Solving what may very well be the last real problem keeping the human race from our true promise of greatness, McDonald’s has announced that it’s invented a new kind of straw for drinking its recently returning and expanded line of Shamrock Shakes. Acknowledging its own helplessness in the face of problems like viscosity-induced straw collapse (or whatever you call it when your cheeks hurt because you sucked too hard on an overly thick milkshake), the company tapped aerospace and robotics engineering firms JACE and NK Labs to design a new way to move semi-solid liquids from cup to mouth with a minimum of fuss. They, in turn, created the S.T.R.A.W.
Backronymed into the only slightly awkward “Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal,” the new design kind of looks like the u-bend in a sink, presumably using milkshake pressure, and strategically cut holes, to allow for better flow and mixing of the shake’s ingredients. The S.T.R.A.W.—which was announced via a big Facebook Live event today, complete with lovingly rendered pans over its sleek surface—will be available in limited quantities to people who really want a fancy engineered straw that comes in its own ridiculous carrying case. Meanwhile, McDonald’s has yet to put any engineers on the problem of solving the Shamrock Shakes’ persistently weird chemical aftertaste, presumably because they spent all their R&D budget on tongue-in-cheek promotional videos instead.