Ode to Gadgets

I love gadgets. This is probably because I love tools, particularly versatile ones. They are one of the main things I am actually tempted by in stores, often when I don’t have any personal use for them. It would just be so neat to have a doohickey that can open a can of beans and grate cheese onto your burrito at the same time, right? I’ll call it the bean & cheese expresserator. Thus, a gadget that is intended for a single, specific purpose is alright. It is a thing of beauty in its simplicity of focus and the minds that care enough about that task to have created a tool for it. Gadgets show the ingenuity of people, and they are usually worth at least the try. They can be improved as they come out to make things even more efficient, and they often end up making lives more convenient. A tool that can do all the things. OOOOOOOOh yeah! Swiss army knives are probably the ultimate in this category. They combine a bunch of tools that can be used for their intended purpose or can be transferred to other purposes easily, and they are high quality, small, and elegant. To some extent with all gadgets and particularly with swiss army knives, you have to have the right mindset. You need to be thinking, hey, my knife can help with that rather than that you could probably get by without it. My swiss-swiss army knife was my single most used tool during the nanotechnology internship I did. It served for everything from drilling holes in boxes to precisely creating maps and puzzles out of DNA pictures and Styrofoam to opening and modifying remote control cars. Duct tape is another of the ultimate gadgets, and one that is more widely recognized. Duct tape is so elegant in its form, but there are so many things you can do with it from repairs to decorations to making a birthday gift’s wrapping so memorable and torturous. Gadgets are helpful camping where they can serve as multiple tools without increasing the weight of what you need to cary. They help at home to give you exactly the thing you wanted instead of just kind of what you were looking for. They are the precision instruments of scientists and cooks. They are what drive the frontiers of discovery. Gadgets are more precise. They bring you closer to perfection.