I learned to sew back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth-yes it's a little known fact that dinosaurs had opposable thumbs and sewing machines. Singer sewing machines in fact. Big ones with needles like in the video above.
In all seriousness-I have been sewing for a long time and I learned a lot about needles in this video. When I was young I used to throw all caution to the wind and sew over pins (gasp!) and only changed my needles when I broke them doing something boneheaded. Don't worry, I long ago changed my ways and now practice good needle handling.