Why we enjoy stroking animals and popping bubblewrap

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I suppose it’s better than stroking bubble wrap and popping small animals.


Weird thing I do to this day for soothing:

Rub the top of my nails with soft ribbon edging of a blanket.


Sans hangnails.

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I was racking my brain, probably firing off all kinds of neuronal chaos,
trying to think of other factors that might affect our reactions to
touching materials



Yes, “crush videos” are an actual, despicable thing. (Fuck you Rule 34, you piece of crap, for being at least partially real.)


Arguably, zits are mammalian bubble wrap; and plenty of people can’t resist juicing those when available.

Still to test: human response to fuzzy bubble wrap.


As we know, there are plenty of materials that are lovely to touch. Silk, velvet, and polar fleece to name but a few.

Polar fleecy shit can go die in a fire. Real fleece is fine, but that super soft polyester stuff shudder, can’t stand it.

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Unless you’re a baby. I would always laugh with a hearty, “oh litigious America, what have you wrought with your stupidity + lack of personal responsibility” whenever I saw the printed warning on plastic bags that they are not a toy, and shouldn’t be given to babies. “Who would give a plastic bag to a baby?” I innocently huffed. What they don’t tell you is that babies love plastic bags. at least my baby, but judging from the amount of baby toys that feature cellophane wrappd in fabric, I’m guessing this is at least marketably universal.

Wait, what are we talking about?

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Well. What do you know?


That’s precisely how I self comforted until I was six years old. I had my blankie and deftly whisked the satin edge over and around my fingers and nails.

If we could just get rid of big government, snuff videos would be a thing too.

Yeah that’s how it started. And I stopped using that blanket probably around 6 or 7. But when my kid was born my sister made a fleece blanket with ribbon edging. I ended up stealing it an it is my main blanket in bed and I rub my nails when I try to sleep. I used to rub the top of each nail, but just rubbing the thumb is my favorite. Dunno why. Some people rub a worry stone with their thumb so it’s probably a similar thing.

Soooo - hey - glad I am not the only weirdo.

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Although reports about the demise of bubblewrap have been greatly exaggerated, the makers of bubblewrap have developed a non-popable version. I have already received a couple of lengths of this version through Amazon, and it is as annoying as you might imagine. Why would anyone develop such a thing? What is its insidious purpose? Whatever it is, it can’t be good.


The purpose of the inflatable package filler seems to be to insure that the oversize box is at least half filled with a random sized piece of filler, still leaving plenty of room for my heavy and/or delicate item to rattle destructively in the shipping box.

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You are. We are just playing along, trying not to set you off.


The various bubble wrap alternatives(both the segmented-bag tapeworm things and the new non-popable bubble type) are largely a response to the fact that, surprisingly but logically enough, bubble wrap is a huge pain in the ass to ship.

It is designed to be a lightweight, reasonably incompressible, cushion material; but that means that you can’t easily pack it when you are shipping the bubble wrap itself from the production line to the packaging operation. It keeps itself reasonably safe, of course; but you blow through the volume limits of any shipping option way, way, before you even touch the weight limits.

The air-sac things, and the new bubble wrap, are both designed to ship flat; basically just a roll of polyethelyne film, and then be inflated and thermally sealed at the packing line. Requires additional hardware, so unsuitable for small operations; but for bulk operators you can markedly reduce shipping costs by providing your own air at the point of use.


I don’t know - the teacup dog evoked feelings of a “KEEP THAT DAMNED THING AWAY FROM MY ANKLES!!!” nature, actually.

The sloth, however…sigh Good thing we can’t smell them, though!

I thought about a variant for small shippers. A roll of sealed blisters without air, but with a crush-to-initiate pellet inside. The pellet contains chemicals that generate gas and inflates the blister.

Another option could be a kapton tape shielded piece of nitroguanidine or other low-temperature pyrotechnic gas generator, laser-ignited when needed, inflating the thing like a miniature airbag.

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