Tricks of the Trade

By on August 25, 2004

The Morning News has a fun article on “tricks of the trade”: documenting little tricks used in various professions. Great stuff.

This year, for instance, a programmer can always tack the phrase “and I’m thinking of incorporating some XML functionality” onto a project summary to explain why he’ll need an extra week, account for a missed deadline, or impress a superior. In this respect, the gap between software engineers and birthday clowns is almost negligible.


Patients will occasionally pretend to be unconscious. A surefire way to find them out is to pick up their hand, hold it above their face, and let go. If they smack themselves, they’re most likely unconscious; if not, they’re faking.



  1. The hand-drop test for unconsciousness has been around forever. A better test is to gently flick the person’s eyelashes. If the eyelids twitch, they are faking it.

  2. hahaa i jsut staretd flickign my own eyelashes out of interest, and heavens behold both my eyelids started twitching even after is topped for about 5 seconds, too cool, i love these kidns of useless facts.

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