May 30, 2014
"I missed them 10 years"
Dry cleaner closed for reunion with sisters from Korea: "I missed them 10 years."
A toothpaste tube that leaves NOTHING behind
Below, excerpts from Tuan C. Nguyen's March 26 Smithsonian magazine story.
We've all been there: The dreaded end of the toothpaste tube. Whether you've tried squeezing and flattening the container into a pulp — or spent far too long devising other methods to get every penny's worth — it doesn't take long to realize that what consumers are stuck with is a slightly less-than-perfect mechanism for delivering that last stubborn bit of toothpaste.
It's one of those universal predicaments people have just come to live with, mostly because the aluminum-based tubes work — for the most part — well enough. That's also likely why toothpaste containers haven't changed since early innovators Johnson & Johnson debuted their breakthrough collapsible tube design way back in 1898.
But Nicole Pannuzzo, a student at Arizona State University, started thinking a bit harder about this flaw and figured she could do the old toothpaste tube one better.
"Toothpaste is one product that is so classic, everybody uses, and that everyone has a small annoyance with," she says. "I thought it would be an interesting project to take on."
The third-year interior architecture major isn't the first to take a stab at a solution. A quick search on Google yields a compendium of wacky do-it-yourself workarounds, ranging from simply pressing the tube against the edge of the counter to cutting it up and scaping out the remains.
But her "Colgate Redesign" project, which began as a class assignment, goes after the design of the tube itself.
Pannuzzo says she felt the most practical approach to solving the problem was applying the principles of origami, the ancient art of Japanese art paper folding. Though long synonymous with paper cranes and other toy craftwork, the foldaway method has also been used by designers and engineers to improve the way existing technologies like airbags and space telescopes operate. The idea is that by strategically mapping out the way a foldable object collapses, developers can make objects more compact and reduce waste.
Pannuzzo tested out multiple designs before settling on this prototype. She experimented with about 100 prototypes of varying shapes and sizes before settling on a freestanding hexagonal-shaped cylinder that folds down easily like an accordion as toothpaste is squeezed out. Modeled after the BUILT origami wine tote, the tube's flat bottom allows the product to stay balanced as it gradually collapses down to a compact sheet.
With Pannuzzo's design, a consumer would continue to press down on the tube until it collapsed completely — helping squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out.
Pannuzzo, who previously had no experience with origami, says she has yet to put her invention through rigorous field testing… but she is already thinking of ways it can be improved.
"I saw this project as an act of experimentation because you never know unless you try," she said. "In no way do I see this as the best possible design solution, however it did open new possibilities to product design."
Observations from the flight deck
boj did not appear for some 4.5 months (mid-December 2013 through April of this year) because I was sick.
To be specific, I found myself in the fourth major clinical depression of my life to date.
The others occurred in 1977, 1991, and 2001.
I will not elaborate on how badly I felt while I was away: you can find out what it feels like from any number of other blogs and websites, many beautifully written and absorbing.
An interjection: For those who find themselves at a loss as to how to deal with someone who is seriously depressed, the single best account of what it feels like that I've ever come across is William L. Styron's "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness."
Many people whose judgement I trust consider Andrew L. Solomon's "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" equally masterful.
Anyhoo, while boj was publicly silent, from time to time I felt able enough put together a post or several, kind of a hope chest in the event the black dog, as Churchill described it, eventually lifted enough to let me function at a reasonable level.
Today I'm far better than I was in January and February but still not my usual and customary cheerful self.
Nevertheless, I'm able to continue boj in its usual format and intend to do so for the indefinite future.
All of the preceding is simply an explanation for why, from time to time, a post that has appeared previously in the not that distant past appears here again.
The confusion backstage at Typepad — a result of my not being precise and accurate in the past few months as I composed and then scheduled, unscheduled, and rescheduled posts, sometimes repeatedly, is sometimes impossible for me to undo, and so an occasional repeat post appears.
I'm not trying to get away with anything, trust me: my original charter — to offer things to amuse, entertain, surprise, amaze, delight, or any combination thereof — still holds.
Hardwood Chair Arm
From the website:
At the very heart of surplus, these hardwood (wethinks oak or maple) chair arms have lost their chairs.
You get a quartet of arms, stained a medium walnut shade and 13" long x 1-3/4" x 3/4" thick with a 1-1/2" x 3/4" notch (with a mounting hole) on one end and another mounting hole near the edge of the other end.
All sides are chamfered.
Furniture makers, crafters and sculptors: embrace this opportunity.
4 for $3.95.
150 Printmaking Sites
"The thinking person's favorite resource for interesting print miscellany."
Yellow Jacket iPhone Stun Gun Case
As a member of my Crack Pittsburgh Correspondent Team®™© wrote, "What could go wrong?"
Concealed inside the Yellow Jacket is a loud, bright, high-voltage stun gun that produces a painful "sting" from inside an iPhone case.
The Yellow Jacket has two (2) safety features that help prevent accidental discharge while being easily deployable in an instant.
Yellow Jacket also houses a rechargeable battery that virtually doubles the life of your phone.
$99 (iPhone not included).