Quantum Levitation

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One day at work we were considering the term “jerry rigging,” that type of “just make (barely) do approach to making things work, hold together, etc.  Is it related to “jury rigging?”  That term has its own meaning, and though some people say “jury rigged” in the same context as jerry rigging, I think it’s likely they just never heard “jerry rigged.”  A little research on the ever reliable internet indicates that “jerry rigging” has sub tones of being politically incorrect.  My apologies to all the Jerrys out there.  My suspicion, with occasional support for people who bother to contribute to such online debates, is that it related to World War II, when Allied soldiers and civilians referred to a German as a Jerry.  On the other hand, Germans were recognized as being excellent engineers…

German engineering during WWII

While the necessity for out-engineering potential combatants remains, there have been more entertaining means of experiencing others’ prowess.  Regardless if “jerry rigged” is permitted in polite conversation, the meaning has all but been replaced with “MacGyver,” formerly a TV show – now a verb.

Fast forwarding a bit, next was a show that focused our ability to create from materials that we have at hand  – “Junkyard Wars.”  This show featured competitive teams trying to accomplish some particular end by “engineering” a solution with scraps in the junkyard, usually within one day.  It was interesting and entertaining, win or lose.

Recently, “Rocket City Rednecks” has put a new spin, that being NASA scientists who mix in “redneck ingenuity” to create solutions to various problems.  Interesting stuff, at least until someone decides that “redneck” is a discriminatory term that should be banned from common parlance.  But heck I reckon, if you got the smarts, use ‘em.

Which brings me, finally, to Quantum Levitation.  Maybe in 25 years, this will be a “junkyard” means of solving problems to heroes needing a derring-do, but in any case it points out that MacGyver, jerrys, or Alabama rednecks have to have a good base of scientific knowledge.

I’ve read a good bit about the below, and while I can comprehend what is being said, I’d rather encourage you to do so and enjoy the journey.


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