“Deep Drawn” Does Not Mean 3D Art

Judging solely off the name of the process, you might assume that “deep drawn metal stamping” is some kind of cool, 3D art using metal as the canvas and perhaps rubber stamps in some capacity. Alas and alack, you would be wrong—we all know what happens when you assume.

Instead of any kind of art, which seems implied by the use of the word “drawn,” deep drawn metal stamping is, in fact, a way to produce parts for cars, HVAC, and other uses out of sheet metal. According to the interwebs, the “deep” part literally means “deep,” as in the depth of the parts from top to bottom when finished. “Drawn” refers to the process used to form the metal, which is essentially just stretching it into the desired shape (“drawing”) using super-heavy machine presses. “Metal” is accurate in both your incorrect assumption and the real explanation—metal is the material used. “Stamping” is part of the title because the parts are stamped out of metal.

But, if you really wanted to make a confusing mess of things—or a messy confusion of things—you could take one of these metal parts and art it up with rubber stamps. Then, draw a highly-detailed picture of the stamped up metal—be sure to draw it all 3D-like so you can get a sense of the depth. And, somehow, draw it on a light colored sheet of metal. That would create a “deep drawn stamped metal deep drawn metal stamping drawing.”

Or something like that.

The Worst Idea Since “Beast Wars”

Full disclosure: I didn’t take the time to find out what the devices I’m writing about here actually do. Sometimes it’s better to remain blissfully ignorant—it can be much easier to make this stuff up if I don’t bother with, you know, “learning” and stuff.

In my incessant, insomniac internet inspection, I discovered a gizmo called a “switch mode transformer.” I can only assume this is some kind of new action figure, upon which another installment of that gods-awful film franchise will be based. Since it’s “switch mode,” perhaps they operate kind of like a switch blade knife: just push a button and the whole thing transforms itself in a flash. That might actually be pretty impressive, but then dagnabbit, why didn’t they think of that 20-something years ago when I was rockin’ Transformers?

That is a heck of a...thing (?) all right.

It’s hard to say what this would transform into, however. Presumably a vaguely human-shaped mechanoid, of course, but don’t Transformers usually start out looking like something other than, um, a weird, jacked-up battery (?)?

You know what, Hasbro, I take back what I wrote before. If this is the best you can do with your fancy Switch Mode Transformers, then I was wrong—this is not very impressive at all. This is, in fact, the worst idea since “Beast Wars” Transformers. And those were pretty awful.

What, Like Joe Nathan in the Playoffs?

Another prime example of a (presumably) perfectly good product with a weird name: common mode chokes. It appears these devices are used to filter out electromagnetic interference (EMI) from power lines and data signal lines. I was not aware that such a thing was possible, or for that matter, necessary. It seems peculiar because “power” is mostly intangible; it’s a real thing of course, but…you can filter a bucket of water, but you can’t have a bucket of power at all—how in the H-E-double-stuff-Oreos do you “filter” it?

I wonder how one even determines that their power supply needs to be filtered? I can see how it would work for data signals, as it could cause a severe slowdown in data transfer, which is noticeable. But how often can you tell that…well, almost any electrical device, is getting a “dirty” power supply? I would say, “Probably never,” but there’s bound to be some super tuned-in electrician out there who can actually hear when something isn’t getting power at optimum levels. People are both amazing and strange.

Anyway, back to that name: common mode chokes. Why aren’t they just called “EMI filters” or something like that? That would make a lot more sense than “common mode chokes.” That sounds more like a description for an athlete who can never deliver in the clutch. “Don’t put Joe in, Coach. In close games, his common mode is ‘choke.’”

Dang it, Joe!

My PET Monster

If you were a kid in the mid-1980s, you may remember a toy called “My Pet Monster.” If you don’t remember (or were born too early or too late), My Pet Monster was a funky looking, cartoonishly goofy, blue “monster” of indeterminate origin. Its construction was about 80% standard plush stuffed toy, with about 20% moderately hard plastic parts—teeth, eyes, horns, and the like.

Here comes the interesting part: the plastic parts were made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic, meaning My Pet Monster was also My PET Monster. I don’t have the research to back this up, but I don’t think there have been any other toys where the material of construction can double as the name. He-Man action figures weren’t made of MAN plastic, Hot Wheels cars aren’t made of HOT steel—neither of these materials actually exist. A case could be made that Transformers are made of “formed” plastic, but that doesn’t quite fit the scheme.

PET plastic is also found in a huge array of other products, most notably soda bottles. You can find a My Pet Monster on eBay with starting bids as low as $0.99. Raw PET plastic is a bit more spendy, but can be found in an array of forms—such as PET rod, sheet, and pellets—if one wants to attempt the construction of one’s very own, custom-made, handcrafted My Pet Monster.

