What walks down stairs, alone or in OH MY GOD
October 11, 2017 3:29 PM   Subscribe

 
Very impressive! However, it's not a real slinky unless it makes your hands smell disgusting after playing with it. Metal or GTFO!
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:35 PM on October 11 [24 favorites]


Cool!
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:36 PM on October 11


That's salesmanship!
posted by King Sky Prawn at 3:37 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


One of the few youtube videos where the soundtrack actually helps.
posted by Sphinx at 3:39 PM on October 11 [13 favorites]


I don't think you could do that with the old metal kind, not without having it spring back into your face or caught in your hair. Old metal Slinkies were the menace of my childhood.
posted by fiercekitten at 3:41 PM on October 11 [7 favorites]


well, sure, how do you think the shaolin masters added them to their list of everyday weaponry? (please note, the next video that YT had cued up for me was entitled SLINKY KUNG FU - but the salesman guy is WAY BETTER.)
posted by mwhybark at 3:46 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


We had part of a slinky. But I straightened it.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:55 PM on October 11 [11 favorites]


The true heartbreak of metal slinkies is when they'd get sort of twisted up on themselves and couldn't get twisted properly back and then when they walked downstairs, they'd lean to the right or left depending on how you ruined them.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:56 PM on October 11 [11 favorites]




I liked the metal slinkys when I was a widdle kid long long ago, partly because I could get them to do what I wanted more easily than other toys in their category... never came close to mastering the yoyo.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:01 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


So is he going to be in the next X-Men movie? I'm willing to believe that he is, in fact, a mutant.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:03 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Slinkys are awesome.

Portrait video is decidedly not.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:07 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


So is he going to be in the next X-Men movie? I'm willing to believe that he is, in fact, a mutant.

MAGNETO: How is this possible? The slinky horde is completely unaffected by my magnetic power!

SLINKETO: Heheheh. These slinkies are made of plastic.
posted by straight at 4:10 PM on October 11 [36 favorites]


This is how slinkies were played with in my house... because we weren't allowed to normally play on the stairs. (Something about the laundry basket is not a toboggan). Also, we quickly found out metal slinkies suck on carpeted stairs. But slinkies at other people's houses worked awesome, so we loved them... they just didnt slinky right at our house on the stairs... but we loved them.

So yes, we slid them from hand to hand, spun them around, held onto them and landed them on things, then we would fire them at eachother and they'd get all tangled up and bent. I never knew this wasn't how most people played with slinkies. I guess the method is the product of not having stairs to do this with.

Also, yes, the metal cuts, but - hey... you have to bleed if you want to blame something on your sister...
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:16 PM on October 11 [10 favorites]


I grew up in a Florida suburb, where everyone had single-story houses and not a stair to be found. :(
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:17 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


“Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.”

― Patricia Briggs, Iron Kissed
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:35 PM on October 11 [55 favorites]


That is an amazing video! Thanks!
posted by curious nu at 4:44 PM on October 11


Plastic Slinkies don't really make a Slinkety sound.
posted by aubilenon at 4:51 PM on October 11 [9 favorites]


I had a 'nostalgasm' in the early '90s when Ren & Stimpy used almost exactly the melody from the Slinky jingle for its LOG commercial.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:51 PM on October 11 [8 favorites]


I just made my birthday wishlist:

1. A neon Slinky
2. A blacklight.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:57 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


>The true heartbreak of metal slinkies is when they'd get sort of twisted up on themselves and couldn't get twisted properly back

It's a variation on the Curly Phone Cord problem, where one of the little loops gets out of order with one of the adjacent little loops and it can never be made right. In order to learn how to do any of these tricks with a metal slinky, you would have to kink up and destroy AT LEAST ten thousand slinkies...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:41 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


kink up and destroy

Can we not slink-shame, guys?
;)
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:49 PM on October 11 [11 favorites]


I had a 'nostalgasm' in the early '90s when Ren & Stimpy used almost exactly the melody from the Slinky jingle for its LOG commercial .

