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How Toilet Paper is Made

Aaron Cohen over at Kottke.org pointed to another awesome How It's Made clip, this time about toilet paper -- a.k.a. "bathroom tissue" (how quaint) or "therapeutic paper" (ahem). Here at the _floss blog, we have a proud tradition of writing about toilet paper; below the video, check out the links for way more than you ever wanted to know about the stuff.

Sample line: "Ever wonder where all that recycled paper goes? Look no further than your bathroom." Um. Please do not look in my bathroom. Most surprising facts: the ink removal system simply uses air to separate dye from pulped paper during the recycling process; and the rolls are actually created as mega-long-rolls then sliced up into the regular width rolls we're used to.

MORE AMAZINGNESS:
How to Use Toilet Paper
Toilet Paper History: How America Convinced the World to Wipe
Innovations in Toilet Paper
Toilet Paper Dispensers
A Joyous History of Toilet Paper
Brain Training Toilet Paper.

The Great Toiler Paper Hanging Debate

How do you hang your rolls? Like The Simpsons, I hang mine in an "improper overhand fashion" (such that a sheet is generally visible hanging from the front of the roll). I think I'm in the minority on this one, but then again I don't have any pets or toddlers around to go fiddling with the roll. How about you?

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Live Smarter
Make Spreadsheets a Whole Lot Easier With This Excel Trick
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While data nerds may love a good spreadsheet, many office workers open Microsoft Excel with a certain amount of resistance. Inputting data can be a monotonous task. But a few tricks can make it a whole lot easier. Business Insider has a new video highlighting one of those shortcuts—a way to create a range that changes with the data you input.

Dynamic named ranges change and grow with your data, so, for instance, if one column is time and another is, say, dollar value, the value can change automatically as time goes on. If you do this, it's relatively easy to create a chart using this data, by simply inserting your named ranges as your X and Y values. The chart will automatically update as your range expands.

It's easier to see in the program itself, so watch the full video on Business Insider. Microsoft also has its own instructions here, or you can check out this video from the YouTube channel Excel Tip, which also has dozens of other useful tutorials for making Microsoft Excel your hardworking assistant.

[h/t Business Insider]

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History
Marshall McLuhan, the Man Who Predicted the Internet in 1962

Futurists of the 20th century were prone to some highly optimistic predictions. Theorists thought we might be extending our life spans to 150, working fewer hours, and operating private aircrafts from our homes. No one seemed to imagine we’d be communicating with smiley faces and poop emojis in place of words.

Marshall McLuhan didn’t call that either, but he did come closer than most to imagining our current technology-led environment. In 1962, the author and media theorist (who is the subject of today's Google Doodle) predicted we’d have an internet.

That was the year McLuhan, a professor of English born in Edmonton, Canada on this day in 1911, wrote a book called The Gutenberg Galaxy. In it, he observed that human history could be partitioned into four distinct chapters: The acoustic age, the literary age, the print age, and the then-emerging electronic age. McLuhan believed this new frontier would be home to what he dubbed a “global village”—a space where technology spread information to anyone and everyone.

Computers, McLuhan said, “could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization,” and offer “speedily tailored data.”

McLuhan elaborated on the idea in his 1962 book, Understanding Media, writing:

"Since the inception of the telegraph and radio, the globe has contracted, spatially, into a single large village. Tribalism is our only resource since the electro-magnetic discovery. Moving from print to electronic media we have given up an eye for an ear."

But McLuhan didn’t concern himself solely with the advantages of a network. He cautioned that a surrender to “private manipulation” would limit the scope of our information based on what advertisers and others choose for users to see.

Marshall McLuhan died on December 31, 1980, several years before he was able to witness first-hand how his predictions were coming to fruition.

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