The Empire of Harmlessness: Hello Kitty at 40

Maria Bustillos · 10/31/14 01:46PM

Thirty-nine years ago in Japan, Hello Kitty, the global emissary of cuteness, made her public debut. She appeared on a plastic coin purse priced at 240 yen, or about 80 cents.

Tom Scocca · 09/18/13 12:37PM

The Man Booker Prize will be open next year to all fiction writers in the language called "English," even those from nations that forcibly unyoked ourselves from the Queen's jurisdiction. Power grab or final capitulation of failed empire? Either way, tough break for Hilary Mantel, up against Jennifer Weiner from now on.

You Are Part of the Growing Olsen Empire

Alex Carnevale · 10/26/08 04:30PM

There's something gnawing at you long after you have read Ginia Bellafante's profile of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. It's not the fact that they won't be interviewed together, it's not that they employee 18 people in their Dualstar company, and it's certainly not that Ashley is the sadistic mastermind of the two. No, it's the fact that the Olsens say they want to build "a true America brand." If these two aim to achieve world domination through marketing, what exactly do they want with America?The details of the Olsens' forward march don't come until the end of the NYT piece, but it's important to digest every word: