A Conversation for Unfinished Business of the Century
Azimuth Started conversation Sep 23, 1999
I think it's high time we came up with a sensible design for milk cartons; I'm sure everyone has experienced the inadequacies of the current generation of containers. They're either impossible to open without spilling a third of the contents or ending up with a ragged, soggy cardboard flap that goes manky. Occasionally, you might think you've won the battle, but then the warped topology of the spout comes into play and the flow of milk is suddenly projected sideways by a few critical centimetres when pouring. Their only redeeming feature is the sense of satisfaction you can achieve whilst savaging them with a breadknife.
It can't be that hard to design a box to hold milk, can it?
Zach Garland Posted Sep 23, 1999
And have we found all the missing kids whose faces they put on milk cartons? Do they still do that? I haven't seen that recently. I used to see that all the time. Did we find them all? All those missing kids? Have they all been found? We should find all of them before the millenium is over. Is that finished business or are there still faces on some people's milk cartons? Does anyone actually sit there while eating their cocoa puffs and stare at the milk carton and memorize those kids faces, and their names, and their basic statistics? I never do. The milk goes bad if you don't put it back in the refrigerator. The pictures are always too grainy anyway. "Have You Seen Me?" it asks.
Maybe, but I can't tell cuz you don't look like that big blue smear on my milk carton.
Azimuth Posted Sep 23, 1999
Iceland (the frozen food retail chain in the UK, not the place) still have milk cartons with missing people on them, so sadly there are kids out there who have yet to be found. I'm slightly bemused as to why they choose milk cartons to put pictures on, though - at that stage in the morning, I've only ever reached basic shape recognition (bed, door, stairs, kettle, mug, coffee, milk) and any advanced pattern recognition requires a much longer warm-up period.
As to a solution to the milk carton problem, I'm surprised we haven't seen the birth of a new form of packaging - 'Individual Milkettoes' - small, easy-to-open phials of milk that stack nicely in the fridge and contain 'just the right amount'. Okay, they do those small plastic pots filled with non-dairy creamer, but those are as bad as the cartons for causing mayhem. It's a great way of ruining the after-dinner ambiance if you can squirt a fellow diner in the eye by opening one with the right trajectory.
Byzantine Posted Sep 23, 1999
Here in the States, we have these plastic milk bottle/carton thingies.
Very hi-tech. Check it out.
Byzantine Posted Sep 23, 1999
Peet (the Pedantic Punctuation Policeman, Muse of Lateral Programming Ideas, Eggcups-Spurtle-and-Spoonswinner, BBC Cheese Namer & Zaphodista) Posted Sep 23, 1999
"Safeway"'s own brand milk comes in cartons with a plastic spout/screw cap combo...even the small ones! They work very well!
Mustapha Posted Sep 24, 1999
The most essential implementation currently required on milk cartons, cream cartons, and other dairy packaging is some sort of visual colour indicator that changes colour when the produce has actually gone off. This would prevent endlessly unsuccessful guessing and sniffing immediately before, on and after the listed expiry date.
Quordlepleen Groupie Posted Sep 24, 1999
I hate to sound 'boxist' but cartons have never been the answer. I advocate the implementation of udder shaped milk dispensers. Apart form being more PC and true to label, the teats can be individualised so that everyone can happily drink from the pseudo-carton quite hygenically from their own teat.
Spanner Posted Sep 24, 1999
I assume you mean the little bottle thingy in the middle of that helpful picture - we have the same things here in NZ, they are actually really good - you can lie them on their sides AFTER you've opened them (unlike cartons)(of course you put the lid on first), they are virtually indestructible (unlike cartons)(although that's pretty bad for the environment) and the screw top never goes manky or soggy and can usually be relied upon for a reasonably accurate pour (unless its been warped in the microwave, but my friends all tell me that ordinary people don't put them in the microwave).
Of course you can still buy cartons here too - which is really odd, considering the war that has been waged (and sadly lost) for years to keep glass milk bottles - why are companies keen to keep cartons, although they have been superseded, but they weren't keen to keep glass bottles? another unsolved mystery me thinks.
