googled #10

Welcome to the first day of J U N E!! 

Hooray! I think. There seems to be this weird funk going around that no one can quite place their finger on. Life of a twenty-something, or universal occurrence?! I'm not sure. But if you are feeling the strange fog of anxiety and zero motivation...join the club. You are not alone. Here's to hoping the fresh start of June 1 will be the extra thrust our engines need for takeoff! 

I’m sorry
I can’t
Don’t hate me -
— Berger (SATC)

When it comes to reminders, the only constant is my inconsistency. Some days, I am really into the Post-it. Others, the thought of seeing the to-do list written down is enough to send me over the edge. The majority of reminders are kept on a mental whiteboard. But last Friday I was really feeling the Post-it Note love. As I wrote and stuck away, I applauded the innovation of residue free, re-usable adhesive. "Nice work NASA" I thought to myself.

Then a moment of doubt hit me. Is the Post-it Note a true "spin-off" technology?! A "spin-off" is a product developed to meet NASA mission needs, that is transferred to the public. Water filtration, memory foam, and CAT scan machines are all fabulous examples of how the public has benefited from the space industry. Sadly, I learned the Post-it Note does not qualify. So, don't try to use it as exhibit A in your argument of why the space program should remain...

googled: was the Post-it Note invented by NASA

Negative. The original creator of the adhesive - Dr. Spencer Silver - was trying to create a super strong adhesive to be used in the aerospace industry, but not specifically for use by NASA. An engineer at 3M, his invention of Acrylate Copolymer Microspheres actually turned out to be quite the opposite. Incredibly weak. Although the stick wasn't enough to help hold together an air frame, his invention did have qualities that make it extra sassy for the office. 

The microspheres are the real MVP of the Post-it Note adhesive's chemical formula. Although the adhesive is weak overall, the tiny beads are incredibly strong. They resist breaking, dissolving, and melting. The microspheres are pressure-sensitive, initiating enough stick to hold, but not enough to leave behind a residue. These unique characteristics are also what allow the Post-it to be re-used.

Despite these benefits, the adhesive was shelved for several years. Art Fry, a colleague of Silver, is the second part of the story. He was tired of losing his place on the sheet music at choir practice. Having a bookmark slip one too many times, Fry used the low tack adhesive to help anchor the bookmarks in place. Success! With one minor issue...the adhesive would often detach from the paper and cling to the new object. So, the engineers spent some time back at the drawing board, and borrowed scraps of yellow paper from a neighboring lab to help find the solution. By April 1980, the team finally had a design that stuck. (😉) What started as an accident, has become the best friend of type-A personalities everywhere.  


Thanks to the innovators at 3M for not giving up. Had Acrylate Copolymer Microspheres been shelved indefinitely, "The Post-it Always Sticks Twice" would have never aired. How would Jack Berger have broken up with Carrie Bradshaw?! Seven little words left on a little yellow square. Hey, at least it was handwritten! 

June 2015. Let's do it!! Have a great week sassy cats!!