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Posts Tagged ‘convenience

“Gods do not limit men. Men limit men.”*…

 

Everything has a limit – or does it?…

Some maximums will never be surpassed, but as the author Arthur C Clarke once said, “the only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”

See a larger version of the graphic above at “Ultimate limits of nature and humanity.”

* Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

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As we bump up against boundaries, we might send compressed birthday greetings to Aaron “Bunny” Lapin; he was born on this date in 1914.  In 1948, Lapin invented Reddi-Wip, the pioneering whipped cream dessert topping dispensed from a spray can.   First sold by milkmen in St. Louis, the product rode the post-World War Two convenience craze to national success; in 1998, it was named by Time one of the century’s “100 great consumer items”– along with the pop-top can and Spam.  Lapin became known as the Whipped Cream King; but his legacy is broader:  in 1955, he patented a special valve to control the flow of Reddi-Wip from the can, and formed The Clayton Corporation to manufacture it.  Reddi-Wip is now a Con-Agra brand; but Clayton goes strong, now making industrial valves, closures, caulk, adhesives and foamed plastic products (like insulation and cushioning materials).

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Written by LW

January 5, 2015 at 1:01 am

Convenient Crustacea…

A Chinese inventor has developed a vending machine that distributes live Shanghai Hairy Crabs; a Japanese reporter demonstrates:

The inside of the machine is kept at 5 degrees celsius, a temperature cold enough to send the crabs into a state of hibernation. Signage on the machine assures potential purchasers that all the crabs inside are fresh; indeed, the owner promises that if a coin-op crab is dead-on-arrival, the disappointed buyer will receive three free crabs.  But perhaps the biggest incentive to buy: eliminating the need for store personnel and reducing the overall cost of storage means that the crabs cost 30% less than the customary store price.

As readers will see, the second half of the video is a more general survey of Japanese vending machines– including the marvelous banana vending machine inside Shibuya station, and a bar equipped with sake dispensers.

Via Japan Probe.

As we lay in rolls of quarters, we might recall that it was on this date in 1858 that Hamilton E. Smith received a patent for cycling reheated water in a washing machine.  While earlier washers existed, Smith’s innovation is generally agreed to have created the modern washing machine.

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