Gutter #6

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The word duck comes from Old English dūce, a derivative of the verb dūcan “to duck, bend down low as if to get under something, or dive”, because of the way many species in the dabbling duck group feed by upending. All ducks have highly waterproof feathers as a result of an intricate feather structure and a waxy coating that is spread on each feather while preening—they technically don't get wet while in the water. They have brilliantly designed webbed feet that power them through the water by spreading when under force (pulling) and retracting like an umbrella when recoiling for the next paddle. They are, however, a little clumsy to walk in which is why ducks waddle.

In 2002, psychologist Richard Wiseman and colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, finished a year-long LaughLab experiment, concluding that of all animals, ducks attract the most humor and silliness; he said, “If you’re going to tell a joke involving an animal, make it a duck." The two most famous fictional ducks are Disney’s Donald Duck and Warner Bros.’ Daffy Duck.

Clothespins are manufactured very cheaply by creating two interlocking plastic or wooden prongs, in between which is often wedged a small spring. It was invented by David M. Smith of Springfield, Vermont, in 1853. By a lever action, the two prongs open and shut and apply necessary pressure to grip a dripping pair of 501’s over a clothes line. Smith’s design was improved by Solon E. Moore in 1887 when he added what he called a “coiled fulcrum” made from a single wire, (torsion spring)—the spring that both held the wooden pieces together and forced them to snap shut (brilliantly). During the production of movies, this clothespin is called a “C47”. It is essential on the set since production lights quickly become far too hot to touch or adjust the barn doors—thus a wooden C47 is used as a handle or to attach a color correction gel.