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How to Win a Climate Debate

By Keith Kloor
Apr 6, 2011 7:47 AMNov 20, 2019 4:39 AM


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H/T: This meandering thread at Lucia's, where the faucet scene in My Cousin Vinny was fondly recalled. Vinny Gambini: [Vinny hears a drip in the motel bathroom] Weren't you the last one to use the bathroom? Lisa: So? Vinny Gambini: Well, did you use the faucet? Lisa: Yeah. Vinny Gambini: Then why didn'tcha turn it off? Lisa: I DID turn it off! Vinny Gambini: Well, if you turned it off, why am I listening to it? Lisa: Did it ever occur to you it could be turned off AND drip at the same time? Vinny Gambini: No. Because if you'd turned it off, it wouldn't drip! Lisa: Maybe it's broken. Vinny Gambini: Is that what you're saying? It's broken? Lisa: Yeah. That's it, it's broken. Vinny Gambini: You sure? Lisa: I'm positive. Vinny Gambini: Maybe you didn't twist it hard enough. Lisa: I twisted it just right. Vinny Gambini: How could you be so sure? Lisa: [sighs] If you will look in the manual, you will see that this particular model faucet requires a range of 10 to 16 foot-pounds of torque. I routinely twist the maximum allowable torquage. Vinny Gambini: Well, how could you be sure you used 16 foot-pounds of torque? Lisa: Because I used a Craftsman model 1019 Laboratory Edition Signature Series torque wrench. The kind used by Caltech high energy physicists. And NASA engineers. Vinny Gambini: Well, in that case, how can you be sure THAT's accurate? Lisa: Because a split second before the torque wrench was applied to the faucet handle, it had been calibrated by top members of the state AND federal Department of Weights and Measures... to be dead on balls accurate! [She rips a page out of a magazine and hands it to him] Lisa: Here's the certificate of validation. Vinny Gambini: Dead on balls accurate? Lisa: It's an industry term. Vinny Gambini: [tosses paper away] I guess the fucking thing is broken.

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