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AUGUST 24, 2010


Beer can label describing widgetIn the interest of adding to the world's store of knowledge I want to share with you something I learned in Ireland. There actually is such a thing as a widget, and you'll find it inside of certain cans of beer.

As the label explains, this can of Kilkenny Ale that I bought on our last day in Dublin contains not an ordinary widget, but a floating widget!

Cutaway of beer can showing widget insideWikipedia explains that the first widget was developed by Guinness around 1997 and called the "Smoothifier." The hollow plastic sphere magically makes a smoother and creamier head when the beer is poured from the can. How it works.

Just to confuse matters, Princeton University's WordNet suggests you might also call a widget a doodad, doohickey, doojigger, gimmick, gizmo, gismo, gubbins, thingamabob, thingumabob, thingmabob, thingamajig, thingumajig, thingmajig, thingummy, whatchamacallit, whatchamacallum, or whatsis. Good luck spell-checking those, by the way.

That's it. Thought you'd want to know.


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