickenburg, appreciate, learn, and enlighten.

Vulture Mine was the original location of Henry Wickenberg’s gold find. Just in sight of Vulture Peak, the town of Vulture City was founded here to support the mining. At one point the population was as high as 5,000 who would call this desert town home. Many of the original buildings are here, and a self guided tour is offered to those that are up to it. The original hanging tree is still there, in a town where 18 were hung from this old Ironwood. Some say there are ghosts that still haunt this area. Isn’t this a little obvious? I mean this is a Ghost Town.

There are many things we have not covered, but there is so much to be discovered. Wickenburg is just a short distance from Phoenix and a long distance away in your mind. Be sure to take a trip soon and get in touch with that western spirit that this great Arizona town has to offer.

American Mobsters – The Murder of Herman "Beansy" Rosenthal

It was common knowledge, the policeman of the early 20th Century was “on the take” more often than not. Yet no cop was more ostensibly crooked than Police Lieutenant Charles Becker, head of the “Strong Arm Squad” in New York City in the early 1900’s. While Becker and his crew were supposed to be ridding the city of vices, such as gambling and prostitution, he was, in fact, making deals with the proprietors of such illegal establishments, where he’d receive substantial amounts of cash from them, and in return, he would turn a blind eye to their activities. It was reported, that even though Becker ‘s annual salary was only $2,250, he had amassed a fortune of over $100,000.

Herman “Beansy” Rosenthal was a small-time crook of very little distinction, and even less pull on the streets. Every time Rosenthal opened a gambling house, it was closed down in a matter of weeks. Finally, Rosenthal found the place of his dreams on West 45th Street near Broadway. But this time, Rosenthal finally saw the light, and he took in as a partner, none other than Police Lieutenant Charles Becker. This arrangement went quite well for awhile, but New York Mayor William Jay Gaynor began hearing rumors that maybe Becker was not quite doing his job in a proper manner. Mayor Gaynor started putting the screws to Becker, so Becker decided he had to make a big splash, therefore displaying his proper allegiance to the law. Becker knew no one would care less what happened to the un-connected Rosenthal, so he raided Rosenthal’s gambling den, which was part Becker’s, and even arrested Rosenthal’s nephew to boot.

Rosenthal told Becker this was not the correct way for a “partner” to be acting. Becker said not to worry; that it was all a show for the Mayor. Becker promised that Rosenthal’s nephew would soon be released, and that the joint would be back in working order in no time. Yet District Attorney Charles Whitman felt different. He immediately indicted Rosenthal, Rosenthal’s nephew and several employees of Rosenthal’s gambling den. Rosenthal saw right through the double-cross. He ran straight to Whitman and spilled the beans about his connections to Becker. At first, Whitman turned a deaf ear to Rosenthal, so Rosenthal repeated his story to Herbert Bayard Swope, a crime reporter for “The New York World.” Swope wrote several articles parroting what Rosenthal had said about the actions of the New York City police department, which forced Whitman to finally take strong action.

On July 16, 1912, Rosenthal was scheduled to testify before a grand jury. Becker knew he was in dire danger of going to jail for a long time, so he contacted Big Jack Zelig, whom the police considered “The Most Dangerous Man in New York City,” to take care of the Rosenthal situation. The price was $1000, and Zelig sub-contracted out the work to four of his best men; Harry “Gyp the Blood” Horowitz, Frank “Whitey Lewis” Muller, Lewis “Lefty” Rosenberg and Frank “Dago Frank” Ciroficci.

At 2 am on the morning he was set to testify, Rosenthal had just finished eating in the dining room of the Hotel Metropole on West 43rd Street. As he stepped outside into the warm night air, the four gunmen shot Rosenthal dead with lead, then escaped in a getaway car. Within an hour, Swopes woke Becker from a deep sleep, and Becker immediately launched an investigation into Rosenthal’s murder. The first one arrested was Zelig, and he spilled the beans immediately, implicating Becker. The four gunmen went into hiding, but were captured a few weeks later.

On July 29, 1912, based on Zelig’s testimony, Becker was arrested for murder of Herman “Beansy” Rosenthal. But even from jail, Becker had long tentacles. His next move was to make sure Zelig didn’t testify against him in court. On October 5, 1912, the day before he was set to tattle on Becker officially, Zelig, now to Becker, “The Most Dangerous Rat in New York City,” was shot dead on a street car by “Red Phil” Davidson.

Even without Zelig, the case against Becker and the four killers was just too strong. All five were tried, convicted and sentenced to die in the electric chair at Sing Sing prison. The four gunmen were put to death on April 13, 1914, but Becker would not give up without a fight. His last chance at saving his life was an appeal of clemency to the new Governor, who just happened to be the same Charles Whitman, who had arrested Becker and prosecuted his case. Whitman refused to commute his sentence and Becker was electrocuted in July of 1915.

Becker tried to have the last word from his grave, when he ordered his wife to attach a silver plate to his coffin that said: “Charles Becker. Murdered July 13, 1915. By Governor Whitman.”

Before Becker’s body was lowered into the ground, the silver plate was removed by the state police.

Promise Rings! Hot Symbols of Commitment Since the 16th Century!

What’s all this fuss about promise rings? Are they something new or have they been around for a while? What do they mean and why is my teenager wearing one? If you’ve ever wondered what the rage is all about, then you’ve come to the right place!

