Casio MS-8 calculator

Casio Calc 2

Ask any Police Constable who has been on the beat for a while and he/she will attest to the truth that the stuff that gets stolen tends to be the more popular items such as iPhones, Samsung Galaxy 8 and the Casio MS-8 calculators. What?

Well, in my house it doesn’t seem to matter how many I buy my light fingered family, if quizzed would crumble and admit that they too had borrowed – yes that it’s there, there in your handbag…. one of my favourites, a design classic and iconic piece of desk hardware – the Casio MS-8 calculator.

The cleanliness of its simple lines, its above average sized display and built in power source with a simple solar cell makes the Casio MS-8 just very good at doing its job. Also, on newer models before it switches off, to save the solar cell’s charge the word “CASIO” is displayed on its screen just in case you may have forgotten who delivered you such a masterful display of calculation.

My parents, despairing at my obvious inabilities with simple maths homework, allowed me in 1975 to be one of the first kids on the block to enjoy the crunchy key technology and fluorescent eight digit display of the Sinclair Oxford 200. It was designed by electronics genius Sir Clive Sinclair, known in the UK as the man who invented the pocket calculator and his fine work certainly saw me cruise certain tricky maths tests.

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It amuses me, forty years on, to see the contents of my old school pencil case’s on display at international design museums – but it was truly innovative.

The paucity of calculators on sale at any major supermarket chain confirms my suspicions that the available calculator apps on iPhones and Galaxies are, for many, the extent necessary of their need for to calculate. Whilst I am very fond of my iPhone and many of its amazing functions are breathtaking its calculator is rubbish and irritates me  – despite a recent update that appears to have done little more than change its colours and fonts!

Whilst my son has mastered the heights of a scientific calculator. His came with a manual the depth of “War and Peace” printed in several European languages but its complexity is daunting for the simplest percentage or fractional calculation.

There is a childish trick that I always perform on a box-fresh Casio MS-8 calculator; my dear Dad was an oil man who worked in for many years in senior capacities at Shell. At some point in 1975, he showed me that by computing the sum “14215469 x 5” the result being “71077345” when the calculator is inverted it reads “SHELLOlL” – go on try it I know you want to…..

Here, get your very own Casio MS-8 calculator by clicking the following AMAZON link Casio MS-80VERII 8 Digit Currency Desk Calculator

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Images courtesy of Casio/Nigel Tout at vintagecalculators.com

 

Loctite Super Glue

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The breadth of its uses are virtually limitless. There are few surfaces – other than glass – that cannot be repaired by its judicious application. Yet infuriation is all to often experienced as you fail to notice whilst carefully applying it to the intended area of repair that you have, in fact, fused your thumb and fore-finger.

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The iconic product the can achieve this dubious success is, of course, Super Glue. “Super Glue” is a trade mark now used extensively but often associated with the “Loctite” brand – a German owned US company founded in 1956 – that was rebranded “Loctite” in 1963.

Its logo is now akin to that of a Superhero – DC Comic Book Superheroes.

The core of this small but hugely influential product is the catchily named “Cyanoacrylates”, which are a family of strong, fast-acting adhesives that have an infuriatingly short shelf life – whether or not they reopened. Included in this family of chemicals is “ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate” that is commonly sold as “Super Glue”. Other variants have medical applications, as anyone who has had a wound dressed with the last decade will attest to. Indeed first uses can be traced to 1966 when a spray was developed that was used on injured military personnel in Vietnam to reduce bleeding.

The Goodrich Company filed the original patent for cyanoacrylate in 1942. A group of scientists including Harry Coover Jr. discovered the formulation largely by accident whilst researching clear plastics to make gun-sights. It wasn’t until 1951, whilst working for Eastman Kodak on jet airplane’s cockpit construction, that Coover and his colleague, Fred Joyner, saw the commercial application for an adhesive that stuck to literally everything. A Patent for the new adhesive was applied for on 2nd June 1954 which was granted on 23rd October 1956. The product was first sold in 1958 as “Eastman #910”.

During the 1960s, Eastman Kodak sold cyanoacrylate to Loctite who repackaged it and marketed it as “Loctite Quick Set 404”. In time Loctite developed their own manufacturing capability and acquired market share very rapidly such that by the late 1970’s Loctite and Eastman Kodak (in a new guise as “Permabond”) together controlled around 75% of the US industrial cyanoacrylate market.

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The addition of rubber to the cyanoacrylate makes Superglues flexible and by adding bi-carbonate of soda it is given the properties of a very effective filler.

So what are the tried and trusted techniques to unseal glued fingers?

Solution 1 – Soak the skin in warm soapy water to soften the glue. With an acetone-based nail polish remover the cyanoacrylate will soften. Use an emery board to remove the residue of glue or let it peel off.

Solution 2 – Dip the affected fingers in sugar or salt paste – just add water!

Solution 3 – Pour olive oil or spread margarine over the affected area and gently rub together.

Solution 4 – Rub petroleum jelly or liquid detergent diluted with a small amount of water  into the stuck skin.

If the glue affects the eyes try none of the above and great straight to A&E/ER!

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Images Courtesy of Henkel/Loctite

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