Friday, October 31, 2014

In the name of science

Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” I believe him wholeheartedly.

At my new place of employment, my business partner and I are constantly delving into the areas of research and development. We figure that to have any chance to succeed in the present business climate, this is something that you have to do.

The guy I work with is a true craftsman when it comes to working with lumber. He knows stuff about woodworking that he is beginning to realize, I will probably never learn. But yet even with all that knowledge, he constantly pushes himself to discover new and better ways of honing his craft. I try to help him out whenever I can with my own suggestions.

Take the other day for example. We were sitting around eating our respective lunches, playing a game of noon-time chess, having a scintillating, intelligent conversation, possibly about either sports or flatulence, when I came up with a revolutionary idea. As I messed around on my iPhone, I happened to look up at him as he took the last bite of his all-beef hot dog and automatically blurted out the obvious logical question, "Do you think the touch screen on a smart phone or iPad can be operated with a hot dog?"

Evidently the question caught him off guard because he spent the next several seconds clearing his windpipe of the aforementioned wiener. Once the color started coming back to his face, I tried to convince him that I thought that I had asked a legitimate question. I went on to explain how I've tried touching a Bic pen cap or a gloved hand to my iPad's screen and nothing happens. For some reason, it takes the magical touch exuded from a person's actual finger to make the touch screen work. Or does it ...

I went on to tell him of a possible, practical application of using a hot dog prothesis to run your iPhone. I asked my friend to picture himself buried in a snowdrift on a blustery, below-zero, January morning. As he reaches for his trusty cellphone to call for assistance, he will soon realize that his carpals and meta-carpals will have to be exposed to the elements in order to operate the keypad. Truly, a bone-chilling experience.

Now picture this same situation with a hot dog in your pocket. You could just whip it out and call a tow truck, Triple-A or whoever, while your covered digits remain nice and toasty. I explained that we could eradicate 90-95 percent of all cellphone-related frostbite cases. He looked at me funny and asked if I'd been using lacquer thinner in an unventilated area again. Apparently he's a fan of frostbite.

So I did what any inventor-type scientist guy such as myself would do. I went home and told my nine-year-old daughter about my idea. Not finding any hot dogs in our refrigerator, we proceeded to grab anything and everything and test it on my iPad's screen.

Here is a partial list of our findings: carrots, grapes, green olives, Hy Vee brand honey smoked ham and those little Clementine oranges can activate an iPad touch screen. Pencil erasers, yellow cotton chore gloves, French's Yellow Mustard bottles, Kleenex brand tissues and American Girl doll shoes cannot. I'm sure that we will be asked to present these findings to the Nobel Prize Committee sometime in the near future.

You'll have to excuse me now. I have an iPad screen to clean off. Science can be kind of sticky.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey there Greg! That is a saying that I have taped to my computer for a reason. I have been writing children's books for years, and was about to give up and find a steady paycheck. On my way out the door for a job interview I got a call from a publisher who wanted to hire me. If I had given up a week earlier I would have missed my calling!

    Cordia Remsen @ RB’s Computer Service