Reflective Slap Bracelet with Nobel Prize Collection – Part 3

In anticipation for the announcements of the Nobel Prize 2017, we will finish up the stories behind the particles included in the Nobel Prize Collection  reflective slap bracelet. If you missed the beginning, go here for part 1.

Reflective slap bracelet with the Particle Zoo Nobel Prize collection of elementary particles.
Reflective slap bracelet with the Particle Zoo Nobel Prize collection of elementary particles.

1988 – The Muon Neutrino

Colleagues Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger shared the Nobel Prize “for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino“. Neutrinos have no charge, very little mass and limited willingness to interact with and leave tracks in particle detectors. The research trio used a multistep process to produce a neutrino beam by creating showers of pi mesons from a proton beam and then let the mesons decay in layers of thick battleship steel. Continue reading Reflective Slap Bracelet with Nobel Prize Collection – Part 3

Reflective Slap Bracelet with Nobel Prize Collection – Part 2

For our fellow science nerds around the world, we teamed up with  The Particle Zoo and designed an ultra-reflective slap bracelet with elementary particles related to the Nobel Prize in physics. Order it in our webshop (ships world wide), at Amazon Canada or Amazon UK. In our previous blog post, we discussed the significance of the Photon (1921), the Neutron (1935) and the Electron magnetic moment (1955). That means we are up to the antiproton!

Two difference views of the reflective slap bracelet with the Particle Zoo Nobel Prize collection of elementary particles.
Two difference views of the reflective slap bracelet with the Particle Zoo Nobel Prize collection of elementary particles.

1959 – The Antiproton

Emilio Gino Segrè and Owen Chamberlain
“for their discovery of the antiproton”. An antiparticle is a “mirror image twin” of the particle and Paul Dirac’s theory predicted every particle has its antiparticle. The positron, the antiparticle of the electron, Continue reading Reflective Slap Bracelet with Nobel Prize Collection – Part 2

Reflective Slap Bracelet with Nobel Prize Collection

Celebrate groundbreaking research in high-energy physics with this collection of happy elementary particles from discoveries that brought home the Nobel Prize. In cooperation with the ParticleZoo, we have created a highly reflective slap bracelet (order it here) that doubles as a cheat sheet for Nobel Prize trivia while waiting for the 2017 Nobel Prize announcements.

Reflective slap bracelet with the Particle Zoo Nobel Prize collection of elementary particles.
Reflective slap bracelet with the Particle Zoo Nobel Prize collection of elementary particles.

The Particle Zoo Nobel Prize Collection

For the curious, the Nobel Prize website lists all awarded prizes and below are the first three selected for our reflective slap bracelet:

1921 – The Photon

Albert Einstein was awarded “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”.  Electromagnetic radiation, which is visible light, infrared, ultraviolet, radio waves, radar, x-rays, microwaves, etc. behaves both as a wave and a particle, the photon. Continue reading Reflective Slap Bracelet with Nobel Prize Collection

Canada Safety Reflector 🇨🇦

Happy Canada Day! Bonne Fête du Canada!

Today is a special Canada Day, the 150th anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution Act. To celebrate, we have launched a Canada safety reflector in our webshop! It will be available online in Canada later this summer. We are excited that our funflector safety reflectors have been so well received in Canada and are looking forward to help more Canadians around the world stay visible in the dark.

Oval Canada safety reflector with red maple leaf on front and Canada on back
Oval Canada safety reflectors to hang on jackets, bags, backpacks, strollers or wheelchairs. The image shows front and back.

The Constitution Act laid the foundation for Canada in 1867, the first Dominion within the British Empire with four provinces; Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. Continue reading Canada Safety Reflector 🇨🇦

The Treble Clef Safety Reflector 🎼

Safety for Musicians and Music Lovers

Musicians and music lovers are at double risk ending up in nighttime pedestrian crashes. 1. They are mostly dressed in black. 2. They often head homewards in the dark after evening concerts and rehearsals. Obviously, these things won’t change, so the easiest solution is to add some reflective gear that fits right in. A black treble clef safety reflector is stylish and blends in with any black outfits. It can hang on instrument cases, jackets, purses, backpacks and bags.

Black treble clef and white snowflake safety reflectors.

Then in nighttime traffic, it puts its wearer in the spotlight with its reflective power. Thanks to a unique manufacturing technique, Continue reading The Treble Clef Safety Reflector 🎼

How To Choose a Brand Name

Eons ago, when we were still at the research stage for all that we do today, we needed to choose a brand name. All we had, was a handful of safety reflector samples from a manufacturer and a some ideas and advice. Today, on the anniversary of finding our funflector brand name, we would like to share some ideas we had on how to choose a brand name that cut through the noise on search engines and help you build your own niche. These were our criteria:

  • The brand name needed to be different from our business name, the newly registered LLC
  • The brand name needed to be available as a .com domain
  • The brand name should not be a normal word or series of words as it would be hard to find our products when using the brand name in search engines.
  • The brand name needed to be reasonably short so the URL was easy to read, remember and type.
  • The brand name needed to flow and be easy to pronounce and spell in American English. Having lived in Sweden, Germany and France in addition to the US, we had plenty of impossible names to draw from.
  • Of course, the brand name must not be offensive, obscene or disrespectful.
  • Lastly, it would be nice if the brand name described the product.

