Simple Solutions

Fotolia_37529539_XS_4There was a story going around a couple of years ago that went something like this. When NASA first started sending astronauts into space, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 Billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, under water, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 degrees Centigrade. Russian astronauts had to make do with a pencil, apparently.

Was this story true? I really don’t know. Certainly NASA is staffed by brilliant and innovative people and I am sure that if they had felt the need to develop such a pen then it could have been done. Whether it was true or not, the story does serve to underline an important point. You don’t always have to go for the complicated solution. Sometimes the simple solution will do the job just as well and at much less cost.

© RJ Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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