and, then there is politics http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/race.html#Anchor-23142
and there's absurd inventions (like the one above) http://www.totallyabsurd.com/
And there is this, which I first saw as a very low grade Xerox (TM) copy back in the dark days
And this, which was handed to me by an IBM engineer when we worked together on a large project
Mouse balls are now available as FRU (field replacement units) therefore, if a mouse fails to operate or should it perform erratically, it may need a ball replacement.
Because of the delicate nature of this
procedure, replacement of mouse balls should only be attempted by properly
trained personnel. Before proceeding, determine the type of mouse balls by
examining the underside of the mouse.
Domestic balls will be larger and harder than foreign balls.
Ball removal procedures differ
depending upon the manufacturer of the mouse. Foreign balls can be replaced
using the pop off method.
Domestic balls are replaced by using the twist off method.
Mouse balls are not usually static sensitive. However, excessive handling can result in sudden discharge.
Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse may be used immediately. It is recommended that each engineer have a pair of spare balls for maintaining optimum customer satisfaction.
Any customer missing his balls should suspect local personnel of removing these necessary items.
And then there is the 747 runaway seat procedure, what I recall is that it is very close to the text below, but I read it long before the Concorde was flying. The copy I had (have?) was on Boeing flight manual pages. I was told by flight test engineers who ought to know that the genesis was a real incident in which a switch jammed and the seat went full forward and then full up.
Initial Action: Determine
which seat is running away. During the stress of routine operations, it is
possible to mistake which seat is running away. Example: if the captain’s seat
is out of control forward, it shall appear to the captain that the first
officer’s is running backwards. This is a common form of disorientation and
will only last until the captain is emasculated on the control column. Do not
disengage the autopilot at this time as a violent pitch down will result. In
order to determine which seat is the runaway, suggested procedure is to awaken
the flight engineer for trouble shooting.
Silence Aural Warnings: With the advent of a runaway seat, crew members describe noises of a low rumbling nature, followed by the words “Jesus, my seat is out of control,” followed by a piercing scream of increasing intensity and pitch, especially in the case of forward runaways. As with all emergencies and in order to comply with regulations, the first officer will silence the aural warnings by clamping a hand over the captain’s mouth and advise, “captains mouth — shut.” From this point on, refer to the checklist located on the underside of the captain’s seat cushion.
Jammed Balls: Should the seat runaway in the forward mode, the ball bearings will interlock and jam the seat when it is four inches from the control panel. The seat will then be stuck in the forward position and will travel no further forward, but begin traveling up in a vertical mode. The captain will advise crew, “I have jammed ball,” the flight engineer will immediately refer to the Captain’s Jammed Balls Checklist located in the aft lavatory. It is imperative that the crew check for control column damage at this time. If the control column is broken, the crew will immediately advise dispatch that the captain has a broken stick and jammed balls.
Circuit Breaker — Pull: The flight engineer will at this time pull the appropriate circuit breaker to prevent the seat from running up further in the vertical mode which could cause the bearings to overheat and and possibly result in a ball burst. This would necessitate the use of the Broken Ball Checklist. Since the engineer can rarely find the correct CB, it is suggested that any CB be picked at random and pulled, so as not to delay completion of the checklist. Example: Pull #1 CB; captains position will prevent him from cross-checking this step.
Fire, Check: When the seat bearings jam and stop forward seat travel, the electric motor may short out and start a fire under the captain, resulting in a captain’s lower aft body overheat. The flight engineer will immediately advise the captain of the fire, to which the captain will reply, “Fire, my butt.”
Seat up — Up: Should the seat continue to run away in the vertical mode, the first officer will advise “seat up,” to which the captain will reply “molxjrmne craxmby.” Captains reply will vary with height to which his seat has risen. It is suggested procedure to place a pillow on the captain’s head and land at the nearest suitable airport.
(To Fly the Concorde, by Ken Larsen, Tab Books, Inc, Blue Ridge Summit, PA, 1982, ISBN 0-8306-2342-6)