9 things you didn't know were made of foam

Posted by Dan Holmes on

Foam isn't just for cups anymore. It's used in countless products, and it pops up in places you probably didn't know about.

Movie Props

How does George Clooney still stay cool after a bad guy hits him in the head with the butt of a revolver? How is it possible that Tom Hanks can take a frying pan to the head and live to tell about it? It's movie magic and it only happens because the production team uses a foam prop.

Movie prop experts can craft almost anything out of foam, for example many guns used in films (that don't need to fire) are actually molded from foam. You can get frying pans, cement blocks, hammers, and even baseball bats that look like the real thing, but are actually harmless foam props.

Even more ghoulish: the severed hands and other body parts in "The Walking Dead" are made from foam.  

Whipped Cream

Ok, so this isn't manufacturing foam. But technically, whipped cream is a foam in a scientific sense. Whipped cream, meringue, and mousse are all foams, because they are made by suspending air to form a gel or stabilizing agent. That means there's no air, but it's still yummy.

Fire Extinguishers

What should you do when a fire breaks out? Throw water on it, right? Not necessarily.

Sure, water puts out fires, but it doesn't do it the most efficient way. Water extinguishes the heat of a fire, halting it's growth and progress. But foam is a more scientific way to put out a fire: choking the fire by separating the oxygen from the heat. Foam fire extinguishers use a type of foam that looks a lot like shaving cream to blast into the fire and cut it off at its deadly oxygen source.


The Beach Boys sang "Everybody's gone surfin...surfin USA!"

You can go surfing on a foam board, in fact many of the best surfboards are made from foam cores molded with firm (but pliable) high-grade foam. It's then covered with fiberglass cloth and polyester resin so the owner can "hang ten."

A Heart

How would you feel if you had a foam ticker?

In 2015, researchers at Cornell University created a heart made of foam. The organ could "beat" just like a regular human heart.

Somehow I think I would have been less hurt if Stacey Bowles had broken my foam heart in high school instead of the real flesh-and-blood thing.

Football Helmets

There's been a lot of controversy about concussions in football lately and the topic is sure to continue to be important to the health of athletes and the future of the NFL.

According to Popular Science, a student at Brigham Young named Jake Merrell invented a "smart" football helmet that uses memory foam and sensors to transmit data wirelessly to a tablet with information on the force and acceleration of an impact on the field in real-time. Pretty slick, and helpful for keeping athletes safe.

Car Bumpers

We tend to think that "hard" things are tougher than soft things. Metal is a better material to protect us on the road than soft, spongy foam, right? Not exactly.

A mechanical engineering professor named Afsaneh Rabiei at the University of Tokyo has spent her career researching the properties of materials. She noticed that in nature the strongest materials are made up of soft, non-solid materials at the molecular level. In nature, "strong" is made from "flexible." Rabiei developed a "foam metal" and molded car bumpers out of the material. While cars have long had softer materials on their frame, in this case the bumper itself is made from foam. A car with a foam metal bumper will absorb the shock in an accident much better and help passengers stay safer.

Playing Cards

Why would you want foam playing cards rather than paper or plastic? Because they hold up longer to the wear-and-tear of human hands. (Or maybe monkey hands if you play gin rummy at the zoo).

The game company Zazzle makes dozens of playing card sets produced from foam.

"Bean Bag" Chairs

The industry still tends to call them "bean bag" chairs even if the best ones (Xorbee, hint hint) are not filled with beans. Instead of beans, which flatten over time and end up leaking onto your living room floor, foam-filled bean bags are packed with quality furniture-grade foam. Try sitting in one, and you'll realize the difference.   

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8 Things We Learned at Orange Conference

Posted by Jeremy Leffring on

Orange Conference is one of the largest youth pastor conferences and it draws thousands of people every year to Atlanta.

This past April, Xorbee was delighted to once again be the seating partner for the conference. Our staff spent four days at Orange meeting people from across the country. They all had one thing in common: they were passionate about helping youth and enthusiastic about their youth fellowship. We had several wonderful conversations with youth leaders at Orange, and we also loved meeting other partners and vendors at the conference.

Here are ten things we learned at Orange Con 2017.

#1. Building a better community requires focus 

“You can make excuses, or you can make progress. You can’t make both.”

Those words came from Carey Nieuwhof, a pastor from Ontario, Canada, and a speaker at Orange Con '17.

What do we make of that quote? It inspires us at Xorbee to focus on doing things right and doing things better. It inspires us to refrain from making excuses. It made us think about the ways we're holding ourselves back by saying "we can't."

“You can make excuses, or you can make progress. You can’t make both.”

Wise words.