I'm realizing I now can only recall the Log version from memory, it having completely replaced the original.
posted by HeroZero at 6:23 PM on October 11 [9 favorites]


The Slinky Original (there are over a dozen Slinky commercials on YouTube but this is the oldest)
i feel like i should apologize for the Log distraction
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:37 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


never apologize for the log distraction.
posted by 7segment at 6:39 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


whoa awesome! That was very satisfying to watch.
posted by aka burlap at 6:40 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


It's big, it's heavy, it's wood!
posted by VTX at 6:52 PM on October 11 [14 favorites]


Somebody needs to do a "rave" style slinky song.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:54 PM on October 11


Metafilter: The laundry basket is not a toboggan
posted by 4ster at 7:12 PM on October 11 [7 favorites]


So, there are a lot of things this guy is doing with that plastic slinky that would utterly ruin a metal slinky on first attempt. A lot of those sideways fling-out moves... metal slinkys will start to lose their basic spiral after one or two of those.

It never occurred to me that a plastic slinky could be used like this, but of course it could. Looks like a great dance floor spectacle toy for someone who's had a lot of practice.

Very cool! Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on October 11


And this post sent me off looking for an old Eudora mail exe, just to see if the new mail chime was the same as the LOG chime. And y'know, I think it is
posted by scruss at 7:59 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Wow this reminds me of the card cascade you get upon winning MS Solitaire!

(Video guy has good rhythm)
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:52 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


I had carpeted stairs and slinky sadness. I also just got Ratatouille'd by that Ren & Stimpy comment. Now I'm 16 and in a prog rock band and slavishly devoted to Domino's sausage and green pepper pizza. DAMN YOU SLINKYYYYYYYY
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:58 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


The best part of metal Slinkies is hooking one end on a doorknob and stretching out the other end to your ear to hear the pew pew spaceship battle sounds.
posted by jamaro at 10:45 PM on October 11 [19 favorites]


It's a variation on the Curly Phone Cord problem, where one of the little loops gets out of order with one of the adjacent little loops and it can never be made right.

Isn't there some trick, some specific move you can do to correct that? I always figured, since it seems to happen so spontaneously and easily, it must be possible to simply reverse the glitch... but I could never figure it out.
posted by rifflesby at 10:52 PM on October 11


Isn't there some trick, some specific move you can do to correct that?

Yes there is.

Fortunately for you it remains a secret, jealously guarded by the Curly Cord Repair Cabal. I could tell you what it is, but unless you've put in the required years of mental toughening the only result would be that you'd start to see easily avoidable curly cord abuse everywhere you look and be driven completely out of your mind.
posted by flabdablet at 11:50 PM on October 11 [12 favorites]


I like slinky's origin story. And note...

The Jameses made 400 Slinkys and, just before Christmas 1945, persuaded Gimbels department store in Philadelphia to let them set up a ramp in the toy department. Not only could a Slinky perform serial somersaults down the ramp, but it could turn a child instantly into a faultless juggler. At $1 each, those first 400 sold out in 90 minutes.

So we learn that ramp >>> even un-carpeted stair in the eyes of the inventors and that the juggling idea was in there from the beginning too.
posted by rongorongo at 12:39 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


KINK UP
and
DESTROY
SLINKIES

posted by quinndexter at 1:32 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


Holy shit. Impressive
posted by greenhornet at 2:42 AM on October 12


You see a slinky as a charming toy. I see it as twenty metres of metallic radio magic.
posted by Devonian at 3:34 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]


There is no right or wrong. There is only Slinky.
posted by Samizdata at 4:45 AM on October 12


The laundry basket is not a toboggan

Of course not, that's what a mattress is for
posted by the_blizz at 4:52 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


Just noticed/remembered that there is a slinky right in front of me, on top of my desk, in it's original box. I haven't touched it in a long time.

three hours later

that was fun
posted by james33 at 4:57 AM on October 12 [7 favorites]


A Slinky? You'll put your eye out, kid.
posted by steef at 5:36 AM on October 12


After watching this video I suddenly understand Bezier curves.
posted by tommasz at 5:47 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


I just attempted this, resulting in much inept flailing.
posted by RobotHero at 7:06 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Now I'm curious. Has anyone been able to make that stair trick work with any consistency? I remember trying a lot and never getting it to do more than two stairs, and eventually deciding that Slinkys just weren't a very good toy.
posted by roll truck roll at 7:46 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


You know...for kids!
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:56 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


This was absolutely delightful, thanks for posting it!
posted by bile and syntax at 8:38 AM on October 12


