It was always a life or death situation when I resorted to asking the Magic 8 Ball for advice. I would hold it in my hands, sweat glistening on my brow, wondering whether the little black ball would deliver good news to the ultimate questions: Does (insert name) like me? Did I pass my math test? Will I ever be popular? These were the questions that plagued my nightmares, and so I turned to the ultimate fortune teller – my wonderful Magic 8 Ball. Deep down I knew it was merely a toy, but my happiness or supreme uneasiness hung on the 4 or less words that crafted its answers (I’m sure you know what I mean).
Discover the truth behind the mystery – here’s some history on the Magic 8 Ball from Wikipedia:
The magnificently magical Magic 8 Ball was invented in 1946 by Albert Carver, the son of a clairvoyant, “who marketed and sold the device with Abe Bookman of the Alabe Crafts Company” (a company named for the first letters in Carter’s and Bookman’s first names).
In case you’re not familiar with the Magic 8 Ball inner workings, here’s a brief overview:
The ball is a hollow, plastic sphere resembling an oversized, black and white 8-ball. The inside of the hollow sphere is filled with alcohol and dissolved dark blue dye as well as an icosahedral die (20-sided die). The die itself is hollow with small openings in each face to allow liquid to rush inside to give the die minimal buoyancy.
Each of the 20 faces of the die features an affirmative, negative or non-committal statement printed on it in raised letters (the answers with which kids have based their decisions for years). There is also a transparent window on the bottom of the ball through which the messages are read.
When it’s time to use the ball, it must initially be held with the window facing down. After “asking the ball” a yes-or-no question (this is very important), the user turns the ball so the window faces up and discovers the answer. There are 10 affirmative (happy) answers, 5 negative (world-crashing) answers, and 5 non-committal (the world’s most frustrating) answers.
Due to the popularity of the Magic 8 Ball – this classic toy, variations on the original concept have sprung up, including three of my favorites: the Affirmation Ball (provides 20 positive sayings to improve your day), the Sarcastic Ball (ask a serious question and get a sarcastic answer), and the Pink Date Ball (the ultimate advice on dating, love, and romance) .
Whether you loved the magnificent “magic” of the classic Magic 8 Ball as just a fun childhood game or you based your adolescent existence on its answers, the Magic 8 Ball (and all of its crazy variations) made life a little more fun!
“Magic 8 Ball.” Wikipedia. October 19, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_8_ball