Friday, June 10, 2016

Kevin Kim: A Handy New Method for Drier Hands

Back on December 6, 2015, Kevin Kim posted this challenge (which he learned about from a TED talk): "try using only a single paper towel when drying your hands in the restroom - or use no towels at all." Well, there are no paper towels in these Ewha restrooms, so I guess I always never use a towel. Being ahead of the game (or so I thought) I therefore declined the challenge - as a towel-less man ought - and looked ahead to find the secret:
Shake your hands twelve times. Fold your towel, then use it. My method when I have no towel (as is always the case in the restrooms I use at work) is to shake twelve times, slap my fingers across each other another eight times like overlapping saloon doors, then run my fingers through my hair. That method gets me about 70% dry, and the remaining 30% happens naturally as I walk back to my office, hands swinging at my sides.
The next time I washed my hands, I recalled Kevin's advice, but I tried a variant on the method - I flicked my fingers (all four together) from under to over my thumbs twelve times. That worked pretty well, and the hand dryer did the rest! I didn't even need to dry my hands on my butt! Nor slam my fingers in "overlapping saloon doors."

As I said, this new technique works. But the real question is HOW it works. I observed closely each time I dried my hands this way, but I could not figure it out. Except that one day when I had almost given up thinking about the issue of drying without tissue, I absent-mindedly flicked fifteen times, then stopped myself in horror - twelve was the magic number!

Had I gone too far?

I looked closely at my hands for signs of damage, but found none . . . then noticed something odd. My hands were just a bit drier at fifteen! I determined to up the number and see if that made a difference. I tried sixteen. Drier. Seventeen. Drier. Eighteen. Even drier! I was on to something! I tried my finger-flicking technique on up to twenty that day. It still worked. A few days later, I had practiced enough to safely reach thirty. Definitely dry. Thirty seems to do the complete job! And no sign of hand damage at all.

But I still haven't figured out the secret to how this thing works . . .



At 4:48 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

When I first saw this, I thought it read, "try using only a single paper towel when drying your head in the restroom - or use no towels at all."

I usually stick my head under the hand dryer, or don't bother to dry my head (that is "hair") at all. Now, you might be wondering why I have a wet head (hair) in a public restroom. Don't I shower at home? Pray calm yourself. I do shower at home, and if you see me with my head under the hand dryer in a public restroom, it is because it is raining outside, and for some reason I neglected to carry an umbrella that day.

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Why bother with an umbrella when there's always a hand-dryer at hand?

Jeffery Hodges

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