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Jumping and in popular culture
Nov 17, 2018

Velcro jumping is a game where people wearing hook-covered suits take a running jump and hurl themselves as high as possible at a loop-covered wall. The wall is inflated, and looks similar to other inflatable structures. It is not necessarily completely covered in the material—often there will be vertical strips of hooks. Sometimes, instead of a running jump, people use a small trampoline.

Television show host David Letterman immortalized this during the February 28, 1984 episode of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. Letterman proved that with enough of the material a man could be hurled against a wall and stick, by performing this feat during the television broadcast. This put the Velcro brand fastener in the national spotlight.[dubious – discuss]

Jumping went beyond David Letterman, with amusement companies renting walls and jumpsuits for $400-$500 a day. It was also done on a regular basis in pubs in both New York and New Zealand, where it is a competition to see how high a person can get their feet above the ground. Jeremy Bayliss and Graeme Smith of the Cri Bar and Grill in Napier, New Zealand, started it after seeing American astronauts sticking to walls during space flights. They created their own equipment for the "human fly" contests, and sold it to several others in New Zealand.

The game moved to the U.S. after Sports Illustrated published a story on it in 1991. Adam Powers and Stephen Wastell of the Perfect Tommy's bar in New York city read of the game, and soon became the United States distributor of Human Bar Fly equipment. By 1992, wall-jumping was practiced in dozens of New Zealand bars and was said to be one of the favorite bar activities there at the time.

popular culture

· 1969–1972 - Velcro brand fasteners were used on the suits, sample collection bags, and lunar vehicles during all Apollo program missions to the Moon.

· 1984 - David Letterman wears a suit made of hook-and-loop and jumps from a trampoline into a wall covered in the product during an interview with Velcro Companies' USA director of industrial sales.

· 1996 - In the John Frankenheimer film The Island of Dr. Moreau, Moreau's assistant jokingly claims that the doctor won his Nobel Prize for inventing Velcro.

· 1997 - The fastener has become part of a recurring joke in various media in which it is claimed that modern humans would be unable to invent it, and that it is in fact a form of advanced technology. For example, K claims in Men in Black that Velcro was originally alien technology,

· 2002 - The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Carbon Creek" portrays Velcro as being introduced to human society by Vulcans in 1957. One of the Vulcans in the episode is named "Mestral", after the fastener's actual inventor and founder of the brand.

· 2004 - One of the characters in the film Garden State made a vast fortune from inventing "silent Velcro".

· 2016 - As an April Fool's Day joke Lexus introduced "Variable Load Coupling Rear Orientation (V-LCRO)" seats, technology that attaches the driver to the seat with Velcro Brand product to allow for more aggressive turns.

 


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