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Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. The anniversary of the patent for Bubble Wrap is July 21, and like popping the bubbles, the topic was too much for me to resist. There is an official Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on the last Monday of January but because we all suffer from obsessive compressive disorder that was too long to wait. A minute is too long to wait. Here is your virtual Bubble Wrap link to get you started right now.

I hope you are finding these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and I welcome your feedback. (Kathy@WiserNow.com) And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.

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The Quirky Quote


The Quirky Observation

According to this article from Mental Floss, popping Bubble Wrap really is soothing. “In 1992, psychology professor Kathleen Dillon conducted a study in which she found that subjects were more relaxed and less tired after a popping session. One possible reason: Humans are soothed by tactile sensations of touch . . .” (Think smooth stones and worry beads.)

For those who have more self-control than the rest of us and who enjoy marking days off the calendar with an X, you might try making a Bubble Wrap calendar and popping them off.
 

The Quirky Fact - Bubble Wrap as Art

Toronto-born, New York City-based artist Bradley Hart has taken the pointillism style of Georges Seurat to a different level in his bubble art paintings. In 2019, his exhibit, “Deconstructing Seurat” featured Hart’s recreation of Seurat’s most famous painting pictured below, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” in Bubble Wrap. He has also reinterpreted the works of other artists and photographers in his unique pixelated style by injecting each Bubble Wrap bubble with paint using hundreds of syringes (that he recycles).  A small detail of Hart’s interpretation is shown here. You can see many more examples of his really astounding work at Bradley Hart (@bradleyhartnyc) • Instagram photos and videos and here.



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Check out my blog posts on improvisational artists who use unusual media or who use ordinary media in unusual ways. They are loads of fun.
 


 

The Quiz 
You may have heard that Bubble Wrap got its start in 1957 when American engineer Al Fielding and Swiss inventor Marc Chavannes attempted to create a wallpaper with a raised texture by gluing two shower curtains together that produced air bubbles. Their idea failed as a wallpaper, but found a use when IBM needed to wrap its computers for shipping, and its uses have expanded ever since.

Can you guess what’s true?

1. Bubble Wrap has been used to help greenhouses retain heat.
          True ___      False ___

2. It’s used on film sets to cushion falls.
          True ___      False ___

3. An official Guinness World Record for the number of people simultaneously popping Bubble Wrap was set by the Girl Scouts.
          True ___      False ___

4. It once kept a giant pumpkin from a monstrous smash.
          True ___      False ___

5. It’s an effective weapon against hypothermia.
          True ___      False ___

6. Chocolatiers and bakers use Bubble Wrap to create honeycomb patterns for impressive effects.
          True ___      False ___

Answers and explanations are at the end of this document.
 

The Question
As we note in the answers, there are many more uses for Bubble Wrap including lining your reusable grocery bags with it to keep your cold foods cold on the trip home. Have you used Bubble Wrap for in an unusual way? How?


The Shameless Request

Please share Wiser Now Wednesday with anyone you think might be interested, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, please send me a note at Kathy@WiserNow.com.


The Kiosk of Resources


Answers to Quiz
1. True. It can help keep wind and cold out (of ordinary house windows, too), but hasn’t been widely used for this purpose.
2. False. At least as far as we know. But it IS used to fill backpacks in scenes involving school children or hikers.
3. False. It was the boy scouts and involved 2681 of them in 2015.
4. True. In October 2000, a pumpkin-dropping contest in Iowa used a Bubble Wrap landing pad when a crane let loose an 815-pound “Gourdzilla” from a 35-foot height. The mammoth squash did not squash a bit. You can also use it to cushion eggs in your refrigerator.
5. Iffy. It has been known to be used in emergencies to prevent hypothermia, but in 2009, a study was conducted to determine Bubble Wrap's efficacy in heat retention on mannequins. It was only 69 percent as effective as blankets, or about the equivalent of a sleeping bag.
6. True, as you can see in the illustration. Here’s a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NSSSaeGbOw

Primary resource: Mental Floss, as noted by two articles above where there are many more ideas.
My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire am doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (Kathy@WiserNow.com)
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