Re: Murphy Strikes Again



Mine was this morning cutting some small moulding. Murphy's Law: "the probability of making a mistake is inversely proportional to the amount of spare stock available", bit me big time...
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Not to be argumentative, but...
I don't think misplacing a manual for a few minutes is an example of Murphy's Law. Had you broken the saw while changing the blade, THEN Murphy's law would have applied. The law is: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".
dave
Thomas Mitchell wrote:

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Perhaps you are not aware that the "everything ... will go wrong" quotation is actually from Mrs. Murphy (Murphy's Mom) and is derived from her research on contraceptives.
-Jack
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FACT: There _really_ was a Murphy. Edward A. Murphy. He was a Q.C. engineer for McDonald Douglas. Assigned to the manned rocket-sled (known as the 'lead sled') acceleration experiments done at Boneville Salt Flats.
Came one day when Colonel Paul Stapp climbed on the sled to go for ride, trying for a "world record" for the number of "G's" for an unprotected man. And off he went. _Felt_ like a record run to him. Got off, and asked the techs "How many G's?" They replied: "Zero."
Ed Murphy was on the next flight to Bonneville from St. Louis. Upon investigation, he found that a new set of accellerometers had been installed on the sled. That they would fit, in either of two orientations. And that they _had_ been installed *BACKWARDS*.
His actual words: "If there is a way that a thing can be done wrong, sooner or later it _will_ be done wrong." (*very* valid, from a QC perspective)
However, at a press conference following, Col. Stapp _mis-quoted_ him as: "whatever _can_ go wrong, *will* go wrong." and the rest is, as they say, 'history'.
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

Close, but no cigar!! Here's the TRUE story.
http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-true.html
Until today I didn't know the location but I knew that an officer named Murphy made the comment about an enlisted man.
ARM
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McDonald Douglass -- contractor for the lead sled project -- seems to think he worked for _them_. They ran his story, in the in-house employees magazine, circa 1980. Old interview material, _photo_ of him in his McDonald-Douglass office, etc. Including _his_own_ description of the events, *and* his dislike of _his_ name being associated with the "incorrect" remark.
On review, I misquoted the original words. they are: "If a thing can be done in two or more ways, and one of them results in catastrophe, sooner or later it will be done that way."
Stapp's mis-quote, at the press-conference, _the_day_after_ the botched attempt, *is* a matter of public record. (and I, personally, know one of the wire-service reporters who was present at that press conference) Murphy says that Stapp *was* present when he made the original remark. I also correct myself in noting that at that time, Stapp held the rank of Major. The promotion to Colonel came a bit later.
I've found another, apparently reliable, source that indicates Murphy was an Air Force officer, with the rank of Captain, at the time of the events. The McDonald Douglas write-up doesn't expressly address the issue, either way. It is not unreasonable to speculate that he may have been in the civilian employ of McDonald Douglass, and was called back to active duty.
Note: the design and fabrication work for the lead sled components and instrumentation was done at Mcdonald Douglas facilities in St. Louis, and the objects sent to Bonneville for actual use. Even if Murphy was an Air Force, rather than civilian, member of the project, it's probable he would have been in St. Louis, rather than at Bonneville, and _would_ have had to fly out to debug the problem.
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Wife got out of car to look in house for her keys, returned saying "Wouldn't you know it was in the LAST place I looked" which brought my observation "I sure hope so!"
wrote:

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<<I decided to take the time to figure out how dewalt wanted me to change the blade and after about ten minutes I saw how unbelievably simple it was. I finished the storage bench and started giving the garage a good cleaning. Five minutes into the cleaning, I found the manual. Damn murphy.>>
You got off easy. If Murphy were really doing his job you would have finished the bench without incident, reinstalled your good blade, cut some virgin stock and clipped an embedded piece of metal.
Lee
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Or you would have set the blade down, forgot where you put it, search for a hour, lose the wrenches, get frustrated and go buy a new blade, come home a realize you had already put the damn blade on. Or maybe that only happens to me, oh well

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You took the words out of my mouth. Running a sharp blade spinning at 22,000 rpm or so through a piece of wood known to have bits of metal embedded in it...and you make it out well enough to tell the story? I don't think Murphy was anywhere around.
david
--
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have
of it.
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