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The Cardboard Box is the latest advancement in the field of tactical military equipment. With the country in debt and much of our funds being spent on expensive guns and explosives, a less costly tool for combat has been searched for. Developers have spent years inventing something to help our soldiers, but without spending too much money.
The result is a light, easy to use cubical structure constructed completely of cardboard. The material needed is cheap, yet the design of the tool is so innovative that it has multiple uses. The United States Army has looked into the Cardboard Box intensely and have reported that they are quite impressed with its simplicity combined with its many uses. Even the general public has caught wind of this new invention, and can't wait to get their hands on one. Not only is it light, cheap, and useful, it also has different mode settings, variations, and customization options.
One of the more notable features of the new Cardboard Box is that it has many different modes and arrangements. Researchers have discovered five primary functional configurations: "Up" mode, "Down" mode, "Side" mode, "End" Mode and "Flat" Mode.
Down. The first one presented was the "Down" mode. To activate the "Down" mode, simply flip the box so that the open side is facing the floor or ground. In the "Down" mode, the box acts as a sort of cloaking device. By putting something under it, it covers the object and gives the impression nothing is there! The only limit is that the object being hidden has to be smaller than the box. Researchers have found that if the object being concealed is larger than the box, then part of it will stick out and the box's ability to conceal it will be compromised. Experts have even tested putting humans under the box to give the impression they are not there! The box's lightness allows the user to move by just lifting up slightly when under the box, and using their legs to walk forward. The military has already considered using this for sneaking in and listening to enemy meetings, battlefield cover, and even assassinations!
Up. The second mode presented was the "Up" mode. To activate the box's "Up" mode, simply turn the box so that the open side is facing upward. Now it can be carried easily and comfortably. Additionally, the box in the "Up" mode can hold other various objects as well such as books, papers, computers, and even other boxes. The only real limit to what you can put in there is the limit of your imaginations (and, of course, the size of the box). Up mode also offers the user the ability to employ deception against the enemy. The military has discovered that soldiers can be made to sit in the box and then pretend that the box is a tank, plane, boat, etc. In this fashion, large decoy forces can be rapidly created to alter the tactical situation on the battlefield.
Side Mode. Skeptics initially critized the millions of government dollars being spent on cardboard box R&D. However, these skeptics were proven wrong when, at the cost of some 350 million dollars, the military's Box 2000 Combat Box Research Program resulted in the development of an entirely new mode: side mode. In side mode, the box is laid down on its side. It can now act as a little fort, allowing the soldier to shelter from wind, sun, artillery fire or rain.
End Mode. A further 756 million in research expenditure resulted in the discovery of a fourth mode. This mode is known as "End" mode, because the box is stood on its end. "End" mode allows for the use of a specialized defense strategy. The soldier crouches in the box and pretends he is in a telephone booth, making a phone call to a friend. When confronted by the enemy, the soldier answers back, "Excuse me, but I am making a very important telephone call. Also, it's long distance so the rates are very high. All this shooting and bombing is very rude and distracting, could you please go away?"
Flat Mode. Another mode that has only recently been developed is the "Flat" mode. This enables the user to detach all the parts of the box from the sides so that it lays flat on the ground. Already, several uses have been developed; researchers have discovered it can be used as a protection from gun fire, as well as an uncomfortable bed.
With all these modes currently available, the public has raised a notable amount of excitement and in response, more modes are being reported everyday. A designer states, "When an owner sees their Cardboard Box, we want to give them the feeling that anything is possible."
A major problem with the Cardboard Box is the threat that everyone will immediately become bored with their Cardboard Box. The public has brought up a complaint that their Cardboard Box isn't unique to the individual, or different from everyone else's Cardboard Box. Well, designers have developed a way to add a sense of personality into the Cardboard Box system. This is in the form of stickers and drawings on the box.
For example, a user may want to carry something fragile in his/her Box in the "Up" mode. Simply attach a sticker of a glass with a crack in the middle on it to let people know. Or, if a user wants his/her box to be in one particular mode all the time, simply install an arrow sticker pointing up or down, which ever one you choose! Another sticker option is to put a "TOP SECRET" sticker on it, so that people will not look in it! Information on how to obtain packs of box stickers have not been released, but are expected to run around $3 a pack.
Another customization option for Cardboard Box has been named "Painting". A painting supply set will be offered by many third-party companies and can be purchased separately for a price that has yet to be determined. It is said to include a paintbrush, three different colors of paint, and a pack of colored pencils. Many paint jobs have already been modeled, some to camouflage its appearance like a rock or the color of a tree. Others are going for a more sporty look, such as a flame or a skull or a flaming skull on the side.
The Cardboard Box has raised much debate among the military. For example, one war general has stated, "It is just a cardboard box, it fails to provide any further assistance to our troops and is pointless." While others, such as George W. Bush, are quite impressed by this invention, as expressed by his statement, "I for one support the new Cardboard Box program. When people come in to talk to me about something stupid I have done, I just hide in my new Cardboard Box and they never find me. Let's see a gun do that."
At this current time those in the U.S. army are turning in their guns and missiles issued to them earlier, and in exchange, are receiving the new Cardboard Box, one per person. Even better, the United States is making money from selling its no longer needed missiles and high tech guns to entities such as Russia, Iraq and some fellow named "Osama Bin Laden" in order to pay off some of the country's debt.
While this first started as a military program, the budget friendly price and many uses of the Cardboard Box have turned the heads of many people. Homeowners are now using them as a place to store things for long periods of time. Children are receiving them for Christmas gifts and using them for games of hide-n-seek. Even the homeless have checked into the new craze, using them as homes.
Advancements are being made all the time as well, and people are discovering new uses on their own. Customization can turn them into nearly anything and with enough time and creativity, can function as nearly anything as well! They have been made into Boxcopters, HoverBoxes, and even Box Fire Engines! With all the opportunities this new invention has opened up, the developers have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as several other awards that come along with creating a new and revolutionary piece of equipment, that has yet to see a limit.
However, the emergence of the cardboard box as a battlefield weapon has also been the subject of much debate among Ivy League scholars, Washington think tanks, and military analysts. While some see the box as resulting in a new era of peace, others worry that the use of the cardboard box by the United States Armed Forces will forever change the strategic balance of power. Faced with the threat posed by the U.S. preeminence in cardboard box technology, other nations will be forced to purchase cardboard boxes to keep up. The result would be an arms race- each nation trying to buy more boxes than the other. Nations could also try to gain a strategic advantage by making larger and larger boxes. Already, field testing is underway to determine whether the cardboard boxes used to contain refrigerators can be used on the battlefield. Soon, the military may be fielding boxes large enough to hold several men, even entire platoons. The worry is that much of each nation's resources could be consumed by making more and larger cardboard boxes.