Murphy’s Law in STEM

In TV and the movies, the most convoluted and complicated plans usually work out:

However, back here on earth they rarely do.

I first ordered 2 light sensors for our robot from a vendor who waited two weeks after my initial order to tell me he didn’t have them.  He finally replied to several requests I made over a few days afterwards when I reported him to as a non-delivering seller.  Now we’re haggling over shipping charges.

The Light Sensor is on the critical path for building our robot.  That means it is absolutely essential and we cannot proceed to even build, much less test and solve the missions without the Light Sensor.

Fortunately, after the experience with our first vendor, I remembered Murphy’s Law and my experience in industry dealing with critical path vendors. Instead of ordering 2 Light Sensors from another vendor, I ordered 1 Light Sensor from each of 3 different vendors to spread the risk.


So far, I’ve received one Light Sensor in the mail from one vendor, another vendor mysteriously told me she didn’t have the Light Sensor in her inventory and the third vendor’s shipment should arrive any day now.  Coincidentally, the price of Light Sensors on has mysteriously doubled since my first order.


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