Friday, June 26, 2009

Can you identify this?

I'm still sort of amazed about this, so I decided to mention it again.
Yesterday, your humble blogger attended a product presentation with other members of the automotive media. And whiile sitting waiting for the shindig to get going, at a table of professional "automotive" journalists, I was fumbling with an object like the one pictured above.
When a one of the professionals asked me with a straight face, "what's that?"
I assumed somebody was having fun at the expense of the little blogger, so I smiled and responded that I thought it was there as an ashtray. When the blank stare confirmed that this person, a professional "automotive" journalists, really didn't know what I was holding in my hand I replied "it's a piston." It's over 24 hours later and I'm still gobsmacked.
Now, don't get me wrong, there are mechanics who could pull out obscure pieces from under a hood and I may scratch my head and guess, but a piston? Something every internal combustion engine, diesel or petrol, has had for over 100 years?

And this ladies and gentlemen is why traditional media, be it print or digital, fails us.
Because there are people who barely understand what they're looking at telling us what is good and what is trash. I'm not saying you have to be able to rebuild a Solex or Webber carburetor, but identifying a piston is so frigging basic.


Kevin said...

Dumb Trivia - The Piston Cup in the movie Cars had a connecting rod as well as a piston.

Igor said...

hehe my favorite coffee shop does actually use pistons as ashtrays, lol