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These Adorably Confused Kids Have No Idea What A Walkman Is

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Hand any of these kids an iPod, and they'll know exactly what to do with it. Hand them a Walkman, however, and they won't even know what it is ... or what it does ... or how to use it—as you can see in this new video from the Fine Bros.

"Oh, a phone! ... Wait, what is this thing?" one little girl says. Other kids suggest that the Walkman is a walkie talkie, a dictation device, or a boombox. They have no idea what a cassette tape is, or how to open the Walkman to insert it, or which way to insert it. The verdict? "It's too complicated," says one little boy.

It's all very cute—and makes those of us who grew up with Walkmans feel pretty old! The Walkman was invented in the late '70s for the head of Sony, who wanted to listen to music on his many business trips. It was the very first personal listening device, and it's pretty safe to say that without the Walkman, there would be no iPod.

Just for fun, here's a commercial for my first Walkman:

Specially made for kids, it was cherry red and had a crossbody strap so I could take it everywhere. And when you pressed play, a window in the back allowed you to see the gadget's parts as they played your tape. It. Was. Awesome. I still have it—and it still works. Now, if I could only find my New Kids on the Block cassette tape...

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George Washington’s Incredible Hair Routine

America's Founding Fathers had some truly defining locks, but we tend to think of those well-coiffed white curls—with their black ribbon hair ties and perfectly-managed frizz—as being wigs. Not so in the case of the main man himself, George Washington.

As Robert Krulwich reported at National Geographic, a 2010 biography on our first president—Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow—reveals that the man “never wore a wig.” In fact, his signature style was simply the result of an elaborately constructed coiffure that far surpasses most morning hair routines, and even some “fancy” hair routines.

The style Washington was sporting was actually a tough look for his day. In the late 18th century, such a hairdo would have been worn by military men.

While the hair itself was all real, the color was not. Washington’s true hue was a reddish brown color, which he powdered in a fashion that’s truly delightful to imagine. George would (likely) don a powdering robe, dip a puff made of silk strips into his powder of choice (there are a few options for what he might have used), bend his head over, and shake the puff out over his scalp in a big cloud.

To achieve the actual ‘do, Washington kept his hair long and would then pull it back into a tight braid or simply tie it at the back. This helped to showcase the forehead, which was very in vogue at the time. On occasion, he—or an attendant—would bunch the slack into a black silk bag at the nape of the neck, perhaps to help protect his clothing from the powder. Then he would fluff the hair on each side of his head to make “wings” and secure the look with pomade or good old natural oils.

To get a better sense of the play-by-play, check out the awesome illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton that accompany Krulwich’s post.

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"American Mall," Bloomberg
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fun
Unwinnable Video Game Challenges You to Keep a Shopping Mall in Business
"American Mall," Bloomberg
"American Mall," Bloomberg

Shopping malls, once the cultural hub of every suburb in America, have become a punchline in the e-commerce era. There are plenty of malls around today, but they tend to be money pits, considering the hundreds of "dead malls" haunting the landscape. Just how hard is it to keep a mall afloat in the current economy? American Mall, a new video game from Bloomberg, attempts to give an answer.

After choosing which tycoon character you want as your stand-in, you're thrown into a mall—rendered in 1980s-style graphics—already struggling to stay in business. The building is filled with rats and garbage you have to clean up if you want to keep shoppers happy. Every few seconds you're contacted by another store owner begging you to lower their rent, and you must either take the loss or risk them packing up for good. When stores are vacated, it's your job to fill them, but it turns out there aren't too many businesses interested in setting up shop in a dying mall.

You can try gimmicks like food trucks and indoor playgrounds to keep customers interested, but in the end your mall will bleed too much money to support itself. You can try playing the bleak game for yourself here—maybe it will put some of the retail casualties of the last decade into perspective.

[h/t Co.Design]

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