Thursday, November 23, 2006

Danger: Keep Hands Clear!

A little while ago, I went with my class on a field trip to a factory where they produce the little bags of salads. Near the machine that cuts the lettuce into little slices and mixes all of the cut carrots and cabbage into the salad mix, there was a sign similar to the one on the left. This sign, in case you can't see, contains an image of a hand that has each of the fingers sliced off cleanly, with little drops of blood falling out of the newly opened ends. This is by far the scariest image I've ever seen. After I saw that sign, there's no way I'm putting my hands anywhere near that machine. It seemed to me to be a little excessive for a warning sign. I mean, we all know what can happen if you place your hands near a sharp automated blade. The danger sign would be enough it seems, maybe with an image of a knife or something, for those who are unable to read.

In my tours of various other food production plants, I have noticed this sign, or a similarly gruesome one, on cheese vats, chopping devices, and fans. I'm beginning to feel that these signs would be fun to place around schools, near dark holes perhaps. It would be interesting from a sociological standpoint, at least, to see which kids would stick their hands into the dark hole regardless of the sign's depicted warning. I suppose then they'd learn to disobey such signs because the lack of any blade in the hole would be evidence to them that signs often lie. In fact, I'm starting to doubt the sign myself. I mean, I've never seen a blade make a clean cut like that through human flesh. It has bone to cut through, after all. I also think there'd be a substantial amount more blood than what is shown. Perhaps next trip I'll have to sacrifice a finger or two to find out - watch for it in your next salad.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Crossword Complete

I'm not a crossword fanatic. I do the New York Times crossword that is reprinted in The Daily Universe each day, not because I have some specific goal to complete the crossword to prove my high-reaching intellect to myself, but rather, to waste time when I am bored and have nothing else with which I could occupy that time. Specifically, I tend to fill out the crossword puzzle during the 10 minute class breaks when I happen to have my next lesson in the same room as my previous lecture. My eyes also wander to the clues during my microbiology class, which proves to be quite fruitless. I get the most work done on the crossword puzzle during lunchtime, when I am busy chomping away at a tasty Subway sandwich. This required some skill at first, seeing as how I was used to eating two handed. I am now able to hold my sandwich quite confidently with one hand, while filling in boxes with the other. Granted, this only occurs on Mondays, and sometimes on Tuesdays. The other days of the week usually see me sitting with my sandwich, pondering over the possible answers to the incredibly difficult clues to events and happenings that I have never heard of.

The reason for posting this today, however, is that something happened that has never before occurred in all of my months as a crossword enthusiast. I completed the crossword puzzle. That is, I filled in each and every box of Monday's puzzle, and am quite confident that I did so correctly. And you know what? I feel no differently than when I finish all of the puzzle save a few squares. I never really look at the solutions to yesterday's puzzle, either, so I'll never know if I was right. And I don't care. I'm not a crossword fanatic.