The Big Think

May 28, 2013

Bad Day

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 12:50 pm

Now that’s a bad day in traffic. Watch all the way to the end.

Making a Point

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 12:11 pm

I got a pocket knife a few weeks ago. I had a gift certificate to Bass Pro Shops and wanted to a really good one since it seems like an obvious Man Tool. I’ve carried small Swiss Army keychain knives for decades and I recently upgraded to a very small keychain multi-tool, and I occasionally carry my full blown Gerber multi tool, but I’ve never had an honest to goodness, DHS-unapproved-for-flight 4″ switchblade pocked knife. I figured it was about time.

So I looked for something within my sub-$50 budget and ended up with a really nice German blade. It’s got a nifty spring loaded mechanism and a small stub you push on to make it go snick. I’ve started keeping it clipped to the inside of my pocket and I’ve used it several times already. It’s a great tool to have around.

The problem comes when you realized that I keep my cell phone in the same pocket. Last night at dinner I reached for my phone while sitting down. The particular geometry was such that I had to bend my wrist to get my fingers into the pocket. I didn’t realize it, but this was just exactly the right configuration to push that little small stub. Snick. The blade came halfway out of the sheath while in my pocket. Worse yet: I didn’t realize it. So I continued to reach down to my cell phone, took a grip, and pulled—and promptly drew the back of my thumb across the blade at a 90 degree angle. Thankfully, since I was pushing straight into the blade I didn’t do as much damage as I could have (I was cutting my thumb like a carrot peeler peels a carrot), but I did manage to sink the blade about 1/8th of an inch into my right thumb right at the base of the knuckle. I felt a sudden burn and realized what I’d done. Uh oh. Visions of slicing a tendon and ending my piano career in my head, I gently worked my hand out and, with one eye open, cautiously surveyed the damage.

Luckily I won’t need stitches, and since the cut is right on a knuckle fold it’ll probably heal without a scar, but considering just how much damage I might have done I still feel lucky. It’s an ugly gash that I’m keeping very clean and well bandaged so it doesn’t get infected, but wow… that was close.

From now on I’m keeping the knife in the other pocket so the blade can’t open (the blade will be against the side of the pocket). I’ll also be much more careful when reaching in there. Yeah, yeah, any guy is going to insert a witty comment about me being lucky that my thumb was the only thing it cut, but for this career musician and woodworker it was still a pretty chilling moment.

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Support System

Filed under: Space,Technology — jasony @ 11:51 am

Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo: “When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface in July of 1969, they wore spacesuits crafted by seamstresses taken from the assembly-line of Playtex, maker of bras and girdles: This book is the story of that suit. “

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