A complaint filed in Orange County, California, on January 22 alleges that the makers of "Baby Einstein" videos and the Walt Disney Company (which bought the original company) falsely claimed that the "Baby Einstein" videos were educational products that would make babies smarter, although, to plaintiffs' great surprise, they allegedly do no such thing:
Defendants implied that the "Baby Einstein" materials could in fact transform their children into "Baby Einsteins," increasing their intellectual capacity and inculcating in them significant levels of knowledge and education without any effort on the part of their parents or other adults. . . . [I]nstead they] were, and are, nothing more than mind-numbing electronic babysitters that induce torpor rather than produce genius.
Well, you say "mind-numbing electronic babysitters that induce torpor" like it's a bad thing. Have you ever tried to induce torpor in one of those little monsters?
At least one study has concluded that children under the age of 2 do not benefit from being forced to watch television, if you can believe that. In fact, this study concluded that it might be making them dumber (although I think we have to wait for the follow-up study of those kids in 15 years or so before we can draw any firm conclusions about their dumbness level). But would a reasonable consumer believe that having a baby watch a video of any kind would really make said baby measurably smarter, let alone equip it to develop special relativity on its own?
Because that's what real Einstein did. Just came up with it in his spare time while he was working at the patent office. Now that I think about it, this was well before the development of "Baby Einstein" videos. And since the development of "Baby Einstein" videos, not a single person of any age has developed special relativity on his or her own. Coincidence?
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I think not.
Link: Yusuf v. The Walt Disney Co., No. 338298 (Cal. Super. Ct. filed Jan. 22, 2010) (via CNS)