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Shrinky Dinks, invented in 1973, are a children's toy and activity kit consisting of large flexible sheets which, when heated in an oven, shrink to small hard plates without altering their colour or shape. They reached the height of their popularity in the 1980s. Most sets are pre-printed with outline images of popular children's characters or other subjects, which are then coloured in before baking. (In 1992, the California rock band Sugar Ray formed with the name "Shrinky Dinx", but later changed it upon threat of lawsuit from Milton Bradley.)
- [to Lois Cummings] Y'know, I-I-I just—I'm just thinking about just how lucky we are to have a kid, y'know? I mean, I, it's, just take it for granted, but, it's a miracle when you think about it. Idn't it, y'know? This, this whole, this-this "birth" thing. Like, I mean, y'know, wha-what happens? I unload, uh-uh-uh—a whole batch of this—these, uh, these little reproductive apostrophes in-in-into your, uh, y'know, uh-uh-uh "miracle bucket," and then, nine months later, Milt comes out, y'know? I mean, it's-it's—it's-it's-uh, for me, it's got the same kind of, uh, uh, y'know, awe-inspiring mystique as-as-as, like, Shrinky Dinks.
- To test her idea, she [Michelle Khine] whipped up a channel design in AutoCAD, printed it out on Shrinky Dink material using a laser printer, and stuck the result in a toaster oven. As the plastic shrank, the ink particles on its surface clumped together, forming tiny ridges. That was exactly the effect Khine wanted. When she poured a flexible polymer known as PDMS onto the surface of the cooled Shrinky Dink, the ink ridges created tiny channels in the surface of the polymer as it hardened. She pulled the PDMS away from the Shrinky Dink mold, and voilà: a finished microfluidic device that cost less than a fast-food meal.