Thursday, January 17, 2013

On the utility of paperclips

I think that people generally underestimate the value of a paperclip.

Consider something as simple and wide spread as glasses:

Loose the screw to your glasses?  Use a paperclip.  Now you can use your glasses.  Break the bridge of your glasses?  Use a paperclip.  First bend a section into the shape of the bridge, this will be your splint.  Place it against what remains of the bridge.  Wrap with the rest of the paperclip until you run out of metal, problem solved.  The idea of using scotch tape is just to make glasses users look silly.

Need to short circuit a subway car?  According to the move Paycheck you use a paperclip.

It's a small malleable rod of metal that is soft enough to to work with your fingers but strong enough hold its shape when you're not working it.  The possibilities seem to be endless.

Today I went to school with jeans that had a small hole in the left knee.  Unfortunately with the act of walking the small hole soon became a large hole.  I don't have a sowing kit with me (I know, shameful lack of preparedness) so I needed a solution.  That solution?  Paperclip



Now this is a temporary solution that may end up doing more harm than good in the long run, but right now I'm concerned with the short term.  Not having freezing air assaulting my unprotected knee.  And for the short term it works.

Go paperclip!


  1. Paperclips are great!

    (The spectacle failure mode I've met more often is the screw at one corner coming out, leaving one arm detached from the rest of the assembly. This is also soluble with a paperclip.)

  2. I need more paperclips. (I do carry a tiny sowing kit, but I'm not sure if I would actually be able to do things with it. It's mostly there in case I'm with someone who would be capable of doing useful things with a sowing kit if they had one, but they don't. Or in case I get desperate enough to try anyway.)