Who Invented The Piggy Bank

While most money-saving people will keep their funds in wallets or banks, plenty – mainly children, collectors, or those with small change – will use a piggy bank. It is probably one of the most confusing match-ups in modern times, so how did the pig become associated with storing money in a fragile and smashable case?

piggy-bankThe origin of the piggy bank, unlike its first creator, is actually known, and is thought mainly to be the work of the development of the English language. Throughout much of the Middle Ages, the word ‘pygg’ was a way to describe a form of clay, from which people made an assortment of useful houshold items, namely jars.

One such jar was a small pot-style item known as a ‘pygg jar’ in which people that used them would store their money. By the 18th century, the English language was now pronouncing the word for the animal ‘pig’ in a similar manner, and one unknown person during that era seems to have made the key link between the two similar words (pig-pygg) that created an iconic product.

The ‘pig bank’ obviously must have went down well with people who bought them, and by the mid-20th century it was one of the most popular and commonplace methods of storing money, as well as some starting to be made from materials more practical and durable than their clay-based origin. In more recent times, the definition of ‘piggy bank’ has extended a bit, and while this does mean that other animals (such as bunnies or sheep) are featured as money-storing objects, nothing seems to be coming even close to the popularity of the pig in this respect.

While the piggy bank has been featured as a mascot for banks and financial services, the most prominent use of them in popular culture is arguably being ‘smashed’ in a film or TV series when a character is desperately in need of some money. This ‘sledgehammer moment’ is probably not seen as much in reality, but this video does show one getting the cruel treatment in slow-motion:

Piggy Bank – Wikipedia

Who Invented The 3DTV

family-3d-movie-at-home3DTV is one of the biggest emerging trends in current society, with the format being snapped up by consumers who want the best available viewing experience. But who was it that first came up with what is considered ‘the next-best-thing to being there’?

Despite what seems to be only a recent breakthrough in 3D technology, and an even more recent release into mainstream society, the 3DTV we know today is what could be seen as a current stage in a process which has been in development since the 19th century.

The 3D movie concept has been developing since 1855, and the invention of a Kinematoscope (Stereo Animation Camera), when it was realised that a precise method of overlaying two slightly different images at a flickering speed could create a ‘3D effect’. The forerunner of this effect was English film-maker William Friese-Greene, and it was dubbed as anaglyphic (the approach that does not need a special TV, and is best known for requiring ‘red-cyan’ glasses to view).

The first movie of this method was produced in 1915, before the first public release of a 3D movie in 1922, and the first colour film in 1935. Since then, the anaglyphic approach has made sporadic forays into the limelight between the 1950’s and now, with home releases for anaglyphic versions of films often being sold in the early 2000’s due to the development of the DVD.

However, various electronics companies and film-makers have been developing the new ‘polarized’ approach (requiring the ‘sunglasses’-style glasses) ever since it took off with 2009 hit film Avatar, and since then, films and TV channels in the format have become standardised, and home use of 3D is higher than ever before.

With the technology to mass produce and sell 3DHDTV’s in place since 2010, it is no surprise that all the major global electronics companies set about developing their own boxes to enter the emerging market. Below is a video of the latest plans for advancement – a 3DTV that does not require glasses. Although Toshiba currently have the shortest estimate for the release of a 3D Plasma TV (for 2015), other companies, such as Intel, are showing their current prototypes, as seen here:

3DTV – Wikipedia

Who Invented The NFL

NFL logoThe NFL, one of the best-attended sports leagues in the world, features 32 franchises looking to go all the way to win the Super Bowl trophy, and as the best-known (and possibly one of the only) leagues for american football (a sport which incidentally, excluding one or two specific players on a team, does not use the foot) take to drawn-out battle, some people may ask the question: who invented this league?

The NFL (National Football League) was originally formed in 1920 (as the American Professional Football Confrence (APFC), the name would change to NFL two years on) by a collection of local professional teams across the country looking to play in an organised format and for a champion to be found each year. The league would expand and develop over the next few decades. In the 1960’s the NFL was in competition with rival league the AFC, but after several contract disputes the two organisations decided to merge in 1966, with the teams all under the same league, which keep the NFL name and basic rules, but introduced several of the AFC’s innovations (mostly cosmetic). The next year, the first championship game was played, and named the Super Bowl, with the annual fixture, and the league, being the clear strongest in its sport ever since.

Today, the NFL is the most popular of the top 4 American sports leagues in terms of average spectator numbers, and although it is only really popular in the USA, the annual Super Bowl event still manages to attract a global television audience of over 100 million.

NFL players are generally seen as having to only do very short bursts of activity (with much longer breaks) due to the nature of the sport, but there can be some huge hits and tackles in the NFL from both offence and defence during their attempts to win. Below is a video of some of the big hits involved when the action does comes around in american football.

