A Titanium Straw?

When I was a little boy we had a set of encyclopedias. [Remember the Door to Door Encyclopedia Salesmen? Now, I’m 33 years old and actively trying to write my own Set of Encyclopedias, "The Encyclopedia Satannica…" And it isn’t about Satanism either…just a little ominous phrasing…] I used to sit and read for hours on end. The one thing I could do to get out of anything when I was a child was read. If you think you have to do the dishes, pick up a book. Vacuuming? Pick up a book…you don’t get disturbed then! My Dad encouraged me to read, always bought me books and I was always amazed at other worlds and happenings not an immediate part of my own. [And in a way, it is wonderful that on a CD-ROM or The Internet, you can find many encyclopedias! But there is nothing like the warmth of a book. I think we’re losing that…]

In the encyclopedias we had, under "Tornadoes," was a picture of a telephone pole. Through that utility pole was a piece of straw from a hale bale. It was not a drinking straw but a piece of hay.

All the way through the pole.

I have performed a Web Search to try to find that picture somewhere online. During the search, I have heard this called, "myth, lore and legend with no basis in scientific reality…"

I’m here to tell you, I saw the picture. I wish I still had that set of encyclopedias so I could scan the picture.

If there is no basis in scientific reality for that picture, that means the picture was a staged fraud to further terrify people with regard to tornadoes. As if they are not terrifying enough.

I don’t think the picture was a fraud, I think it happened. We see all manner of hoaxes and frauds today, these encyclopedias were from the late 60s or early 70s. Your guess is as good as mine is. My guess is, it actually did happen, however strange and rare it might be…those tornadic winds actually drove a piece of hollow straw through a phone pole. Maybe I just want it to be true. I don’t know…but this was the beginning of something…

Another Website I visited was of the opinion that given enough velocity, it could very well happen. It is all about time, the theoretical utility pole has to have the time to smash a straw pushed into it. When there is no time for that to happen due to extreme velocity, the straw goes through.

Something I learned in 6th Grade

I believe it was my 6th Grade Science Teacher who did this. He was also aware of the "straw through a telephone pole" story/picture and illustrated it this way.

He had a potato and a plastic drinking straw. Using his thumb, he thumb-capped the straw the same way you would a guardless knife in reverse grip and he drove that straw through approximately three inches of raw, fibrous potato. Not a cooked or rotten potato, both of which would be softer.

The way he described it was, when the thumb plugs the end and the straw is descending quickly, a column of air builds up inside of the straw and this reinforces it… For a split second, to the point that it is at least as strong as a similar sized and shaped piece of wood. Let’s say a pencil or chopstick.

I’m not a Physicist, but to me, this seems to be realistic. If you don’t believe it, you can certainly try it for yourself. It seems so simple and possibly stupid…but it is actually rather neat.

A regular, flimsy, plastic drinking straw can be driven through a raw potato. The fact you can do it is primary; the science behind it is secondary.

So, I began to wonder about this…putting some serious thought into it…

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about; I shot some photographs to explain it.

Interesting Pictures

Here we have a regular potato. It has not been cooked and it is not rotten, meaning it is not soft. A common plastic drinking straw, this one courtesy of a fast food restaurant with the initials of "B.K." is below it.

In this second picture, you see the first attempt. I did not strike it hard enough so the straw only penetrated approximately 2.2 inches. Next to the #1 in the picture is the circular cut from the straw. Next to #2 in the picture is a black speck of dirt on the straw from the potato that happens to be the depth the straw penetrated. The smaller picture inset into the larger one shows the straw in the potato.

The third picture below is the second attempt. The straw penetrated the entire potato, at a slight angle. Going through slightly more material than a straight shot through. The plug of potato can clearly be seen in the end of the straw with the skin intact.

In the fourth picture you can clearly see the entire plug of the potato in the straw after the straw was removed. Directly below it [inset] is the hole in the potato and a picture of the straw with the plug of material from the straw surrounded by a red rectangle.

