Kneel Before The Mighty Laminator!

You may not realize it, but a surprising number of things are laminated. The big signs that hang in store windows, your drivers license (probably), even the covers of paperback books have a layer of lamination over them. So, it stands to reason that there are machines built specifically for laminating these myriad items.

From there, one can logical deduce that there must be at least ONE company in the world that manufactures laminating equipment. Laminators are just big utilitarian machines—nothing flashy, nothing fancy, just big, mechanical devices with a singular, very specific purpose.

Now, if you happened to be the founder of a company that makes laminating machines, what would you call said company? Probably something simple and straightforward like the laminators themselves. Maybe A-1 Lamination Equipment, or Ace Laminators. You may be (rightfully) proud of your entrepreneurial enterprise, so you’d want to put your name in there—it’d be Robertson Laminators or whatever.

But would you ever think to call it Royal Sovereign Laminators? That’s Dizzy Gillespie-level tooting of ones’ own horn, that. What next, Ultimate Grand Champion Pencils? Legendary Supreme Electrical Tape?

I wish I was making this up, because it’s just so ridiculous, but, unfortunately, I kid you not. Check out DaVinci Technologies if’n you don’t believe me. But prepare to bow down before the Royal Sovereign of laminators, for he be mighty indeed!

I Want A Planet That Dispenses Chocolate Milk And I Want It NOW!

The Year: 2525. The Place: Earth.

Our planet’s population has continued to grow, while our ability to live on other planets has not. With over 38 billion inhabitants, Earth has become more crowded than the average clown car. All those people needed somewhere to live, so every available inch of the world has been converted to living space. This leaves humanity with quite a conundrum: where will all our stuff come from?

Luckily, though humans are unable to live on other planets, we can quickly and easily travel to them via teleportation and stay there for up to 18 hours at a time, depending on the planet. Everyone on Earth with a job works on another planet, kids go to school on other planets, and all our stuff comes from other planets that have been scientifically adapted by us crafty homo sapiens to produce the things we need.

On Planet B-32, toothbrushes grown right out of the ground like grass. We no longer need cows for our milk, because Planet A&D is naught but a vast, constantly regenerating sea of homogenized skim. Planet 9V has been converted to a living lithium ion battery manufacturer, where batteries of all shapes and sizes just grow on trees, ready to be plucked…

At least, that’s the future as I see it. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Is it pure science fiction, an unattainable notion that could never come to fruition? Probably. But it would be a heck of a lot more fun than: A) going to a store to buy a toothbrush, gallon of milk, or batteries; or, B) buying any of those items online.

Plus, after a few hundred years, after the expense of altering the individual planets had been mitigated by selling the individual items, the planet-produced stuff would become cheaper and cheaper, and, eventually, free.

Of course, since everything would be made automagically by planets that are essentially living factories, very few people would need to have jobs. This would inevitably lead to ever-faster population increases (because what do you think are people gonna do if they don’t have to go to work *a-wink*). In turn, this would require more and more alien planets to be terraformed into battery or toothbrush or milk or whatever generators, which would require workers, which would give people “something else” to do, which would thereby slow the population increase considerably. Ultimately, a stasis would be achieved, things would level off for a bit, and the whole cycle would begin again…

*sigh*

Sorry to go all Stanislaw Lem-y there. I just really hate having to buy batteries for my wireless mouse.

And Many Librarians Wear Glasses! (It’s Brilliant On Several Levels)

I love The Music Man. I wear glasses. There’s a character in The Music Man called Marian, who’s a librarian, and an accompanying song about her, also called “Marian the Librarian.” There’s a real city in Iowa called Marion. The Music Man takes place in Iowa. Marion, Iowa, has a business called Marion Eye Care. And so, with apologies to Meredith Wilson, and no further ado…

“Marion Eye Care”

What can I do, ask I, to catch your eye?
I need you badly, badly, Marion eye care… right there.
Heaven help us if the library caught on fire
And the Volunteer Hose Brigademen
Had to get special glasses to combat the glare… Marion eye care.
What can you do, my dear, to make my vision clear
I need you badly, badly, stay right there… Marion eye care.
If I stumbled and busted my what-you-may-call-it
I could lie on the floor
‘Til my body had turn to carrion there… Marion eye care.
Now in the moonlight, a man could dance
In the moonlight
And a fellow would know that his darling
Had seen ev’ry move of his flight
With the moonlight helping her sight
But when I try in here to show you, dear
I need your help badly,Marion eye care… please stay right there.
It’s a long lost cause I can never win
For the civilized world accepts as unforgivable sin
Seeking out eye care from anywhere
Except for Marion… Marion eye care.

