By Maggie Koerth-Baker at 10:47 am Fri, Sep 7, 2012
I have a great idea for another knot pun — NOT!
Was that a joke? ‘Fraid not.
Great find BoingBoing! Knots are something we take for granted, far, far too much. They’re one of humanity’s oldest technologies but they’re still, even in our most advanced creations. Cords, cables and knots are such versatile tools it’s hard to define just what category they fit in. No matter were you want to travel by land, sea, air or in space, a knot can help you get there.
NASA has an entire manual showing how electrical wires in airplanes and spacecraft are to be tied together using a type of string similar to dental floss. Most people think of sailors when they think of knots but they’re also important to musicians (drums, string instruments), in sports (baseball gloves, holding padding in place, nets, ball stitching), fishermen, truckers, bookbinders, cowboys, tailors, search and rescue teams, farmers, jewelers, surgeons (who have to take special knot tying classes in medical school), gardeners, in theater productions, weavers, in upholstery… the list goes on and on.
How could you make that whole list and not mention rock climbers? We use knots like out lives depend on them!
Yeah, I was debating about that because rock climbers trust their lives to their knots, but I thought it was implied with search and rescue teams and the post was getting a little long so…
I am a big big fan of knots. Didn’t know about this listing, thanks for the link. Also, I SUPER LOVE this book about knot theory: http://www.amazon.com/The-Knot-Book-Colin-Adams/dp/0821836781 .
Thanks to Boy Scout training, my knowledge of knots helped me and squad/platoon/company mates live easier during my time in the Army. Lashing together found materials in a field-expedient manner provided shelter and concealment many times for self and equipment, fix antenna elements and masts, and even helped me learn to secure cargo on trains for movement. It all started with a little bag containing a knot chart, a red rope, and a white rope. Thanks, Maggie, for this info!
Annals of Improbable Research fun knots Science
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