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".
Thomas Mitchell wrote:
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,
Close, but no cigar!! Here's the TRUE story.
Until today I didn't know the location but I knew that an
officer named Murphy made the comment about an enlisted man.
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.
<<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.
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
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.
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have
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