Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Wiki-Keys to My Wiki-Heart

Well, I was going to blog yesterday, but as most of you know, Wikipedia was blacked-out yesterday in protest to SOPA. I totally support their choice and I am glad that they took a firm stand on the issue. I too blacked-out as protest to SOPA...of course, my black-out was alcohol induced, not website related.

Anyway, back to my point.  I, like most college students and lazy people, rely heavily on Wikipedia for my fact finding; which is why there was no blog yesterday.  I mean, what am I supposed to do without it? Crack open a book? What am I, Amish?

So, I apologize for the delay. Here's the blog that is nowhere near worth the wait.....

Ever thought about keyholes? No? Me neither, until today when I had to come up with a subject for today's blog.

  • First up, "keyholes" are apparently called "keyways," according to Wikipedia. What? That's bullshit, Wikipedia! Wait, I'm sorry, Wikipedia. I love you, come back. Don't leave me again. We can work this out. You don't have to black-out, baby.
  • Most traditional "keyways" (see, Wiki-baby, I can change. I love you) are of the "warded lock" variety. Simply put, this is a keyhole (way) that uses a set of obstructions that prevent the lock from turning unless the appropriate key is used. The warded lock is the most ancient lock design that is still in use today. However, a cleverly made skeleton key can open a warded lock.
  • Speaking of, skeleton keys are so named because their shape is reduced to just the essential parts. It's the skeleton key's simplicity that allows it to slip through the warded lock obstructions.
  • Which brings me to lock pickers. Lock picking isn't just for seedy 1940's movie criminals, see. It's actually a sport of sorts. It requires a great deal of reasoning and dexterity. There's even a website called Lock Picking 101, which is both cool and scary.
  • Here's something: in the Medieval Spain, neighborhood watchmen, instead of the homeowner, held the keys to every house in the area. When the homeowner came home and needed to be let in the house, they would clap their hands to get the watchman's attention to let them into their own house. Talk about bureaucracy.
  • The oldest lock was found near Nineveh (which was an ancient Assyrian city on the banks of the Tigris. Thank you, Wikipedia ) and is over 4,000 years old. They should take that lock to Antiques Roadshow. 
And here's another fun fact: This particular keyhole was $48, but is on sale today, 1/19/12, for just $40. Yes!

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