Heelys: Innovation on wheels

One of the hottest IPOs of 2006 was Heelys, the company that started a nationwide fad of skating around in shoes with wheels in them. (If you have the misfortune of living near a suburban mall, you can't help but notice little tykes whizzing past you every few minutes on their Heelys). Anyway, how did this fad start and who's responsible for it? As Startup Journal explains, Heelys is one of those legendary garage start-ups launched by a quirky visionary with a real passion for tinkering:

"Many amateur inventors dream of creating a million-dollar

product in the garage, but usually the only thing that ever comes out of that

garage is the family car. Roger Adams, the creator of a new kind of skate-shoe,

beat the odds...

In the fall 1998, he was sitting on a friend's porch in

Manhattan Beach, Calif., watching roller skaters, skateboarders and bicyclists

on the boardwalk, thinking back to a "happier, simpler time" at his family's

roller rink. That led him to an idea. "It occurred to me that all those things

-- roller skates, skateboards, bikes -- had been around for a hundred years," he

says. "It seemed to me that there had to be some new way to have fun on wheels."

His friend had a workshop in his garage. He heated up a butter

knife and began cutting apart some Nike sneakers and experimenting with metal

balls and wheels. He "cannibalized at least four pairs" of sneakers in the first

few hours. He tried them repeatedly and kept falling until he accidentally

discovered the proper stance -- one foot in front of the other to maintain


"I had a concept. I wanted the wearer to be able to walk

normally and then roll," he says. "There is a stealth nature to Heelys. When you

see a kid wearing them, you wouldn't know there's a wheel in the sneaker until

they started to roll."

[image: Heelys]

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less