Category: science meets design

2012

Tuesday 01.03.12

I wish I could remember how I came to find Spencer Lowell’s photographs. But I can’t. In the spirit of the new year and all, I thought I should post an image that reflects the level of organization I am after in 2012.

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Physog

Wednesday 11.16.11

Physog is slang for Physiognomy which is the evaluation of a person’s character or nature based on their appearance, particularly the face. The notion that there is a strong correlation between someone’s outer expression and their actual character has a very ancient historic precedent, as well as making loads of sense. Of late, there has been a bit of resurgence of interest in this field of study. This 1930’s board game is a cartoonish example of the practice. I’m totally keen on the disembodied images, much more than if these were all assembled into full faces. These photos are from the absolutely astonishing collection assembled by Agence Eureka. Be forewarned: Set aside at least an hour, and up to a full day, to look through her trove of paper ephemera.

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Euro, or Not?

Tuesday 11.15.11

I’ve been following the European debt crisis with some bit of fascination, fear, horror and disgust. How the F*ck did we get here? Although their debt crisis is different from our own in some ways, it’s also borne out of the same greed, speculation, mismanagement, ideological differences, growing divisions of wealth and the list goes on…and on. I posited the question some time ago to someone way more expert than I in the field of economics as to whether they thought the euro was at risk. As often happens with so-called experts, they dismissed my query as ridiculous. And amateurish. Well, fast forward a few months. While the likelihood of the euro-zone being disbanded is unlikely, it’s still a possibility. A previously unthinkable one. Anyway, all this talk of euros made me feel incredibly nostalgic for the former currencies of Europe: Those individual bills printed with beautiful illustrations and likenesses of famous people. I have favorites (see the 10 Francs note with Voltaire’s face) for sure. This little collection comes courtesy of Jacob Lewis Bourjaily. He has a site where he documents all the currencies of Europe bearing depictions of either scientists or mathematicians. I like his parameters.

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Aerobie vs Bialetti

Thursday 09.15.11

Following on the heels of yesterday’s love letter to my Bialetti, is today’s puzzlement at the Aerobie Aeropress Coffeemaker. First, let me say thank you to my father, who has only the best of intentions. He testifies to the quality of its brew and, as a gift, sent the Aerobie to us the other day so we might share in his caffeine nirvana. In deference to his generosity and enthusiasm, I will try it later today before rendering a full opinion on its virtues. That aside, man is this thing ugly! So many parts. All black and brown plastic. Could it ever outlast my prized Italian maker? There is a certain psychology inherent in the design and use of tools for food and beverage preparation. Personally, I would strive for a better marriage between form and function. This thing looks to be more like something one would encounter in the urology department of a large hospital rather than in a kitchen. Puts me in mind of another discussion regarding the Dyson Vacuum Cleaner. But I’ll save that for another day.

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More Nasal Irrigation

Thursday 09.01.11

I know, some of these items are decidedly creepy. But if you don’t think about their use, they are quite striking. As a small bit of trivia, Elvis used one of the small glass ones (shaped sort of like a duck) before every concert.

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Grade Your Eggs

Wednesday 08.31.11

Before you bake that cake, do you need to know if that egg you have falls into the jumbo, large or medium category? Well, plunk it down on the Acme Egg Scale and rest easy. I wish I could convey the coolness of the weighing mechanism. This is my friend Dave’s scale. He has chickens, so probably uses this instead of just admiring it. If you too have chickens and need a scale, these are available on ebay.

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Are You Congested?

Tuesday 08.30.11

These three beauties are nasal irrigation devices. I’ll let your imagination do the rest. And, for goodness knows why, I happen to have quite a few of these.

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