Spanner Posted Sep 24, 1999
That, dear Mustapha, is a stunning idea - quick, patent it!
Cavebloke Posted Sep 24, 1999
Yes, cartons are terrible things. Which makes it all the more galling that Hans and Gad Rausing have become the richest people in Britain with them. They effectively patented the idea of the cardboard box, and now everyone has to pay them money. I've decided to patent breathing in and out.
9-O-Jellyclock Posted Sep 24, 1999
... what's wrong with cow-shaped glass bottles?
Bob the Martian Posted Sep 24, 1999
I that case I shalll patent patenting. Ha ha! I shall rule the world and make millions from mad inventors patenting their new way to stand up.
Spanner Posted Sep 25, 1999
sounds a bit like those teddy bear shaped honey pots we used to get when i was a kid. (although really they should have been bee shaped, or hive shaped.) maybe we could extend that idea to all sorts of things, especially to help differentiate between those annoying similar things that when confused can lead to disaster eg crackers and certain brands of dog biscuits. (coherency rating for today = 3/10)
Zach Garland Posted Sep 26, 1999
Has anyone patented message posts yet? If not then you now all owe me five cents per message for your entire lives because I call dibs. And yes I believe in milking a joke for all it's worth. yuk yuk yuk.
Spanner Posted Sep 26, 1999
I don't think you can retrospectively patent - but nice try - although of course i now theoretically owe you five cents for pointing this out - cash or credit? and btw i assume that's NZ cents (which are basically worthless)
Bob the Martian Posted Sep 27, 1999
You could always invent a time machine, and then patent everything that is done with it. Sooo, when someone inevitably steals it and changes stuff in the past, such as inventing decent milk cartons, then you get a percentage of all the money they make from the enterprise (stardate...).
Bluebottle Posted Sep 27, 1999
Alternatively, you could go back in time, and put your tea under the cow's udder directly so the milk goes straight into your tea. That way you don't have to bother with cartons or bottles at all.
I'm sure someone else has written this somewhere, but I can't remember who, but it's a very good point.
Who was it who first discovered that you could get nice, drinkable liquid from cows bellys if you pull their teats, and what was he trying to do at the time?
Silver Surfer 67 Posted Sep 27, 1999
I still like the 'clink clink' of a morning when the milkman delivers the pints to my door. The chasing of the Robins and Blue Tits as they try to hammer through the foil top, and the very neat way that a pint goes straight down the gillet or if you are feeling really groovy splashing some over the Cornflakes.
The bottles here in the SW I have noticed have little cows imprinted on them so if your don't think too hard about it it seems to be milk that is the contents.
I quite like the idea of a glass udder, then of course it will be a search to find the cow that fits the glass udder I suppose.
Mustapha Posted Sep 28, 1999
Yeah, but can you imagine how ugly the in-laws would be?
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Azimuth (Sep 23, 1999)
- 2: Zach Garland (Sep 23, 1999)
- 3: Azimuth (Sep 23, 1999)
- 4: Byzantine (Sep 23, 1999)
- 5: Byzantine (Sep 23, 1999)
- 6: Peet (the Pedantic Punctuation Policeman, Muse of Lateral Programming Ideas, Eggcups-Spurtle-and-Spoonswinner, BBC Cheese Namer & Zaphodista) (Sep 23, 1999)
- 7: Mustapha (Sep 24, 1999)
- 8: Quordlepleen Groupie (Sep 24, 1999)
- 9: Spanner (Sep 24, 1999)
- 10: Spanner (Sep 24, 1999)
- 11: Cavebloke (Sep 24, 1999)
- 12: 9-O-Jellyclock (Sep 24, 1999)
- 13: Bob the Martian (Sep 24, 1999)
- 14: Spanner (Sep 25, 1999)
- 15: Zach Garland (Sep 26, 1999)
- 16: Spanner (Sep 26, 1999)
- 17: Bob the Martian (Sep 27, 1999)
- 18: Bluebottle (Sep 27, 1999)
- 19: Silver Surfer 67 (Sep 27, 1999)
- 20: Mustapha (Sep 28, 1999)
More Conversations for Unfinished Business of the Century
Write an Entry
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."