Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 38

Page 6

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Ted McEvoy



Out in the shed with Ted


Ted McEvoy.


Private Commemorations for

Vietnam War service personnel.


Permission to Use the Service Emblem.


War graves

All veterans who served in the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army or the RAAF are entitled to have their Service emblem/badge inscribed on their private memorial (head stone), however, for copyright reasons, permission to inscribe a badge must first be obtained from the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG).


Section 83 of the Defence Act 1903 (Cth) delegates authority to the Director of War Graves to approve the use of a Service emblem on privately erected memorials for individuals.


An on-line facility has been developed to assist in obtaining the necessary letter of permission. To get the letter, first go to the Vietnam Veterans Nominal Roll which you will find HERE, fill in the details and click Search.


You will end up with this:


Vietnam Vets nominal roll


Click on the “Permission for use of Service Badge for Commemorative Purposes” link (arrowed) and you will be taken to the site which will allow you to download the letter (you can see a copy of the letter HERE).


Veterans may wish to print the letter of permission for placement with their personal papers. Families, cemeteries and crematoria are also able to print permission letters without delay when a veteran passes. The facility to print a letter of permission is available for each veteran listed on the Vietnam Nominal Roll. The letter provided will reflect the Badge and Service number for the veteran's Vietnam War Service.


This letter can be used to acknowledge the Service of a veteran on a privately arranged memorial in a cemetery or crematorium. Foundries and monumental masons will not inscribe a Service emblem without this permission. It does not allow the use of the Service emblem in publications or on collective memorials. The Permission Letters can be printed whether the Veteran is alive or dead.

 RAAF Headstone emblem

If you require any help, contact the War Graves people at wargraves@dva.gov.au or phone 133 254 (for the cost of a local call) or 1800 555 254 for country callers.


Written requests for permission to use Australian badges or emblems other than those of the Navy, Army and/or Air Force, for example the badge of a particular Corps such as the Artillery, or a Squadron emblem in any publication (including on a memorial) should be directed to the Department of Defence:


                Defence Community Organisation


                Russell Offices

                CANBERRA ACT 2600


Permission to use emblems of foreign services should be sought from the relevant Embassy or High Commission.




Vietnam War Veterans


I have been asked several times how many Veterans from the war in Vietnam (1962-72) are still with us. Unfortunately, no one really knows.


From the DVA Treatment population figures, there were 32,719 individuals receiving entitlements as at the 11th SEP 2011. Of that number, 3,900 were dependents which means there are 29,219 Veterans known to DVA.


There were roughly 52,000 people who served in Vietnam which leaves about 22,781, none of whom receive any entitlement from DVA and therefore cannot be positively identified as still living or passed on.


There is, however, a web site which maintains a voluntary register of deceased veterans, you can find it HERE.





E10 Fuel.


If you live in Queensland and drive a car/bike/scooter that runs on standard unleaded fuel, the RACQ magazine “The Road Ahead” advises that if you normally fill up with BP you will no longer be able to get ULP at 48 of BP’s sites. BP has decided not to sell ULP WEF the end of January, but will instead only sell E10. The RACQ says that there are about 20 per cent of cars that will not run on E10 and that motorists should check before putting E10 into their cars.


You can do that HERE.






Every now and then you see a TV commercial that really takes your fancy, this is one of them, have a look at THIS.





Overseas Medical Vaccinations.

Gordon Blake

Chairman QLD State Advisory Council

Australian Veterans & Defence Services Council


After submissions made at a recent meeting of the Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council (AVADSC), which was held in Brisbane, an approach was made to the Queensland Deputy Commissioner for DVA regarding Gold Card holders being required to pay for Medical Vaccinations prior to overseas travel. Prior to 1st Aug 2010, DVA had not provided coverage for medical vaccinations for DVA clients travelling overseas, the thinking at the time was these were privately incurred expenses and therefore it was not appropriate for DVA to meet the cost.


That thinking has now been reversed. DVA has released a statement which states that as from the 1st Aug 2010 all GOLD CARD holders are eligible for all required vaccinations, the cost of which will be covered under the Gold Card arrangements. Any Gold Card holder that may have incurred charges from 1st August 2010 can seek reimbursement from DVA. It is expected that a fact sheet covering this topic will be issued shortly.


If you have any questions, please contact your nearest DVA VAN office.




Zorba the Greek - Australian style.


