Archimedes' Screw

I was thinking about door handles this week. Jen and I recently bought some snazzy, 1950's-style ones to go with the ones she brought here from her last house. They are extremely cool.

What I was thinking was, aren't door handles so much better than door knobs? Apparently, Americans really love door knobs, while we Brits tend to go for handles. The Americans are wrong. Door knobs are totally stupid: you can't get a proper purchase on them when you turn them; whereas door handles are proper levers.

Archimedes reckoned, if you gave him somewhere to stand and a big enough lever, he could move the earth. This wasn't just idle torque on Archimedes' part; levers are definitely where it's at. You certainly wouldn't catch Archimedes saying, "Give me a big enough knob, and I will move the earth".

Although it's a hell of a chat-up line.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. I wonder if knobs and screws really are as mutually exclusive as you suggest. In my world they are pretty interdependant.



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