We came up with gazillions of ideas, and some we believed in enough to test in google. For most, however googling was the end until March 15th. That’s when when we typed in funflector.

how to choose a brand name - funflector on google 2010

The result: “Your search – funflector – did not match any documents.” Yes! In that very moment we knew we had chosen a great brand name!Try that today and see how many hits you get!

So, that’s our story on how to choose a brand name!

A couple of weeks later, as we were about to submit trademark registration for funflector, we listened to a webinar about branding. They talked about how many of the best brand names were made up from two normal words smushed together into one name. And that was exactly how we had turned “fun reflector” into funflector!

We still love our brand name and it keeps serving us well.

What’s your favorite advice when it comes to brand creation? Please comment below!


Thoughtful Valentine’s Gift Idea ❤️

Without getting a chance to breath after the holidays, endless store shelves are already filled with red and pink Valentine Day’s gifts. It can easily be overwhelming and just a bit too sugary. If you are looking for a useful and thoughtful Valentine’s gift idea, this piece of rainbow striped eye candy might be just that. It is absolutely sugar-free and instead it brings safety and a piece of mind. It is super easy to send as a gift with a greeting card.  Who would you not want to surprise with a loving heart any day of the year?

Heart safety reflector makes a thoughtful Valentine's gift idea for those you care about the most.
Looking for a thoughtful Valentine’s gift idea?

Funflector safety reflectors are thin, soft and lightweight and make  great gifts and a-little-somehting to gift all seasons of the year.

A heart shaped safety reflector is a perfect thoughtful Valentine's gift idea.
A heart shaped safety reflector is a perfect Valentine’s gift idea.

With the signature color matching ball chains, the funflector safety reflector can be hung in many places, zipper pulls on bags and jackets, on strollers and wheelchairs.

Love your dog? Giv it a dangling safety reflector on its collar to help drivers see it.

Love your kids? Give them a safety reflector (or two) for their backpacks and jackets so the early morning school bus driver can see them clearly. College students need reflectors too!

Love your mom? Give her a safety reflector for her purse or jacket.

Love your grandpa? Give him a safety reflector for his walker or jacket.

Love coffee? Give yourself a coffee themed safety reflector!

Because it is better to be seen than sorry…

Happy Valentine’s Day!  ❤️

Halloween Safety

Halloween is just a week away and it’s time not just to plan costumes and decoration but also to prep your teens and kids for a safe and fun night. Drivers not seeing trick-or-treaters is the number one halloween safety concern that should be on every adult’s mind this week. It is not too late to order funflector reflectors, ultra-bright Halloween reflectors that are fun and stylish. The Ninja and Ninja star safety reflectors are sailing up as our best sellers this year! From now to Halloween, we’ll promise to get any orders out our door within 24 hours.

Halloween Safety Tips Poem

4 Steps to Halloween Safety

Twice as many kids get killed on our roads on Halloween compared to any other night of the year. Here are 4 easy steps you can take to significantly lower the risks. Continue reading Halloween Safety

Meet the Gravitational Wave

Meet the gravitational wave safety reflector
Gravitational Wave safety reflector. Design by the Particle Zoo.

On February 11, 2016, scientists of the LIGO collaboration sent ripples through the scientific community with the announcement of the detection of a gravitational wave. Gravitational waves are released from collisions of black holes, supernovae and even the remnants of radiation created by the birth of the Universe. It’s a story of bright brains, the unimaginably huge, the extremely tiny, and human persistence. Einstein predicted them 100 years ago but never expected anyone to be able to measure the tiny effect.

Gravitational Wave Safety Reflector

The remarkable discovery inspired the Particle Zoo to design a Gravitational Wave for the Particle Zoo collection. We are very excited to introduce it and you can find it in the funflector webshop. It is actually the first in the collection to be released as a safety reflector before existing as a plushie :)

So, what’s the big deal with gravitational waves?

Imagine 1.3 billion years ago, two black holes, about 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun, dancing around each other several times per second before merging into one black hole. Within a couple seconds, they release the energy equivlant of 3 suns worth of mass. That energy is spread around the universe in a gravitational wave and ripped through the LIGO detectors in September 14, 2015 during an engineering run. With two 4 km (2.5 miles) arms with state of the art vacuum chambers and laser beams, a distortion the size of 1/1000 of the diameter of a proton was detected. The 1000 scientists and engineers could hardly believe how lucky they were and for several months turned every stone to make sure it was a real event and not just a fault in the equipment or software. In December last year, they detected a second event. Below is a nice 6-minute explanation by awesome Neil deGrasse Tyson of the physics behind and the magnitude of the discovery.

