NPR has an interesting piece on civil engineering professor and author Henry Petroski and his new book The Toothpick, which chronicles the history of the device. Fun facts: Neanderthals used them; in ancient Rome, Nero showed up at a banquet sucking on a silver one; at least one Japanese manufacturer is so guarded with its trade secrets that it does not allow visitors to its factory. [via Boing Boing]
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