According to both common sense and the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are two truths about hot dogs which neither science nor industry can afford to ignore: kids love hot dogs, and hot dogs are the perfect size and shape for a child to choke on. To wit: "If you were to take the best engineers in the world and asked them to design a perfect plug for a child's airway, you couldn't do better than a hot dog," one AAP doctor said.
As such, the hot dog is in need of a redesign. So the folks at Fast Company took a look at California design house RKS's quest to cook up a completely rethought hot dog, and they did it using a design tool that is decidedly child-approved: the Play-Doh Fun Factory.
With all due respect to the "Best of What's New Awards," it appears my esteemed editors at Popular Science missed at least one invention in their yearly lineup. The Hatfield Hot Dog Launcher has changed the way fans eat and scream at Citizens Bank Park, home of the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.
"What does the wheel mean to mankind? What does landing on the moon mean to mankind? I think that's what the launcher means to mankind," notes an engineer who worked on the launcher.