NFL – Wikipedia

History of the NFL – Wikipedia

Who Invented The Coke And Mentos Experiment

coke and mentos did not take off in popular culture until 2006, when two journalists (David Kestenbaum and Michele Norris) released a blog based on it

coke&mentosIt is not normally socially acceptable to play with your food, but in the instance of a ‘coke and mentos eruption’, the entertainment value can throw that perception out of the window. Who introduced the world to this bizzare application of science?

Despite the experiment being shown and explained on a TV chat show in 1999 (by physics student Spencer Tyler), ‘coke and mentos‘ did not take off in popular culture until 2006, when two journalists (David Kestenbaum and Michele Norris) released a blog based on it, and within months video sharing websites such as YouTube were packed with new videos of people trying the creation of a carbonate beverage-based explosion for themselves.

After many tried efforts with a variety of mints (or even fruit-flavoured ‘mentos’) and drinks (such as lemonade) in combination, it is regarded that the combination for a big explosion is to use Diet Coke and Original Mint-flavoured Mentos. This ‘formula’ provides the quickest reaction, and therefore the ‘highest’ explosion, with the Guiness World Record height for an explosion measuring at over 9 meters (with the aid of a nozzle). A testament to the popularity of the ‘coke and mentos’ explosions is that some joke shops now sell mentos with the advertised purpose of causing explosions.

An example of this bizzare experiment can be seen in the video below:

Diet Coke and Mentos Eruption – Wikipedia

Who Invented Bop It

bopitBop It is a popular audio-based game that is developed and produced by Hasbro, and has proved to be a popular way for children to pass the time on long journeys, even if it is to the annoyance of the other passengers. But who set off this noisy and repetitive phenomenon?

The inventor of the Bop It was Dan Klitsner, who patented the design in 1996, the year that the original version was released. The basic functions of the original involved three buttons/levers, and the player being instructed to either ‘bop it’, ‘pull it’ or ‘twist it’, with the game speeding up as it goes along, with longer games likely to get a higher score announced at the end. With the aid of fellow designer Bob Welch, the game would develop into more versions, spin-offs (such as Zing It or Groove It), and features (e.g. ‘flick it’ or ‘shout it’), with the game still going strong today.

Different versions released since the original include:

– Bop It Extreme

– Bop It Extreme 2

– Bop It Blast

– Bop It Download

–  Bop It Bounce

– Bop It Minis

An example of the game of Bop It being played can be seen below:

Bop It – Wikipedia

Who Invented Basketball

Who Invented Basketball

438px-Basketball_gameSeemingly second only to football, basketball is one of the most popular team sports played worldwide. Although it has become widely-known for the money-spinning NBA league in America, the sport is played all over the world, with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) contributing greatly with the growth in global popularity of the game. Who was it that set the ball rolling, though?

FirstbasketballAlthough the sport is generally credited as an American creation, it was Dr James Naismith, a Canadian, who designed the first concept of this team sport in December 1891. He was at that time a YMCA Training School instructor in the City of Springfield in Massachusetts (USA, one of the reasons that the sport is seen as American-made). His primary purpose for inventing the game was to give his students an indoor game that offered a good workout, and an enjoyable alternative when the extremely cold weather struck during the winter.

For this reason, the game of basketball was originally played exclusively indoors. The term ‘basketball’ came from the fact that  Dr Naismith first used a peach basket, nailed to the wall at 10ft high. Players shoot (throw) the ball inside the basket in order to score points, though the ball originally had to be retrieved manually, until someone decided to solve this problem by cutting a hole under the basket. The use of peach basket lasted until 1906. After that, it was replaced by backboards and metal hoops, just like in the basketball as it is today, signalling the start of the development into the sport as it is today, with the key rules of the game including multiple-point scoring, and the limit of 5 players on court at a time for a team, with 4 periods of 12 minutes (overtime if needed) deciding the winners.

Legendary NBA players such as Wilt ‘the stilt’ Chamberlin, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan helped the sport gain new levels of popularity, and it is now played on a global scale, with continental and international tournaments, as well as the NBA (and female counterparts such as the WNBA), showcasing the best in the world, with other leagues starting to be held in high regard.

The development of the game of basketball has led to several variations (played either formally or informally),  with historic ones like netball or 1-on-1, or modern slants, such as street, 3-on-3, slamball, or water basketball. The ‘entertainment’ factor of the NBA has also led to skill challenges in special events such as ‘All-Star Weekend’, which include obstacle courses, long-range shots, and the well-publicised slam dunk challenge.

A type of street basketball which has become a big hit for recreation, and internet video viewers, is the trick shot, with one group in particular standing out above the rest. ‘Dude Perfect’ have released a number of entertaining videos, and this one, filmed on a summer camp, shows just how much fun trick shots can be with some creativity:

Basketball – Wikipedia

Who Invented The Trampoline

Who Invented The Trampoline

trampolineThe trampoline is a device that is used around the world both for entertainment and for sport, but who was first to arrive on the scene with this springy product?

