Do fidget spinners actually help people with ADHD?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll already know that one of the latest fads gripping the nation is the Fidget Spinner. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but the most common is a three pronged shape with an axle in the middle that allows you to spin it. Repeatedly. That’s it. That’s all it does.

Here’s an example:

Hours of endless entertainment!

Like any fad, it didn’t take long before some folks making these things started to make a lot of claims about how they were more than just a pointless toy. They could help you with a number of conditions including ADHD, autism, and anxiety.

I’ve discussed the fact that I have ADHD many times in the past and one of the ways it manifests for me is through fidgeting. When I am focusing on something (like writing a blog entry) I tend to bounce my knee a lot or I’ll wiggle the heel of my foot (like I’m doing now). If I’m standing up and engaging in conversation with someone it’s not uncommon for my right hand to be in my jeans pocket fiddling with a USB flash drive cap or fondling coins. So something like this could potentially appeal to me, but I’m skeptical of the claims being made and it turns out many psychologists are as well:

“Using a spinner-like gadget is more likely to serve as a distraction than a benefit for individuals with ADHD,” said Mark Rapport, a clinical psychologist at the University of Central Florida who has studied the benefits of movement on attention in people with ADHD.

There haven’t been any studies done to establish whether the claims are true or not. So the folks at BuzzFeed decided to give some spinners to employees with ADHD for a week and see what they thought. This is not in any way a scientific study, but it’s interesting just the same:

So it seems it’s of some benefit to some people, but probably not life changing in any way. One person reports that it helped more with her anxiety than it did with her ability to focus her attention. Overall this supports the idea that the claims are overblown, but, again, it’s not exactly a rigorous study.

Personally, I don’t think it would work for me because it’s too busy and would be more of a distraction because it would be pulling my attention away from what I need to be focusing on. It might be a way to alleviate boredom, but all that motion would easily be my undoing.

That said, I’ve given serious thought to buying a Fidget Cube. These are more along the lines of what I already do when I continuously pop the cap on and off the flash drive in my pocket. This is a small cube of plastic with a number of things on it to enable fidgeting such as a rocker switch, a combo dial like you’d find on luggage, a small ball bearing that spins in a socket, and so on. None of them do a damned thing other than give your hands something to do. More importantly for me, none of them are so visually stimulating that I’d be tempted to look at it yet would still supply tactile feedback. The folks who came up with this idea had a Kickstarter project for it a couple of years back that was very successful. Needless to say, just like with fidget spinners, there are already hundreds of knockoffs.

Here’s the YouTube ad they put out to promote it:

As you can see, this is the sort of thing you could keep in your pocket, but even if you take it out it’s less likely to distract everyone around you than a fidget spinner. Again, there’s no evidence that this would necessarily improve my (or anyone else’s) ability to focus our attention, but at least I wouldn’t be wearing out the caps to my USB flash drives.

The one drawback to the Fidget Cube over a Fidget Spinner is that you can’t do wicked sick tricks with the cube:

Bonus video from Ice Cream Sandwich:

What about you guys? Any of you give into this fad and pick one up? If so, do you feel it helps with focusing your attention or do you just like to spin for the sake of spinning?

 

I have succumbed to the Snuggie/Slanket fad.

Living XL Sleeved Wearable Blanket

The one person who doesn't look like a douchebag wearing this blanket.

Been really busy at work and as such I’ve not had as much time for keeping up with what’s going on in the world which has resulted in my lack of posts. So I thought I’d mention that I broke down and bought a Snuggie or Slanket or whatever the fuck you want to call them. I got it from the Living XL online store which is an off-shoot of the Casual Male XL clothing company (also known as the Big Fat Bastard Store). They just call it a Textured Wearable Sleeved Blanket which probably means it’s not a Snuggie or a Slanket brand name item. It’s the same damned thing, just doesn’t have a stupid name attached to it. Normally they go for $60(!), but they had a sale recently where they were selling them for $20 and I figured what the hell. It gets pretty cool in this basement here sitting at my computer and a sleeved blanket might be just the thing I need. Even if it doesn’t work it’s only $20.

Thing is, the fucker works great! It keeps me right toasty. Hell, sometimes it’s a tad too warm when in the heat of killing dangerous zombies in Left 4 Dead 2 and I have to take my top down to cool off.

So to speak.

Yes, it does make you look like a giant douchebag just like in the commercials, but if looking like a douchebag means being warm and toasty while sitting in front of my computer then so be it. I’m not proud.

It has a little pass-through pouch thingy on the front that you can stick your hands into to keep warm and an oddly placed pocket right in the middle for holding your TV’s remote control (they obviously know what lazy-assed bums would be buying this thing). The problem with the remote holder is that it’s positioned in just the right spot to make it look like you have a remote-shaped penis that’s just peeking out of the top of a hole in your blanket. It really is an unfortunate placement unless you’re a guy with a similar sense of humor to myself, in which case you’ll have endless fun with that feature of the blanket much to your wife’s regret.

You’d be amazed at how many Remote Control Penis jokes you can come up with on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

So all in all it was worth the $20. Don’t know that I’d spring $60 for one, scratch that, I definitely know that I wouldn’t, but for $20 I’m quite happy.

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart does Chatroulette.