Bready, Set, Go!

Someone who cares waaaay too much about the freshness of his or her baked goods has deciphered a “code” in the colors of bread bag twist ties (available here if you’re equally nutty or want to play along at home). According to this bread enthusiast/nutburger, bakeries use a different color twist tie for each day of the week that bread is baked (Monday = blue twist ties, Tuesday = green, etc.) By memorizing this code, one can always be sure to get the freshest possible bread from the grocery store.

While the “code” may be a real thing—and, again, according to several sources, it is—it’s pretty pointless to spend one’s time scouring the bakery rack at Ralph’s to find the most recently baked loaf of whole wheat. Bread never really stays on the shelves for long enough for it to be an issue, and, in fact, the color coded bread bag twist tie scheme was concocted to make it easier for those stocking the shelves to find the older loaves so that they can be removed.

Grocery stores don’t want to sell stale bread to their customers anymore than customers want to buy it, so that does make sense. But shuffling through fifteen loaves to find a loaf that’s at most a day fresher than the others is a huge waste of time. Clowns like this are why I hate going to the grocery store: just grab a loaf and the get the fudge out of my way!

The Molten Metal Mafia?

If you’re like me, you enjoy a nice, steaming hot stack of flapjacks of a Sunday morning. And, if you’re like me in a completely different way, and one that’s actually relevant to the matter at hand, when you hear the term “forging,” you automatically think of the bad guys in a Die Hard– or Lethal Weapon-type movie. When I discovered a website touting the services of a business calling themselves a “forging company,” I briefly assumed that it was a rather brazen (or stupid) display by some criminal organization. Unsurprisingly, this initial assumption was incorrect—as they say, “Assumption makes an @$$ out of you and umption.”

Turns out, this forging company manufactures metal forgings, the type you see in industrial videos that are glowing red hot and getting formed into shape by ginormous hydraulic presses. Specifically, these guys do “open die forging,” which is kind of like freehand forging, as there are no pre-made dies for the molten metal to be pressed into. (Dies are basically the metal forging equivalent of an ice cube tray—whatever shape the of the tray, that’s the shape the ice or metal will come out in when cooled.)

No doubt any type of molten metal forging is quite difficult, but open die style seems like it would be especially hard, and would be much more of an art that closed die forging (using dies to help shape the metal). Perhaps a strange medium to create art in, but hey, some hack dumped out a bag of garbage, called it art, and got that lazy, sorry excuse for art into a real, big time museum*. So pressing multi-ton pieces of glowing hot steel into shape freestyle can certainly count as real art.

* I’d look it up to find out what museum, but Google is all the way over there…

More Brushes Than You Can Shake A Stick At

Just off the top of your head, I’m sure you could think of about a dozen or so different types of brushes. Like a toothbrush, a paint brush, etc. You might, if you’re of a more DIY or mechanically inclined sort, even think of a wire brush, the sort that excels at, among other things, removing rust from metal surfaces.

 

Even those most familiar with the wire brush would likely not be able to think of half a dozen different types of wire brushes. Yet I swear to you such a profligacy of things exists. In a recent ramble through the realm of the interwebs, this insomniac adventurer discovered a site that offers so many brushes it would make your head spin—not just wire brushes, but hundreds if not thousands of brushes of all kinds, most of them probably being varieties you never even knew existed.

 

To return to the previous example of the wire brush, these particular cats offer a dozen versions of what seems to be an overly specialized and fancified variety, the stainless steel wire brush. That is to say, they have twelve different types of stainless steel wire brushes. Even one stainless steel wire brush seems like a waste of stainless steel.

 

Then again, I think this is what you would use to clean a DeLorean like the Back to the Future time machine, which is also made of stainless steel (so you can’t just take it through a normal car wash). If that’s the case…awesome. Keep up the good work.