Have a little whine with your cheese and crackers? I have mine right here:
Rufus is fond of believing he knows everything and that anything anyone else says is wrong. Period. Paragraph.
Except when the anyone else is, well, me.
Rufus particularly likes to dispute pronouncements on technology, on God, and on history. He insists, for example, that there’s no advantage to increasing the sensor size in a digital camera. Doesn’t matter that I’m a pretty knowledgeable daylight photographer. Doesn’t matter that most other digital camera experts agree with me. Doesn’t matter that large format film cameras have already won the “size” battle. Rufus knows better.
The most recent example comes from the very large (about 800 million population and growing) world of very small issues (Facebook). Our mutual friend Brock posted a note about why a cop should take a gun to a knife fight; I added an anecdote about the army adopting the .45 Colt after Philippine-American War. Brockley Mann is the chief of the South Puffin Police Department.
The “suspect’s momentum may continue forward with enough force for the edged weapon to end up injuring the officer” even after the suspect has been shot, Brock posted.
I recalled that the reason the army switched from a .38 to the Model 1911 Colt was to stop the Filipino Moros running full tilt (a “bolo rush”) with their 18″ machete-like swords at the officers who had only side-arms. Even a dead running man can decapitate a soldier on sheer momentum. Experiments showed the .45 caliber punch could almost stop that rush. Almost.
Unfortunately, the M1911 design wasn’t finished and it never saw service in the Philippines.
Rufus responded that he “thought the ‘service .45’ was ALWAYS a .45 starting with the original Colt revolver. But you say the Army had a dalliance, for a time, with a little .38. How long did that last? (I could Google it, but YOU brought it up…)”
Let’s keep that thought. Rufus could Google it, but I brought it up…
Another poster commented, “I can’t imagine the Army using .38s. I have a .38 and it is really small.”
I might note that it’s not the size. OK, it’s the size.
Thanks to Liza Arden who spent the 30 seconds on Google that Rufus had no time to do, there is plenty of firearms history available:
I cited these examples not (just) to pick on Rufus. OK, maybe to pick on Rufus, but also to talk about how so few people are willing to reach out to the sources we have to store our history even when it is crucial.
You might have a problem reconciling your checking account and need to look for calculation tools. You might need to know when Louisville Slugger first produced a bat with a knob on it (Babe Ruth ordered the first one in 1919). You might have a leaking PVC sink drain and need to look for repair techniques.
I mostly enjoy researching, but I don’t enjoy doing your research. Or Rufus’.
Google Is Your Friend.
It was not always thus. I grew up before the Internet so I had to use the books in the house, the books in friend’s houses, the books in the library. Remember e-n-c-y-c-l-o-p-e-d-i-as? Me, too. I still have a Marks’ Handbook that I rarely use and a Machinery’s Handbook that I use all the time. Mine is the 18th Edition, printed in 1968, because tap drill hole sizes haven’t changed much in the intervening years. I don’t have the CD version but I do look up work gear temperatures online more often than in the Handbook. And I’m more likely to find the mechanical engineering facts, figures, standards, and practices of the Marks’ online. On the other hand, my favorite reference book here is the Oxford English Dictionary my folks gave me more than 30 years ago.
See, it doesn’t matter if you use an Internet search engine or the local library to find your answer. It just matters that you find the answer.
Of course, where ever one reads the data, there remains the small problem of remembering what you read.
(I found that 2010 essay by Googling.)