Saturday, 30 June 2018

Cheap, simple, brilliant design - a perforated plastic fly swatter


Swatting flies is difficult - they have all-round vision, lightning reflexes, and can fly rapidly and unpredictably. But, a perforated fly swatter will kill them first swat - more often than not.

Apparently flies are helpless against this weapon. Presumably because the perforations prevent a wall of compressed air interposing between the fly and the approaching swatter - as happens with the traditional fly swatting device, the rolled-up newspaper. Presumably, before being hit by the newspaper, the fly is expelled sideways by the compressed air... I don't really know, it happens too fast to see.

Kudos, then, to the perforated fly swatter - for solving a serious problem so simply and cheaply.

PS: Mine - like the illustration above - has a line of spikes along the distal edge, which is handy for extricating and lifting the dead fly, for carrying it to the waste bin.


8 comments:

  1. No one can say you don't cover all the bases on your blog!

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  2. @William - I used to do more of this kind of stuff...

    https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2006/11/poorly_designed.html
    https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/06/benzoyl-peroxide-effective-treatment.html
    https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/07/driclor-is-effective-treatment-for.html
    https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-shaving-ritual.html

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  3. I assumed this post fit in the 'genius' series -- a perforated fly swatter illustrates the point that many important creative breakthroughs are small and/or anonymous. The perforations are clearly an intuitive leap but who came up with them is not easy to find out.

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  4. @SA - Yes, often because creativity is not appreciated - or regarded as trivial - by the mediocre careerist bureaucrats who call themselves scientists nowadays.

    Another example from this blog is that dandruff is curable, and I know the person who discovered the cause and the cure (Prof Sam Shuster) - but this has near zero impact in the 'real' world:

    https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/06/ketoconazole-shampoo-totally-effective.html

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  5. I find the "Bug-A-Salt" (https://www.bugasalt.com) much more fun to use, though arguably you the simple swatter is superior all around.

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  6. Wouldn't a container and some cardboard be more useful, in a holistic sense? It would mean that:
    * Your window didnt get dirtied by the innards of the fly and then have to be cleaned.
    * You wouldnt have to purchase specialised equipment.
    * The fly would be free to carry on its existence.
    * The fly may ultimately be consumed by spiders, or other creatures and thereby contribute to the food web (which is fundamental for all beings to exist).

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  7. Never swat a fly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfu4jw8tJGA
    Shoo it instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOC62KgWnWw

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  8. @drizz - Those are great tracks! - especially the second one.

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