Fun With Paperclips

I watched the above video recently, after a friend sent me the link. Sir Ken Robinson makes many keen observations about the public school system that leaves me, once again, wondering not only about my education and how it affected my current success, but also about what to do about my son’s education. There are too many reactions to the whole presentation swimming around in head for me to embark on an intelligent discussion of it now, but I did find myself clinging to one small piece that is worthy of discussion now.

How many uses can I think of for a paperclip?

I remember discussing this years ago in a Spanish linguistics class. Apparently, it was once believed that bilingual children were not as intelligent as children who spoke only one language. Then, a new study was done in which kids representing these two groups were asked to list as many uses for a paperclip as they could. It was found that the bilingual kids came up with many more options. Essentially, bilingual kids were better divergent thinkers.

After watching the video and thinking back to the discussion in my Spanish class, I got to thinking once again. I wasn’t interested in the number of uses for a paperclip. Instead, I was interested in the most fascinating, odd, and entertaining. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Appetizer stabber – Fold up one end and leave the rest flat. Use the flat part as the base and the folded up end to stab into a small morsel, such as an olive.
  • S’mores roaster – Straighten one end and put a mini marshmallow on it. Hold the rest of the clip and place the marshmallow over a bunsen burner.
  • Closing portals – In season five of Buffy, they could have thrown a paperclip into the portal instead of Buffy. Clearly it didn’t matter what went into the portal since Buffy was able to close it even though she wasn’t the key. (Did anyone else think that didn’t make any sense?)

Can you think of some wacky ways to use a paperclip?


One thought on “Fun With Paperclips

  1. Sir Ken is spot on, as a personal recipient of what he is talking about, spurred on by my parents, I stopped drawing and painting so I could study what I was told in school. I did shoot through there faster than others but I sufferred, and at my older age now I can see why. Thank God I didn’t do that to my children. They are taking longer, but are happier.

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