Looking at this video, I will repeat what a friend once told me:

"There will always be new forms of art."
posted by AlSweigart at 9:02 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Well, at least "Footloose" is out of my head now
It's fun for a girl and a boy!
posted by thelonius at 9:27 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Oh yay this is where I get to tell my slinky story. In grade twelve, I was almost a straight-A student - I was in seven classes, of which I was making above 95% in five (Math, Calculus, Honours Chemistry, English, and Canadian Lit). The outliers were French and Honours Physics. In order to maintain Dean's List status (I forget now why getting on the Dean's List was important to me), I had to get an average above 85% and no grade below 70%.

I had earned a 68% in physics, and I'd worked really really hard to do it, so my very cool physics teacher gave me and my lab partner (who was, and still is, also my best friend and some kind of genius) an extra-credit lab assignment: we had to write up a paper on some physics-related topic using the proper layout for lab papers.

Our title: SLINKIES: ARE THEY REALLY FUN FOR A GIRL OR A BOY?

We took over the main staircase in the back half of our high school for a good hour, which included recess, and we buttonholed everybody we could convince to stop and had them play with the slinkies on the stairs, and kept track of their sex, certain characteristics of how the slinkies moved that I've now forgotten, and, crucially, whether or not they were having fun. IIRC, 100% of the people who were willing to stop and play with a slinky for five minutes had fun.

I got my extra two%, bringing my grade up to the required minimum, and my best friend, who had already earned 100%, got 102%, and the story goes that the administration's computers refused to deal with her grade because it was supposed to be impossible to get better than 100%, and had to be upgraded in order to correctly print her report card (I don't know if this is actually true or not - it's the sort of thing our physics teacher would lie about to make us laugh, so he might have been having us on).

However, I got 69% in French and my churlish French teacher, who was later fired for assaulting a student, couldn't come up with an extra point for me, and I lost my Dean's List status, which luckily had no affect on my life whatsoever.
posted by joannemerriam at 10:31 AM on October 12 [13 favorites]


jamaro just made my day
posted by Space Kitty at 2:51 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


To achieve true slinky mastery you must become one with the slinky.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:29 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Now I'm curious. Has anyone been able to make that stair trick work with any consistency?

Yeah. You can't just push it over. The correct way to get it to walk down a full flight of stairs is to rapidly lift the free end in the air a few inches and flip it over in a smooth arc, bringing it down firmly on the next step. It's key to have a good arc, a bit of altitude and distance between the initial position and the first step, and a lot of energy and momentum in the spring.

The idea is to set the torsion spring up so it's flowing and moving with a lot of momentum like a siphon, which is essentially what it is in that mode. It's a mechanical siphon or fountain.

It's essentially the same thing going here in a ball chain fountain. This kind of effect is also what's going on with the slinky in the FPP video and how he's able to get it to arc out into complex shapes that hold a pattern as the slinky is whipped through it.

The best part of metal Slinkies is hooking one end on a doorknob and stretching out the other end to your ear to hear the pew pew spaceship battle sounds.

Say hello to the spring reverb! Not only do they use those in guitar amps and recording studios - experimental, electronic and ambient musicians (and film sound effects and foley designers) use those all the time for that signature twangy, spacy sound.
posted by loquacious at 4:20 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Well, at least "Footloose" is out of my head now

You could view getting a Slinky to walk down stairs on its own as its own form of Kevin Bacon dancing to Kelly Loggins.

🎶Now I gotta spring loose... spring loose...🎶
posted by hippybear at 6:46 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


You guys, when the Slinky-Footloose hybrid movie comes out in 2027 you won't think this extended riff will be so funny.

Hint: It comes out after the Lego and Minecraft versions of Footloose. It also comes out after the Slinky versions of Alien Vs. Predator, Driving Miss Daisy and Requiem for a Dream, but before the Slinky version of A Phantom Menace.
posted by loquacious at 10:57 AM on October 13


this extended riff

I see what you did there
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:18 AM on October 13


Also I'm sure those movies will require suspension of belief.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:19 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


But if any of them are a failure, I'm sure the actors will bounce back.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:20 AM on October 13


« Older 羅宋湯   |   "Perfect in so many ways" Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments