Friday, January 18, 2013

Magic 8 Ball

Without a doubt, this week's Fortune Friday feature is about that old reliable decision maker, the Magic 8 Ball. Officially born as a commercially available toy in 1950, the idea for the Magic 8 Ball is believed to have first appeared in a Three Stooges movie short called, "You Natzy Spy".  In a strange twist of fate, Moe becomes the dictator of a place called, "Moronica." And Moronica is true to it's name, Moe decides "Loyal Moronicans should never read," so he orders books to be burned (I just hate that concept). Anyway, a beautiful woman shows up with a large 8 ball and claims the spirits send her a message through the ball...

The Magic 8 Ball has made other movie appearances, most recently as a character in all three Pixar Toy Story movies. This one talks back in Woody's voice. 

You don't actually need a physical Magic 8 Ball any more because like so many other things, the Magic 8 Ball can be outsourced to an Internet application. You can find electronic magic 8 balls all over the web: herehere and here. I admit that I found the last link a wee bit scary since it logged the questions asked and I clearly don't need to know anyone else's Magic 8 Ball question. But that's just me.

Mattel, the current maker of the Magic 8 ball, also offers a Magic 8 Ball iPhone app for a mere 99c. You ask a question and shake the iPhone. It delivers you an answer in true Magic 8 Ball fashion and with a press of a button you can share you answer on Facebook or Twitter. 

According to Wikipedia, there are twenty potential answers from the Magic 8 Ball:
It is certain
It is decidedly so
Without a doubt
Yes – definitely
You may rely on it
As I see it, yes
Most likely
Outlook good
Signs point to yes
Reply hazy, try again
Ask again later
Better not tell you now
Cannot predict now
Concentrate and ask again
Don't count on it
My reply is no
My sources say no
Outlook not so good
Very doubtful

There are now many derivative Magic 8 ball products, including:
-  The fashion fun ball, co-branded with Bloomies. This one tells you if you've made a fashion faux-pas. 

- A Glee Magic 8 Ball, from the TV Show. This ball also talks and some of the answers are sung back to you. 

- A Therapy Magic 8 Ball, which gives you answers like, "How do you feel about that?" and "Talk to your mother."

Have you ever asked a Magic 8 Ball a question? Signs point to yes. 

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