I found myself in Best Buy on Saturday. I was looking for label printers. I had just come from Office Depot where I had seen several versions of both Dymo and Brother printers. The problem was that once you paid from about $69 to $149+ for the label printer, you would pay an additional $22 to $27 for a label/ink cartridge. I whipped out my smartphone and found it’s calculator. 312 labels equated to about $.10 per label, which I thought expensive.
I was looking to see how “cost effective” printing QR Code labels would be. I found one label printer at Best Buy and not satisfying.
I looked at cameras, such as the Flip video.
At some point, near the cameras and phones I came upon a display of two Dyson air-multiplier fans which were busily pushing a refreshing breeze. Like a child, I was fascinated. I finally put my hand through the portal, almost expecting an invisible blade or electrical current to shock me. It then dawned upon me that no business would place such a hazardous device where the public could easily get to it.
Not knowing how the fan actually worked, I had imagined some science fictionesque works, based up speeding up the flow of ions. The technology which will send and return earthlings between Earth and Mars. Or perhaps upon mag-lev technology that when repeated over a distance causes a projectile to reach unimaginable speeds easily.
I found a video on the Web where Dyson explained how his fan works, with a cut-away version of the contraption,
As soon as he mentioned the word “impeller” I realized that he had moved the fan blades from view. But there were still fan (impeller = fan) blades… in the base, which sucked in air and then through an intricate conductive system. I guess I could jadedly suggest that the impellers were probably extra vacuum cleaner components.
The image should be of an industrial fan turning somewhere, sucking in air, and pushing it through a winding conduit until out it comes, viola… no visible blades, at the point where the air is expelled.
Now that I think of what Dyson said in his explanatory video, that the air was multiplied perhaps up to 16 times, I realized that that number had already come to my mind. I had thought that the cost of a Dyson fan at $320, would be about 16 times that of a normal $20 house fan.
— Smoke & Mirrors —
I realized that I had another example of something which appears (if it still ran) to work magically. Some years ago, I bought this clock. On the face of it there is no apparent gearing system… So, how does it work. The hands of the clock and a simple rocker gear work with two panes of glass. One of the panes of glass rocks up and down causing the gears of the clock hands to move. As long as you keep the glass clean, it would be difficult to see that it was moving.