Saturday, August 27, 2011

Reading, Writing, and It’s All in the Wrist

Did you know you can open a beer bottle with a piece of paper? You can also use another beer bottle or a spoon. I learned this one night when all that stood between me and the Hefeweizen in my fridge was a thin metal bottle cap. Sure, there’s a lot of useless info on the internet, but one man’s “useless info” is another man’s (or woman’s) ice cold beer.

I was without an opener because recently I had thrown away the entire contents of my kitchen gadget drawer when I discovered that a furry visitor—eek! a mouse—had been there and used it as his personal toilet. I had replaced the more commonly used items but didn’t realize I hadn’t yet bought a new bottle opener until that hot summer night when I found myself craving a beer.

Already comfy in my PJs, I wasn’t about to change and run to the store to buy a new one. Plan B: I decided to let my fingers do the walking…on my keyboard. I figured I would find the answer to this problem at cyber-school just as I had on more than one occasion in the past.

Most recently I had learned how to replace the faucet in my bathroom sink, what ingredient I could use in place of milk to make blueberry muffins, why sometimes you sneeze when you walk out into bright sunlight, what day of the week my birthday falls on this year, and who sings “The Thong Song.” I’ll admit it’s not rocket science, but the beauty of having so much seemingly unimportant data in one place is that you never know when it will be important to someone. Which brings me back to the thirst-quenching bottle of beer still unopened in my fridge.

I type in the words “how do you open a beer bottle without a can opener,” and immediately I’m rewarded with a long list of helpful links. I had no idea there were this many mouse-infested beer-drinkers out there. I spot a link from bartender Moe Harris on YouTube, which I quickly click. Info from an expert with a live demonstration…perfect!

Professor Harris presents a variety of ways to help me achieve my beer-drinking goal, but first he gives me a warning about the dangers involved—we are working with glass, after all. He then provides his list of credits: working bartender, bartending instructor, and international “flare” competitor (that’s a bottle flipper to you and me). As an added bonus, he delivers a mini science lesson on why these methods work. In case you’re curious, it involves a lever, a fulcrum, and a grip.

Long story short, the two-bottle strategy doesn’t work for me and neither does the piece of paper. But the spoon works perfectly! I get the bottle open safely, quench my thirst, and learn an interesting tidbit about physics in the process. It might not be the discovery of the century, but where else can you get all this, for free, in your pajamas?

Please comment on this post or let me know what helpful info (though seemingly "useless") you've found on the internet. 

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