What has two turrets, five bathrooms, 11 ensuite bedrooms, and a single occupant? Why, every house on Oleander Blossom Boulevard Lane, of course. McMansions are mass-produced, tasteless, and poorly constructed jumbo-houses that line the sides of suburban streets everywhere. Disastrous details are the hallmark of McMansions. There may be six poorly-proportioned windows on the front and none on the sides; the house may hold two hot tubs and an elaborately flared staircase, but the “landscaping” consists of an empty plot of grass. McMansions are just right if you’re looking to accommodate your fugitive grandfather in a massive unfinished attic.
Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh
The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh may look like a combination coffeemaker and alarm clock radio, but if you bought it upon its release in 1997, you would’ve been shelling out around $10,000 for it. You also would’ve received your new computer hand-delivered by a white-gloved concierge — weird. As if its outlandish look wasn’t bad enough, the computer had some very lacklustre specifications, boasting technologies that were being released for cheaper in other Apple products, and its attempts to compensate with unusual add-ons — a flat(ish) LCD screen and an external subwoofer — failed to impress. Looks like Apple has its share of skeletons in the closet too!
Sometimes, design crimes really are criminal. In 1981, a lawsuit was filed against Ford for a rear-end collision incurred by Lilly Gray and Richard Grimshaw, who were driving a Pinto. The accident killed Gray and left the 13-year-old Grimshaw badly burned. Ford was found guilty in part because of its awareness of a design flaw in the car and its refusal to pay for a redesign. The flaw? A lack of reinforcing structure between the rear panel and the tank, which meant that low-speed collisions to the rear-end could cause the tank to explode in a deadly fire from spilled fuel. Ford should’ve put in some design time to avoid that design crime.
Clippit, the unhelpful Microsoft Office Assistant that everyone hated, was created for Microsoft Bob, a software program that was meant to provide new users with a non-technical interface. With his stupid grin and smarmy eyebrows, Clippit (AKA, “Clippy”) popped up when you wanted him least in order to offer his unsolicited and inexpert advice. Eventually, the criticisms were heard, and Microsoft itself admitted its dislike for the little guy. In an ad campaign in 2001, Microsoft released videos of Clippy being fired and ending up as a floppy disc ejector for Macintosh computers.