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One spring evening, in 1901, a Massachusetts doctor laid a man with tuberculosis on a wooden platform so he could watch him die and hopefully calculate the weight of his soul. For three hours and 40 minutes, Duncan MacDougall recalibrated his scales in fractions of ounces while the dying man was drying his nose and mouth, and his last sweat evaporated from his skin.

At the time of the patient's death (9:10 pm), Dr. MacDougall stated that the balance recorded a sudden and inexplicable weight loss of three quarters of an ounce. (To make sure that it was not the effect of the man's whole breath leaving the body, the doctor then stepped on the bed and took a deep breath, which did not affect the scales.)

This incident gave rise to an idea that the human soul weighs about 21 grams; However, the doctor's later experiences, including a frenetic attempt to document the weight of a woman dying from a diabetic coma, did not yield the same results. (Dr. MacDougall complained that this effort was thwarted by "a lot of opponents' interference in our work," perhaps by the medical staff who was trying to save a dying woman from the "deadly" situation. a diabetic coma, a circumstance that is not necessarily fatal.)

A century later, MacDougall's hypothesis was largely rejected. But we now have the technology to know what a celebrity girl's doll thinks.

Qai Qai is a doll with brown plastic skin, pleated feet for the newborn, a pale gold mine and more than 90,000 Instagram followers at last count. She is the toy of Olympia Ohanian, daughter of tennis star Serena Williams and her husband, technology entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian. Qai Qai is apparently also the direct descendant of Olympia Ohanian; The text on her fascinating (and verified) Instagram account, @RealQaiQai, identifies her as the "granddaughter" of Ms. Williams and Mr. Ohanian. It's pronounced "kway kway".

Qai Qai takes several forms (known): it's a doll; an Instagram user; a Twitter user; an animated representation of a doll superimposed on digital photos; and an imaginary character resembling Gremlin pretending to wreak havoc on the hypothetical life of Olympia Ohanian and her family.

Qai Qai seems to have entered our collective consciousness at the beginning of last August, when Ms. Williams uploaded a video of the doll lying in the wreck of a tricycle, explaining off camera that 's not a camera. she was documenting the scene "for the Olympia Insurance". (She also accused Qai Qai "vandalism.")

The following week, @RealQaiQai's Instagram account shared his first post. Earlier this week, a ESPN2 Chart of the Australian Open reminded viewers that Mrs. Williams 'daughter doll had twice as many followers on Twitter as Ms. Williams' current opponent, who lost the match.


Because Qai Qai is something more and more rare and popular in modern online society: slightly entertaining.

The earliest Qai Qai content was an abandoned image without words and evocative: the doll lying face down on the hardwood floor and on the tarmac of a private jet; stuffed behind a cushion of hotel suite; stuck her head first in a sandbox at a compound where Ms. Williams was participating in a tennis exhibition.

For reasons never explained, its members were frequently fixed in plastic molds. Sometimes she was photographed with tiny crutches.

The messages have evolved. Some of the changes have improved the enjoyment of Qai Qai; the visual juxtaposition of the cherubic doll with the new tired legends of the world written from Qai Qai's point of view could be really fun, as when a Qai Qai slideshow emerged from behind a kitchen island to ask the world: "What are you crazy about today? (Neither Ms. Williams nor Mr. Ohanian have claimed author.)

It is not known how Olympia acquired Qai Qai. The doll may have been forged almost anonymously in the opaque ebony fires of e-commerce, as it roughly corresponds to a toy out of stock sold on Amazon under the brand name Dolls to Play . (Thankfully, I ordered one.)

Dolls to Play seems to exist only on Amazon; A search for the label on Google leads to a random product repository website that redirects to several different, seemingly identical, product repository websites, all of which seem to blindly erase information from Amazon.

Dolls to Play toys are sold through an Amazon showcase called "Number 1 of the Service", which stores thousands of unrelated products (orders run by Amazon). The same bedroom image shown in Amazon's list for the doll also appears spliced ​​with bedding laid on Wayfair and empty on a spam blog containing keywords for home decoration interspersed with the phrase " in Nigeria ".

The doll that I received was not the illustrated doll, which wore pink; it is an exact copy of Qai Qai, dressed in white. The box says "MADE IN NANJING, CHINA" and also "BROOKLYN LOLLIPOPS" – a company that lists an address in Brooklyn in a collaborative workspace. Brooklyn Lollipops has its own list of Amazon for the same doll, also available for purchase on Walmart.com (online only).

Yet it is possible that the sensational Qai Qai has found its way to Olympia Ohanian from a realm even stranger than the guts of the internet: in real life. Qai Qai's Twitter account recently shared an image of a store shelf stocked with several races of Qai Qai, who seem to browse the stocks of various discount department stores.

If you'd like to see more of Qai Qai, many doll videos originally posted on Ms. Williams' social media accounts can be combined into odd YouTube compilations with unrelated real estate sequences, through an account called Hestia Olympia & # 39. Celebrity, Lifestyle & Culture, his avatar is a French oil painting that is part of the collection of the museum of the Hermitage of Russia since its acquisition in 1764 by Catherine the Great, as part of hundreds of "unequal quality" paintings.

The combined weight of the doll named Qai Qai and its stroller weighs about 1,293 grams, or about 61 and a half years.