On this weeks Technotopia I interviewed Cindy Gallop, the outspoken TED speaker and found of MakeLoveNotPorn. Cindy worked tirelessly to bring SexTech and FemTech out of the shadows and shes bringing all her attention to bear on the creation of technology that will bring us closer together and make us happier something few founders think about.
Gallop believes that the toys we see that are supposed to represent the cutting edge in SexTech are just the beginning. She is also working hard to educate the world about the difference between lovemaking and porn and how, while both have their place, lovemaking is far more fun and constructive. We teach our children to be good people in the wider world, she says, but why wont we teach them how to be good people in bed?
Gallop is currently raising a fund to help female entrepreneurs and SexTech inventors so listen in to see how you can help.
Fidget spinners are a fun, relaxing fount of mindless entertainment. But are they really more than a cheap toy?
Some experts say no. Despite marketing claims, there’s no research that shows the wildly popular spinners are therapeutic tools for people with anxiety, autism, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“I know there’s lots of similar toys … and there’s basically no scientific evidence that those things work across the board,” Scott Kollins, a clinical psychologist and professor at Duke University, told NPR on Sunday.
That doesn’t mean the three-pronged plastic phenomena don’t provide any real benefits, or that parents and educators are wrong when they say it helps some children focus in the classroom. But retailers may be stretching the truth when they label these devices as treatments for fidgety behavior, minuscule attention spans, or discomfort in a classroom setting.
“It’s important for parents and teachers who work with kids who have ADHD to know that there are very well studied and documented treatments that work, and that they’re out there, so there’s not really quick and easy fixes like buying a toy,” Kollins told NPR.
About 11 percent of U.S. children between the ages of 4 and 17 or 6.4 million kids have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Their parents often search for help beyond the typical medication, which might make them more vulnerable to marketing efforts that falsely lump these toys in the category of evaluated, proven solutions that help students focus and learn.
Another expert had a similarly skeptical view of fidget spinners.
“Using a spinner-like gadget is more likely to serve as a distraction than a benefit for individuals with ADHD,” Mark Rapport, a clinical psychologist at the University of Central Florida who has studied the benefits of movement on attention in people with ADHD, told LiveScience earlier this month.
Still, parents and some developmental specialists have defended fidget spinners, even as teachers and schools banned them from the classroom for being too disruptive. Proponents argue that, under the right circumstances, spinners and devices like them can soothe an anxious student or calm a hyperactive mind.
“These little gadgets should be called fidget tools, not toys, and they can be part of a successful strategy for managing fidgety behavior if they are introduced as a normal part of the classroom culture,” Claire Heffron, a pediatric occupational therapist in Cleveland, recently told the Washington Post.
A 2015 study found that students with ADHD performed better on a computerized attention test the more intensely they fidgeted. Children without ADHD, meanwhile, did not improve their test score with fidgeting.
But Julie Schweitzer, the study’s author and a clinical psychologist at the University of California at Davis, said it’s too early to know whether fidget spinners could deliver similar results.
“We need to study them to find if they make a difference and for whom,” Schweitzer told the Post.
Cosplay — we’re used to seeing it on Halloween, at comic conventions, and of course in the filthiest recesses of the internet. But while most cosplayers are content to just chill at conventions as Stormtrooper #8, some eccentric pioneers are trying to discover new ways to play their cos’es. They’re no heroes — they just dress like them.
Lottery Winners In China Accept Their Checks In Costume
In China, lottery winners have to appear in public to accept their giant novelty check. Many are uncomfortable doing so, as most people like to avoid letting every criminal and deadbeat cousin know they’re rich as fuck now. This results in some people who show up looking like a poltergeist in an L.L. Bean catalog:
via EgoTV If you’ve ever wondered how Cobra Command makes their money.
