Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Hit The Slopes In These 80s "Wearable Art" Sunglasses


Like so many of our favorite Retro Things, these shades are a lot of things. They're a bit kitschy, a bit 80s, and a bit baffling. You may not notice until you look at the photo closely, but I've got little plastic skiers on my sunglasses - and yes, that's just my nose in the photo. It's not a ski hill.

The copyright is 1988 on "The Original UnexSpecTed" glasses. The copy on the back refers to the glasses as "wearable art", and petitions the wearer to treat them tenderly. No doubt about that - these little skiers are quite fragile. I don't like to make fun of someone's art, but is gluing some model choo-choo figures onto a pair of cheap sunglasses really "art"?

Hoot_face2I bought these in the 80s at a thrift store for a buck or two, sparing me the undoubtedly high art fair price someone originally splashed out for these specs. I'd love to know what the original price was. I think I've worn them once because they are just so fragile. I only wear dark glasses in the summer, and having little skiers shooshing around my eye sockets seems both out-of-season and hypocritical.

I've only ever been skiing once (very unsuccessfully). I get the idea of wearing sunglasses on the hill so you don't go snowblind, but these little plastic ski bums on my specs wouldn't make it through the bunny hill. If you're ever going to wear UnexSpecTed glasses, I think it best to simply perch them gingerly on the end of your nose while you're sipping cocoa back at the lodge.

What other themes could you make out of little sporty HO model railroad guys and 80s sunglasses? Swimming? Fishing? Seems like you could create your own line of UnexSpecTed glasses by visiting your local hobby shop and warming up the hot glue gun. Oh yeah - here's my favorite bit...

HandmadeThat's right... these may be cheap sunglasses from the drugstore, but gluing on the skiers merits a "handmade in the U.S. A." sticker I guess.

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the comfort and visibility of UnexSpecTed glasses, having tiny people and a little pine tree in your blind spot isn't all bad. That part of my face always needed a little sprucing up (that's conifer humor, son!).

What do you think? Lame excuse for an objet d'art, or cute and clever novelty? Should we try to find artist T. R. Peters and ask him?


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