However, beware the evil “Copyright Infringement,” as the people at American Greetings may not take kindly to your knock-off creation.

Airtex Callahan: Finest Pilot This Side of Pueblo, Colorado

Oh, what could have been! Have you ever come across a company or product that has a great name, but that name would be greater if it applied to something else. The name, i.e., is great, but not necessarily the product. This is not to say the product isn’t great, but the name would just be so much better if affiliated with something else.

Prime example: A company in Minneapolis called Airtex Solutions. These cats make super fancy aluminum carrying cases and stuff like that, like metal brief cases, for example. And, while that’s actually a pretty swell product, it’s a great name. A name that could be even greater, if only…

It were the name of a hot-shot Army helicopter pilot in a mid-1980s style action movie, starring someone a lot like a mid-1980s style Clint Eastwood. The character, totally legit-ly called Airtex Callahan, the super bad@$$ pilot, is from Texas, of course—although, since it’s an actor like Clint Eastwood, he has no trace of a Texan accent.

After an action-packed, roughly 90-minute series of events, Airtex finds himself in a showdown, helicóptero a helicóptero, against a terminally evil mid-1980s style action movie bad guy, like a Russian. A nailbiting helicopter dogfight ensues, and with a brilliant maneuver, Airtex has his enemy in his mighty helicopter’s gun sights.

He says something quippy, like, “Don’t mess with Texas,” and fires a missile, blasting the Russian (or whoever) guy’s helicopter to smithereens. Shockingly, Airtex saves the day!

Oh, what could have been! Airtex: The Movie, only in theaters Summer 1987.

The Lithium Ion, The Beast, The Beat

The name of a product can sometimes be almost as important as what the product actually is and does when it comes to selling it. The name of the product can make it or break it—how many people would’ve bought Xboxes if they were called “Neat Fun Video Game Machine Boxes”? A little branding goes a long way.

With that in mind, we at Weirdohead have found a product that could likely benefit greatly from a name upgrade. This isn’t exactly a product that everyone would need or want, no matter what it’s called, but a better name would surely help it sell at least a little bit better. What is this product of which we speak? The lithium-ion battery.

Most people use lithium battery packs everyday (they’re in cell phones, after all), but the market for selling them is probably quite small. When you buy your phone, the battery is included, and they don’t need to be replaced all that often. But, then again, no one really needs an Xbox, and those suckers have sold in the millions.

So, because the common abbreviation for “lithium-ion” is “Li-ion,” we submit that the name should be changed to “Lion” batteries. This sounds way more interesting, is easier to say, and sets up a no-brainer of a logo.

Whaddaya say, folks? Would you rather go to the store to buy a boring, super-lame Lithium Ion Battery, or an all-new, super-awesome Lion Battery?

It Already Is!

Read the right way (read: the wrong way), this page advertising floor safes could be interpreted as selling a device to make your floor safer. Following that twisted logic, one could—and, if you’re at all familiar with Weirdohead, you know that means “will”—argue that the floor is already the safest part of your home.

Think about it: when you’re on the floor, you’re pretty much as safe as can be. You can fall down and hurt yourself, because you’re already down. I suppose something could fall off a table and land on you, but the only way to prevent that would be to put a platform or a net of some kind between yourself and the surface of the table, to catch whatever it is that’s falling, but that would essentially just be creating another ceiling. Which is ridiculous.

Perhaps the only way to truly make your floor safer than it already is would be the addition of padding, and even that is just gravy. If you know you’re going to be down on the floor, get down there carefully and there’s really nothing to worry about. Adding some padding will make your stay more comfortable, for sure, though not necessarily “safer.”

International House of Pancakes, Er, Plastics

Ah, plastic. The building block of so many of the items we use every day. Everything from soda bottles to video game consoles to body panels on cars is made from magical, fantastical plastic. And, thanks to fancy new technology and such, plastic can be made from plants, making it far better for ye olde environmente. Yes, plastic is pretty much everywhere you look these days.

Which makes me wonder, is there really much of a call for an international plastics supplier? Clearly there’s no shortage of plastic in Europe. Every Asian nation I can think of seems to have plenty with which to work. Perhaps there’s a plastic shortage of which I’m unaware in the heart of darkest Canada.

That’s the only explanation I can dream up for the existence of a company called Plastics International. These cats sell plastic—all kinds of plastic, all over the world, all the time. But it seems hard to believe that there’s a big international market for plastic. Sure, everybody everywhere needs it for pretty much everything, but don’t they (as in international peoples) already have plenty of plastic to go around? It’s not as if the good ol’ US of A has cornered the plastics market.

A real head scratcher, that.