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With changing habits and interests, we've been hearing a lot about how retail is moving toward being "experiential." This is also leading many brands to get creative in how they connect with families, and that means creating the experiences themselves. For the folks at Whirlpool Corporation, that meant a fresh approach to their World of Whirlpool in Chicago, now open to the public as a new consumer experience center. At the media preview this week, I had the opportunity to experience it first-hand, and my immediate thought is that this is exactly what companies need to be doing because it's going to allow the general public to learn in ways that have in many cases been limited to media or expensive courses. Whirlpool is going well beyond the typical appliance showroom by teaching "life hacks" and culinary literacy that will help people save time, save money, and most importantly -  improve the time spent with family.

Insect Lore makes some fantastic kits for kids to learn about and grow their favorite insects, and now they're teaming up with the World of Eric Carle! For the first time ever, Insect Lore is combining their revolutionary habitat kits with the iconic art of World of Eric Carle for a kaleidoscope of unforgettable experiences through live lifecycle projects. We've done several Insect Lore kits here at Rock Father HQ, so I can tell you that we have some first-hand experience with these and I highly recommend them.

Hot Wheels are something that I've written about regularly here on The Rock Father™ Magazine for the better part of a decade. This year, Mattel's iconic diecast vehicles are celebrating a milestone - their 50th Anniversary - and we were able to take part. Earlier this month, a crew from NBC News paid a visit to Rock Father HQ not to meet with me... but to interview our girls, The Rock Daughters™. Addie and Finley have a Hot Wheels collection that far eclipses what i had as a kid, and little Finley is the proud owner of one of the rarest Hot Wheels products ever made - The Rock Daughter™ Edition Hot Wheels Bed, created three years ago in collaboration between Mattel, yours truly and The Step2 Company. On June 5, 2018, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt aired the Hot Wheels special feature as the NBC Nightly Snapshot. If you missed it, here's the video in its entirety...

A memorable backyard barbeque isn't complete without the smell of tangy barbeque sauce on the breeze, but A1 Steak Sauce had the genius idea of bringing it into your living room when they announced three new meat-inspired candle scents.

Just in time for Father's day, the sauce company released three limited edition candles on a special site inspired by the food their sauce improves: "Original Meat," "Backyard BBQ," and the elegantly put "Burger."

NASA's Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet. While not necessarily evidence of life itself, these findings are a good sign for future missions exploring the planet's surface and subsurface.

This morning, I received an email that had started off with a very true statement: "Whether you're a true Phish fan or not, you've tried Ben & Jerry's classic flavor, Phish Food." I have, and I love it so much that at one point it was my favorite flavor from the Ben & Jerry's lineup, despite my not being a Phish Phan at all. Now, Ben & Jerry's has partnered with Phish for a third flavor to celebrate the 21st anniversary of The WaterWheel Foundation. It's Ice... Cream features a caramel malt ice cream with almond toffee pieces, fudge fish and a caramel swirl and was one of the original flavor concepts in the running back in 1997, to become Phish Food. Luckily, Ben & Jerry's Flavor Gurus never lose sight of a good flavor concept and have brought it to pints. A portion of all proceeds will benefit The WaterWheel Foundation.

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