The fidget spinners are one of our latest fads that has taken me by surprise. Chances are, that this fad has taken off because one of two reasons. Reason 1 would be that our youth are so intellectual, that we have made a fad out a weakness, thereby eliminating the handicap. Then it could be reason 2, which is that we’re all fidgety, and is therefore needed as therapeutic to our daily lives. An increase concern now involves the newest fidget spinners catching on fire.
Fidget spinners finally completed the 21st century’s novelty toy cycle back in June of 2017, it has now become something that could potentially burn down your house. According to local news reports, at least two bluetooth-enabled spinners have now burst into flames while charging. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
Mothers in Michigan and Alabama shared similar stories about the “toy”. They both had internal batteries to power the lights on the spinner. In each case, the device was plugged into an outlet when it caught fire, melting the spinner and scorching the below surface.
“We were about five or 10 minutes from leaving the house for the day. My son noticed it burst into flames and he started screaming,” Kimberly Allums of Gardendale, Alabama, told WBRC. “I was downstairs and all I heard was, ‘fire, fire.’ The fidget spinner wasn’t smoking, it was in flames.”
Allums said the spinner had been charging for less than 45 minutes. When she tried to identify the manufacturer of the faulty spinner, the mother only found the words “Made in China” on the box it came in. Like the hoverboards, electronic fidget spinners’ rush to market and lack of safety standards have almost certainly increased the risk of dangerous failures like these. Unlike hoverboards, the tiny spinners could easily be mistaken as harmless—but fire is fire.
“They’re just simple, little things you spin and I love to play with them,” Michelle Carr, the other mother whose fidget spinner exploded, told WEYI. “I know there are tons of kids who want to go get them, but if you plug them in, just stay by and make sure it’s charged and it doesn’t catch on fire.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said that it is investigating these incidents and recommended users to “monitor products that have batteries when they are charging”:
Never charge a product with batteries overnight while you are sleeping. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the charger from the manufacturer that is designed specifically for your device. Specifically, use the original cable which came with the device to charge. Stay away from using similar cables that fit the plug to charge the device.
CPSC is also investigating reported incidents involving children and fidget spinners. We advise parents to keep fidget spinners away from young children, because they can choke on small parts. Warn older children not to put fidget spinners in their mouths.
Consumers who experience safety issues with fidget spinners are urged to report the incidents at SaferProducts.gov.
Planking, twerking, the Ice Bucket Challenge—we don’t have to reach far into our memories to come up with some truly strange trends that we’ll have trouble explaining to our grandchildren. On the other hand, the cool kids of ancient history were into some even stranger trends. Here are some I thought may be worth talking about.
Average Cost of a Rubik's Cube Circa 1980: $6 to $10
Number of Cubes Sold in 1980: approximately 4.5 million
Number of Possible Color Combinations: 43.2 quintillion
For decades now, the Rubik's cube could actually drive a person crazy. When Hungarian architecture professor Ernö Rubik [wiki] introduced his "magic cube" to America in 1980, some people feared the popular puzzler would seriously drive fans mad. And legitimately so. Way back in 1874, a game called the "Fifteens Puzzle" was blamed for inducing insanity in roughly 1,500 people. And while Rubik's Cube [wiki] addiction was apparently responsible for the break-up of at least one marriage, Man triumphed over Toy in this particular case. In fact, by 1983, the puzzler was considered so harmless, it got its own Sunday-morning cartoon, "Rubik, the Amazing Cube."
Proving that everybody's a sucker for good double entendre, Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam made a mint off his so-ugly-they're-cute troll dolls [wiki] by marketing them as "Dam Things." In fact, the creatures were the second-most popular doll of the 1960s, right behind Barbie.
