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Russian Ingenuity Shines Through Again

You may be familiar with the story of NASA’s problem with writing on paper in the gravity-less void of space. Rumor has it that NASA spent millions upon millions to develop their “astronaut pen” which would work in space. They succeeded, but in overcoming the problem, the Russian space program’s thinkers came up with a much simpler solution - the pencil.
While the story may not be completely true, as it wasn’t NASA themselves who developed the special pen, but a private contractor working for NASA that did the research - probably surely with NASA funding. This point was made as it is applicable in this video of an excavator in Russia being used to evacuate the driver of a van which is stranded in a flooded area. The excavator is positioned so that the driver can easily climb into its cup and is then taken to safety.

If an alien came from outer space and saw this for the very first time, it would be convinced that the excavator was designed for just such a rescue job, even though it wasn’t. The point is that no single tool is really specialized for one single job, even those tools which are designed for a purpose can and are adapted for other uses. Another, more simplistic way, to explain this is putting a book under a table leg to keep it straight - the book servers at least a dual purpose, as on a hot day you could flap it around to keep yourself cool.
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