A group of blokes from out west decided to "Ozzyize" the traditional Zorba the Greek dance - I reckon they have definitely improved it heaps - takes a few seconds to download, but definitely worth the wait, have a look HERE


Play it full screen.




From the WTF department.


“Queensland Rail recognises that the effective management of the national rail asset is critical to provide an incentive for modal share consistent with optimised allocative efficiencies.”


(Queensland Rail submission to productivity commission)




“The enablers revolve around the creation of a fund level data store at a level of detail that will support the sort of drill downs specified in the data framework referred to above, including individual details. Above this will be a datamart derived from the data store and aggregated to a level that supports the types of analyses the client requires to identify trends or segregate segments and clusters. The use of aggregated data to establish segments and clusters and to identify trends will offer favourable response times by narrowing the amount of data to be churned in the interrogation and filtering process.”


(Memorandum sent by a superannuation administration company, Melbourne)





And now for something really important!


In every household there is always a debate on whether to go the “A” route or the “B” route. Some people are strongly supportive of the “A” route while others favour the “B” route and there are a few who don’t care one way or the other and can’t understand all the fuss. But the “A” and “B” people are fiercely supportive of their individual route and this has  been known to cause enormous problems in the household, stand up fights, separation, divorce, murder, are all the norm as a result of arguing which way is best and rightly so as it is a very important matter and should not be lightly disregarded. We believe all State Governments are establishing a dedicated court process to help sort this problem out and not before time.


Which way are you, “A” or “B” – click HERE




And for something really nice.


Legendary British film director, Sir Ridley Scott, launched a global film making contest for aspiring directors. The contest was called  "Tell It Your Way". There were over 600 entries.

Keegan Wilcox
The film could be no longer than three minutes, contain only 6 lines of narrative and be a compelling story. The winner was a little film called "Porcelain Unicorn" which was directed by American Keegan Wilcox (right).

It's a story of the lifetimes of two people (1930 – 1945) who are totally opposite, yet, very much the same - all told in less than 3 minutes.

I can see why it won - Click HERE to see it, enjoy!



Air Force fuel management trial for Hercules.

RAAF News.


The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will undertake a fuel management trial for its Hercules aircraft which provide a valuable airlift capability for the Air Force. The Minister for Defence Materiel, the Hon Kym Carr MP today announced commencement of the trial which would help the Air Force improve fuel efficiency without adversely impacting on capability or maintenance costs.


The fuel management trial will record how the C-130J Hercules’ engines consume fuel during different stages of flight and when undertaking different tasks, so that the Air Force can identify potential areas to reduce fuel costs.

(I thought that's what the fuel flow metres did!!)


The trial will see international experts from Rolls Royce transferring knowledge to our own Air Force crews, so in the future Air Force will be able to carry out their operations and training in a more fuel-efficient way.

 RAAF C-130J

Commercial operators have already conducted similar fuel management trials and reduced their costs, however Air Force works to a considerably different model than the commercial sector. This type of innovation is part of Air Force’s commitment to Defence's Strategic Reform Program and to reduce the environmental footprint. The 12-month trial will deliver an accurate record of the fuel consumption during C-130J flights by No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond.

(And I thought that's what the 500 was for!!!)


Following the trial, Rolls Royce will provide suggestions on how Air Force can manage fuel costs associated with its C-130J Hercules fleet. It is expected that the lessons learnt from the fuel trial can also be applied to the C-130H Hercules. Air Force intends to reduce its Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants budget across its entire fleet by about $150 million over the remainder of this decade as part of the Strategic Reform Program. (Perhaps they could use Coles/Woolies fuel vouchers)


The Air Force uses the Hercules extensively in a variety of environments. Three C-130Js are operated in the Middle East Area of Operations to support Australian and Coalition forces in Afghanistan, and the Hercules is also routinely called upon to support short-notice humanitarian tasks.




Problem solved!!


I had no idea. You learn something every day.  Have you ever wondered why those wonderful dreamy appendages which are a prominent part of the female form are called Boobs??  Well, I have pondered that for many many years and at last I know.


If you want to know, click HERE and all will be revealed.


No need to thank me....Just trying to keep friends informed and educated. Have a nice day…




Traffic Lights.


By definition traffic control is the supervision of the movement of people, goods, or vehicles to ensure efficiency and safety. In 1935, England established the first 30 MPH speed limit for town and village roads. Rules are one method of controlling traffic, however, many iJohn Knight memorial, Londonnventions are used to support traffic control, for example, in 1994, William Hartman was issued a patent for a method and apparatus for painting highway markings or lines.


