Friday, April 03, 2009

Found Objects: A Widget

I saw this little bearing contraption on campus and I knew I had to scoop it up and post about another treasured 'Found Object!' What is a widget anyway?

When I was a young lad, I would take things apart and try to get them back together. My tools were limited to a screwdriver (the flat one and the plus sign one) and pliers. When I was in fourth grade, I made a machine family out of coffee cans, lots of electrical tape, wires from things I took apart (and probably couldn't get back together) and as many screws as I could find. Inevitably, I would stab my leg or arm with the screwdriver or pinch my finger leading to frustration. But despite those painful moments, I loved to discover and figure things out.

Suffice it to say, it didn't surprise my family when I decided to go to college for Physics. Many classes were devoted to calculating velocity, work, energy, wave-functions, positions, etc. The young Modernist in me was devoted to defining and developing our understanding of the world.
My days are currently devoted to more academic pursuits where I am confined to a classroom. I don't get as much time to do hands-on work. But I still enjoy tinkering once and a while.

I think I hear our toaster making noise. Maybe it needs fixing. Where are my pliers?