You can't invent stuff like this
June 13, 2010 4:19 AM   Subscribe

Jack Ryan was a rocket scientist who invented BarbieTM, Hot WheelsTM, and a thousand other things but is often remembered for having a a manic need for sexual gratification that included a pleasure mansion and a marriage to Zsa Zsa Gabor.
posted by twoleftfeet (36 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
wha...?
posted by infini at 4:27 AM on June 13, 2010


He died, I guess, is the deal.

At least I learned that the namesake of Ken was traumatized by having a genitalia-free doll named after him. I see skies of blue. What a wonderful world.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:34 AM on June 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was interested in the Vac-U-Form, which was another of Ryan's inventions, but I got sidetracked on Ryan himself. Interesting character.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:43 AM on June 13, 2010


Must be something about the name.
posted by gjc at 4:50 AM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Despite marrying and having three kids, Ken was a closeted gay ...*

We're talking about the doll, right?
posted by dabitch at 4:58 AM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Once again I am reminded what a disgusting piece of crap the NY Post is.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:02 AM on June 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


By dialing certain combinations of numbers on the 150 telephones in the house, Ryan could activate a waterfall, illuminate the tennis court, close the front gate, turn on the stereo system or order caviar for eight in a sumptuous tree house with a crystal chandelier and a panoramic view of Los Angeles.

Thus creating both the worst and best tech-support contract job ever.
posted by hal9k at 5:03 AM on June 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Must be something about the name.

Right you are, Ken.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:04 AM on June 13, 2010


Just before hal9k's quote:
Ten years ago, Ryan decided to make up for all the fun and games he had missed during his years in the lab. He bought the five-acre, 18-bathroom, seven-kitchen estate of silent actor Warner Baxter on a hilltop in ritzy Bel Air and transformed it into a pleasure pad that was Hugh Hefner out of Kubla Khan. Guests ate lavish meals without benefit of utensils in the tapestry-laden Tom Jones Room.
You know, there is something to be said for rich people who enjoy their money instead of just bloodlessly using it to make more money.
posted by localroger at 5:05 AM on June 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


Thus creating both the worst and best tech-support contract job ever.

BUG REPORT #025565
Action to reproduce: (1) Invite seven scantily-clad Barbie clones to private forest for dinner. (2) Dial 555-CAVR
Expected result: Caviar for eight in sumptuous tree house with crystal chandelier and panoramic view of Los Angeles.
Actual result: Caviar for eight in sumptuous tree house with crystal candelabra and panoramic view of Los Angeles.
Resolution: Duplicate of #003011. Closed.
posted by No-sword at 5:09 AM on June 13, 2010 [22 favorites]


I much preferred thinking Barbie was invented by a chain-smoking proto-feminist with the voice of Kathleen Turner.
posted by Erroneous at 5:14 AM on June 13, 2010 [11 favorites]


eponysterical
posted by infini at 5:23 AM on June 13, 2010


As it happens, I can also dial certain combinations of numbers on any of my, well, one phone, and have nearly the same result. In fact, I can use anyone's phone. But I usually have to speak to some asshat, and the turnaround time is horrible. They're still building the waterfall from a number combination fest six months ago.
posted by disillusioned at 5:31 AM on June 13, 2010


Inventing things like Barbie isn't rocket sci-...waitaminute.
posted by telstar at 6:00 AM on June 13, 2010


Is it wrong to be depressed by the realization that that the odds of my manic need for sexual gratification being mentioned in my obituary is effectively nil?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:13 AM on June 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Quite a guy. Major Matt Mason was a cool toy, even though the wires in the armature would always break.

Thanks for the post.
posted by Trochanter at 6:59 AM on June 13, 2010


He died, I guess, is the deal.
He did die, but it was August 13, 1991. (By the way, that link goes to the worst-written Wikipedia article I've ever read. The date of death agrees with the "remembered" link in the post.)
posted by beagle at 7:02 AM on June 13, 2010


I'm right behind beagle - I was having a hard time parsing the dates because I assumed he had just died. Ah, the seventies sound so fun.
posted by saucysault at 7:09 AM on June 13, 2010


Jack Ryan was a rocket scientist who invented BarbieTM,

I think it's a stretch to say that he invented, or even designed, Barbie. No matter what Ruth Handler and that Salon article claim, the first addition Barbie looks just like a large Bild Lili doll.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:24 AM on June 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure that it's possible to write a better NY Post headline than the all-time classic, "HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR", but "SEX SECRETS OF BARBIE & KEN" is a decent effort. I like this bit:
Ryan...surrounded himself with busty Barbie clones, including Gwen Florea, who was the "voice of Barbie" in a line of talking dolls. The book quotes her: "He once said to me he loved me being tall so he could stick his nose in my boobs when he hugged me."
I Googled her and found a site for a book that she and another Mattel model did, which includes numerous photos, including Florea appearing as a very adult version [marginally SFW] of "Baby See‘n Sigh, the huggable foam doll." Hot-cha!
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:33 AM on June 13, 2010


a manic need for sexual gratification

I'm from Wisconsin - is that the same as "gettin' a lot?"
posted by Navelgazer at 7:51 AM on June 13, 2010


Man, the NY Post has some terrible writing, for example

But there was another side to Ken. And in 1990 he was formally diagnosed with AIDS....

I'm picturing a dinner in a hotel ballroom and some sort of comemmorative plaque.
posted by electroboy at 8:09 AM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


The book quotes her: "He once said to me he loved me being tall so he could stick his nose in my boobs when he hugged me."

Scandalous !!
posted by nola at 8:12 AM on June 13, 2010


Everyone needs to read this RIGHT NOW

Zsa Zsa's autobio needs to be thought in history classes, she writes like a immigrant from another universe. A univrse with considerably more champagne and sparkly things.
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on June 13, 2010


the whelk, you know who else liked zsa zsa?
posted by infini at 8:38 AM on June 13, 2010


Wowzers: "...revealing, among other intimate disclosures, that at 15 she lost her virginity to Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey."
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:47 AM on June 13, 2010


the whelk, you know who else liked zsa zsa?

Yes.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM on June 13, 2010


I still can't get the old TV Land promo out of my head shortly after the slapping-of-the-police-officer occurred... It was for Green Acres, and the announcer said, "Remember, this is Eva, not Zsa Zsa. Eva cannot harm you."
posted by hippybear at 9:15 AM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hrm. Please rewrite my above comment into english. Thankyouverymuch.
posted by hippybear at 9:16 AM on June 13, 2010


That, uh, looks like a really reputable internet source!
posted by agregoli at 10:05 AM on June 13, 2010


Well there's my prurient interest stimulated for the day.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:21 AM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoa...I had forgotten about Major Matt Mason. What a guy.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:10 PM on June 13, 2010


I had until now never realized how much Barbie™ and Hot Wheels™ have in common.

You know... sexually.
posted by frenetic at 7:02 PM on June 13, 2010


He once said to me he loved me being tall so he could stick his nose in my boobs when he hugged me.

Duh. That's, like, every straight guy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:22 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


For anyone who wants to see more of Ryan's inventions, the trick is to do a patent search on John W. Ryan.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:11 PM on June 14, 2010




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