But others decide to go a little crazier. After all, money’s about to become a non-issue for them. Case in point, one guy showed up as Baymax, the inflatable robot from Disney’s Big Hero 6. Either that or he’s cosplaying the Michelin Man after losing some weight.
via The Daily Dot “I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion. Please don’t rob me.”
Another lucky winner showed up as Mickey Mouse to collect his cheddar:
And two guys came dressed as those two Transformers trying to start up a Daft Punk cover band.
One person showed up in this baffling bear costume, which looks more like the love child of Pikachu and that blowjob-ghost from The Shining.
Though we must admit, our lives do feel richer knowing that, once upon a time, Winnie The Pooh’s meth-head cousin held a press conference to claim his gambling money.
And they say millionaires never do anything for the little people.
Batman And Robin Battled Spider-Man In An MMA Fight
It took longer than expected, but someone finally tried to put an end to the age-old playground debates of which superhero could kick which other superhero’s ass. Recently, a superhero-themed MMA fight from the U.K was unearthed, showing a kickboxing match between a ’60s-style Batman and a molten action figure-style Spider-Man, and the result is less of an epic war between gods than a lackluster Halloween-themed Fight Club.
In the right corner, Batman — who, being a gentleman, doesn’t dip into his utility belt, but, less gentlemanly, did bring along his youthful ward to gang up on the web-slinger.
In the left, an alternate-dimension Peter Parker who kept on wrestling after Ben’s murder and is all in on kicking some serious billionaire ass —
— destroying the Dynamic Duo almost as badly as Joel Schumacher did.
Of course, it’s a pretty sad sight to see our beloved childhood heroes brawling like common pee-wee hockey parents — so it’s important to remember that all of this isn’t real, a fact that is abundantly clear by the time a half-dressed Riddler shows up to save Batman’s bacon.
A British Man Had A Costume-Filled Funeral
You know what’s really depressing at funerals? Everyone’s wearing black. In 2013, a Newcastle man overturned that depressing dress code by posthumously requesting that everyone come to the funeral in costume. Meaning Batman, Super Mario, and even some Imperial goons showed up to pay their respects.
Not to mention Fred Flinstone, a strip of bacon —
— and this guy …
… who is apparently a U.K. cereal mascot called the Honey Monster and definitely not a PCP hallucination willed into existence.
All of which led to a distinctly unique and memorable funeral — and presumably a waking nightmare for any intellectual property lawyers coming to pay their respects.
A Shop Owner Forced Teen Thieves To Dress Like The Flintstones
With the exception of forcing sports mascots to gyrate under a scorching sun for the audience’s apathy, costumes are usually not used as punishment. That wasn’t the case for the owner of World’s Best Comics And Toys, who dealt with a gang of shoplifters so hard it knocked them back to the Stone Age.
It all started when a group of teens stole a replica of Fred Flintstone’s car from the shop — either because they were big cartoon fans or they were so wasted they thought they’d just boosted a brand new Tesla. The culprits got remarkably far, seeing as their getaway car was powered by their feet, but were eventually thwarted by police. But in lieu of criminal charges, the teens accepted the store owner’s unorthodox alternative punishment, a long and humiliating ordeal that started with him uttering “Oh, so you like The Flintstones, do ya?”
Yup, to teach these kids a lesson, they were forced to dress up as Flintstones characters and stand out front of the store trying to lure customers for Free Comic Book Day — menial work the real Flintstones would have entrusted to some poor, abused-yet-sassy animal.
The thieves didn’t even seem to mind their punishment too much, gladly seeing their prank resolved without getting a criminal record. For a story of grand larceny and technical grand theft auto, this light-hearted caper harkens back to a simpler time. A daba doo time. A gay old time.
A Guy Jogs Through Death Valley While Dressed As Darth Vader … Every Year
Surely, if there’s one thing you can take away from the original Star Wars trilogy, it’s that Darth Vader never runs — he menacingly walks towards you with the calm perseverance of a freight train. Runner Jonathan Rice didn’t come away from the movies with the same impression, as he became the founder of the Darth Valley Challenge, in which he runs a mile in Death Valley at the hottest possible time of year, dressed in full Darth Vader get-up.