Perhaps the best known of all inventions related to traffic control are traffic lights.


It seems a chicken and eggy, but traffic lights were invented and used before someone invented the motorcar. In 1868, British railroad signal engineer, J P Knight, invented the first traffic light, a lantern with red and green signals. It was installed at the intersection of George and Bridge Streets in front of the British House of Commons to control the flow of horse buggies and pedestrians.


When cars were introduced to the US in the late 1890s, the need for traffic control soon became obvious. A number of people came up with ideas for traffic control. In 1910,Traffic Light tree Earnest Sirrine of Chicago, Illinois filed for a patent (no 976,939) for what is considered the first automatic street traffic system, using non-illuminated words STOP and PROCEED.


In 1912, Lester Wire of Salt Lake City, Utah invented an electric traffic light that used red and green lights. However, he did not apply for a patent. The next year, James Hoge received patent no 1,251,666 for a manually controlled traffic light system using electric lights. It was installed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914, displaying the words STOP and MOVE.


The first traffic light system to use red and green lights were patented by William Ghiglieri of San Francisco, California in 1917 (patented no 1,224,632). His design could be operated manually or automatically.


The amber light was added in 1920 by William Potts, a Detroit policeman. He actually invented several traffic light systems, including the overhang four-way system, but did not apply for patents. The first person to apply for a patent to produce inexpensive traffic lights was Garrett Morgan, who received his patent in 1923.


Of course, these invention things can get slightly out of hand.......




Paris Air Show


At the Paris Air Show in June 2011 there was a demonstration of how to fly a Lockheed C130J Hercules. It has been suggested to be the best demonstration ever seen of a large aircraft.


The aircraft was flown on the ragged edge of the envelope, but like Bob Hoover's demonstrations, the pilot is very smooth and has extraordinary feeling for the aircraft and energy. You can hear the female voice warnings throughout and the Co-Pilot silencing them as they never need to be disconnected. The Pilot continues to talk with the Co-Pilot verifying his statements and readings. Great cockpit team. Right on the stall on landing and minimum run with maximum reverse. It was a hell of a show.


You can see it two ways, from inside the aircraft HERE and from the ground HERE. It is best watched on full screen. Glad I wasn’t in it!!




This story gives the term "Test Pilot" a whole new meaning.


Joe Kittinger is not a household aviation name like Neil Armstrong or Chuck Yeager, but what he did for the U. S. space program is comparable. On the 16th Aug. 1960, as research for the then-fledgling U. S. space program, Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger rode a helium balloon to the edge of space, 102,800 feet (31.3 klms)  above the earth, a feat in itself.


Then, wearing just a thin pressure suit and breathing supplemental oxygen, he leaned over the cramped confines of his gondola and jumped, into the 110-degree-below-zero, near-vacuum of space. Within seconds his body accelerated to 714 mph (1,149.07 km/h) in the thin air, breaking the sound barrier.  


Joe Kittinger

After free-falling for more than four and a half minutes, slowed finally by friction from the heavier air below, he felt his parachute open at 14,000 feet, and he coasted gently down to the New Mexico desert floor. Kittinger's feat showed scientists that astronauts could survive the harshness of space with just a pressure suit and that man could eject from aircraft at extreme altitudes and survive.


Upon Kittinger's return to base, a congratulatory telegram was waiting from the Mercury seven astronauts, including Alan Shepard and John Glenn.


More than four decades later Kittinger's two world records, the highest parachute jump, and the only man to break the sound barrier without an aircraft and live, still stand.


Joe was asked to describe the event in his own words, he says:-   “We got up at 2.00 am to start filling the helium balloon. At sea level, it was 35 to 40 feet wide and 200 feet high; at altitude, due to the low air pressure, it expanded to 25 stories in width, and still was 20 stories high!


At 4.00 am I began breathing pure oxygen for two hours. That's how long it takes to remove all the nitrogen from your blood so you don't get the bends going so high so fast. Then it was a lengthy dress procedure layering warm clothing under my pressure suit. They kept me in air-conditioning until it was time to launch because we were in the desert and I wasn't supposed to sweat. If I did, my clothes would freeze on the way up.



A diet is the penalty for exceeding the feed limit.



