“The Hidden Talents of Everyday Things” — Part 2”

A while back, I blogged about “The Hidden Talents of Everyday Things”. Here comes part 2, inspired by our fellow American citizens!

Sometimes the most creative designs come out of the most ordinary objects!

Potato Activism!


Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) refused to hold a town hall meeting with his constituents, and when a constituent called his office asking for a town hall, he was sent a cease and desist letter by Senator Johnson. The creators of Cards Against Humanity therefore created a website called http://johnsonpotato.com/. For individuals who contributed a fee of $5, CAH would send a potato in their name to Senator Ron Johnson’s office, asking that he hold a town hall meeting.

Balloon Activism!


Tom McArthur is the Congressman who drafted the notorious “McArthur Amendment”, which helped get the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) passed in the House. Over 30,000 individuals in his district alone would lose their healthcare if the AHCA passes, so his constituents dropped off 36 helium filled balloons to his office. Each balloon was filled with a thousand pieces of confetti; each piece of confetti represents a constituent who would lose coverage. As Rachel Maddow describes, “What do you do with unwanted balloons that are filled with confetti? You can’t pop them!” Watch the episode here.

Pizza Activism!


A constituent had tried to leave a message for Senator Orrin Hatch but the voicemail box was full, so she decided to order a ham and pineapple pizza on Grubhub, requesting that a note be taped on top of the box, stating:

From a Salt Lake constituent in 84105: Please vote NO on Betsy DeVos. She is an inappropriate choice to lead our public schools”.

The pizza never got to the office because the Senator’s office called the police regarding a suspicious pizza that they hadn’t ordered. However, the office was made aware of the attempted communication via tweet, and responded as follows:

“We appreciate all creative efforts to reach Senator Hatch, particularly as we deal with a large volume of out-of-state callers that are preventing Utah constituents from reaching us.”

Bush Activism!

Finally, learn about the creative inspiration of Lisa Kadonaga, who heard about the curious incident of Sean Spicer who was not “in the bushes”, but was “among the bushes”. As Buzzfeed describes:

Lisa Kadonaga, who teaches at the University of Victoria, told BuzzFeed News when she heard about the curious Spicer reports, she immediately thought about all the luscious pastures and hedges around her home city. “The thing about Victoria is we’re into gardening here and there are bushes all around,” she said. “I was looking around outside and thought hmmm.”

Her post on Facebook went viral as she provided a template that individuals could download, print, and place on their own bushes!


I hope you enjoy your Mother’s Day with the Hidden Talents of Everyday Things!


I tweet and blog about design, healthcare, and innovation as “Doctor as Designer”. Follow me on Twitter and sign up for my newsletter.

Disclosures: JAMA Pediatrics, Unitio; Grant funding from Lenovo.