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Ramen Noodles and Other Tiny Innovations

This week we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the invention of Ramen Noodles. That’s right, those nearly instant packages of fluff food have been around for half-a-century. The noodles’ inventor, Momofuku Ando, may have passed away last year, but his contribution to the world lives on. That may sound silly, being so grandiose with something so seemingly frivolous, but it is worthy of such words.

Millions of college students, penny-pinchers, and workaholics eat the noodles annually. It, and its cousin the Cup of Noodles, may be the single greatest enabler of folks working late into the night — whether finishing a project in the office around midnight, or making the final edits on your dissertation in a noisy dorm. That simple invention by Momofuku-san has affected more lives than you can imagine.

Everyone should pay attention to their day a little closer and realize all the little innovations that have made modern living better. And then realize someone was behind that. Someone worked very hard to get you the zipper, or the credit card, or the touch screen on your cell. And they may have eaten noodles while doing so. So enjoy these small wonders and don’t forget to stop and smell the ramen.KO