Skip to main content

Snow Shovels

The SC18PSSPWESH in
all it's ergonomic glory
It snowed last night here in Cambridge, MA. It snowed quite a bit. I mean, in a relative sense it snowed infinitely compared to a typical Pasadena, CA snow day, so I might be overreacting a bit. But, wow, there's about a metric shload of snow out there right now.

Thanks to Erin's forethought, we were prepared with two snow shovels, and a scraper for our car windows. We also have a nice metal garden shovel and an old broom. We used all of these implements to ensure compliance with the city's Snow and Ice Removal Ordinance.

On a related note, my back is as old as I am, making my back a 36-year-old back. That's a pretty old back. You know what else? My 36-year-old back hurts quite a bit after shoveling snow all morning. So did Erin's 3N-year-old back (where N is an integer between 0 and 9).

These simple facts inspired us to look into snow-shoveling ergonomics. It turns out that there are, in fact, ergonomic snow shovels, much like the one our neighbor was using this morning. We just purchased a Suncast SC3250 18-inch Poly Snow Shovel Pusher With Ergonomic S-Handle (hereafter the SC18PSSPWESH, for brevity). We'll see how well it works the next time it snows. We also have to wait until it is delivered, which I'm not 100% certain will happen with the roads as they are right now, so here's to better weather in the next 5-7 business days.

Also, I hope that the handle of our SC18PSSPWESH isn't defective like it was for this poor fellow:


I don't know if Carlito "Babushka" Brigante is serious or joking. I don't really think it matters.



Comments

Amy P said…
It snows in Sierra Leone?
Julie said…
Oh, well, over in Somerville, they gave us some super sweet videos for how to stretch before shoveling.

http://www.somervillema.gov/snow-emergency-procedures/important-shoveling-information

:)

Popular posts from this blog

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!
This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:


It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic."…

Culture: Made Fresh Daily

There are two inspirations for this essay worth noting. The first is an impromptu talk I gave to the board of trustees at Thatcher School while I was visiting in October as an Anacapa Fellow. Spending time on this remarkable campus interacting with the students, faculty and staff helped solidify my notions about how culture can be intentionally created. The second source is Beam Times and Lifetimes by Sharon Tarweek, an in-depth exploration of the culture of particle physics told by an anthropologist embedded at SLAC for two decades. It's a fascinating look at the strange practices and norms that scientists take for granted.
One of the stories that scientists tell themselves, whether implicitly or explicitly, is that science exists outside of and independent of society. A corollary of this notion is that if a scientific subfield has a culture, e.g. the culture of astronomy vs. the culture of chemistry, that culture is essential rather than constructed. That is to say, scientific c…

The Long Con

Hiding in Plain Sight

ESPN has a series of sports documentaries called 30 For 30. One of my favorites is called Broke which is about how professional athletes often make tens of millions of dollars in their careers yet retire with nothing. One of the major "leaks" turns out to be con artists, who lure athletes into elaborate real estate schemes or business ventures. This naturally raises the question: In a tightly-knit social structure that is a sports team, how can con artists operate so effectively and extensively? The answer is quite simple: very few people taken in by con artists ever tell anyone what happened. Thus, con artists can operate out in the open with little fear of consequences because they are shielded by the collective silence of their victims.
I can empathize with this. I've lost money in two different con schemes. One was when I was in college, and I received a phone call that I had won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas. All I needed to do was p…