Skinner's babies

Burrhus Frederic Skinner never quite escaped the lingering plaque from misinformation unleashed with the invention of his "Baby Tender" (aka "Heir Conditioner" or "Aircrib"). It all started with a 1945 article in Ladies' Home Journal showing his infant daughter, Deborah, encased in a chamber that was a kind of crib nouveau--part incubator, part my-first-loft; it was heated and humidified, with an enclosed upper portion that could open and double as a changing table. In Skinner's own words:

Toward the end of the Second World War, we decided to have a second child. My wife remarked that she did not mind bearing children but that the first 2 years were hard to take. I suggested that we mechanize the care of a baby. There is nothing natural about a crib. Wrapping a baby in several layers of cloth -- undershirt, nightie, sheets, and blankets, with a mattress underneath -- is an inefficient way of maintaining a proper temperature, and it greatly restricts the child's movements. I built, instead, an enclosed space in which the baby, wearing only a diaper, could lie on a tightly stretched woven plastic sheet, the surface of which feels rather like linen and through which warm air rises, moved by convection or a fan, depending on the outside temperature.

Here is an account of a man who was raised in an Aircrib--his grandparents were professors at Harvard with Skinner--and recreated one for his own child. When Psychology Today went sniffing, they interviewed 50 of the surmised 300 Aircrib babes and found them sane: "Positive results across the board. All of the children had normal health, and their parents praised the crib for its safety, warmth, and convenience. As for Deborah, she grew up normally, married a professor, and is now a successful artist in England." Despite rumors of psychosis and worse. Children of the Aircrib unite!

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How to Remove Dents From Your Car Without Doing Further Damage

Car dents aren't pretty, and DIY methods for getting rid of them can leave entirely new eyesores in their place. In The Know Innovation has spotted a tool that erases unsightly dents without damaging your vehicle's paint job—no trip to the auto body shop required.

The Sealey RE101 Air Suction Dent Puller is a tool that attaches to your vehicle. To use it, stick the suction cup over the dented area and and open the air valve on the handle to seal it tight. A few pumps of the slide hammer are enough to restore your car to its original, dent-free glory.

There are plenty of at-home remedies out there for minor car dents, some of which involve boiling water, hair dryers, and dry ice. While it's always best to get your car looked at by a professional after any type of accident, especially if the damage is covered by your insurance, a dent puller at least won't do any additional harm to your vehicle (or your hands).

You can order a Sealey Dent Puller of your own online for $166.

[h/t In The Know Innovation]

Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.


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