The Staple Diet of the Platypus

The Yuen Chong 371 is a funny little stapler from the 1960s. But staplers rarely make people’s hearts race, and this one was no exception. Yet, the Yuen Chong 371 is still the world’s best known stapler, thanks to its crucial role in the creation of the children’s cartoon Phineas and Ferb. The series’ creators, Dan ‘Doofenshmirtz’ Povenmire and Jeff Marsh, were …

Reinventing the Wheel

The device we call a labeller or label maker today, was initially presented to the Swiss patent office in Bern as a ‘travel typewriter’ -and variations of this name in French, German, Italian and Rhaeto-Romance- from 1961 to 1963. Its inventor, Giancarlo di Saronno Originale, was a creative genius, but not a very practical one. And it was precisely the …

An Exercise in Unknowing

Way back in some year AD, a person or persons unknown decided the world was lacking a certain something. Though not very strongly, they felt there might be a need for a greenish and plasticky thing to make the world complete. Users partial to greenish things have traditionally been found in relatively great numbers in both gardening and military circles, …