Successive Approximations

To be rather than to seem

To be rather than to seem

The virtues of copper:

“Sleek and shining stainless steel doorknobs and push plates look reassuringly clean on a hospital door. By contrast, doorknobs and push plates of tarnished brass look dirty and contaminating,” she wrote at the time. “But even when tarnished, brass—an alloy typically of 67% copper and 33% zinc—[kills bacteria], while stainless steel—about 88% iron and 12% chromium—does little to impede bacterial growth.”

Ultimately, she wrapped her paper up with a simple enough conclusion for the entire healthcare system to follow. “If your hospital is being renovated, try to retain old brass hardware or have it repeated; if you have stainless steel hardware, make certain that it is disinfected daily, especially in critical-care areas.”

Things are not always what they appear. Something that appears clean might be dirty and vice versa. An open office that looks productive might not be. Car body panels might be impressively springy, but what you really want during a crash is crumple, not spring.

Esse quam videri.

Ben Berry

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