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"Poised between intransigent scepticism and uncritical credulity, it [science fiction] is par excellence the literature of the open mind."
- John Brunner

Drinking Bulb  
  A small container, used for drinks.  

Jim suddenly remembered the drinking bulb in his hand. He drank from it, hospitably passed it to Steve.
From The Warriors, by Larry Niven.
Published by Worlds of If in 1966
Additional resources -

Louis Wu gets an unusual invitation on his 200th birthday: to accompany several aliens on a trip to see a place called Ringworld. I'm not really sure what they're drinking from, or what they look like, but they sound kind of, well, tasty.

"Perhaps I was not strictly fair with you, Louis. My species judges me mad."

Oh, fine. Louis sucked at the bulb an anonymous donor had handed him. It held vodka and droobleberry juice and shaved ice.

The kzin's tail lashed restlessly. "Why should we not ride with an avowed maniac? You must be madder than most, to wish to ride with a kzin."

Droobleberry juice? Don't ask; it might be alien. But every sentient species needs to take some sort of liquid refreshment (don't they?); and serving it in a bulb seems to meet everyone's needs. So why can't I buy one?

I'm not sure, but I think one of the key innovations with this device is that it combines the container and the straw; as a parent, one of the frustrations of using a juice bag is locating and inserting the straw.

Also, it occurs to me that this item would probably be a good idea under weightless conditions. And if the pens that write upside down (or in weightless conditions) sold, why wouldn't drinking bulbs?

Compare to the water bulb from Pohl and Kornbluth's 1952 classic The Space Merchants.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Warriors
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to The Warriors
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Drinking Bulb-related news articles:
  - On-Orbit Space Coffee Cup

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