Sean has such Scandinavian Grace

Posted December 30th, 2007 at 6:25 pm. There are 0 comments.

I found the bestest hat evar! But I did not buy.
at Scandanavian Grace

Museum für Kommunikation

Posted December 27th, 2007 at 4:00 pm. There are 0 comments.

French Optical Telegraph Map

Last summer when in Frankfurt I visited the Museum für Kommunikation. I had written a reminder to myself very recently that I should write about my experience of visiting and was reminded again today when I read about the optical telegraph, or Semaphore, communication networks. I was familiar with semaphore, as shown in the boy scout manuals and used by lifeguards to signal to each other down the beach. I had not, until visiting the Museum für Kommunikation, known that there existed this very extensive network of towers, through out much of Europe, talking to each other in giant sign-language. At the Museum the exhibit showed examples of towers and the evolution of the tower’s signaling systems as well as the various symbol libraries, and had an interactive piece that one could use to spell out a short word using the virtual tower on a screen. In the context of the museum it fit right in, alongside an exhibit on the Thurn und Taxis mail monopoly (they have an original sealed leather mail bag that was found in a central post office after a few hundred years missing, with letters intact) and the evolution of the telephone. The entire museum is an ode to human communication, from cave paintings, to pencil and pen technology, to mail delivery systems, mechanical telephone switching, radio and television and up to and including the internet.

The amazing feeling I got here was the efforts surrounding these earlier communications. I won’t add to the continuing discourse of how communication now is easier (it is) or how we don’t appreciate this ease (we don’t) or that the magic is lost (not yet), but I will say that I do take less for granted, and can almost fantasize about the specialness of receiving a letter from a mail carrier arriving on horseback, or hearing the clicks of morse code through a wire from far away.


Posted December 27th, 2007 at 10:23 am. There are 0 comments.

nothing to say. i will do as is said on the card from now on.

Personal Annual Report

Posted December 26th, 2007 at 4:07 pm. There are 0 comments.

The last two  Januaries have brought the release of Nicholas Feltrons Personal Annual Report. And I anticipate this January we will see 2007’s version. I really like them as they sum up a years worth of living, more than 1% of ones life, into charts, graphs and symbols. Stripped of much of the stuff that make people interesting, their peopleness really, we are just a collection of data (presented in a wonderful info-graphic style) as google knows. With the raw data we can tell a story by filling in the blanks, making inferences and conjectures, building that person back to whole. I do not know Nicholas but what he has told me (and everyone) has allowed me to build up a pretty good character in my mind, which I am sure is wrong, as it would be because I made it up.

The real reason for writing this, is that I am planning to attempt the kind of personal documentation achieve by Nicholas as part of my attempt at being interesting. It won’t be the only thing I will be doing, but it is the one that will require the most dedication. We’ll see how it goes.

Sending Cards

Posted December 26th, 2007 at 3:34 pm. There are 0 comments.

We sent out cards this year for the holidays. apologies if you didn’t get one, tracking down addresses seems to be the most difficult task. In recent years cards didn’t get sent, due to time constraints, business or the usual suspect laziness mixed with some forgetfulness. I really like the idea of sending cards out to a whole list of people, especially if they are getting something you made. It is fair to say the potato stamped cards will not win any design awards but it was a joy to send them, writing a personal note to the recipients. Maybe in the new year I will send cards out for fun. I know have one batch at least.

follow the red line navigation

Posted December 19th, 2007 at 9:38 am. There are 0 comments.


Virtual Cable technology that draws route information in an augmented reality display. The 3 dimensional display is created with lasers and mirrors (didn’t fully read that section) and is generated from standard route information output by numerous GPS and SatNav systems available today. The remarkable part about it is the simplicity of the system. “Follow the red line around until we tell you to stop.” The danger may be, as we have seen before, that the information is followed blindly, although keeping ones eyes on the road, and slightly above it, may be better for safety than trying to focus on small map screens, or to decipher the robo-voice directions to bear left in point-five-two miles.

Will it Fly?

Posted December 17th, 2007 at 3:36 pm. There are 0 comments.

Tractability, Obviousness, Deepness, Wideness, Discoverability, Monetizability

Structure for evaluating you new product idea.

Space Mirror

Posted December 7th, 2007 at 7:11 pm. There are 0 comments.

This is one of those projects that goes under the radar, relatively unknown to most. I had the fortune several years ago to see Wes Jones speak, and he presented several of his architectural projects, nearly all forgettable. The work was fine, maybe even great (I don’t remember) but paled in comparison to the Astronauts Memorial (completed 1989) for one simple reason, the concept behind the project, the daring to propose to the bureaucratic agency NASA what he did , and nearly pull it off 100%.

The Space Mirror is a huge plane of mirror polish black granite, meant to reflect the sky above. In the granite slabs are carved straight through the names of fallen astronauts, scattered across the plane of granite, grouped by the tragic events in which the lives were lost. Behind the plane of granite an array of silvered mirrors was meant to be placed to reflect the light of the sun through the cut out names effectively burning the names of lost astronauts into the retinas of the viewers. Yes. The idea was to burn afterimages of the names of deceased astronauts into visitors eyes. The sheer violence of this small bit seals the deal for me and this project. It is some thing I will never forget. The power, and the metaphor contained in that simple move makes this project .

This is in addition to the fact that the several hundred ton steel structure and granite slabs rotated and tilted to track the sun across the sky, to insure that users eyes were continuously exposed to the full strength of the suns rays. Sadly, the bureaucracy being what it was, as per Mr. Jones, the mirrors were replaced with white painted surfaces to reduce the intensity of the light. After an malfunction with the equipment controlling the rotation & tilt sun tracking, flood lights were installed to provide a sanitized continuous source of light through the crippled memorial.

Ben Rubin – Movable Type – NYTimes Building Lobby

Posted December 4th, 2007 at 11:01 pm. There are 0 comments.

Popped in to escape the wind, knowing that the New York Times lobby contained this gem. Two things I really liked – the emphasis on the number, slight delay and then the context of that number. And the depth created by the lighting, shadows and reflections behind the screens and the reflections in the screens themselves.

Walking from London to New York

Posted December 4th, 2007 at 6:10 pm. There are 0 comments.

From an interview with Will Self,

He would hike for hours through the exurbs of London until he reached Heathrow; next he would scramble up an oily embankment and scoot around a chain-link fence to dash straight into the airport terminal; then he would sleep on the plane, for all purposes erasing the flight from memory; then, once he reached JFK Airport, he would sneak along a service road, hoping not to be apprehended as a terrorist, and begin the long trek to the Lower East Side. Will Self, the son of a Yank and a Brit, was about to sew two cities into one imaginary metropolis.

Will Self, the author of a book the book Psychogeography:Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place on the polite rules against having sex in the private cabins aborb the new Airbus A380

That sums up the attitude toward flying: Put people in a metal fuselage, throw them up into the sky, haul them across thousands of miles of sea and desert, and then you expect them not to get excited. But it is exciting. It is.

I have to agree with him, I still think flying is exciting

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