What exactly is a promise ring?

When an agreement or oath has been made between two people, a promise ring is a piece of jewelry given as a token of the commitment that was made.

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Well, be careful because the promise made between two people can be practically anything. It’s imperative that both parties are clear on the meaning of the pact or pledge. For example:

  • Monogamy: A promise to stay faithful to one another.
  • Chastity or Purity: A promise to keep ones virginity until marriage.
  • Friendship: A promise to seal a pledge of eternal friendship.
  • Substance or Sobriety: A promise to remain free from addictive behavior (alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, etc.).
  • Religious or Christian: A promise to remain committed to one’s faith or belief in the God of their understanding.

These are just a few of the more popular reasons to give or wear a promise ring.

Pre-Engagement

That being said, the most popular reason to give a promise ring is for pre-engagement.

Are you confused yet? Pre-engagement is actually not as bad as it sounds. It has always been popular to exchange promise rings, so a couple can showcase their commitment to one another prior to getting engaged. In other words, this ring is symbolic of a promise there will be an engagement ring forthcoming.

If you are old enough to remember “going steady” with someone then giving this type of promise ring is kind of the updated version of going steady. The symbolism of the promise ring is really no different than a girl of years ago wearing her boyfriend’s high school ring on a chain around her neck or wearing her steady boyfriend’s letterman jacket. If you are too young to understand this analogy, talk to your parents or grandparents and they can enlighten you.

This trial period before the engagement is a good way for a couple to test the waters before they make an actual commitment to marriage. Some may scoff at this gesture of pre-engagement. However, with the rise in divorce rates in this country it may be wise to start off slowly in the relationship instead of rushing ahead into something you are not ready for.

The other good news here is that a promise ring costs significantly less than an engagement ring. It makes a wonderful alternative for the couple who chooses not to spend a fortune on a ring at this time but still wants to make a statement about their commitment to one another.

How does one wear a promise ring – which finger, which hand?

Basically it’s strictly a matter of personal preference, however the finger and hand you choose can depend entirely on the type of ring it is and in some cases the type of pledge. For example, an Irish Claddagh ring can have several meanings depending on the way it is:

  • Worn on the left hand, the wearer has made a promise of love and fidelity.
  • Worn on the right hand with the heart facing outward, the wearer’s heart is free.
  • Worn on the right hand with the heart turned inward, the Wearer’s heart is taken.

If you are exchanging friendship rings, it may be wise to wear the ring on your right hand so there is no confusion about romantic ties. There are many different types of rings you can share with a friend that will be meaningful to you both. A fun vacation you went on or the love of a certain hobby or animal, for example. My best friend and I share a love of cats. Therefore, we bought matching kitty cat rings, gold with diamond pave no less! These rings are special only to us and are a symbol of our friendship.

Most people associate the wearing of a ring on the left hand ring finger to mean that a significant commitment of some sort has been made.

If the promise is for pre-engagement, many couples choose to wear this ring on their left hand ring finger. They then switch the ring to their right hand once the actual engagement ring or wedding band is received.

Likewise a ring exchanged for the promise of monogamy or fidelity would be worn on the left hand ring finger to symbolize that the wearer’s heart is taken.

Where did the promise ring originate?

Rings themselves have been symbolic for many thousands of years. The circle has no beginning and no end and is a strong symbol for eternity.

Have you ever heard of a scribbling ring? In sixteenth century England, uncut diamond crystals were set into rings and exchanged by lovers. The wearers of these scribbling rings would use the points of the diamonds to etch (or “scribble”) romantic writings to each other in glass, mirrors or windows.

Another popular ring exchanged during Shakespearian times was called a Posey Ring. Posey rings are inscribed with poetic phrases or dates significant to the wearer.

It is believed that wearing words next to ones skin has a magical effect. These symbolic words may be carved on the outside or inside of the ring, or on both sides, there is no right or wrong way to do it!

Posey rings are a romantic way to share an expression of love and come engraved with beautiful sayings. It is no surprise that since French is said to be the language of love — the French poseys are very popular. Some special phrases include:

  • A Ma Vie De Coer Entier – My whole heart for my whole life
  • A Vila Mon Coer, Gardi Li Mo – Here is my heart, guard it well
  • Amor Meus – My Love
  • Autre Ne Veuil – No one, but you
  • De M’Amoure Soiez Sure – Of my love be sure

Ok, so maybe French isn’t your thing – how about one of these:

  • In Gaelic – Anam Cara – Soul Friend
  • In English – I Am My Beloved’s & My Beloved Is Mine
  • In Latin – Semper Amenus – Our love is forever
  • In German – Mine Genyst – My heart
  • In Hebrew – Mazel Tov – Marital good luck ring
  • Christian – With This Ring, I Thee Wed
  • In Italian – Mani In Fede – Hands Together in Faith
  • In Spanish – No Tengo Mas Que Darte – I have nothing more to give you but my heart

Use your imagination and write a Posey of your own!

The list of Posey ring sayings is endless! If you really want to “wow” the love of your life, come up with a special phrase that is meaningful to just the two of you. Having a special ring engraved with one of your own poseys would be a very romantic way for you to share your most heartfelt sentiments with a special someone you care about!