The mechanical elegance of the pop-can stay tab

Computers & Mobile Education Science
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If you’ve been around long enough to have ever actually blown out your flip-flop, stepped on a pop top, you’ve already got one great reason to appreciate the 1975 introduction of the stay-on tab or stay tab: No more little metal razors littering the beaches.

Now, “Engineer Guy” Bill Hammack helps us appreciate the stay tab for another reason: It’s a little gem of mechanical poetry. There’s a lot going on when you pull that little ring. Bill’s video exegesis of that action, like all Bill’s videos, is a little piece of poetry unto itself. I can’t get enough of ’em. [Thanks, Bill!]


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan


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