Fiat divisa panem
August 26, 2022 12:19 PM   Subscribe

The utterly delightful site dedicated to classifying plastic bread tags is an article by Annie Rauwerda about The Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group [previously], or horg.com (horg.org is squatted upon), where John Daniel classifies occlupanids, or plastic bread tags, with biological rigor, taxonomizing the 208 types into 17 families, as well as discussing pseudo-occlupanids.
posted by Kattullus (27 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
That site is the best thing since...well, I can't think what exactly.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:33 PM on August 26 [14 favorites]


Aww, I was just reviewing the previously site the other day. It was posted shortly after I discovered MetaFilter and I've never forgotten it. Thanks, Kattullus!
posted by probably not that Karen Blair at 12:34 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]


Anyone else use broken bread tags for Bingo as a child?
posted by Gor-ella at 12:40 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]


didn't we all snap them in half and flick them at each other from the tip of a finger?

the Bread Tag Wars of my youth were brutal. pretty sure Someone Lost an Eye
posted by elkevelvet at 12:57 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]


I love everything about this.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:44 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]


They're quite handy for labeling wires, such as the tangle of cables behind the TV or plugged into the router.
Sometimes by color code (the HDMI for the Xbox has a green one at each end, the Playstation has blue) or with little tape tags stuck on (TV, PC, WIFI).
posted by bartleby at 1:50 PM on August 26 [3 favorites]


Always keep a bread clip in your wallet!
posted by TedW at 1:53 PM on August 26


This is why the internet was invented.
posted by marxchivist at 1:53 PM on August 26 [7 favorites]


marxchivist: "This is why the internet was invented."

Beat me to it.
posted by adamrice at 2:05 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]


Aren’t the tags color-coded to indicate which day the bread was made?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:11 PM on August 26


yup.
"A parody website, created by John Daniel, coined the term "occlupanids" to describe bread clips, and created a mock phylogeny of the different clip designs. This term has since been referenced in popular media and in the scientific literature, including a 2011 article in BMJ Case Reports co-authored by Daniel."
posted by clavdivs at 3:11 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]


These kinds of disposable yet durable items are bread and butter for archaeologists. Very sensitive to slight change through time, they can allow dating of a site at sub-decadal scales. A lot of archaeologists are licking their metaphorical lips over the emergent PPE / mask horizon, for example.

In many jurisdictions, the threshold for something being "archaeological" and therefore protected to some degree is a 50-year moving window. This means that not long ago pull tabs entered the official archaeological record. (That's a fun site but also a serious one; cf. Beer Can Archaeology).

The diversity of pull tabs (and bread clips, paper clips, thumb tacks, ball point pens, razor cartridges, bottle caps, plastic cutlery, computer and phone cables, etc) is also a great example of people using something ubiquitous and functional almost daily and yet being oblivious to minor stylistic distinctions which, when decoded, can reveal a ton of stuff about production, distribution, consumption and discard of material culture, and hence of people.

Sure, flakes of stone tools and ceramic sherds are more typically archaeological but spare a thought for an archaeologist 10,000 years from now.
posted by Rumple at 3:29 PM on August 26 [11 favorites]


Back in the day, there used to be a Union 76 gas station on the NE corner of Broadway and and 10th Avenue E's five way corner with E Roy St -- where now stands the 700 Broadway Ave E condo now stands. Which was and is the site of the stealth Starbucks Broadway Coffee and Tea and Rapport respectively.

Sometime after the 1973 Yom Kippur War induced gas crisis, said Union 76 -- along with about 75% of the other existent gas stations in downtown Seattle -- closed and was then put on the EPA brownfield site because the underground tanks had thereunder had leaked leaked profusely. There was a test well right in the sidewalk just outside of the steps to both cafes and a few more down backstreet Broadway until just a few years ago.

But back when the site was a gravel covered brownfield, it was surrounded by a chain link fence all around the property.

And which fencing was erected, some artist or artists with a dump truck load of colored bread bag tags made some huge multi-colored graphic panels between each fence pole on that corner all along that fence . I only wish I could find photographs of his, her or their productions online. They were well designed and executed and truly impressive -- talk about some labors of love.

But now -- along with attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion and C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate -- they are gone and exist now only in a few fading memories hereabouts. Such is so-called life.