Joe Kittinger

It took an hour and a half to get to altitude. It was cold. At 40,000 feet, the glove on my right hand hadn't inflated. I knew that if I radioed my doctor, he would abort the flight. If that happened, I knew I might never get another chance because there were lots of people who didn’t want this test to happen.


I took a calculated risk that I might lose the use of my right hand. It quickly swelled up and I did lose use of it for the duration of the flight, but the rest of the pressure suit worked. When I reached 102,800 feet, maximum altitude, I wasn't quite over the target.


So I drifted for 11 minutes. The winds were out of the east. What's it look like from so high up? You can see about 400 miles in every direction. The formula is 1.25 x the sq. root of the altitude in thousands of feet. (The square root of 102,000 ft is 319 X 1.25 = 399 miles).


The most fascinating thing is that it's just black overhead, the transition from normal blue to black is very stark. You can't see stars because there's a lot of glare from the sun, so your pupils are too small. I was struck with the beauty of it. But I was also struck by how hostile it is, more than 100 degrees below zero and no air. If my protection suit failed, I would be dead in a few seconds. Blood actually boils above 62,000 feet.


I went through my 46-step checklist, disconnected from the balloon’s power supply and lost all communication with the ground. I was totally under power from the kit on my back. When everything was done, I stood up, turned around to the door, took one final look out and said a silent prayer: "Lord, take care of me now." Then I just jumped over the side.”


“I had gone through simulations of the jump many times, more than 100. I rolled over and looked up, and there was the balloon just roaring into space. I realized that the balloon wasn't roaring into space; I was going down at a fantastic rate! At about 90,000 feet (27.5 klms), I reached 714 mph.



What is the primary advantage of rotary-winged aircraft over fixed-winged aircraft??

Don't know? - click HERE!



Joe Kittinger

The altimeter on my wrist was unwinding very rapidly. But there was no sense of speed. How you determine speed is by visual reference, if you see something go flashing by you know you’re speeding, but nothing flashes by 20 miles up, there are no signposts there, and you are way above any clouds. When the chute opened, the rest of the jump was anticlimactic because everything had worked perfectly. I landed 12 or 13 minutes later, and there was my crew waiting. We were elated.


My right hand hurt--there was quite a bit of swelling and the blood pressure in my arm was high. But that went away in a few days, and I regained full use of my hand. The jump was done for air crews and astronauts, for the learning, not to set a record. Somebody will beat it someday. Records are made to be broken. And I'll be elated. But I'll also be concerned that they¹re properly trained. If they're not, they're taking a heck of a risk”.


As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible,

but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.


Seeing but blind??


A problem pilots have is looking out the front window and not seeing everything that is out there. We all know that the mind is a strange bit of gear and at times it can actually make things that you should see completely disappear. This can be a bit embarrassing especially if that something happens to be a solid immovable object and you bang into it. This ‘trick’ is caused by two phenomena, Motion Induced Blindness and/or Troxler’s Effect.

 The forest joke

The term Motion Induced Blindness (MIB) was ‘invented’ in 2001 to describe a phenomenon that had been first observed back in the 1960s but which had been largely ignored until accidentally rediscovered again with the use of modern computer graphics.  It is the phenomenon of visual disappearance in which stationary objects “disappear” for seconds at a time when masked with a moving background. It holds true whether you're just sitting down, or when driving or when flying an aircraft. A classic example of this is watching the football (Aussie Rules of course as that other game is not football). If you’re in the stand watching the footy and you keep your eyes on the ball, the other players in your peripheral vision gradually fade away. It’s unsure whether this happens without us noticing it but it is inherently dangerous, researches think it could be the cause of some accidents. When driving at night, drivers could temporarily miss the relatively stationery red tail lights of the cars in front while they are paying attention to the moving head lights coming from the opposite direction. It’s the steady fixation that causes the disappearance, when you blink or shift your gaze everything re-appears.


Click HERE to see an example.


Troxler's Fading or Troxler's Effect, which we’ve know about since 1804, is similar, but different!!


Troxler’s Fading is a phenomenon of visual perception. When you fix your gaze on a particular point for about 20 seconds or so, most of what you see in your peripheral vision will gradually fade away. The effect is enhanced the further away from the fixation point the peripheral objects are or if they are small, or similar in colour and not as bright/contrast.


