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10 Things You’ve Forgotten About the 1990s

10 Things You’ve Forgotten About the 1990s

Over 25 years have passed since the 1990s came and went, but, with a haze of well-timed nostalgia, what was it about that decade that made it so special? Join me, as we go back to a time of cloned sheep, Rollerblades and the fear of the millennium bug. So what were the 1990s for you? For me, there were…

1. Some of the best films, ever!

The phrase, “I’m having an old friend for dinner…” would never be the same after 1991 when Hannibal Lecter gave it a much darker meaning at the end of The Silence of the Lambs. Of course this was the decade of , still regarded by many as one of Disney’s greatest moments and Tom Hanks gormless Forrest Gump – “Run, Forrest! Run!” And if you didn’t well up when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson sunk beneath the sea to join the fated Titanic in 1997 you were either not there, or made of stone. And, let’s not forget Pulp Fiction (just what was in the briefcase?) or 1999’s Fight Club, but I am not allowed to talk about that…

John Travolta in Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta from Pulp Fiction

    2. Also, some of the best TV, ever!

    It was not just the big screen that was wowing us in the ’90s. How about spooky Fox Mulder in The X Files, which hit our screens in 1993? We wanted to believe and knew that the truth was out there. Or how about Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer? A young Will Smith became a trendsetter as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and animated fans were able to welcome Peter Griffin, Brian the dog and evil baby Stewie (of course with an English accent) in Family Guy. South Park was just generally rude – ‘Oh my God, they killed Kenny!’

    X Files

      X-Files Promotion

      Of course, there was only one show that got everyone talking when The Rembrandts ‘I’ll Be There for You’ heralded Friends. The story of  Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Ross and Monica had us glued to our sofas for almost 10 years.

      However, sometimes the adverts were better than the shows. Back in the 1990s there were some crazy commercials; bright colours, mad graphics and far too many jump cuts, like this classic example.

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      Swipe Mate

        Shutterstock: 90s Nostalgia Adverts

        Just for a bit of semi-nostagic fun, have a look at modern products given a 90s commercial make-over – it’s just like you’re back there on the sofa!

        3. It was when we first ‘went online’

        Retro Computer

          Retro Computer

          In an age when you sound massively old if you say ‘you remember the time before the Internet’ it was 1991 when many of us got our first view of the World Wide Web with America Online (AOL).

          A dial-up service (ask your parents about the pain of waiting for an image to load line by line!) was the Internet provider for over 10 million people during the ’90s.

          4. We played the most amazing games

          Today mobile gaming is something we take for granted, but back then mobile gaming was limited to a pack of cards (Top Trumps if you were very lucky!). The Nintendo Game Boy changed that with its interchangeable game cartridges with classics like Tetris and Super Mario Land. Although it was released in 1989, it truly led a revolution in gaming through the ’90s.

          Nintendo Game Boy

            Nintendo Game Boy

            More traditional games of the era included ‘Elefun’ a battery powered elephant that blew ‘butterflies’ in the air for you to catch in nets. More likely, it blew paper butterflies all over your room, most of which would never be seen again. Hours of fun for all the family!

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            An eclectic trend of the ’90s were Pogs, which consisted of milk caps that you could lose at the hand of a skilled player wielding a metal ‘slammer’. You had to build a stack of caps which players would take turns to throw their slammer on the stack, if you were playing ‘for keeps’ you would retain any that landed face up. This usually promoted tantrums from players who were losing their cherished caps and calls from schools stating that this was a form of gambling and should be outlawed at all costs.

            5. It was all about the music

            If you find yourself singing ‘One time’ out loud whenever you hear ‘Killing Me Softly’ by The Fugees on the radio, you are truly a child of the ’90s. Or how about ‘Flat Eric’ rocking it out to ‘Flat Beat’ by Mr Oizo trying to sell you jeans.

            Madonna

              Madonna

              Of course, one of the pivotal hits of the ’90s was Madonna with ‘Vogue.’ Yeah, we all ‘Vogued’ in the school yard. If you were one of the cool kids you may have been more into the Seattle grunge scene with Nirvana and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.