In 1936, two Americans, George Nissen and Larry Griswold, who were both athletes representing the University of Iowa (in diving (Nissen), and gymnastics (both)), decided to create a ‘rebounding’ object that would allow for enhanced training and more entertainment in sport, after seeing a circus trapeze act use a tight net for a more entertaining and flowing show. Nissen and Griswold would realise that their product could provide more than one ‘rebound’, provided that it was used correctly (jumping). They would tour their product, named after the Spanish word for ‘diving board’ (trampoline), and eventually started selling them commercially in 1942, with the new product even being used in training for astronauts. The modern trampoline is now made with a mesh canvas/polypropylene surface attached to springs at the side to provide the ‘rebound’ effect.

Nowadays, alongside being produced for competitive ‘trampoline gymnastics‘ competitions (including at the Olympic Games), and being used as training methods for other sports, trampolines have been sold for home use, meaning that the thrill of bouncing can now be a few steps away in your back garden. With a variety of styles, and improving saftey measures to combat the obvious risk involved, it is fair to say that Nissen & Griswold’s product has really ‘taken off’.

With the popularity of home-use trampolines reaching new ‘highs’, it is inevitable that users will try and expand their use, and attempt to create different ‘moves’ or styles. Sometimes, though, to the delight of home video clip shows, this does not go to plan…

Trampolines – Wikipedia

Who Invented Bossaball

Who Invented Bossaball

bossaball-01A fairly new sport which is not fully established on the world stage yet, Bossaball is an intriguing mixture of volleyball, trampolining, football, and samba music. Who was the professor who constructed this bizarre formula?

Bossaball has a very young existance compared to other, more established sports, having only come into existence in 2003 as a concept by Belgian Filip Eyckmans, who would release his game in Spain in 2005. Quite how he imagined this sport is unclear, as it is played on an inflatable surface (similar to a bouncy castle) by two teams of 3-5, with an intergrated trampoline on either side of a volleyball net to allow for a team member to go up for a very high ‘spike’. Serving the ball is often done by foot, and the ball can be met by any body part, with the game usually played with samba music in the background. The main aim of the game is to have the ball land on the opponent’s side of the court (like in volleyball), with 1 point awarded for landing on the inflatable area, and 3 for hitting the trampoline first. The team that reaches 25 points first is declared the winner.

Bossaball is still in its infancy, though, and clubs have currently only seem to have been set up in 12 nations (Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Holland, Kuwait, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Romania, Turkey and Ecuador), but the sport does seem to be expanding (proof of which is the running of the annual Bossaball World Cup), and due to its fun, different, and pary-style nature, it seems to have the potential to become a more popular game.

Below is a video demonstrating the game of Bossaball:

Bossaball – Wikipedia

Who Invented The Bouncy Ball

Who Invented The Bouncy Ball

bouncy ballsThe bouncy ball is one of the most simple, yet enjoyable products on the market, and even at such a low price, can keep many children (and perhaps some adults) entertained for hours on end. But who was the first to invent or design this intriguing product?

Who Invented The Bouncy Ball

In 1965, an American chemist named Norman Stingley developed a way to compress the substance of rubber, and after teaming up with toy manufactors Wham-O, worked past initial faults, and eventually created (and marketed) a small, strong, rubber ball that would be known as Super Ball, with the new craze taking off almost immediately, with customers finding many uses and creating their own new ways to have fun with the product.

The balls were able to bounce at around 70% of its kinetic energy in each single bounce (with improvements to that figure seen in some balls after further developments), due to the compressed rubber inside. Many variations and improved versions of the bouncy ball have been made since the 60’s, and it still remains one of the most enjoyable toys around.

Further proof that the bouncy ball was, and still is a popular and fun type of toy came when Sony used around 250,000 of them as part of an advertising campaign:

Bouncy Balls – Wikipedia

Who Invented Pong

pongPong is often seem as ‘the original video game’, and despite its relative simplicity nowadays, was a marvel to behold when it was first produced in 1972, with the game paving the way for the development of video arcades, and the ever-improving home videogame industry, which seems to push boundaries after every release. Who was it that created Pong, who in doing so, also set the path for a home entertainment phenomenon?

The answer is an American computer scientist called Allan Alcorn invented this arcade video game, Atari Inc. (the publishers) releasing it to the mainstream sometime in 1972. Atari founder Nolan Bushnell assigned this task to Alcorn as a training exercise, which was seen as so impressive that it was developed into a game.

According to Bushnell, the main idea behind the game was based on the electronic ping-pong game of the first-ever home videogame console named Magnavox Odyssey. Unlike the game it was based on, Pong would be a major hit, with spin-offs created, and eventually forcing Atari, and new developers, to follow up with new material, resulting with the videogame industry snowballing into what it is today. A true testament to the simple game of Pong, which seemed to start it all, is that it is still played around the world, in arcades, on consoles, or online, and is still recognised as a classic, even with the glitz, glamour, and general ‘desireability’ seen in its modern counterparts.

Pong – Wikipedia