The Big Think

April 9, 2008

Die Hard 4: The Stupiding

Filed under: Movies,Woodworking — jasony @ 11:22 pm

Erin and I watched Die Hard 4 tonight (Live Free and Die Hard is the actual name). Pretty fun, if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief by a razor thin thread, then have that thread repeatedly thrashed by very sharp blades. At one point during the film we paused the movie and both burst out laughing because Hollywood had stepped over the line of believability so far. Not only were we calling the major plot points out thirty minutes before they happened, but seeing one Bruce Willis endure punishment that would have put Bruce Banner in the ICU, then walk away and crack wise, was a bit much. I mean, how much punishment can a human body take?

I found out a small amount of the how much in my shop yesterday, actually. I have been working on the entertainment center and was gluing together some boards. I reached for a clamp hanging on the wall and one of the clamps next to it fell off, pirouetted through the air, and landed sharp side down on my forearm. Didn’t break the skin, but I thought I had maybe fractured the bone or cracked something. Turns out I didn’t, but there’s a nasty deep bruise in the spot.

If I were John McClain I’m sure I’d just laugh it off and make some clamp-related pun. Fortunately, I’m only Jason and so am far too unclever to think of any.

The Craftsman

Filed under: Hobbies — jasony @ 9:31 am

Core77 has a review up of Richard Sennett’s book “The Craftsman,” which is a conglomerate of case studies that explore the relationship of hand to mind, craftsmanship to Enlightenment. Herein, Sennett, a renown London-based sociologist with a zest for the human experience, argues that the most basic, fundamental ability we humans share is that of craft. When properly trained, this process functions as muscle memory, literally training the mind while working the hand. If its up to Sennett, all those hours spent learning how to throw clay pots, plane wood, and mix plaster for some toy-design/coffee-maker/mobile-phone project actually might just make you, the designer-cum-craftsman, a more enlightened person. From the computer screen to the workshop table, it’s the stuff we’ve known for years: think, make, share, and do it again. It’s what we wake up to do every morning, and what we dream about at night.

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