Every year, VC Mary Meeker (previously) publishes her must-read Internet Trends Report, which comes as a powerpoint deck with hundreds of slides (you can watch her power through them in 30 minutes flat at the Re-Code conference). Read the rest
New York Toy Fair is the world's largest toy show and its trends are a preview of the toys that will fill the shelf this Christmas; that means that you need to get ready for an enormous variety of poop-themed toys, including poop-shaped squishy balls, the "Flush n Frenzy" toilet-flushing game, "Don't Step in It" where blindfolded players try to walk an obstacle course of turds made from modeling clay, and "Plunge It," where players try to pick up poops with toy plungers. Read the rest
For art teacher Michael Fry of Mamaroneck, New York, certain 2017 trends need to be dead and buried. So, for the past few Halloweens, he's made tombstone lawn decorations that lay specific trends to rest.
This year it's "so long!" to ombre hair, the hashtag #roséallday, the "old Taylor Swift," homemade slime, and more.
“Things from that year that have either died, or are dying or are no longer fashionable or no longer hip,” said Fry. “Being a teacher, I get input from my students and friends and family members, and it’s become a collaborative effort.”
The gravestone for homemade slime is “wishful thinking,” though, because “teachers can’t stand it,” Fry said.
Others include paying homage to watching television live and having normal seasons, presumably a dig at global warming.
Adios, dabbing. We won't miss you.
images via Michael Fry
For the recent Wizard World Comic Con in Sacramento, Rob Cockerham made a working six-foot fidget spinner costume. It's quite a sight.
Downtown was crowded with people, and comic book nerds were packed everywhere, lining up to get into the Con. I turned the corner into full view and was greeted with open iphones, gaping mouths and spontaneous applause! It was awesome! The gigantic fidget spinner was an absolute hit that the crowds loved!
"OH DAMN! MIKE! LOOK! FIDGET SPINNERRRRR!" x 1000.
I love being stopped for photos, and with the fidget spinner costume I had a special trick: Invariably the photographer would click through and snap a picture, thank me and then slowly realize the whole truth.
"Does it.... spin?"
I would slowly nod. "Yes. It does!" Then I'd back up and give it a big whirl and they would shriek or just shake their heads in amazement. It was incredible!
Previously: Rob's Functional, animated Disneyland map Hallowe'en costume and his Downton Abbey costume Read the rest
There are some things I will never understand. This pair of high-tops by "Paris-based fashion house" Maison Margiela is definitely one of them.
Looking like something the cat dragged in (after ripping it apart with its claws for hours), these heavily-distressed, pre-destroyed --sorry "Future Destroyed"-- sneakers will set you back $1,425/pair. Oops sorry, you're out of luck, they're already sold out of them over at Neiman Marcus.
Instead, may I suggest you go find a nice wood chipper and mangle a pair for yourself? (I checked, the majority of wood chippers out there are cheaper than these sneakers.)
"YOU CANT UNDERSTAND A DAMN THING RAPPERS BE SAYING THESE DAYS" (Warning: noises vaguely resembling racial slurs) Read the rest
Frogdesign presents 15 tech trends that have the potential to "radically transform businesses in 2016." This year, the trends identified by the design firm include the blockchain, data driven design, the human microbiome, artificial intelligence in financial services, the role of virtual reality in medical therapies, FDA-approved video games, and more.
Readers are invited to vote on whether a trend is "likely" or a "longshot."
Read the rest
With the increased consumer availability of VR/AR headsets -- from Oculus Rift to the Hololens -- our personal 3D gateways into an alternate shared experience will start to emerge. Online webcams are eclipsed by connected VR cams, which allow viewers to virtually transport themselves to points in space around the world and interact with the people there. The interactions are simple at first, but users discover that the feeling of presence engenders a sense of empathy that they never felt watching video on a 2D screen. Aid to refugee camps with installed VR cams increases by orders of magnitude. War zone reporting sees a sharp increase in engagement resulting in increased demand for shifts in political policy, while the ethical implications of providing users ‘first hand’ experience into dangerous situations are debated. As with the introduction of the Internet, VR provides an evolution in the connection of otherwise isolated people and groups. Rather than getting lost in virtual fantasy, we find ourselves more deeply connected to reality.
In China, teens and twentysomethings are wearing little plastic accessories on their heads in the shape of tiny little sprouts, fruit, or flowers. Nobody's exactly sure where or how the trend started, but it's... growing. Read the rest
Really interesting little bit of social science at Slate where Lisa Wade looks at the "OMG COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE JUST INDISCRIMINATELY BANGING EACH OTHER WHILE DRUNK ALL THE TIME" scare story, and finds a very different picture of what's happening in reality. The catch: In order to understand why both the pop narrative and the reality can co-exist, you have to break college students down by demographics. Some students really are engaging in what's come to be called "hook-up culture", but they tend to be the most privileged students — the ones whose wealth, race, and social status can better protect them from the consequences of mistakes, and who think about their college life (and future goals) in very different ways compared to less-privileged peers. Read the rest
Between 1968 and 1973, somebody hijacked a commercial airliner nearly every week. Read the rest
Scientists are beginning to question the idea that free-radicals cause aging and, with that, the entire basis of the antioxidant industrial complex. Maybe, now, everything can stop tasting of acai berries. Read the rest
A style piece in the New York Times about a trans-Atlantic trend: "Artisanal food trucks have been making inroads in Paris, adding a new twist in culinary culture to a city where diners rarely eat on the go, much less with their hands." Read the rest