Daily Archives: January 27, 2011

Human Factors Engineering

Researcher and blogger Ash Donaldson joins us for a pre-recorded discussion on the fascinating field of Human Factors Engineering. This multi-disciplinary science draws on anatomy, physiology, physics, psychology and communications research, as it tries to improve the ways that humans interact with technology, and use technology to interact with each other. And health science journalist Paul Ingraham returns with a primer on the causes and treatment of repetitive strain injuries.

This week’s Skeptically Speaking

Jamie Hyneman’s Toolkits

Every year, at least once (for his birthday or for Christmas, depending) I give my father-in-law the same exact presents: A tape measure, a utility knife, and a pencil. This way, when we are working on something like sheet-rocking the kitchen, patching the bullet hole in the roof of the cabin, or installing the invisible surround sound system there will be a tape measure, a utility knife, and a pencil. The tape measure tells you where to cut, the pencil marks where you will cut, and the utility knife cuts it. There are lots of other tools involved in carrying out these tasks, but these three are the tools most likely to be stolen by gremlins. The table saw and the electric drill seem to lack legs, but the tape measure, knife and pencil are temporary visitors on this earth. Or so it seems.

But as it turns out, no matter how may of these items I give him, or that he picks up at the hardware store, they always disappear.
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