              6. But, what we ‘really, really want(ed)’…

              The Spice Girls

                Spice Girls

                Forget boy bands, the 90’s was the time of ‘Girl Power’ in the form of The Spice Girls who hit the scene with their Billboard hit ‘Wannabe’, I am sure we all still want to ‘zig a zig ahh…’ whatever that really meant.

                It was a time of manufactured empowerment, but we didn’t mind as the discussions of the plus points of Sporty, Ginger, Baby or Scary and Posh Spice kept us amused around water coolers. Of course, the less said about Spice Girls The Movie the better, you either loved it or agreed with the critics. At least it won a Golden Raspberry for ‘Worst Actress’ – praise indeed!

                7. It was all about the gadgets

                If the ’80s were about mobile music with the ubiquitous Sony Walkman, then the 90’s were all about bringing it up to date. No more cassettes. With the Discman, you could use your shiny new CDs. Of course, the downside of them skipping constantly (despite the promised shock protection) meant we had to take care when we jogged.

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                One of the must-have bits of tech was a Tamagotchi, a pocket sized digital pet that required your near-constant attention feeding, disciplining and cleaning up after your digital friend. Of course if you neglected it, you would find it would die. However, unlike the family hamster, you could bring it back by pressing the A and C buttons. If only real life were that simple!

                Tamagotchi

                  Tamagotchi

                  8. Of course, the best dressed people were all wearing…

                  Ripped Jeans

                    Ripped Jeans

                    Don your ripped jeans, a G-Shock watch and a Hypercolor T-shirt and you were ready to go out on the town. Of course your parents may well bemoan the state of your torn and worn denim (You paid good money for those?) or in my case sew them up, ‘good as new’ without you knowing! (Thanks, but no thanks mum!)

                    The Hypercolor T-shirt changed colour as it warmed up. Cue inappropriate hand prints and unfortunate patches under your arms!

                    9. ‘You Gotta Catch Them All’, the first time round

                    Pokémon was created, initially as a game before becoming a TV show a series of movies and trading cards. Most of us took on the role of Pokémon trainers trying to capture every possible character and battling our friends. It would be over 20 years before Pokémon Go was even imagined, but we were already hooked!

                    Pokemon

                      Pokemon Trading Cards

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                      10. If you were important you had a pager

                      Well, it was likely you were a god! Whereas cell phones were available in the ’80s, a $4,000+ price tag put them out of reach of most of us. By contrast, in 1994, there were over 61 million pagers in use.

                      A pager sent short text and numeric messages. You had to ring an operator who would send the message to the pager. So, we became adept at creating codes we could use. A typical coded message between me and my girlfriend of the day may have gone like this:

                      07734143607477406911
                      HelloI love youI miss youBest friends foreverHugs and KissesCall me now!

                      Sadly the response I got was:

                      1134 2 09 – Go to hell… (You had to turn your pager upside down to get that one).

                      Pager Code

                        It was a relief when the first affordable cell phones appeared in the late ’90s. Who can forget the almost bulletproof Nokia 6110 or the Star Trek-like Motorola StarTAC.

                        Nokia Cell Phone

                          Nokia Phone

                          While we are reminiscing about cell phones, let’s have a moment to remember Nokia, the everlasting phones with the massively addictive ‘Snake’ game. Happy days!

                          It’s all nostalgia

                          More than 25 years may have passed, but we can still hanker after the nostalgia, feeling old-fashioned about a ‘better age’ that feels like it was only yesterday. Damn, now we are starting to sound like our parents! Please, let me go back.

                          Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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                          Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                          How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                          How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                          Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                          If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                          1. Breathe

                          The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                          • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                          • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                          • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                          Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                          2. Loosen up

                          After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                          Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                          3. Chew slowly

                          Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                          Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                          Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                          4. Let go

                          Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                          The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                          It’s not. Promise.

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                          Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                          Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                          21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                          5. Enjoy the journey

                          Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                          Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                          6. Look at the big picture

                          The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                          Will this matter to me…

                          • Next week?
                          • Next month?
                          • Next year?
                          • In 10 years?

                          Hint: No, it won’t.

                          I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                          Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                          7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                          You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                          Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                          8. Practice patience every day

                          Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                          • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                          • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                          • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                          Final thoughts

                          Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                          Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                          Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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