Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shout-Out: My Belt Sander Can Beat Your Circular Saw

Thanks to the rube goldberg fellows at the New York Times for this one:

A Night (or day) at the power tool drag races. The premise is simple: Take a hand-held power tool. Rebuild it into a racing machine.

Will it run? Maybe. Will it crash? Could be. Will it entertain? Most definitely.

Since a pair of San Francisco Bay area artists held the first power tool drag races six years ago, technophiles have exported the tradition to three continents, holding similar competitions in Sacramento, Seattle, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Israel.
They’ve raced everything from power drills and grinders to upright vacuum cleaners, leaf blowers, chain saws and even the occasional fire extinguisher.

“It’s a lot of zip ties, bailing wire, and clamps. It’s pretty lo-fi,” a racer said after a race in May at the Maker Faire, an annual summit of tinkerers and their inventions. But that’s what he likes about these races: “The ingenuity of it all, it’s kind of a MacGyver sort of thing, a lot of bubble gum and duct tape.”

Take the simplest racing tool of all: the humble belt sander. Out of the box, it’s a ready-made racer. Put it on a flat surface with the belt facing down, lock the trigger into the on position, and your tool will automatically propel itself forward like a tiny tank. (For belt sanders that don’t have trigger locks, you could make MacGyver proud by cinching down the trigger with a zip tie.)

Another gentleman raced a can opener, which set the record for slowness. In five minutes, it crawled about a foot and a half, delighting the audience.

When the power tool drag races ran at Kinnernet, a creative technology gathering in Israel, one of the most unusual entries wasn’t a speedster. Yedidia Vardi, a tinkerer, and Michal Levy, a musician, combined a cordless drill, roller skates, and a couple of mallets. They lined the racetrack with about 100 wine bottles filled with different levels of water. As their racer paraded down the line, it struck each bottle in turn, pinging out the tune of “Oh! Susanna.”

Here's the Oh Suzannah Video follows:

And what did WIFEy have to say to this?

(as I was about to tell her this looked like a nice safe hobby for me to take up???

Some people have all the time in the world to waste...)00

OK, you wanted a Political discussion: Here goes.

The background I believe that:
* It's going to be as BAD as the last one.
* According to Robert Reich (former Sec'y of Labor under Clinton): The only number that he EVER saw, defining the
depression was that the unemployment rate hovered around 25%.
* We need a new deal.
* After 58 years of NO Health Care Reform (since 1950!) it will FINALLY be coming soon...
* We've managed to WASTE a FULL generation (from Zero to thirty) with decaying social, educational, and interpersonal skills.
* Our nation is no longer DOING (producing) anything.
SO, from these few premises, I have extrapolated a great deal of items to FIX our society...

We need to make sure that a number of issues are resolved ALL at once.
If we don't do them ALL at once, its like juggling three RUNNING chain saws, but dropping one!

Here's what I came up with:

We need to do the FOLLOWING to FIX our Society:
* Create A Living Wage
* Create a National Single payer Healthcare
* Create a National 3-4 year draft (or alternate service)
* Create a Federally paid Day Care starting at six months
* Implement Tax Reform on the ULTRA Rich
* Lobbying (Political Reform)
* Education
* Infrastructure (road /bridge/Systems repairs)
* Lack of Training/futures
* Truth and Reconcilliation Commission
* A new "Manhattan" project, focusing on Energy INDEPENDENCE

See my other blog: for more details.

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