Like many new discoveries, the detectors are miracles of engineering and the team had to push technology to new hights to accomplish the new discoveries. If you want to dive deep into both physics and technology, this hour long lecture on Gravitational Waves from SLAC is a good start.

I remember learning about the experiment while taking a class in relativity in college. At that time, it seemed like they aimed for a very lofty goal, so I was thrilled to read about the discovery back in February. Although I’m not pursuing physics research anymore, it’s fun to circle back and provide friends, former colleges, physicists and other scientists with some unique and very niched safety reflectors for jackets, bags and backpacks. I know how easy it is to lose track of the time and not get out of the lab until way later than planned…


Trabant or Volvo Style Safety?

Like most everything else, not all reflectors are created equal. You can buy “reflective gear” and “safety reflectors” and yes, or course, they all reflect – at least a little bit. But how do you know if they reflect enough? You want the Volvo, not the Trabant when it comes to the safety of yourself and your loved ones, but how do you know which is which?

Let’s take a look at two reflective slap bracelets/slap wraps, both with a black and white pattern, but made with different manufacturing techniques and different reflective materials. The striped one, we found online, while the other one is “Baroque” from our own webshop.

Comparing good and bad safety reflectors and reflective gear.
Diagonal stripes printed ON the reflective surface while the baroque pattern of the funflector wrap is printed on the material UNDER the 3M Scotchlite material. Surprised about the result?

How is the safety reflector printed?

As you can see in the image, the two safety reflectors may look similar, but the way they are manufactured are vastly different. Continue reading Trabant or Volvo Style Safety?

3 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips

Back to school notebooks, pens and safety reflectors.School supplies piled high, schedules checked and papers signed. Getting kids back to school can be daunting, and it is easy to forget all the soft things that are not on the provided supply lists, for example talking with your kids how to handle difficult and dangerous situations or what to do if they see bullying or are the target of it. Strategies and safety tips for how to deal with bullies, strangers and traffic dangers is something every kid should be taught.

1. Tools for Kids to Deal With Bullying

Bullying hurts, emotionally and/or physically, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, it also prevents learning and developing new skills. Take the time to talk with your kids about bullying, how to stand up for others and how they can protect themselves.  It’s not always so easy to bring up the topic of bullying with the kids, we found some good tips here on how to talk about bullying. Go here to get strategies for your kids to deal with and prevent bullying. Give them the confidence to stand up for themselves but also to help others who might be the target of bullying.

2. Teach Kids More Than “Stranger Danger”

“Stranger Danger” is easy to tell kids, but it does not give them any tools to deal with creepy, scary and dangerous situations. When doing nothing is not enough, kids need to know what action to take. We like the site as it gives kids and parents tools to assess strangers, most of whom are thankfully good people, and take immediate action when they are not. It teaches kids how they can verbally and physically protect themselves and encourages you to practice different situations with your kids.

3. Practice Road Safety With Your Kids

Whether your kids walk or bike to school, or wait for the school bus at the side of the road, they need to understand to take traffic seriously. That goes for teens in middle and high school too! We have mentioned it many times before on this blog, but here is a quick reminder:

  • Cross streets on crosswalks and at intersections. Most  pedestrian crashes (70%) occur in the middle of the block.
  • Walk on the left side if there is no sidewalk. That way you know what’s going on with the traffic closest to you, and you will have more time to step away if needed.
  • Wear reflectors from dusk to dawn when walking, biking or running. Cars have rear lights to be seen and it is equally important for anyone not in a car to make themselves seen by drivers. Of all fatal teen pedestrian accidents, 75% happen when it’s dark. Make sure your kids don’t end up as a tally mark in the 2016 crash statistics.

The best way to teach kids how to behave is to practice what you preach. Be a good role model and park the car a block away next time, and use that to practice crossing streets. Especially, teach the kids to watch out for drivers turning “right on red” because those drivers are often only looking to the left… Wear reflectors yourself (you don’t want to become a tally mark either, right?) from dusk to dawn. For those adults who don’t think ninja star or kitten safety reflectors are the right style for you, we have some more “neutral” ones too :)

The funflector team


P.S. And to all parents out there who need to take a deep breath now when kids are back in school: This safety reflector is for you, enjoy!

Don't forget yourself: Take Time To Smell The Coffee! Safety Reflector
Don’t forget yourself: Take Time To Smell The Coffee safety reflector!

