A lot of people think that firetrucks are just a colorful and loud way of getting really awesome people in amazing outfits around town to do their hero’s work. It’s not that simple. Inside every hose truck, not to be confused with ladder truck, is an extremely sophisticated water pump engine that controls the flow from a hydrant through FDNY hoses or into a building’s sprinkler system to regulate and optimize hydrostatic pressure. You wanna talk about interaction design? Check that shit out!
I recently saw these two dudes standing around twiddling their thumbs on the job, and then I realized the guy on the left was in fact twiddling a small crank which was gear driving a plasma torch around the circumference of that big ass pipe. Someone out their is a smart tool maker. I would have been there all day blowing sparks into my face and grinding through cut off wheels trying to chop the end off that beast. Well, I never need fear that task again. Some assembly required.
I bought a new printer the other day and while I was taking it out of the box, I had to stop to take some ID porn. You know how when you are unpacking a new appliance and you remove the top pieces of styrofoam packing to be faced with the task of lifting a heavy item out of its box while it is still wrapped in extremely slippery plastic, and all you can think while lifting it out is ‘Holy shit, it’s slipping! I just paid an arm and a leg for this thing and I’m gonna break it before I get it out of the box!!”? Yeah, well, Epson thought of that this time. So they put handles on that super slippery plastic wrapping, et voila! You lift it right out. No icky fuss. No messy clean up! Smart package design.
By the way, the Epson Workforce 1100 is a really good printer for the money. I guess Epson figured out that a huge part of its large format market was wasting money and ink on high priced photo quality printers just to run off large format office production and presentation papers. They retooled the ink flow and paper speed and dropped the price, and man is this a good printer!
A friend sent me this video. It’s kind of unbelievable. It’s like a big brick road zipper. Amazing.
My mother in law Judy is an avid bird lover, board member and active participant of the CT Audubon Society and Birdcraft Museum and regular guide for bird watching tours through the Costa Rican rain forest. So on a recent trip to the CT Birdcraft Museum I got a glimpse at some of the tools she uses. Pretty cool! (1. bird band on my thumb for a big bird; 2. bird banding pliers; 3. bird leg gauge; 4 & 5. more bird bands; 6. bird anatomy 101.)
I’m a cast hardware and fittings geek so I had to stop to check out these bolt-on climbing pegs for a 4 inch sprinkler main with an inspector’s drain valve and shut off way out of reach from the floor. (Reminds me my plumber keeps telling me I have to paint my main sprinkler branch red. Ugh… Endless home improvement.)
This story in the Times today of the death of a promising student of the sciences at Yale is a tragic reminder to be safe safe safe when working with machines and power tools. The gruesome cause of death is implicit as the quickly and powerfully rotating axis would have grabbed her hair and pulled her head first right into the machine. Be careful out there folks.
Dear carpenters, if you miscalculate the run on your stair baseboard, this is not how to resolve it. As impressive as your mitering skills may be and as many digits as you may be willing to lose showing them off, running rococo with your basecap is never the right solution. Granted, I should be paying more attention to my child when taking him from school, but these are the things that drive me mad. Fondly, Sinclair.
Some readers may know that I have a little tick when it comes to peppermills. A tick is too mild. Most peppermills fill me with rage. They are clumsy and carelessly designed, messily delivering a precious ingredient to our most precious rituals of cooking and eating. I even toyed with devoting my master’s thesis to the subject. Suffice it to say for now that the peppermill stands at a crossroads out there on my horizon, a crossroads from which neither of us will walk away the same. Pictured above is a basic look at the peppermill market today. And below is a close up on that little sign in the middle. (Photo taken at Whisk in Brooklyn.)
But these are all of one brand you’re saying. Sure, sure, as the inset says, these are all Peugeot peppermills, but Peugeot is the market leader and at least from a formal perspective (excluding the Peppermate) represents the dominant trend in peppermill design– a turned piece of wood cut into two parts and bored out to hold peppercorns and the grinder mechanism which threads through both and holds them together via a little closed nut on top. And it’s been this way for, what does it say? 150 years? Ok, I’m the first to admit that some tools really shouldn’t be toyed with and any effort to improve them is vain, wasteful and destined for embarrassment. But I am going to step out of my little box and say this: Peppermills everywhere– watch your back. I’m coming after you.