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Scienced

21 October, 2008

I have fallen out with my suitcase.

It’s not the retro look of the thing; I can live with the battered orange faux-leather and swashbuckling buckles, even though it invites regular mockery. (No, Rob, I didn’t get it from a car-boot sale, it’s practically a family heirloom.)

It’s not the handle, designed by someone who was apparently under the impression that ergonomics is for wimps.

It’s not even the gently rusting locks, or the broken strut that leaves one side partially open. This is, after all, a well-travelled suitcase.

No. It’s that pulling it by the handle over even the smallest of bumps sets off a sideways oscillation which isn’t damped by Ryanair’s regulation 15kg of stuff. There is an ominous rattling as it hops from one wheel to the other, which rapidly amplifies to full-on alternating wheelies. If you keep pulling, in an I-don’t-have-time-for-unexpected-science manner, it will carve wildly around the pavement behind you before finally toppling over. The orange faux-leather will smack onto the pavement for the nth time, and for the nth time I will wish I’d had the sense to take a taxi. Or… you know… buy a new suitcase.

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4 comments

  1. They had a similar problem with London’s Millennium (aka “wobbly”) bridge. What you need are tuned mass dampers. Should be easy to construct using cans of Guinness and rubber bungees. Might be a few problems getting through airport security though!


  2. I like that the term “scienced” is now being used and spread. I feel like I’ve achieved something.


  3. […] The suitcase itself. Woohoo! […]


  4. […] manufacturers, as far as I can tell, don’t take into account the laws of physics when they design their products. It’s not that my suitcase is very old, or that I do as much […]



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