Consulting, Publishing, Engineering

100 things

I usually like Popular Mechanics, but this month’s issue is devoted to “100 Skills Every Man Should Know.” Beside the awkward phrasing (shouldn’t it be skills he should master? or things he should know?) and blatant sexism (perhaps because they estimate their readership at about 88% male?), I just don’t think it’s a good list of essential skills for anyone. The article has an odd mix of very specific items (like replace a faucet washer or “sweat copper tubing”) along with sort of vague recommendations (like survive extreme heat and grow food). It also leaves out tons of things that I would think belong on the list – they have, for example, “run rapids in a canoe” but not “swim”.

Some of them I agree are important – like driving a stick shift or handling a blowout while driving, or putting out a fire or performing the heimlich or CPR. Others seem frivolous – like throw a spiral or whittle.

I’m inspired to make my own list, though I don’t know if it will be exactly 100!

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