There is a scientific explanation of why/how this happens – it’s got to do with the adaptation of neurons and stuff, or fixated stimulus, so we won’t go into it, but an example of neuron adaptation can be explained thus:

 Troxler effect

Get a small light object, such as a postage stamp, and drop onto your arm. You will feel it hit your arm and you will feel it on your arm for a short while then you won’t.  This is because the tactile neurons have adapted. But if you move your arm up and down, you’ll start to feel it again. Sound is the same, how often has someone said you to “how can you sleep on that base (that’s going back a bit to when we all used to) with all those aircraft doing engine runs. Normally the sound from the engine runs had just disappeared to us as we were “used” to it, but as soon as someone mentioned it we heard it again.


The eye ball adapts the same way. When an immobile object is seen as a fixated stimulus and is stationery on the eye’s retina, the body’s computer, the old brain, will think, seen that, what’s next and will fade it from your conscience sight.


Pilots have always been told to continually keep your eyes moving and keep their head on a swivel" because this was the best way to survive, not only in combat, but from peacetime hazards as well (like power lines, a mid-air collisions etc).


To test it, stare at the black cross in the image above, after a while the coloured portion will disappear – ain’t life strange!!!



A heart-warming story. A small boy was lost at a large shopping mall. He approached a uniformed policeman and said, 'I've lost my grandpa!' 'The cop asked, 'What's he like?' The little boy hesitated for a moment and then replied, 'Johnnie Walker Black Label and women with big boobs.'






This is an answer given by Sol Trujillo, who used to be the boss of Telstra, to a question asked of him at a Telstra Investor Day back in November 2008.


“In terms of where we focus our efforts in relation to solutions consistent with my presentation, the good news in terms of opportunity is that we are still quite under-penetrated in data take-up, so it is very low single digits in terms of data attach rates, and even the adoption of smart phones is really at the beginning of an adoption curve.”


Anyone got any idea what that means??



Nobody has ever come up a great idea after a second bottle of water.



Number 1 hit song


Click HERE to hear the number 1 hit song sung in the Riana area in Tasmania. It is believed that it is also popular in the Maleny area in Queensland.




Drive as though everyone else on the road is a nut.


Please, take care of yourself. A recent joint study conducted by the Victorian Dept. of Health and the RTA indicates that 23% of traffic accidents are alcohol-related. This means that the remaining 77% are caused by mugs who just drink tea, coffee, lattes, carbonated drinks, juices, milkshakes and stuff like that. Therefore, beware of those who do not drink alcohol. They cause three times as many accidents.



An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.



How We Work In Australia


Don’t laugh – it’s true!!!


How we work in Oz!



Perth in 1954


If you’re an old Perth boy (or girl) you will like this. The Australian Film Board did a short PR film on Perth back in 1954. Perth certainly has changed since then, though you will still recognise a lot of places. Click HERE






If you’re still in business, or you have a son or daughter who is in business and the business operates by giving credit to its customers, you’ll know that one of the biggest problems is getting paid. Customers always try and stretch out the payment terms, that normal business, what is not normal business and which can be very painful, is having the customer default by going insolvent.


The Government has set up the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) which can help. The PPSR will also tell you if the asset you wish to buy has a monkey on its back. Nothing worse than buying a machine, car or boat only find out that Mr Bank still owns half of it and wants payment before you can have it.


The PPSR should be a very useful tool for business – you can get further info HERE




Ralph and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool, Ralph suddenly jumped into the deep end. He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there. Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled him out. When the Head Nurse became aware of Edna's heroic act she immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as she now considered her to be mentally stable. When she went to tell Edna the news she said, 'Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you're being discharged, since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of the person you love... I have concluded that your act displays sound mindedness. The bad news is, Ralph hung himself in the bathroom with his bathrobe belt right after you saved him. I am so sorry, but he's dead.' Edna replied, 'He didn't hang himself, I put him there to dry.. How soon can I go home?'



The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

General George Patton (1885–1945)




The Age of the 707.

As remembered by a retired AA captain....


Those were the good ole days. Pilots back then were men that didn't want to be women or girly men. Pilots all knew who Jimmy Doolittle was. Pilots drank coffee, whiskey, smoked cigars and didn't wear digital watches. They carried their own suitcases and brain bags, like the real men they were. Pilots didn't bend over into the crash position multiple times each day in front of the passengers at security so that some Gov't agent could probe for tweezers or fingernail clippers or too much toothpaste.


