Fads

Fads define a society's popular styles and trends throughout the decades. Whether it be crazy hairstyles, popular games or geek chic - you'll find it here.

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Thanks to COVID-19, big celebrations are canceled. So it's no surprise people aren't saying 'Happy Birthday' with a simple card, but with a huge yard sign instead.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

These quirky clay figurines sprout "hair" seemingly overnight. But what is it that has made the Chia Pet an international sensation for 40 years?

By Patty Rasmussen

The company is known for compiling thousands and thousands of off-the-wall records set by others. But does it hold any records of its own?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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If the creator of the electric slide had his way, we'd all be sued for doing the dance wrong.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

A segment of young men are separating themselves from society out of frustration with the poor economy and a strong feminist ethos.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Sure, we all want to see a picture of the guy with the longest fingernails, but Guinness World Records actually serve a greater purpose.

By Alia Hoyt

Some have seen benefits in their treatment of children, but scientific evidence remains short.

By Alia Hoyt

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Yep, we're talking about folks acting out real equestrian rides on their not-so-real steeds.

By Kate Kershner

Some life hacks are the bees' knees. Some are baloney.

Possibly the silliest fad to hit the playground since slap bracelets, these shapely rubber bands took the world by storm in 2010. What's so silly about them, anyway?

By Kate Kershner

How do you tell dubstep from other types of electronic music? What does it mean to "wobble," anyway?

By Jeff Harder

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From shepherds to surfers to starlets, many love uggs' cozy comfort. But how did boots with a name derived from "ugly" become a pricey status symbol?

By Laurie L. Dove

Even if you weren't around in the 1950s, you're probably familiar with these 10 short-lived but long-loved pieces of golden-decade pop culture.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. & Matt Cunningham

What if our most advanced technological devices all ran on diesel engines? The dieselpunk subgenre of speculative fiction looks at a world that could have been.

By Jonathan Strickland

Unless you've been living under a rock, chances are good you've heard about flash mobs. What's the deal with these public spectacles? Who first came up with the fad?

By Kate Kershner

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Flash mobs have become entrenched in 21st century pop culture. But who "invented" them and how can you plan your own?

By Chris Warren

Flash mobs have taken on a life of their own, occurring all over the world and involving tens of thousands of participants. Which five stand out from the rest?

By Rebecca Fairley Raney

Zoot suits were more than just smart clothes worn by guys in the 30s and 40s. They were suits that made political and cultural statements.

By Chris Warren

Some people will do anything for PEZ -- for example, spend $13,360 on set of Will and Kate dispensers. How did PEZ become so beloved?

By Patrick J. Kiger

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In the 1920s, a new kind of woman who defied established gender standards, the flapper, emerged. What actions, outfits and dance moves defined flapper style?

By Cristen Conger

Teens of the 1940s, called bobby-soxers, were known for celebrity-worship and trend conformity, but they were more than just vapid fangirls. How did they set the tone for American teenage culture?

By Cristen Conger

Marge Simpson rocks a beehive, as do the ladies of the B-52s. After more than half a century, it's a hairstyle that's still guaranteed to draw attention.

By Molly Edmonds

In the 1950s, hip teens put on their circle skirts or cuffed jeans, practiced their twist or bop and headed to the sock hop. How did this cultural fad take off, and why was it called a sock hop in the first place?

By Jessika Toothman

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Vintage Tupperware, in all its pastel glory, has come to symbolize 1960s domesticity in the United States. But how did these still-popular plastic containers get their start?

By Cristen Conger

Or you could use that goofy, flesh-colored substance to block some low-frequency sounds, clean your keyboard or, of course, copy that cool newspaper article you were reading. Stretch your brain even more in How Silly Putty Works.

By William Harris