Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fool's

JayDub quickly picked up on the fact that the Anonymous Interview was actually an April Fool's joke.  In fact, pretty much all of it was Batman-related and either outright untrue or pure speculation on my part about upcoming tech.  The only thing that was completely true was the anecdote about Chris Cooper--that actually happened.  I had wanted to do this for a long time, in fact, I had the idea when I did my first ten question interview. Sorry if it misled you, but one joke in a year seems to be fair from my perspective.

Here are the clues:

I tried to drop a few small hints at the beginning--a wealthy businessman that worked in high tech stuff and weapons (see: Batman Begins).

He was interested in "mountain climbing, caving, and BASE jumping" (again see: Batman Begins, conversation between Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne).

The body armor contract was again a hint, Lucius is working on body armor for the military in Batman Begins.

The car was also a hint, the link on "tumble" clicks through to a website about all of the various Batmobiles.

The question about how he carries the stuff is, of course, a reference to Batman's utility belt.  In fact, the last sentence was a dead giveaway:  "A lot of utility in this one belt."

The question about his first knife was a giant clue.  The first letters of each sentence spell out the phrase:  I AM BATMAN:

I ground my first knife.  

Ambitious kid, what can I say?
My very first blade had a distinctive design to it.

Basically, I set up a grinder and a friend of my Dad's...
As you can imagine it was a mess.
Totally and completely.
Mess, mess, mess.
And after that I got some more experience.
Now I typically grind my own blades, including throwing knives, I really like those.

The link on "throwing knives" goes to the Wikipedia page on "batarang".  The old friend of his Dad is Alfred and Alfred could be seen helping Bruce assemble the Batsuit and gear in Batman Begins.

The sentimental question is a direct reference to Batman Begins and the Dark Knight.

Anonymous's initials are also a giveaway: BAW is Bruce A? Wayne.  DC has not confirmed Wayne's middle name, though we know his middle initial is A.  Some speculate it is Anthony (for Anthony Wayne, one of Bruce's name sakes, the other being Robert the Bruce).  Others speculate that it stands for Alan, a reference to some of the people that worked on the book when it was first started.

As you have guessed by now, I am a huge Batman fan, especially Chris Nolan's redux.  I especially like the hodgepodge of references to Alan Moore's the Killing Joke re: the Joker's backstory (or lack thereof).  That book is probably my favorite comic of all time, thought I am far from a comic aficionado, only reading it AFTER the Dark Knight came out.

This was, however, not just a joke.  There were real references to real upcoming or slightly speculative tech.  The Isis and Aegis do appear to have touch sensitive metal.  Combining this with the infinite variable brightness of the Titan and you have one awesome UI.

There are lots of folks at work on self-sharpening steels, modeled after various sources in nature.  A warthog's tusks sheer past each other in some cases and produce RAZOR sharp edges that are naturally self sharpening.  Various forms of mollusks have self-sharpening teeth use to dig in and attach to surfaces.

Again lots of folks are working on synthetic spider silk wire that is thin, light and high tensile strength.  While we don't have the technology right now, spider silk, if scaled up, could do what Batman was looking for quite easily.  The proportional strength of the silk now is very impressive.

While I know of no one working on MIM based 3D printing with steels, it is an tantalizing idea--MIM itself uses powder steels and an injection process to create complex three dimensional parts or the blade to the Spyderco S.


Uing that same powder steel in a high pressure 3D printing process would allow for spectacular steel objects--making pivots, locks, and blades in knives and other machined-parts devices truly revolutionary in design.

For being the first to guess correctly, I am sending JayDub a new deep carry universal pocket clip from USAKnifemaker.com, seen here.  JayDub send me your address and I will mail it out.

3 comments:

  1. Ho.ly. crap! Thanks for the shoutout and the clip! I have been wishing for a deep carry for my mini-grip. That is awesome of you!!!

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  2. You're a sick man, Tony

    :)

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  3. I've been reading Batman since I could read and I didn't pick up on this. My detective skills clearly do not match his! Good work!

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