My nomination for king of all Handymen:

Burt Rutan!
(Guy who built Space Ship One, the private ship that just flew into space twice and won the 10 million dollar X prize.)
The guy built this rocket on a (relative) shoestring, and it works great. My favorite part of the ship is the front "wheel" of the ship's landing gear. It consists of a block of Walnut wood! What a perfect, elegant solution to that problem. Once the ship lands it needs to scrub off all it's velocity quickly, so Rutan just put that block of wood on the front. It fills the bill brilliantly, the wood scraping against tarmack would give great braking, and it would just grind away, and you put a new one on for the next flight(The back 2 wheels are in fact wheels, and one steers the craft with independent brakes on the back 2 wheels.) Nasa should take a lesson, faced with the same problem, they would have drew up specs, and engineered some new technology for millions of dollars, that would not have worked as well as Rutan's block of wood.
I have nothing against NASA, but love the Rutan's ability to get the job so effiently.
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(Porter Rockwell) wrote:

The story goes that, in the 1960s, faced with the need for a writing instrument that would work in zero gravity, NASA spent millions to develop a ball-point pen that would write upside-down, sideways, or whatever.
The Russians used pencils.
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(Porter Rockwell) wrote:

Yeah, but the NASA pen made for a great Seinfeld episode.
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The thing is, you're imagining that the purpose of NASA is to get the job done. It's not. The primary purpose of NASA is to do research. Actually getting into space is just sort of a sideshow.
--Goedjn
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Doug Miller wrote:

http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp
Brian
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Some years ago, the US found out that ball point pens don't write in space. They did some work, and ended up with a nitrogen pressurized ball pen. The Ruskies used a pencil.
The fighter jets, when a pilot ejects at high speed, the airfoil effect pulls his helmet up. Many pilots have had their heads pop off cause of the air foil. The Ruskies drilled a bunch of holes in their guys helmets.
--

Christopher A. Young
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