Clifford Ross has invented a still camera that takes incredibly detailed pictures (scientists are agog). There's an underlying pattern in his inventing: apprentice himself to master practitioners before synthesising their insights into something new - a kind of methodological kung-fu bricolage.
He followed a familiar path. He found experts who could teach him. A man who ran an aerial photography lab in Dayton, Ohio; a machinist in Kingston, N.Y.; technicians in Alabama, Chicago and Los Angeles. When the technician in Chicago would not accept payment, Mr. Ross found out from the man's wife that he craved pastrami and corned beef from the Carnegie Deli - and shipped a boxful.
Mr. Ross remembered a trick with mirrors he used in the eighth grade to check the back of his head for cowlicks before embarking on his first date. That became part of the camera too. (via Boingboing)
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