Do You Cut The Red Wire Or The Blue One? You Don't Have To Work For The Bomb Squad To Know.

I know, I know: Our smartphones don't even have wires inside them! But a lot of things still do. And if we understand them, we can save ourselves a lot of money (and some carbon footprint). Not to mention feeling like badasses who could maybe star in in a spinoff of "24."

And if you don't have access to the gang in this video, there's always a little thing called YouTube. I hear people post how-to clips there sometimes?

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Female: Hi. Am I too late?

Male: No.

Female: Oh, good. I got a couple things.

Male: So, what have we got here?

John Murphy: It's. . .intellectually, a detective story. It's a chase. You're thinking about who designed it, how they designed it, what's wrong with it. It's only putting out on one channel. You try A, you try B, you try C, you figure out, oh, it's not doing this, so maybe this is wrong? So you try the power first, you trace that. That's grease?

Male: No, that's, um. . .

John Murphy: [inaudible 00:00:35] a lot of grease, yeah. It's literally a detective story in your head. Of how you can resurrect this object. So the Fixers' Collective is a group of, maybe a core group of, like, seven fixers, who meet every third Thursday of the month. Invite people to come with their broken objects and devices. And we will show you how to fix things. We won't fix it for you, it's not a repair shop, but we will show you how to fix it. Take this. . .

Male: Clear glass.

John Murphy: . . .and pry it from the metal. Not from the glass, from the back. Yeah. Good.

Female: Is that enough?

John Murphy: Yeah. Now, pull it out. And hold it up.

Female: I don't know what any of the numbers are measuring, but if the needle goes up, then it's still working. Oh! I found. . .nope. That one works.

Male: Okay.

Female: I didn't realize I'd be fixing the vacuum myself, tonight, 'til I got here. I thought that there would be some people helping out, but it's more fun this way.

John Murphy: You plant a seed in somebody's head that they can actually fix something, then give them the power, and they'll move on. And they'll show somebody else. And that's what we want. It's really important to be green, to re-use that thing. Or not get another one just 'cause the old one's worn out. Our technology, our society doesn't welcome it, at all. It's all about planned obsolescence. If something's broken, we get another one.

Female: To throw something away that has worked, and probably just needs a tiny tiny piece of it fixed, in order to be useful to me or someone else again, seems like a crime against nature.

Male: But you got this big hole, here!

Female: Whoo!

John Murphy: Being patient, really. It's really being patient. And being adventurous. That's all you need to do, to be a good fixer.

Female: Okay.

John Murphy: Ready? [vacuum starting] Can't hold on to it, it's got so much torque!

Female: Yeah!

There may be small errors in this transcript.

Sybile Penhirin made this video for her story on NY City Lens. But this isn't the first I've heard of The Fixers Collective ... I'm actually a grateful alumna of one of their sessions!


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