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How Does it Work? Episode 15: The WristWatch

The WristWatch is a mechanical marvel of the twenteenth Century, combining Newton’s 4th law of Objects in Motion, which states that “when anchored to a central place, arms will spin in a clockwise rotation”, and Harmine’s 2nd Law of Accessories, The Law of Choosing a Comfortable Arm.  The WristWatch is not so much an invention as it is a solution to the age-old problem of “why do I gotta keep reaching into my pocket alls the time?”  The most interesting thing about the WristWatch is how it tells you the time.  But the MOST interesting thing is how it works on the inside:  Gears stacked upon gears stacked upon gears, linked to more gears stacked upon gears stacked upon gears, each held up by painfully tiny metal rods.  And you just make the gears different sizes in relation to their ratios of time throughout the day.  Then spin away, you crazy diamond!  Each gear is also correspondenced to an arm of time on the surface of the watch.  After this has been accomplished, months of careful preparation time by dozens of specialists are dedicated to placing the display section at exactly the right angle so that 12 isn’t way over on the side.  And then of course, the WristWatch is clasped, using any number of very slightly annoying means, to hold the WristWatch to the Wrist.  And that’s really how it works…. IN TIME!

How Does it Work? Episode 14: Political Boundaries

Have you ever looked at a map before?  If you’re not a big dummy, you’ll probably say yes.  That’s because without maps, we would never know where we are.  The universe is a super big place, so it’s kind of hard to find your way around it without some sort of (smaller) diagram.  We call these maps.  But if you were looking at a map of the world without any lines on it, how would you know where you REALLY live?  This is why we have Political Boundaries.  See, there are billions of people balanced atop this great planet of ours, and they move around a lot, all the time.

Here’s a metaphor:  It’s like ice.  If you’re trying to organize ice cubes, you need trays and a freezer.  Notice trays aren’t just big bowls that let all the ice mingle around, they have strict, straight (or fancy shaped) lines.  The freezer is a harder metaphor to make sense of, but think of the freezer as a thing that keeps people from melting.  If you didn’t stay with me through that university-level metaphor, the walls in the ice cube tray are like political boundaries, making sure everyone has a spot in the “tray” or “planet.”

Political boundaries are the only way to make sure someone from the east side of Lloydminster is treated differently from someone on the west side of Lloydminster, for example.  Yes, it’s true, we’re all humans, but if we treated everyone equally all over the world, we wouldn’t have JEALOUSY.  And without JEALOUSY, we wouldn’t have a functioning system of CAPITALISM, and without CAPITALISM, we’d all be ANIMALS. Or maybe ice cubes.

How Does it Work? Episode 13: The Combination Lock

You wouldn’t normally think that mathematics and safety are the two things that go hand in hand, but why not, silly?  So thereby come we to The Combination Lock: Man’s testament to the power of numbers, and the strength of math! Many of us spent our childhoods taking combination locks for granted, and with good reason, they’re amazing. To explain a combination lock, you have to go inside the lock, which means that someone needed to make a real big lock in the past before we could understand them as human people. Each number written on the dial is actually represented by a “number” inside the dial, in a perfect 1:1 ratio, otherwise known as Monogamy’s Law. When a number is “selected”, this resets the real-time value of the base code, and subsequent numbers are calculated (also in real time) to be deemed correct or incorrect also according to the fantastic Monogamy’s Law (invented by Monogamy Trent Sr.).   After the third selection is made via the turning, a microchip inside the combination lock calculates the viability of the given code sequence, and an electronic signal is sent to the horseshoe part of the lock, also known as the “HSHOE” and the lock either opens in a warm, inviting manner, or stays closed, as if none of this plantronic sequence had taken place, fooling many into believing they had just been dreaming ALIVE!  So now that you know how the combination lock works, will you ever look at one in the same stupid way that you used to?  I’d say, it’s a LOCK (that you won’t do that.)

come the mightiest locks.

How Does it Work? Episode 12: The Microphone

The Microphone originally started out as someone’s idea to make a tiny phone. That’s true. Here’s what else: In 2007, the smallest phone (or, CELL PHONE, because they’re small like living skin cells) was actually smaller than the smallest microphone. So that’s interesting, because the language is all backwards now.  The microphone takes in noise, through the meshy end, and makes it small enough to fit through a wire. That part is pretty easy, it’s like a funnel. Think of how a funnel works, and that’s what’s going on in a microphone. Here’s where it gets interesting though. For a microphone to work, there needs to be something at the other end to make the sound big again. This is called a macrophone, although nobody calls it by its scientific name any more, they just call them amplifiers now, because it “amps” up the sound. The first microphone was surprisingly large, as if nobody knew how to use Latin very well. It was invented so people could announce things like wrestling matches, which were the first large gatherings of people in the 17th century of Britain. Microphones come in “condenser” and “dynamic” and “hidden”, each of which have their advantages. A condenser microphone makes things “dense” when they get small, whereas a “dynamic” microphone, or “dynamicrophone” makes things really flamboyant. Hidden microphones are what you’d expect, so that’s a no-brainer.  Some microphones use “phantom power”, but eeesh, that’s scary stuff.

How Does it Work? Episode 11: Bird Traps


One thing that there’s a whole lot of confusion about these days is bird traps. A bird trap is a plastic silhouette of a bird you put on a window, to make sure real birds fly into that window a lot. Some people think that’s not what they’re for, but yeah, it is. These silhouettes of birds successfully flying through a window sends a clear message to all the other birds, saying, “please, fly through this shiny opening.” Of course, if a person wanted to dissuade a bird from flying into their windows, they would put up a silhouette of things that kill birds, like cats, or bigger birds, or Michael Jordan.