Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Oreo Separator Machine: Modern-Day Robert Oppenheimer Splits the Oreo (+Video)

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Oreo Separator Machine: Modern-Day Robert Oppenheimer Splits the Oreo (+Video)

Article excerpt

Once every several generations, an invention comes along that fundamentally alters the course of human civilization. For those living in the 15th century, it was Gutenberg's printing press, which enabled a rapid dissemination of knowledge that ushered in the Protestant Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Scientific Revolution. In the 18th century, it was the steam engine, which set in motion the Industrial Revolution and its attendant social upheavals.

Today, it's the Oreo Separator Machine, which removes unwanted creme from Nabisco's iconic sandwich cookie.

Developed by physicist and copywriter David Neevel in Portland, Ore. over the course of "0.04 years" which is how scientists express the concept of two weeks the OSM uses a hatchet to split the cookie in half. The two halves are transported, Rube Goldberg- style, to a tray where a CNC router removes all remaining traces of the offending creme, all without human intervention.

Like Pliny the Elder, Sir Francis Bacon, and Marie Curie before him, Neveel thought nothing of sacrificing his well-being in the pursuit of science. …

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