*sigh*
posted by y2karl at 5:06 PM on August 26 [8 favorites]


A few months ago they went from plastic to cardboard, where I live. It's the end of an era but maybe the beginning of a new one for occlupanidists around the world. Perhaps it will prompt a new type of tourist trade!
posted by ashbury at 6:14 PM on August 26 [3 favorites]


along with attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion

Probably one of the most Poetic lines in SF film.
"“I kept two lines, because I thought they were poetic,” Hauer said. “I thought they belonged to this character, because somewhere in his digital head he has poetry, and knows what it is. He feels it! And while his batteries are going, he comes up with the two lines.”

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... pumpernickel ties on fire off the shoulder of the L.A freeway... I watched twist ties glitter in the dark near the Brunwalde bakery. All those ties will be lost in time, like bread in vain ... Timed to Rye"
posted by clavdivs at 7:27 PM on August 26 [8 favorites]


Niche interests are a delight
posted by The Adventure Begins at 8:08 PM on August 26


Sliced bread tweet via this comment by nubs on a recent FPP.

Tangentially related:
I found out that a friend of my mum's collects stickers on fruit. So I've been gathering them in case we get different stickers here. I've covered the front and nearly all the back of a blank postcard but I don't trust the adhesive to throw it in the post as is, will do an envelope. We keep getting new stickers so I haven't sent the card yet!

I'm annoyed with the cardboard occlupanids in that you still need to collect them into an envelope before recycling them. So until I get a dedicated sorting system (like my foil can) they go to regular trash still.

I wonder why the diversity of shapes of occlupanids?
posted by freethefeet at 9:38 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]


I once told a guy on the subway I admired his bread tag tattoo. When he turned his head to me, he had a bread tag earring too.
posted by aws17576 at 10:57 PM on August 26 [7 favorites]


And to be clear, it wasn't a bread tag dangling from a loop, it was just a bread tag with the earlobe directly in its pincers. He grinned and said "Bread tags for life. If your bread is dry, you know why."
posted by aws17576 at 10:59 PM on August 26 [11 favorites]


Every time I open a new loaf, the old tag goes into the bottom of the breadbox. There are probably 200 (?) tags in there now. I don't use them for anything (aside from an occasional seal of a bag holding bread products which arrived with something less useful keeping it shut.

I can't bring myself to throw them out. If a mefite has a use for them, drop me a mail.
posted by maxwelton at 1:05 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]


I can't bring myself to throw them out. If a mefite has a use for them, drop me a mail.
We use bottle caps for currency in our post apocalyptic LARP. I'll ask the organizers if they want to add extra denominations :)
Some of my favorite childhood memories are illustrations in the Gamma World rulebook of characters using artifacts from the 20th century in novel ways. The 'No Nukes' shirt and Stop sign shield on one module were my favorite.
posted by Flight Hardware, do not touch at 5:36 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]


Bread tags are my youngest cat's favorite toy. We probably have over a hundred under the fridge. Should probably take a look under there some day.
posted by cooker girl at 7:31 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]


Just last week I was marvelling at the bread(th) of information on a bread clip for a package of English muffins. So this article? It is a like looking at a conceptual representation of section 84B shelf 12 of my brain.

I can't bring myself to throw them out. If a mefite has a use for them, drop me a mail.

Snap them in half and then hook the half-bread clips onto your index finger and then flick them across the room. You now have 400 mini-finger-flick-shuriken and can try and take out someone's eye.
posted by srboisvert at 4:52 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Huh - those bread tags were totally a part of my (UK) childhood but haven't been common here for a few decades (nowadays bread bags are just sealed with a piece of tape around the neck of the bag, and you have to either hope it stays sticky long enough to keep resealing, or use your own reusable clips). I hadn't thought about them for years, had no idea they were still used in other parts of the world, they take me right back to the 70s and 80s!

This means that not long ago pull tabs entered the official archaeological record

Lance from Detectorists is going to be so stoked at this news.
posted by penguin pie at 4:03 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


(nowadays bread bags are just sealed with a piece of tape around the neck of the bag, and you have to either hope it stays sticky long enough to keep resealing, or use your own reusable clips)

Alternative bread bag closure methods have their proponents and detractors.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:09 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


OMG Greg_Ace I’m chaotic: neutral with a hint of neutral good! The bread bag sees my soul.
posted by penguin pie at 5:06 PM on August 28


8 ways at that...
posted by y2karl at 4:05 PM on August 30


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