Pilots did not go through the terminal impersonating a caddy pulling a bunch of golf clubs, computers, guitars, and feed bags full of tofu and granola on a sissy-trailer with no hat and granny glasses hanging on a pink string around their pencil neck while talking to their personal trainer on the cell phone!!!


Being an airline Captain was as good as being the King in a Mel Brooks movie. All the Stewardesses (aka. Hosties) were young, attractive, single women that were proud to be combatants in the sexual revolution. They didn't have to turn sideways, grease up and suck it in to get through the cockpit door. They would blush, and say thank you, when told that they looked good, instead of filing a sexual harassment claim.


 Boeing 707


Junior Stewardesses shared a room and talked about men.... with no thoughts of substitution. Passengers wore nice clothes and were polite; they could speak and understand English. They didn't speak gibberish or listen to loud gangster rap on their IPods. They bathed regularly and didn't smell like a rotting pile of garbage in a jogging suit and thongs.


Children didn't travel alone, commuting between trailer parks.


There were no Biggest Losers asking for a seatbelt extension or a Scotch and grapefruit juice cocktail with a twist. If the Captain wanted to throw some offensive, ranting jerk off the airplane, it was done without any worries of a lawsuit or getting fired. Axial flow engines crackled with the sound of freedom and left an impressive black smoke trail like a locomotive burning soft coal. Jet fuel was cheap and once the throttles were pushed up they were left there. After all, it was the jet age and the idea was to go fast (run like a lizard on a hardwood floor). "Economy cruise" was something in the performance book, but no one knew why or where it was.


When the clacker went off, no one got all tight and scared because Boeing built it out of iron. Nothing was going to fall off and that sound had the same effect on real pilots then, as Viagra does now for these new age guys. There was very little plastic and no composites on the airplanes (or the Stewardesses' pectoral regions). Airplanes and women had eye-pleasing symmetrical curves, not a bunch of ugly vortex generators, ventral fins, winglets, flow diverters, tattoos, rings in their nose, tongues and eyebrows.


Airlines were run by men like Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker (Eastern Airlines), C.R. Smith (American Airlines) and Juan Trippe (Pan Am), who had built their companies virtually from scratch, knew most of their employees by name, and were lifetime airline employees themselves.....not pseudo financiers and bean counters who flit from one occupation to another for a few bucks, a better parachute or a fancier title, while fervently believing that they are a class of beings unto themselves.


And so it was back then....and never will be again!





Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man.

What is first, you ask?  Landing, of course.



An Engineering story.


A toothpaste factory had a problem: they sometimes shipped empty boxes, without the tube inside. This was due to the way the production line was set up, and people with experience in designing production lines will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timing so precise that every single unit coming out of it is perfect 100% of the time. Small variations in the environment (which can’t be controlled in a cost-effective fashion) mean you must have quality assurance checks smartly distributed across the line so that customers all the way down to the supermarket don’t get ticked-off and buy another product instead.


Understanding how important that was, the CEO of the toothpaste factory got the top people in the company together and they decided to start a new project, in which they would hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem, as their engineering department was already too stretched to take on any extra effort.


The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP, third-parties selected, and six months (and $8 million) later they had a fantastic solution — on time, on budget, high quality and everyone in the project had a great time. They solved the problem by using high-tech precision scales that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box would weigh less than it should. The line would stop, and someone had to walk over and yank the defective box out of it, pressing another button when done to re-start the line.

 Tooth paste

A while later, the CEO decides to have a look at the ROI of the project: amazing results! No empty boxes ever shipped out of the factory after the scales were put in place. Very few customer complaints, and they were gaining market share. “That’s some money well spent!” he says, before looking closely at the other statistics in the report.


It turns out, after three weeks of production use, the number of defects picked up by the scales was 0. It should’ve been picking up at least a dozen a day, so maybe there was something wrong with the report. He launched an investigation and after some work, the engineers come back saying the report was actually correct. The scales really weren't picking up any defects, because all boxes that got to that point in the conveyor belt were good.


Puzzled, the CEO travelled down to the factory, and walked up to the part of the line where the precision scales were installed. A few feet before the scale, there was a $20 desk fan, blowing any empty boxes off of the belt and into a bin.


“Oh, that,” says one of the workers — “one of the guys put it there ’cause he was tired of walking over every time the bell rang”.




Blessed are those who are cracked,

for they are the ones who let in the light!



The Chook



Ok, Ok!! – I’m going back to my room now!!




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