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Cats, Children, and the Box of the Future


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Children are quite a bit like cats.

No matter how much you spend on gifts for them, inevitably it is the box – which had contained the gift – that seems to provide the most raucous and satisfying entertainment for them.

Enter Exhibit A:

Sagan in Box

Sagan in Box

And Exhibit B:

Nephew in Box

Nephew Packaged in Guitar Box

It was a glorious Christmas.

For Exhibit C, I present one possible future for boxes: the Rapid Packing Container, designed by two engineering students in the Invention Factory Program at the Albert Nerken School of Engineering at Cooper Union. It’s easy to assemble and disassemble and reuse… though it may prove bewildering to children and cats.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xExVzADFeWo

Brian Malow About the Author: Science comedian Brian Malow engages in lively conversation with scientists and writers for his own amusement and yours. Follow on Twitter @sciencecomedian.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



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  1. 1. Uncle.Al 5:17 pm 12/26/2013

    Imagination is intelligence having fun. If you are feeling cunning and inventive, pharma has the cure. Get the neighborhood kids a bunch of refrigerator boxes. Rather than foster brilliance we allocate for its suppression.

    Link to this

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