Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clay B.S. grinder

When I was a kid, my mom's parents had a toy they called a bullshit grinder. I just assumed my grandfather made up the name, but it turns out the term "bullshit grinder" is as classic as the toy itself.

If you search Wikipedia for "bullshit grinder," you will be redirected to the much more sanitary and academic "Trammel of Archimedes." The Trammel of Archimedes is noteworthy because its handle traces out an ellipse. Indeed, that appears to be the sole purpose of the Trammel of Archimedes, other than grinding bullshit.

Why do I bring this up? I recently made a petite model of the kitty geek toy. The whole toy fits neatly in the palm of one [human] hand, just like the Trammel of Archimedes, and with a slight flick of the wrist, it's easy to keep the inside ball in motion. The ball traces a circular rather than elliptical path, but the mind-numblingly pleasing yet useless repetitiveness of the non-goal-oriented process echoes the functionality of the bullshit grinder. While I have not tested the grinding efficacy of the Trammel of Archimedes, I have empirical evidence that the petite kitty geek toy is remarkably good at grinding wayward gnats.

All in a day's work, filling gaps the world never knew it had.

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