If you’ve never heard of Chatroulette then this will be a pretty good primer, as well as uproariously funny:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Tech-Talch – Chatroulette
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Reform

I’m actually quite surprised at all the attention Chatroulette is receiving. As soon as I heard of it I knew there’d be tons of guys broadcasting their dicks to the world — a phenomena I’ve never really understood — because it happens on just about every other video chat network out there as well. For awhile Microsoft’s Netmeeting was a fairly popular avenue for dick broadcasting and that was years ago. I suppose the one big difference here is that you can surprise random people with your schlong for the lulz of seeing their reactions. (I find myself amused that I don’t have to link to a definition of “schlong” but felt the need to link to one for “lulz”.)

I often wonder if there are females out there who do anything similar. On those rare occasions that I’ve ventured into a video chat room of one kind or another I came across lots of guys proudly displaying their wangs for all the world to see, but I can’t recall ever coming across some random female broadcasting her hoo-ha to whomever happened along. Occasionally I’d happen upon boobs, yes, but never a fun basket. Is it just too scary looking at the low-bandwidth resolutions afforded by a webcam or is there some line that most women have decided they won’t cross that most men have long ago left behind in the dust? A question for the ages, I’m sure.

All that said, there are some folks doing some interesting and amusing things with Chatroulette out on the net. Like the guy who dresses up as Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe and tries to find a Valentine:

Then there’s the woman who decided to see what would happen if she fed the incoming video feed from Chatroulette back into itself so when you connected with her it looked like you had connected with yourself. She condensed some five hours of amused, surprised, and confused reactions down into this video:

For those wondering, it took a couple seconds for the feed to cycle back which is why the reactions are a tad delayed.

So obviously there’s more you can do with Chatroulette than just prove to the world that you have a cock and it’s these other experiments that I find much more interesting. Any douchebag can drop his pants in front of his webcam. These folks are being creative.

Yet another sign that I’m clueless about fashions.

I’m on mornings the rest of this week as one of my coworkers is off to Idaho for training. So after a busy start (it seems the mornings are always a little wild around here) I sat down with my first cup of coffee and Fark.com on my browser and I came across an entry for an article at StarTribune.com about the official clothing merchandise for the upcoming Republican National Convention. The tagline on Fark.com read as follows: Official attire for the RNC announced, including red and white Zubas. That’s right. Zubas.

I had to check the article out because the first question that popped into my head was: What the fuck is a Zuba? As it turns out it’s actually spelled “Zubaz” and according to its Wikipedia entry they are:

Zubaz (pronounced “zoo-baz” or “zoo-buz”, though officially pronounced “zoo-buzz”) are a brand of shorts and pants that became popular during the early 1990s. They were created by two bodybuilders, Dan Stock and Bob Truax, as a comfortable, functional short for weightlifting.

They hoped to make a short that would stretch and expand with the body during a workout. In a short time, the shorts became wildly popular in the United States. The Zubaz company sold $100 million worth of products in 1991 alone.

Although Zubaz began as a line of shorts, they were later developed into long pants, caps, shirts, and even diapers. The pants are tapered at the ankle, with the outer part of the leg being longer than the inner part. They have an elastic waistband to allow for greater flexibility and movement. The pants were originally created in a zebra print, but later began to be sold in almost any design imaginable.

I lived through the early 1990s, Courtney was born in 1990, and for the life of me I couldn’t recall ever hearing about Zubaz before. Though after seeing some of the pants I can certainly recall some folks wearing them and laughing my ass off as a result. Those things are hideous. It seems as though they were a huge fad for awhile, but have since diminished in popularity and are listed on Bad Fads.com. That hasn’t stopped the company from trying to stage a comeback beginning back sometime last year. Usually I’m up on the latest fads because of my interest in trivial things, but fashion is something I’ve never been particularly interested in or adept at (as most of you can probably tell from any of my photographs) so I managed to completely miss the whole Zubaz trend.

Now that I know what they are I can see the humor in the Republicans deciding to go with an 18 year-old outmoded fashion choice for their official convention attire. It certainly does nothing to improve their out-of-touch with the mainstream image. I suppose it could be worse. They could have chosen to go with leisure suits.

If your friends lept off a bridge would you do the same? Well, yes, apparently.

There are fads that I understand and there are fads that I don’t understand. The following fad falls into the latter category:

Suicide craze linked to social networking site Bebo | NEWS.com.au

THE deaths of seven young people from the same town in South Wales could be linked to a suicide craze sweeping a social networking internet site, British police believe.

Natasha Randall, 17, is believed to have become the latest victim after she was found hanged in her bedroom in her family’s Bridgend home last Thursday.

Police fear her death could be linked to six other copycat suicides in the same town, all of which appear to have been prompted by messages on networking websites.

Detectives believed many of the victims had their own web pages on the social networking site Bebo and could have been driven to kill themselves as a way of gaining prestige among their friends.

After their deaths, friends set up “memorial” websites for each of them so people could leave messages, photographs and video tributes.

“They may think it’s cool to have a memorial website,” one officer told The Times newspaper.

“It may even be a way of achieving prestige among their peer group.”

The article goes on to mention that within a day of Natasha’s suicide two of her friends tried to off themselves as well, but didn’t quite make it to fully dead status. Now they’ll never get their own memorial pages on Bebo. On the one hand it’s tragic that there are kids out there so starved for approval from their friends that that they’re literally killing themselves to get it at which point said approval is pretty much a moot point. On the other hand my first thought was along the lines of “well at least they’re only killing themselves and not trying to take out as many other people around them that they can.”