Advice for My Friends in the North: Use Your Meat Stylus

Over the last couple of weeks, the east coast has seen more than its share of snow. Reports of snowfall in excess of three feet were not uncommon from central Virginia northward.  We even got a few inches here in the dirty South.  It’s tough in the streets.

With all of this epic snowfall, people are spending a lot of time in their warm weather gear.  While I am emphatically pro-gloves, I’ve found that they are becoming a greater hindrance as modernity progresses.  Glove wearers exist in perpetual fat-fingering hell, and in the age of miniaturization, that means constantly removing your gloves in order to interact with the rest of the world.  As an iPhone user, I find this particularly frustrating.  Unlike a mobile phone with a mini qwerty keyboard, the iPhone’s virtual keyboard is relatively fat-finger resist. I feel like I could operate it responsibly from a gloved state, were it not for the nature of the touch interface.  For those of you who haven’t used one before, the iPhone is not pressure sensitive.  It employs a multi-touch capacitive screen that interacts with the user by sensing interruptions in an electrical current it generates along its surface.  Gloves, being good insulators, typically prevent this interaction.  So for my friends in the North, I bring you a solution.

South Koreans contending with the same dilemma devised a clever work-around. Sausages, while not only tasty, can be used as a human finger analogue that is capable of operating an iPhone.  The shrink-wrapped variety of vending machine infamy is preferable for the task, as they don’t tend to leave grease trails of your recent activity. Being a dutiful skeptic, I vetted this particular technique using what I had on-hand, frozen from-a-box mini sausage links.  After a brief learning curve, I grew comfortable with my meat stylus. I banged out a quick email and read an article on Nature‘s new iPhone app (which, by the way, gives access to content free-of-charge until the end of April).  After a time, my sausage thawed enough  to leave sufficient grease on the screen that I could no longer clearly make out what I was doing.  I am indoors however, so the accurate longevity of sausage freeze could not be quantified.  In situ, it may perform comparably to its shrink-wrapped counterpart.  Further trials are needed.

So, when you find yourself shoveling out again after more snow this weekend, don’t forget to bring your sausage.  If ridiculed by friends or family, text secure in the knowledge that you’re not alone.  Sales of CJ Corporation’s snack sausages are spiking as this meme of ingenuity takes hold across South Korea.  So while others may scramble to remove a glove for an incoming call, all you have to do is whip out your sausage.

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~ by Wil Finley on February 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “Advice for My Friends in the North: Use Your Meat Stylus”

  1. Great article Wil! You had me laughing out loud. I’m looking out my window now at about 6 inches of snow piled up on everything. The only think that’s not white are the horses running around wondering what happened to the grass!

  2. Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. We’ve got quite a bit of snowfall here as well, maybe 4 inches or so. I seriously debated getting a sausage link before going out. Thanks to Joe Moreau for providing a less messy solution: http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-A-Glove-Work-With-A-Touch-Screen/

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