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Used primarily as an opposition against the ongoing conflict in Vietnam, the tie-dye shirt was a physical embodiment of the spirit of young people whose values were drastically different than their parents. With roots in Indian bandhani and Japanese shibori – dying techniques that involve binding areas of fabric before dying to create color patterns – the origins in American culture actually stem from a Best Foods executive hired to market Hellman’s mayonnaise, Don Price, who asked his bosses if he could take a crack at fledgling brand, Rit Dye. According to The Los Angeles Times, “After researching uses for dye around the world, Price began a gonzo marketing campaign in New York’s Greenwich Village. He hoped to generate interest among the neighborhood’s free-spirited youths, who were fast becoming fascinated with psychedelic colors and artsy-craftsy garb.”
While the popularity of the flared, bell-bottoms has its roots in the 1960s counterculture movement associated with “free love,” the trend remained strong throughout the ’60s and into the ’70s when disco also embraced the wide-leg appeal. Leaving behind the denim in favor of bright cotton and satin polyester, it remains instantly recognizable as a fashion “miss” that spanned nearly two decades of popularity.
According to Vogue, “The ’70s saw Björn Borg strategically sporting a striped FILA band to keep his bang-heavy coif under control.” While it’s not a new phenomenon for people to adopt the stylings of their favorite athletes, it seems quite indicative of the era that people chose to normalize an accessory whose main job was to keep sweat out of a person’s eyes.
Originally marketed as a comfortable and functional piece of clothing for power-lifters at the gym with thighs too large for traditional shorts/sweatpants, Zubaz were founded in the late ’80s and almost instantly became a cultural phenomenon. Selling $100 million USD in 1991 alone, there’s a rumor that the pants were actually manufactured in a Minnesota prison given the founder’s connections inside the penal system. At the height of their success, there were 50,000 pairs of Zubaz sold a week.
While not quite the same thing as “hammer pants” whose influence closely resembles their “harem” brethren, the term has come to represent an oversized pair of pants with oversized pockets and an abundance of zippers. Whereas something like the “cargo pant” had roots in functionality and was later updated, there seems to be now logical reason why the parachute pants looked the way they did.
The fanny pack answered the question, “What do I do with all my stuff if I refuse to use my pockets and simply won’t wear a backpack?” Produced in neon colors and variety of patterns and fabrics, the accessory relied on appealing to those who rationalized that enhanced functionality called for rewriting the book on toting items.
Grunge as a Fashion Statement
The grunge movement of the ’90s was undoubtedly a major source of inspiration for this gloomy trend that treated flannel shirts like they were cardigan sweaters thanks to those who abstained from using the buttons. As The New York Times wrote in 1992, “This generation of greasy Caucasian youths in ripped jeans, untucked flannel and stomping boots spent their formative years watching television, inhaling beer or pot, listening to old Black Sabbath albums and dreaming of the day they would trade in their air guitars for the real thing, so that they, too, could become famous rock-and-roll heroes. A culture was born.” James Truman, the editor in chief of Details at the time said, “To me the thing about grunge is it’s not anti-fashion, it’s un-fashion. Punk was anti-fashion. It made a statement. Grunge is about not making a statement, which is why it’s crazy for it to become a fashion statement.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, “The upturned collar’s roots stem from tennis champion René Lacoste, who in 1927 designed a polo shirt for his own use with flexible collars that could be turned up to prevent the neck from being sunburned.” Re-appropriated on numerous occasions – most notably in the prep-charged ’80s and once again the new millennium – it’s deemed corny for polo shirts but is still relatively acceptable on the likes of outerwear like pea coats and track jackets.
Overalls/The Single Strap
Trendsetters of the 1990s weren’t merely satisfied with adding a piece of clothing normally reserved for farming into their repertoire. No, it had to be different. Thus, we got the overall where one strap was left undone.
Ty brand hit the motherload when they came up with these popular stuffed animals which started off with 9 different “characters” but then quickly became collectibles and they made an
INSANE amount of them. Different ones were worth more than others and a lot of hardcore people put “tag protectors” over their heart Ty tags. There are probably college tuitions being paid with them today.