Friday, June 24, 2011

Too Technically Minded For the Common Good

I work with some very technically-savvy men. Personally I have less mechanical aptitude than the neighbours cat (who was recently able to extricate a mouse from a trap without leaving any scattered mouse parts).

So why is it that I seem to be the only one to successfully replace the paper towels in the men’s room?

It’s not that others won’t do it – they make an attempt, but their technical knowhow seems to get in the way. They make it much more complicated than it needs to be and they find ways of threading the paper through imaginative obstacle courses. This tightens the movement of the paper, and when the hands are wet – as they usually are when there’s a need for towel – the paper breaks off in small soggy pieces.

They don’t seem to understand the concept of following the path of least resistance: the most straight forward path that allows the paper to unroll smoothly and freely.

So there’s an advantage to my technical ignorance. I can do what makes sense rather than try to find new ways of challenging the laws of physics

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


I received an email today claiming that the current e coli outbreak in Europe is the result of a purposely manufactured, resistant strain of e coli. An attached article stated:

“virtually no one is talking about how e coli could have magically become resistant to eight different classes of antibiotic drugs and then suddenly appeared in the food supply.”

And asks the question:

“So how, exactly, does a bacterial strain come into existence that’s resistant to over a dozen antibiotics in eight different drug classes?”

Well that the first statement is not exactly the truth and the question can be easily answered.

I read an article on the weekend about the rise in bacteria in food caused by the "recycling" of human waste as fertilizer (supposedly treated to be made safe). It also pointed out the presence of antibiotics in the human waste which has passed through the digestive tracts of countless thousands of people. Therefore we have e coli being exposed to a great variety of antibiotics and gaining resistance over time.

The waste is used for food crops; the resistant e coli infects the food and thereafter the eaters.

No conspiracy needed just stupidity, carelessness and greed.