9.24.2009

Learning to Fall

The other day I decided to enjoy one of the last days of summer-like weather by trying out my new rollerblades, but I forgot how fast new wheels spin. I soon found myself speeding down a hill that I had not traversed for almost two years, after my last journey ended with a cracked rib; it was quite the trip. After recovering my brain from the PTSD-induced flashbacks, I began to review the lessons I had learned about falling correctly*. Yes, there is a correct way to fall; it’s the way that doesn’t end with a broken body, or at least a less broken one. Most of the sports I have participated in over the years have included lessons on falling. In rugby, we spent a week learning how to fall before we learned how to make our opponents fall. Fortunately, I did not need to utilize these lessons that day, but it got me thinking about how those lessons can be applied to more metaphorical - albeit not necessary less painful - falls in life. With no further ado, here are the lessons and my attempts to tie them to everyday life:


    Falling

    Owen in Flight by ClickFlashPhotos


  • Fall correctly and you’ll survive to get up and try again.
    When you do screw up in life, try to do it with grace – don’t take others down with you; don’t be so reckless you can’t recover from your actions. The slight difference between falling and failing (besides the letter ‘i’) is that a fall only becomes a fail if you don’t get back up.
  • Don’t be afraid to fall…
    If you try to never fall, you’ll only hurt yourself worse when you do. It’s like slipping on ice and flailing your arms wildly, only to end up with both pulled arm muscles and a sore bum, because despite your efforts you fell anyway. Every fall is a learning opportunity.
  • …but don’t be taking nose dives and wonder why your face hurts.
    By accepting that a fall could happen, you can prepare for it and lessen your damage. Put salt on that ice patch to stop slippage in the first place…and don’t go rollerblading after it rains, or at least where protective gear - falling doesn’t have to hurt.
  • Laughter is the best medicine (I hear morphine is pretty good too).
    When you do fall, remember to laugh at yourself. Afterall, falls are funny; if they weren’t, America’s Funniest Home Videos would have tanked. Don’t waste your time dwelling on your mistakes.

*If you were wondering what literally falling correctly entails, it is progressively hitting the ground from your ankles to your knees to your hips to your shoulders. It works a lot better than hitting the ground at once, with a thud and the wind knocked out of you. Also, NEVER try to catch yourself with your hands, that only leads to broken wrists; tuck in your arms – and you head for that matter – if you feel yourself falling.

9.12.2009

Nerdiest Thing Ever 2.0 (Custom Charging Station)


Book Charging Station

Charging Station Made of Books


I finally finished my original book modification project, a stack of books transformed into a charging station. This project was the spring board for my USB/Card Reader combo mod, but took more time, so I guess it's actually the beta version of the Nerdiest Thing Ever.




Book Charging Station

Charging My iPhone


After I came up with the idea for this piece, it took several months and plenty of antique store/used book store/rummage sale visits to find the books I wanted to modify. Not only did the books have to be large enough to hold my various devices and chargers, but I was very picky about both the appearance of the books (I wanted a a variety of fun colors and interesting spines and cover designs) and their titles. I ended up using 5 books: National Geographic Magazine anthology from Jan-June of 1927, the Modern Library of Knowledge, Repented at Leisure by Berthat M. Clay, The Woman of Mystery by Leblanc, and Funk and Wagnals New Standard Encyclopedia.


Cords



Power Tools

Tools of the Trade


The hardest part was finding a book large enough to hold a power strip and the necessary power adapters and extensions, so I ended up making the bottom two books the bases, in order to fit everything. The top book charges my iPhone or any of my ipods (just not all at once), while in their cases; the second book holds my AA battery charger; and the third book hold the charger for my SLR battery. All of the components can be charging at once, and all of the books close completely even when in use. The books are also attached to each other with screws, so that each book can be opened without toppling the stack. For construction, I used pretty much the same method as for my USB/Card Reader combo, except with a few more "learning opportunities".



Book Charging Station


Book Charging Station


Book Charging Station


Book Charging Station


Book Charging Station