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The Origins of Whac-A-Mole

Aaron Fechter invented the original Whac-A-Mole game in 1971. Well...he took the idea from "some Japanese guys" who had created a creature-whacking game first, but Fechter made the mechanism work reliably by inventing an air cylinder system to power the moles and an audio-tape-driven pattern that governed the moles' timing. Also, Fechter's game used only moles, rather than a variety of animals in the Japanese game. In the video below, Fechter (who went on to create the Rock-afire Explosion animatronic band for Showbiz Pizza) discusses how he created the Whac-A-Mole and how it was then reverse engineered and mass produced by Bob Cassata. Fechter ended up buying hundreds of the games from Cassata for his Showbiz Pizza parlors.

The lesson here? Trademark your names, patent your games. I wonder what happened to those Japanese guys.

This clip is a bonus feature from The Rock-afire Explosion documentary DVD.

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Mattel Unveils New Uno Edition for Colorblind Players
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Mattel

On the heels of International Colorblind Awareness Day, Mattel, which owns Uno, announced it would be unveiling a colorblind-friendly edition of the 46-year-old card game.

The updated deck is a collaboration with ColorADD, a global organization for colorblind accessibility and education. In place of its original color-dependent design, this new Uno will feature a small symbol next to each card's number that corresponds with its intended primary color.

As The Verge points out, Mattel is not actually the first to invent a card game for those with colorblindness. But this inclusive move is still pivotal: According to Fast Co. Design, Uno is currently the most popular noncollectible card game in the world. And with access being extended to the 350 million people globally and 13 million Americans who are colorblind, the game's popularity is sure to grow.

Mattel unveils color-friendly Uno deck
Mattel

[h/t: The Verge

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fun
Lightning-Fast Teen Sets New Rubik’s Cube World Record
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In less time than it takes some people to open a pickle jar, 15-year-old Patrick Ponce can solve a Rubik’s Cube. His total time of 4.69 seconds makes him the new holder of the world record for fastest 3-by-3 Rubik’s Cube completion, as highlighted by Compete (and seen in the video below).

Ponce achieved the impressive feat of dexterity at a tournament in Middletown, Virginia, on September 2. He takes the title from the previous Rubik’s Cube speed record holder, Feliks Zemdegs, who solved the puzzle in 4.73 seconds at a competition in Australia in December 2016.

But the teenager may not hold his new position at the top for very long: Expert Rubik's Cubers have been steadily lowering the speed record beneath the 5-second mark since 2015. And human competitors still have a long way to go before solving a cube in 0.887 seconds—that’s the record that was set by a robot in March of 2017.

[h/t Compete]

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