The fifth picture shows the hole completely through the potato.

Now, I know that some might think this "funny" or something, but before you pass judgment on this and call it "silly," think about this for a moment. Take two plastic drinking straws and a fresh potato and with the first straw, simply try to push it through the potato. The straw will bend and might nick the skin, but that is about all that will happen.

Take the next straw, holding it in icepick grip, thumbcap the end of the straw. You want to hold the straw firmly but not so hard that you crush the straw. This will cause a bend in the straw and the straw will fold over. Hold it firmly, end cap the straw with your thumb and hold the potato in the palm of your other hand.

Now, with the striking end of the straw approximately 12 to 14 inches from the potato, thrust the end of the straw through the potato. Just as if you made a fist with your right hand and wanted to hammerfist your left palm. That’s all there is to it. A firm but not a crushing hold, thumb cap the end of the straw…and you must do this fast because without velocity, you will fail.

The Idea…

The whole concept was to have a last ditch, survival item that looked like a straw. We all know that Titanium does not rust and we also know that it is used for human joint replacements, etc. James Piorek informs me that because of the unique properties of Titanium, you actually could use it as a straw if need be. You would definitely need to CLEAN the inside and outside of the Ti-Straw First though, be careful.

The Titanium Scribe [Pencil] is noticeably heavier than the Straw. Considering the Ti-Scribe is light, this is quite impressive. There is quite a difference between the two.

Because all of these ideas have come about in the same time frame, you will see various pictures of the Pencil, Stylus, Straws and Chopsticks all among each other. There is a reason for that. They go well together, they can all be used in a similar fashion, primarily immediate response from reverse grip.

There are also two sizes for the Straw, a small and a large...you will notice in the picture below.

[You see the "business" end of the Straw? It's sharp, on the inside...about the closest thing to an "interior chisel grind" you can get. The other end is rounded and can be thumb-capped in reverse grip with safety.]

Also, the Straw can be further camouflaged in the pocket by an aftermarket, slip-on eraser head, just like with the Ti-Scribe. A pocket clip could be added as well if you can find one that fits the Straws...

Everything flows together for you serious practitioners of "Knife." And I intend on everything being a spiderweb, meaning this…you pick up the Ti-Chopsticks, the Scribe, the Straw…the Stylus…a Koppo Stick…a knife…everything moves together…everything you have learned about "knife" is drilled into your Muscle Memory, Operant Conditioning, Stimulus-Response, Stimulus-Response.

That way, no new movements are required for effectiveness. Everything becomes one. A Defensive/Offensive "web."

I don’t really have to be redundant and dive into specificity every time I write a review or article on here. There are no real, "specific" movements for the Straw, everything I do is based on Filipino, Japanese and a touch of Silat Martial Concepts.

I suggest you check out the Koppo Stick Article on this site…the Streamlight Stylus 3 Article, the Metsubushi Article…all of these things are a part of "The BIG Picture." Everything flows together…fluidity. If you do not see this, keep reading and you are sooner or later going to understand the brilliance of simplicity and having a common thread among all of these things. It will save you while others are trying to shift gears through their Martial Madness they have created for themselves.

I will give you an example…let’s say you are carrying a Ti-Straw or the Scribe, along with a good metallic bodied writing pen…and you have a Streamlight Stylus 3, all in one jacket/vest pocket.

All three items serve a purpose. The pen, you write with. The Scribe, can be used as a Scribe or a last-ditch weapon for your survival. The light is invaluable for those of us that venture outside in the dark.

You are attacked…it does not matter which one you grab, you do not need "Strawjutsu" to go along with "Penjutsu." It’s just that simple, in fact, you can at the first opportunity, get one of the other items in the battle for your survival as well.

All we are talking about are options… What suits your personal environment and what you can utilize.

Interested in owning one? Drop me a line, just click on the link provided. Don Rearic

Don Rearic


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