Today, February 21, is Dave Needle Day
(photo taken at Google Campus by Reichart Von Wolfsheild)
In remembrance of Dave Needle.
People call me to figure out or solve all sorts of mysteries or problems daily ... but when I was stumped, I used to call Dave Needle.
One day I showed up to shoot an episode of Invention USA. The show did not have a 'safety officer,' or anything close to this. An amazing number of things we tested were outright ... lethal. This day, we were to 'live test' a type of Taser Gun that fired self-contained charges. In other words, a wireless Taser gun.
What it actually turned out to be was a device that projected a capacitor with the leads pointing towards the target (or victim), as the leads had been sharpened into spikes!
Without going into all the details, I was instantly very concerned about this. Tasers use very high voltage (low amps) to disrupt your nerves. But ‘caps’ unload all the amps almost instantly, and if they are high enough voltage, just one can do some real damage. Now imagine several being fired near your heart, which is normally not something that happens, but these were designed to do just this.
I held up production to call ... Dave. I took a sample cap and we began trying to calculate the risk here. Dave instantly understood how serious this was, dropped what he was doing, and we worked to try to model dangers. Literally, an entire crew was standing by tapping their feet because I refused to even walk into the house until I had a clear understanding of what could go wrong.
I briefed the producers, and a few of the crew I trusted (one was a former EMT) what we can and can’t do here, and what to be prepared for. Delightfully the young inventor was actually clear on the dangers himself, and it turned out it was mostly something that started as a sort of prank that grew into contacting our show. Everyone was very professional and careful.
There are very few actual inventors on this planet, we lost one of the great ones when Needle-san, a Jovian who came to Earth, returned to Jupiter.
City Council Alameda
Original post on LinkedIn by Reichart Von Wolfshield