While Rice (AKA Vader) has described the run as “pointless,” it has set the Guinness record for the “hottest verified run.” Though, to be fair, once you’ve had several limbs burnt off by the fiery molten lake of Mustafar, a light jog through a dry heat must be like a walk in the park.
The decision to cosplay as Vader was less a calculated decision to harness the powers of darkness to boost his athleticism than it was the only Halloween costume in his house. So let’s be grateful it is the Sith apprentice running a hot mile in Death Valley, and not Rice dressed like a sexy nurse.
Canadian Teens Dress As The Justice League To Catch Internet Predators
It’s not totally surprising that a group of people would dress as superheroes and take the law into their own hands — but a group of Canadian men did so in a surprisingly non-violent fashion. The group, who dubbed themselves The Justice Trolls, dressed up as The Justice League, but rather than dumping a ton of money into Batman-like gadgets, or throwing up their internal organs trying to run like The Flash, these guys just bust out their laptops and bait sexual predators.
In fact, they don’t just wear superhero costumes, they improve them. We bet stupid old Barry Allen never even considered slapping a fake handlebar mustache on his Flash outfit. Or holding a press conference at a McDonald’s.
The group would pose as underage girls online to lure potential child sex offenders to a rendezvous — so instead of a minor they could take advantage of, these guys instead found themselves face-to-face with Batman — or at least a guy in a Batman rental costume with sewn-on abs. Either way, you have to imagine it’d be pretty jarring.
They would film the encounter, then post the video online. Like true comic book vigilantes, they caught the attention of the police and were told to back off. Then, again like in the comic books, the cops still took credit for arresting a bad guy who they found through the super-group. At least these cops have a good explanation for why they suck — it’s all part of a narrative that will spur on our heroes to do even more good.
A Juror Wore A Starfleet Uniform To The Whitewater Trial
Our older readers may remember the Whitewater scandal, a real estate fraud investigation with ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Not really a scandal a lot of people know about, because it didn’t involve emails.
But back in 1996, the Whitewater trial was a big event, so it’s only natural that some members of the media took note of alternate juror Barbara Adams, probably because she was the one dressed in a Starfleet uniform from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Adams ended up being kicked off the jury — but interestingly enough, it wasn’t for her get-up, which everyone involved with the trial actually seemed pretty okay with. No, what landed Adams in hot water was violating a gag order by talking to the media — though you have to imagine the judge knew he was going to get annoyed by her making the “whoosh” sound every time the courtroom doors opened.
Quite A Few Rock Bands Shred While Cosplaying
Ever since KISS accidentally wandered into a child’s birthday and had their faces painted by a black-and-white French clown, elaborate costumes have been a staple in certain subsets of rock. But these costumes can go too far, especially when bands starts dressing up in ways that prevent them from doing sex, drugs, and even rock and roll.
Canada’s Cybertronic Spree is what you might call a Transformers tribute band, covering the soundtrack of the original Transformers movie while dressing up like said Transformers. Which is way better than just getting one Transformer to turn into a crappy boombox.
And keep in mind, this is back when the Transformers soundtrack consisted of jaunty Stan Bush and Weird Al Yankovic riffs, not the Linkin Park and trace amounts of Michael Bay’s hostility psychically burnt into the audio nowadays. And this is just the tip of the cosplay band iceberg; there’s a Klingon band that plays death metal:
Not to mention how many Korean cosplay bands exist, but there really isn’t a part of Korean culture that hasn’t completely been taken over by geekdom, so these might just be regular bands.
Join Jack O’Brien and Cracked staffers Carmen Angelica, Alex Schmidt, Michael Swaim, plus comedian Blake Wexler for a retelling of history’s biggest moments you didn’t realize everyone was drunk for. Get your tickets here.