#2. Everyone looks good in orange

We saw lots of people wearing orange (and we mean LOTS OF PEOPLE). And you know what? They all looked marvelous. People say they like red. They claim to love blue. Some people go crazy for yellow. Prince loved purple. But orange takes a backseat to no color. It's the Most Handsome Hue of Them All. Orange M&M's are the best, and orange is the only color that works in a knock-knock joke ("Orange you glad I didn't say banana???") It's the only color that's also a fruit. Are you kidding me? Orange is the best, people.

Orange man at Orange Conference

#3. Doug Fields really does think orange

Doug Fields at Orange ConferenceA speaker that we always try to catch is Doug Fields, the Executive Director of HomeWord’s Center for Youth/Family at Azusa Pacific University.

Doug is always spot on with his thoughts on faith and leadership. He's a treat every time we see him at Orange Con or elsewhere in our travels.

#4. Coffee is the beverage of choice for people who attend Orange Con

Phoenix Roasters Coffee at Orange ConferenceThe folks at Phoenix Roasters kept everyone functioning properly during the long hours of Orange Con '17. Most impressively, they did it with a big smile!

"We had the best time serving 15,000 cups of coffee over four days at Orange 2017," Britt Mooney of Phoenix Roasters told us. "Everyone at Phoenix Roasters commented on the amazing energy at the conference this year, and it wasn't just the caffeine. We met new friends and partners and reconnected with ones we've met from previous years. We were encouraged by all the conversations about ministry, and we thank everyone for allowing us to share the things God has been doing for the Kingdom through Phoenix Roasters and a great cup of coffee."

How many cups did we have? Don't ask, but we loved every drop from the good people at Phoenix Roasters.



#5. Baptists really can't dance

Are we telling you something you didn't already know?

#6. Big kids like tricycles 

Did you see the tricycles in the registration area and at the entrance to the arena? You didn't get run over, did you?

The focus of Orange Con '17 was Kid Ministry. As a result, there were a lot people in attendance who are kids at heart. We quickly witnessed a lot of "big kids" having fun on three wheels at Orange Con. Many wheelies were popped.

That's @juicegeraghty (and her orange hair) riding a trike in the rain at Orance Con '17.

#7. "Whooo" doesn't love Ollie?

Ollie the Owl is a beloved character in youth education. The big-eyed owl was at Orange Con. We saw him peeking out of backpacks, resting in the arms of conference attendees, and we even saw him dancing to the DJ during the kickoff party. At least it looked like Ollie. Whoooo can tell? 

We are all neighbors #oc17

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#8. A good time was had by all


#fridayfeeling Heading to #theorangeconference Can't wait!

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Why you shouldn't buy a cheap bean bag chair

Posted by Jeremy Leffring on

We are frequently asked this question: 

Why should I pay more for a foam-filled bean bag-style chair?

Folks who ask that question have usually seen the cheap bean bag chairs that range in price from $50 to $100. We're not naming any names, but you'll see a lot of those cheap bean bags in Walmart or Target. The price may draw your attention. But as Vanilla Ice would say, "Stop...collaborate and listen" before you purchase a cheap bag.

The chair shown above on the right is a cheap bag filled with polystyrene beads. The photo on the left is a Xorbee filled with furniture-grade foam, with a removable cover and an inner liner to keep the foam from making a mess.

Why are some bean bags cheaper than others?

Cheap bags are sown in China with cheap thread and cheap fabric. They're filled with polystyrene beads, which will flatten over time, and quicker than you think.

With cheap bags you get nothing extra: no warranty, no customer service, no quality workmanship on the furniture. What you get is disposable seating.

The cheap brands want you to buy one now and replace it in a year or less. They plan on you buying their product over and over. 

Why is a foam-filled bean bag chair better?

The foam makes all the difference. Just like your couch cushions, furniture-grade foam used in Xorbees bounces right back. You want it to bounce back for several years, not compress and crunch like coffee beans.

The Xorbee loungers and chairs are bigger, better, and badder. They stand out and they stand up over time. Sit in them again and again, and you'll experience the same comfort. They have a wow factor. 

Why should I pay more for a bean bag chair?

You could pay $80 for a cheap bean bag, but you'll end up replacing it. If it tears, you won't be covered under a warranty. You'll simply have beans all over your floor. If you spill something on it, good luck getting the stain out because you won't be able to remove the cover.

