Saturday, June 9, 2007


I love the TV commercial for the Dyson vacuum cleaner where the guy says, “I just think things should work properly.” It makes me want to run out and buy one because I so agree with him. I truly appreciate good design and quality engineering.

We recently acquired a new salad spinner, and I have to say it is a work of genius. Absolute effing genius. It is the OXO Good Grips 32480. Our previous salad spinner was a definite step up over the days of eating wet greens, or of patting down the leaves to remove excess water. Even so, it required a certain level of coordination and muscular strength to operate. It used a crank and gear arrangement built into the lid to spin the basket holding the washed greens inside a bowl. The OXO uses pump action, where you press on the pump, it spins the basket (at what seems to be a very high RPM) and then you stop and it just keeps spinning...and spinning...and spinning. It only takes 2 or 3 pumps to get the thing going and then you just let it ride. It’s so simple and easy to operate, my 5 year old can do it. And the greens come out dry and fresh. Genius.

My wife has never been one to get overly excited about gadgets. You can’t even really call how she feels about her cell phone a love-hate relationship. It’s more of a putupwithyou-hate relationship. She is not opposed to gadgets, per se,but she does hate clutter and unless a gadget has obvious and enormous benefits she just remains unimpressed. After reading an article about the iphone a few weeks ago, I told her about how impressive it sounded. She responded with her usual ennui about such things. Then a few days ago she was watching TV when she saw one of the first TV ads Apple has put out for iphone. She watched it and said, “That’s cool. I want one of those.”

I don’t know Steve Jobs, and I have generally avoided Apple computers because of the cult-like cultiness of the whole Apple Culture that attaches to them (You don’t use an Apple computer. You ask Apple into your heart). I must say, however, that he must be doing something right if his design teams can design an electronic gadget that gets my wife to respond like that within 3 seconds of seeing the gadget for the first time.

That’s what I call engineering. We need more of that.

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Well, techno-geeks have wives now. Not like in the old days, before hooking up with these guys was so clearly a Good Thing.