Sometime soon we will probably get another car. Ugh! Our trusty Subaru is still going at 14 years of age, but the issue of dependability looms large as we enter the winter months. If we had our way, we would keep the same vehicle forever. That sentiment is far from realistic. We’d also like to get something with a lot better mileage rating. But, advances in technology and fuel usage aside, the automobile industry suffers from what I consider to be an incredible lack of ingenuity when it comes to design. The over-contoured look is so so boring. I long for the days of boxy. Ultimately, it is safety, reliability and efficiency that counts, so this rumination is just that. But still. It made me think about my husband growing up in England during the 70s. He occasionally gets nostalgic about their family car…the DAF. Mostly he just remembers its tortoise-like speed, and something about the rubber belts that needed regular tightening. But damn if it wasn’t cute. These photos are a jumble of models, all found at this massive archive from the Netherlands. Personal preference is for the DAF 44.
These are decidedly creepy. I know. But I find it fascinating that so much trouble (likely to our benefit) has been taken to make these models so thoroughly life-like. All of them are used in medical and surgical training. As you can guess, there is an entire industry devoted to making these models, many of which I deemed either too weird or graphic to post. But if you want to know more, go here and here.
I keep meaning to take photos of the various packing materials that accompany most computers and electronics. I ordered a new Magic Mouse the other day and was finally driven to take out the camera. I like how abstract the shapes are.
Whether one realizes it or not, we live in a world suffused with numbers. They are all around us. Some more blatant than others. Used to classify everything from a corrugated box to a tube of toothpaste, they have little or no relevance to either me or you. But they sure are pretty. My archive is steadily growing.
It’s a little thing, I know. But it’s near to perfect. This soy sauce dispenser was designed by Masahiro Mori back in 1958. It’s won untold numbers of awards, is still in production and nearly ubiquitous. If you’ve ever used one of these pieces you would have noticed that there is nary a drip from the spout. The lines are elegant and the piece itself fits the hand with no distraction. To me, it’s a kind of benchmark for the design world. I’d like it if the realm of mass production accorded the same amount of respect commanded by this little soy sauce bottle (shoyusashi) to the rest of its mighty output. Imagine. To purchase one for yourself, click here.
So, what the hell? I found this little “toy” at the local farm and garden center amid hundreds of small scale replicas of tractors, wagons, hay balers, combines and a whole array of farm animals. This piece (with the John Deere label affixed to the price tag) is part of a huge collection of precision cast miniatures of farm and construction equipment manufactured by Ertl Toys, a company that’s been around since 1945. This particular tanker is labeled anhydrous ammonia, which is a broadly applied and inexpensive source of nitrogen fertilizer used in farming. That said, it is also highly toxic and crazy dangerous to handle. And, as it happens, drug dealers now use it in the manufacture of methamphetamines. Hmmnnn, I’m not sure that inculcating our youngsters with this type of approach to growing food is the best way forward. Would a truck full of chicken poop be a better alternative? Anyway, maybe skip the chemicals and stick with the tractors and the cows.
I was reading the actual paper version of the NYT this morning and was basically assaulted by the scent of perfume as I paged through one of the sections. Couldn’t figure out where the odor was coming from until I bent my head down to sniff an advertisement for…perfume. Blech. And then I was reminded of some razors I bought over the summer. They emitted a very pungent strawberry scent as soon as I removed them from the packaging. Again, I couldn’t initially figure out from where the aroma originated. And how had I missed the two little berries on the label? Something about this seems to have crossed a line. I’m still mulling over why it offends me. I did a little homework and found a story in the Times offering up various explanations (most of them pretty obvious, but still weird) as to why the last unscented bastion in our bathrooms has now succumbed to the forces of marketing.