The Meaning of the Ampersand

The typographic symbol “&” or “ampersand”, is a fun squiggle that requires some practice to write smoothly. As the funflector team has worked on the design of our ampersand safety reflector, I remember the proud feeling of accomplishment when, in second grade, I finally got the pen to turn and twist the right way. From a designer’s perspective it is fun to play around with and many different 3D versions has lately made it onto the shelves of many home decorating stores. The Design Hack has written a blog post on the history and their love affair with the graphic beauty and styles of the ampersand and we totally share their love of the design.

Ampersand safety reflector in sandalwood hanging on the handle of a bag.
Ampersand safety reflector in sandalwood hanging on the handle of a bag.

If you want to decorate your home with ampersands, there are so many styles, materials and sizes, but how about if you want to decorate your bags or clothing with one? We did not find many ampersand accessories beyond jewelry so we are proud to add an ampersand safety reflector to our 2016 collection. It looks awesome on jackets, bags and purses. Check it out in our webshop here! It is available in a number of colors and even our black safety reflectors are super bright as explained here.

What’s the meaning of the Ampersand?

Ampersand home decoration and safety reflector.
Ampersand home decoration covered in with sequence and purple safety reflector.

The ampersands symbolizes the word “AND”, which is
the word that brings people together, ties together two disparate things or thoughts,
the word that can make 1+1 equal to 3
AND it is the word that if used in the right place, sparks discoveries and innovation! The ampersand is also a reminder that we are not alone, but stronger together. As a friend of mine put it: “I have many brothers and sisters and think of us all strung together by the word AND. So when I se the ampersand, it makes me think of my loving family.”

In many languages  it represent a very short word
AND in English
UND in German
ET in French
OG in Danish
even in Finnish where something as simple as 1-2-3 is yksi-kaksi-kolme, the word for “and” is JA.

Why is it a favorite for us? When you put AND between thoughts, concepts and models that have not previously been combined, that’s when you get discoveries and innovation! It is also a constant reminder to take one more step, to dig one shovel deeper and take in one more viewpoint. And then what?

We’d love to hear what you think of when you see the ampersand. Please comment below!


Happy 4th of July!

The funflector team is wishing everyone a fantastic and safe Independence Day!

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

This year, we are sending our 4th of July greetings from Paris, France, one of many stops during our very inspirational travels this summer. We have been collecting ideas for future safety reflector designs and of course taken the opportunity to shoot some fun photos.

The funflector team


2016/17 Collection Sneak Peek

Even in Chicago, it is almost spring – Yay! – and it’s time for the funflector team to emerge from hibernation. Let’s give you a sneak preview of our fall collection that we’ve been hard at work with during the never-ending winter months.

Camera safety reflector by funflector
New design 2016 – 📸 Camera safety reflector by funflector 📷

For amateur and pro photographers alike, the funflector® camera safety reflector will look great on your camera bag and backpack. When you are too focused on what’s in your lens at sunset, this reflector will help drivers notice you.

Ninja and Ninja Star ultra bright backpack safety reflectors by funflector®.
No ninjas on the roads, please! Make them visible in style!

“Is there a ninja school around here?” A friend of ours visiting us on a Saturday night was stressed out when arriving. Not one, but two kids had appeared next his car on the badly lit residential streets. The high schools kids were of course dressed all in black. Luckily, our friend was going slowly enough to stop, but it was stressful, nevertheless. Equip your ninjas with funflector safety reflectors for safer walks around the neighborhood and to keep heart attacks away from drivers.

Bass clef pedestrian safety reflector by funflector
🎶 For all bass singers, cello, double bass, bassoon, trombone & tuba players, we have made a bass clef safety reflector to keep you safe when getting home from late night rehearsals and performances!!! 🎶

Our popular treble clef reflector will get accompanied by a much asked for bass clef reflector. We have both cello and trombone players in the family and know about the struggle for bass clef gifts. Musicians are often out at night, on their way to and from rehearsals and performances. These ultra reflective tags look stylish on any instrument case!

Stay tuned for more cool designs coming this summer and fall. Follow us on Instagram, twitter and Facebook to get the news first!

Pedestrian Crash Statistics :(

Walking is good for you. Every day, more people experience the wellbeing that comes from simple walks around the neighborhood or to nearby places. Unfortunately, as walking increases, so do traffic fatalities. The development of safe cars and better infrastructure has not yet caught up to the trend of walking. A whopping  3/4 of the crashes occur during the dark hours, at dusk or at dawn.

US pedestrian fatalities increased in 2015. New pedestrian crash statistics shows the deaths by year and time of day.
GHSA reports about an alarming 10% increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2015, of which 75% occur when it’s dark.

In a new report on pedestrian crash statistics, the GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) estimates a 10% increase in fatal pedestrian crashes from 2014 to 2015. Here are some quick facts:  Continue reading Pedestrian Crash Statistics :(

Better seen than sorry | North America's premier SAFETY REFLECTORS for walking, running and bicycling