When you buy a quality foam-filled chair like a Xorbee, you have several advantages:

  • Durability - Foam-filled chairs like Xorbees don't have beans that compress. For that reason they last for years, like couches and arm chairs.
  • Warranty - Cheap bean bags are not covered under warranty, but Xorbee has the only true lifetime warranty in the industry.
  • Comfort - When you sit on a Xorbee you're not going to fall through to the floor. One thing we hear from everyone who sits on our Xorbees is how comfy they are.
  • Return on Investment - If you're buying for an organization like a church, you'll get far more for your investment because your chairs and loungers will last a long time and stand up to the heavy use from kids.
  • Customer Service - You know what happens if you have problems with a cheap bean bag? You're out of luck. No one will help you. At Xorbee, we are here to answer your questions, we're here to help you make a decision on which size to get, we're here to solve any problems. Often our owner actually handles customer care.

Take a look at our Rounds and Loungers to see your options.


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Xorbee Unpack Video

Posted by Brian Matiga on

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Seven books to read on your bean bag chair in 2017

Posted by Stacey Lewis on

Is one of your 2017 goals to reduce stress and have more "me time?"

Are you searching for ways to invest in yourself?

If so, try reading. Reading is relaxing. You're reading this blog post, so that's a head start. Look at you go! Let's dive (like you would into a Xorbee) into a few of the books you should be reading in 2017.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book to read on a Xorbee

From the author of Eat, Pray, Love, this book encourages you to find the hidden talent you have inside of you, the talent that's in your soul. How do we know what that talent is? According to Gilbert, it's whatever we can't stop thinking about in our spare time, the healthy thing we're obsessed with doing.

Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habitsto Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life

by Gretchen Rubin

Book to read on a Xorbee

Here's a great book to start out the new year. The content is inspiring and real about habits. Apple iBooks says: “It’s exciting to find a self-help book that’s not only full of eye-opening insight but also provides practical tips to help you procrastinate and stress less, exercise and eat more healthfully, and spend time on activities that matter." 

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins

Book to read on a Xorbee

A New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Book of the Year, and now a major motion picture, you need to read the book before seeing the movie. Rachel (played by Emily Blunt in the film), lives every day the same. She navigates the same 9-5 commute every day and passes the same familiar places and people. But one day she witnesses something shocking. The ensuing story brings the police and dark secrets of a suburban couple into Rachel's life. What was once a simple, perhaps mundane life, is now complicated. This is a psychological thriller that will leave you turning pages as fast a train goes by. From the USA Today review: "Marries movie noir with novelistic trickery ... hang on tight ... You'll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend."

Red Sparrow: A Novel

by Jason Matthews

Book to read on a Xorbee

Written by a former CIA insider this spy thriller is set in present day Russia. How's that for topical? Dominika Egorova is drafted against her will to be a trained seductress in the intelligence service. Nathaniel Nash is a CIA officer who handles the most sensitive espionage against the of Russians. The two young intelligence officers forbidden love affair threatens their careers and America's security. The Washington Post calls this a "sublime and sophisticated debut … a first-rate novel as noteworthy for its superior style as for its gripping depiction of a secretive world." The movie starring Jennifer Lawrence is set for release in November of 2017.

The Hogwarts Library Boxed Set Including Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

by J.K. Rowling

Book to read on a Xorbee

Harry Potter fans rejoice! Readers will find books cherished by the great library at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. This timeless boxed set collection is the perfect addition to the Harry Potter series which has been treasured by fans for years.

This collection includes Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. the three volumes expand on the magical world created by Rowling and popularized in the Harry Potter series of books and films.

You can also feel good about yourself: part of the sales are donated to Rowling's charity Lumos; which helps children who are in institutions. For this tome, Rowling also collaborated with Comic Relief Charity to dedicate a portion of sales toward ending poverty. This giant collection is set to be released in March, but most retailers are allowing you to pre-order online.

Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat

by Chrissy Tiegan

Book to read on a Xorbee

Although it may be difficult to trust a cookbook author who happens to be a celebrity and model, this delightful book delivers with taste. Tiegan's cookbook lists sensible and achievable breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes including cheesy, saucy, and spicy favorites. Lets face it, life is about living and delicious food is a wonderful part of the journey. A few of my favorite recipes from Tiegan: Capon's Chrissy Burger, Chipotle Honey Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower, Orzo & Feta Salad, and Lemony Arugula Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe.

The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith

by Champ Thornton

Book to read on a Xorbee

A fun-filled children's book great for ages 8+ who wish to explore the Bible. This book will spark curiosity and also facts about the ancient roots of Christianity. You can start this book anywhere, it's perfect for short reads together. With this book as a resource, kids will learn to trust and stand by Jesus when the universe seems at odds. Young readers are introduced to ancient languages, jewelry making, and fun skills like learning to tell time by the sun. The Radical book for Kids will help create a path of wonder while always seeking God.

Xorbee blog is here to help you rest, recharge, relax and focus on enjoying life. From your health, faith, family, and lifestyle we wish you the best year yet.

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