I (Richard) use a UniDesk®, US Patent Reg. No. 3,826,031, July 27, 2010, I invented and designed for holding up heavy books to read, described on the The UniDesk™ page of this website, which you can access by clicking above.
The US patent drawings and application for the UniDesk were drawn, written, and executed by my son, Jonathan Walker Stapleton, a high school physics and earth sciences teacher, and a professional inventor. Jonathan is the inventor of Reptangles™, a toy system comprising twenty-four pieces of plastic in several colors poured and molded in China that look like turtles that assemble into geometric shapes, puzzles, and symmetrical structures. The pieces and constructions flip, slide, and turn in what are known as "geometric transformations", an essential part of our National Math Standards.
A biochemistry major at Rice University in 2003, Jonathan hatched his Reptangles idea while taking an elective art class during the spring semester of his junior year.
His registered patented and trademarked geometry invention is licensed to, manufactured, packaged, and distributed by the Fat Brain Toy Company. You can find Reptangles™ by typing Reptangles into Google or any Internet browser, or by clicking here, https://www.fatbraintoys.com/toy_companies/fat_brain_toy_co/reptangles.cfm.
Every box of Reptangles™ includes an eighteen-page Reptangles Exploration Guide, written and designed by Jonathan, containing 237 informative multi-colored illustrations showing how to play with and assemble the pieces, and interpret the results. While the system is called a toy, and will entertain and fuel the imagination and thinking skills of children, it will challenge the conceptual and visual-spatial abilities of any adult. The system requires the use of imagination—the pieces look like turtles—but there is nothing new or fake about the immortal geometric shapes they represent when assembled and brought to life.
A lasting practical value for children (and adults) playing with and using this toy/system at their leisure in their homes is that it causes them to learn the names of geometric shapes they have never heard of, which never change, and learn how to recognize them in three-dimensional space, as it also causes them to visualize manipulating geometric objects in spatial dimensions using logical thought. The system pieces, box, and learning guide cost about twenty-seven dollars.
To watch and listen to a video that will cause you to see in detail how the Reptangles™system works, narrated and demonstrated by George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America, click here, https://www.fatbraintoys.com/toy_companies/fat_brain_toy_co/reptangles.cfm.
For a detailed story about how this Reptangle entrepreneurial venture happened over time, read The Toytle Company, written by Jonathan, published in Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, Case 9, page 323, by clicking here: https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810.
This past summer Jonathan and his wife Renee made a swing trough Statesboro and stayed a few days. My wife Debbye and I and took them out to eat several times while they were here, along with their three children, Walker, Emmy, and Orion.
Friends of ours who saw them in restaurants with us were impressed with them, especially the grandchildren. One lady told me as I was walking back to our table after going to the restroom, “You marked every one of them,” which was a high compliment.
A few weeks later Debbye and I were having dinner at the Forest Heights Country Club here in Statesboro with our friends Beth Hardy and Lon Carnes. A lady whom I have known for a long time from our days at Georgia Southern University, Mouse, stopped by our table to chat with Beth. She told Beth, a former mathematics professor at Georgia Southern, that she took a math course from her forty or so years ago, and she made a “B”, the only grade she made that was not an “A” at Georgia Southern.
Beth did not remember her in the course but as they were exchanging pleasantries Mouse noticed me sitting across the table, and as she was leaving she came around and told me, “I want you to know you have three great grandchildren.”
I told her I knew that but I appreciated her saying that. Mouse and her husband live near my former wife Ginny, the grandchildren’s birth grandmother, and her husband Bob. Mouse had seen and talked with the grandchildren when they stayed overnight with Ginny and Bob.
Jonathan graduated from Statesboro High School in 1990, the Star Student of our congressional district in Georgia that year, and went on to Rice University in Houston, Texas where he met Renee, from Montana. Jonathan maxed the math part of the SAT and the GRE exams. They then went to Seattle, Washington where Renee got her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Washington. Jonathan taught school and invented things, such as his Reptangles toy, now marketed nationally and internationally by the Fat Brain Toy Company.
Jonathan and Renee moved to Burlington, Vermont a few years ago where Renee now researches, teaches, and practices pulmonary medicine at the University of Vermont. Jonathan teaches senior physics and earth sciences at Essex Junction High School, and invents things.
Their children have done well in school. Walker is now in the seventh grade, Emmy is in the fifth grade, and Orion is in kindergarten. Walker’s cross country team has won every track race they have raced in, including the state championship; Emmy is supposedly reading at an eighteen-year-old level; and Orion has already been identified as gifted in mathematics. Walker plays the piano, Emmy plays the violin, and Orion plays the violin.