How [Everything] is Made


One of the pleasures of being a dad is seeing the satisfied nod of understanding on your child’s face after you’ve instantly answered their question. I think my kids think I know everything, which is why nothing rattles me more than when they poke through my omniscience. My 4-year-old recently came up with this stumper: "Daddy, how do you make popcorn?" Popcorn?! In-between our discussions about the ideal conditions for fossilization of dinosaur bones, and the details of periodic extinctions, popcorn?! Yes, it was the kernels themselves he was asking about. I think a bit of drool formed as I stumbled through an answer. My furious search for information on the manufacture of that tasty treat, however, eventually let me to a full arsenal of Geekdad ammo at the site How Products Are Made.

This site is a treasure trove of content covering, well, just about everything. As the site boasts, it

explains and details the manufacturing process of a wide variety of products, from daily household items to complicated electronic equipment and heavy machinery. The site provides step by step descriptions of the assembly and the manufacturing process (complemented with illustrations and diagrams).

And for the Geekdad looking for some good reverse-engineering projects:

Each product also has related information such as the background, how the item works, who invented the product, raw materials that were used, product applications, by-products that are generated, possible future developments, quality control procedures, etc.

There was the article I needed on popcorn, complete with geeky stats. (60 percent of popcorn produced is consumed in the home!) In addition to such heavenly knowledge, a comprehensive list of short biographies of famous inventors, and not-so-famous inventors of famous inventions, rounds out the selection quite nicely. An essential link for the Geekdad to tuck away and have at the ready.

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