In today's comments we theorized about the inner lives of our house-pets, smiled awkwardly at the science behind nervous laughter, and came up with one unlikely candidate for most life-changing invention.
In response to this post, on the inventions of the last 100 years that most changed our lives, commenter AverageDrafter makes the case for an oft neglected, behind-the-scenes innovation of the century:
Standardized Shipping Containers. There are many more inventions that should make the list, but I'll add this one because people don't think about how this invention allowed the world to shrink as much as the telephone or airplane did.
Until these, dockworkers unloaded ships by hand (see On the Waterfront for example), which was prohibitively expensive to import en mass. So if you could make it here, we usually did, and anything from overseas was costly.
Now we make everything wherever the labor is cheapest, of course this has led to so serious growing pains, but all world changing inventions... well change the world.