Artificial Mystery 

It snaps when pressure is applied to break it apart. It squeaks to the touch–and its sound will send shivers up and down your spine when it touches itself. You can stab holes in it, paint it, and glue glittered pieces of it to itself in the name of arts and crafts.

It can insulate homes and office buildings, or protect fragile items in a box. You can keep a beverage hot in it. Or you can keep a beverage cold in it.

Styrofoam is quite useful. But it never really goes away, does it? It can’t be recycled–at least, not per my knowledge of New York City Department of Sanitation rules–but it’s re-used all the time for aeration in potting soil.

Actually, I must admit I don’t have a clue as to where those little styrofoam balls come from. Who am I to say the stuff in the soil isn’t fulfilling its first and only made-for use? Someone with a whole lotta nerve, that’s who. Gosh. I wouldn’t know where to begin if someone asked me to whip up some styrofoam. What is it? If it can’t technically be recycled by a recycling plant (the building–not the item for which one buys potting soil), then why are we still using this crap? Right, right: So. Many. Uses.

So then why aren’t we re-using and recycling it?!

One small ball of styrofoam from what was probably a much larger piece...isn't it, always?
Next: balancing the entire packing peanut on his nose.


More importantly, though: how the heck does it stick to Ozzy’s nose like that? It’s nearly floating in the air. And where did this specific piece come from? This happened on a day which Ozzy spent the entirety of snoozing on one (non-styrofoam) couch cushion. I guess I can understand why he’d sniff at the alien intruder, but to end the investigation with “disappeared under my nose” wouldn’t be my next move if I were him. And yet, here we are.

These are the mysteries I’m interested in discussing. I may not solve them, but I’m happy to consider any of your proposed theories.

Next week, maybe I’ll move on to discuss the manufacturing mystery that is styrofoam, or the many obstacles getting in the way of making it a little more Earth-friendly.

Probably not, though. I like to keep it light around here.


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