As early as the late 1940’s, missile defense systems employed by the United States government and run off of large mainframe computers, resembled a video game in both appearance and internal design. A couple of years later, Charley Adama created a “bouncing ball” program at MIT. By the late 1950’s university students in various colleges in the United States were using university computers to write rudimentary interactive games including popular collegiate hits such as tic-tac-toe and Spacewar. These developments built the base that the 1980’s video game craze was founded on.
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Methamphetamines, or crystal meth, creates paranoia and hallucinations and can lead to toxic psychosis. It is a psychoactive stimulant that can increase alertness, concentration, energy. It can induce euphoria and enhance self esteem. Given its activation of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, meth has a high potential for abuse and addiction – some addicts would choose death over abstinence from the drug. During the early 1990’s the use of crystal meth by high school students doubled.
It has one correct answer and forty three quintillion wrong ones. It can be solved in 25 seconds or less. Its inventor became the first self-made millionaire from the communist bloc. Rubik’s Cube, or Magic Cube as it was known in its native Hungary, was invented in 1974 but took it took several years before the craze hit and swept throughout America. In 30 years, over 300 million Rubik’s Cubes had been sold.
The Slinky or “Lazy Spring” toy has mesmerized children since the mid 1940’s. The helical spring toy stretches and then reforms itself using gravity and its own momentum. In its first sixty years, the Slinky company, lead by Betty James of Philadelphia, sold over 300 million units making the Slinky one of the most successful and highest selling toys of all time.
A lava lamp (or Astro lamp as it was originally know), is a decorative light featuring various colored, oozing blobs of wax that rise and fall in a heated and lighted lamp. The lava lamp was invented by Englishman Edward Craven Walker in 1963 and grew in popularity during the 1960’s psychedelic craze.
The CB radio was invented in 1945 by Al Gross, the inventor of the walkie-talkie, who later started the Citizens Radio Corporation. By 1960, the costs to produce the 23 channel radio came down enough that everyday Joes could afford to buy the radios. It became popular with small businesses and blue collar workers like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians who used the radio as a tool to communicate with coworkers. By 1973, it moved into the private sector and with the onset of the oil crisis, the CB Radio craze erupted.
MDMA or ecstasy (often abbreviated “E” or “X”) was first synthesized in 1912 by Merck chemist Anton Kollisch in an effort to create a substance that stopped out-of-control bleeding. By the late 1980’s, ecstasy, the “feel good drug” has hit the club scenes in Dallas, Texas. A year later, the hallucinogenic drug had moved overseas and by the mid 1990’s, was the drug of choice at raves (parties).