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Protean Adaptability
October 10, 2012 11:43 AM   Subscribe

A brief history of plastic: "Having crossed that material Rubicon, comb makers never went back."

More plastic history.
posted by Snarl Furillo (11 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ours isn't the only world plastic has conquered.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:46 AM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting.

The comb in my bag, right now, is made of wood. I like it because it imparts no static charge. I haven't carried a plastic comb in 30 years.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:01 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the same reason toilets are still made of porcelain.

It's cheap, it works, and it lasts.
posted by Blue_Villain at 12:01 PM on October 10, 2012


Comb Technology: Why Is It So Far Behind the Razor and Toothbrush Fields?

Drafts design for five level comb. Runs to Patent Office.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:20 PM on October 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just one word.
posted by bukvich at 12:35 PM on October 10, 2012


Drafts design for five level comb.

So...a brush.

It's good that you went straight to five levels, though. The two-level comb has already been patented.
posted by jedicus at 12:55 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Allus liked the word "bakelite," which I learnt from this guy: "when I hold you like I hold that bakelite in my hands..."
posted by koeselitz at 12:55 PM on October 10, 2012


The problem, though, is that plastic combs suck. Hard rubber rules forever.
posted by sonascope at 1:00 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


So...a brush.

It's a FIVE LEVEL COMB.

ON THE INTERNET!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:02 PM on October 10, 2012


There's a nice BBC documentary all about plastic called Plastic: How It Works. It covers much of the same stuff as the article but also looks at where plastics are going now. The stuff in there about sticky tape based on the idea of tiny hairs is particularly interesting.
posted by MUD at 3:15 PM on October 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Biopolymers are shaping up to be the next big thing. They are, as the name suggests, biodegradable and, depending on the source and manufacturing, carbon neutral / renewable. A lot of current research is on industrial scale generation and tweaking the structure for various properties (flexibility, heat resistance, etc). Creating a cheap biodegradable alternative to plastics which is carbon neutral will be a big step in decoupling the world from its carbon intensive infrastructure.
posted by Shit Parade at 6:00 PM on October 10, 2012


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