Really, USA Today?
via Kurt White
Unintentionally hilarious fireworks packaging.
There’s a clip at the end of the “Computer” firework going off which is really impressive in its way; I didn’t know that you could get consumer-level fireworks with such a complicated sequence ….
Bonus clip: The NYPD blowing up 5000 pounds of seized illegal fireworks. (In a wooded area? Oh well. The caption says it’s their firing range; if they want to set fire to it, that’s their problem.)
It’s interesting to me how many otherwise non-gullible people really want this to be real. I think there’s something lurking there that a sociologist would have fun with, and I suspect the root of it is because Jobs is such a, ahem, polarizing figure. But you know, as much as I love some of his roles, Connery is a Proven Asshole too, so it fascinates me that in a Battle of Assholes, my peers would mostly root for Connery ….
Anyway, it’s a fake. Putting aside the fact that it appears on A PARODY SITE (click through on the image for the source), Connery has spent the latter half of his life trying to distance himself from 007, and he would never use the 007 mark on his paper even if he weren’t - he doesn’t own it, doesn’t have the right to use it, and he has very, very careful lawyers.
OK, I wasn’t going to rant about this when I originally saw it, but now it’s passed through my Tumblr feed twice and I can’t resist any longer:
This is why designers should sometimes not be allowed near anything.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, designers do good things for the world, a lot of the time; when they are a force for Good, they make things more functional and more aesthetic at the same time, which is a neat trick. But when they are a force for Evil ….
I would have thought it would be difficult to make money that was uglier than American currency is now, and yet this design has managed it. A comment elsewhere said (I paraphrase) “These look like the tickets for admission to a particularly dull European museum.”
Helvetica should not be allowed anywhere near currency. Currency fonts should have a measure of old-school pomp and dignity. The same school of thought that gives us Helvetica on currency also gives us Helvetica on banks, because banks want to look friendly and accessible. I don’t want my bank to look friendly; I want it to look durable and trustworthy. Banks need authoritative-looking Roman letters with nice strong verticals and serifs. So does money.
This design would be hugely easy to counterfeit.
Real-life people can’t appear on currency or stamps while they are alive.
I understand a lot of people would like money to be color-coded by denomination. Fine, but not like this. This doesn’t even look like fake money. Monopoly money looks more like money than this does. In fact, the nature of the currency - the word “dollar” or the dollar sign - appears nowhere here. (Closeups.)
I hate the idea of each denomination being a different size because money then doesn’t stack uniformly and you lose smaller bills between larger ones. However, I’m willing to go along with it if it helps the blind - although embossing Braille denominations would be better.
This is the sort of US currency design which could only have been designed by someone outside of the US. Dowling Duncan gives three addresses and I suspect their UK one is the foremost one. This is straight out of the Swiss-modernist playbook, which is lovely in its place but is used to excess. This is not a place where it belongs.
You may think I am being unfair by taking one bad, ugly design and generalizing this to a rant on Designers Doing Evil. OK. Take a look at some of the other designs in the project, then. Almost all of them are hideous. Almost all of then lack the dignity, sobriety, and - yes - dullness which are a necessary part of any currency. My point is not about ugly design, it is about designers not being willing to leave well enough alone. Money is not supposed to be visually exciting. Money is supposed to be staid and dependable.
Edit to add: Here are a couple of the other 2010 winners I think would be reasonably appropriate designs, just so you can gauge my taste on this:
Edit again (sorry!): Be sure you read the long set of comments on the controversy etc the Dowling Duncan money stirred up at the bottom of that “2010 winners” link above. Fascinating stuff.
Airbus has unveiled the concept design for a jetliner, proposed for 2050, which would have a translucent cabin, a virtual golf course, offer passengers seats that change shape, aromatherapy, and antioxidant-enriched air.
Flying would be some experience then!
Personally, I’ve been waiting for this for a lifetime, but I’m forced to admit realistically that for every person like me who thinks, “Finally, a decent view of the glorious panorama of the sky” there are three people who will be in fetal positions going “OH GOD MAKE IT STOP.”
Which is why this is the first item ever to get both the “brilliance” and “notquitebrilliant” tags.
Please, please, PLEASE, for the love of god please, change your code so we can insert a cut into other types of post besides “text.” There is no reason I shouldn’t be able to put a cut into an item just because it begins with a link instead of a bare title.
I’m sure she was supposed to be looking orgasmically excited, but the actual effect strikes me as more like, “Oh my god, my toaster is POSSESSED BY PURE EVIL! SAVE YOURSELVES!”
I find this educational psychology article from The Economist to be sort of a “well, duh” conclusion, but maybe that’s just me:
The researchers’ conclusion was that, in the context of strange toys of unknown function, prior explanation does, indeed, inhibit exploration and discovery.
The question that interests me has to do not with children but with adults, to wit: When you encounter an adult who is scared to pull down menus or try items in whatever software they’re working with, who is only comfortable with a narrowly-defined operational procedure and flat-out refuses to experiment or vary from that procedure in any way, is that a learned behavior? How did they play with their toys as a child? In short, did they lose their will to explore, or did they never have much of it in the first place?
The original title of that book has been so well suppressed by now that I didn’t learn it myself until a couple of years ago. I always knew it as Ten Little Indians.
Aurora by ZIIIRO, new design for a watch that displays time using colour.
I have given this some thought, and I think that why this and their other numberless designs, though stunning, don’t actually work for me as timepieces is because - despite staring at clocks all my life - I don’t really have an instinctive sense of “where the numbers are” if you drew a positional marker on an otherwise unlabelled dial. Strangely, I don’t have this problem with compasses; you could make a mark on a blank compass and (as long as I knew which end was north) I could give you relatively subtle nuances of north-north-west etc. Perhaps it is because I do better with something divided binarily (fourths, then halved into eighths, etc), rather than fourths then thirds (it’s the numbers NOT at cardinal compass points I can’t place on a clock face)? Or maybe it just means I should wear a digital watch.
(Also, am I totally missing how you tell the “hour” line from the “minute” line?)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a film I’m always tempted to write about as an adjunct to my James Bond writing. The film is the unholy offspring of a lot of people who were noted for much better work in other places (Albert Broccoli, Roald Dahl, the Sherman Brothers) - a messy collision at best. That it was considered a success probably has a lot to do with the landscape for children’s films in 1968. It is certainly not because of any actual quality. It’s not so much the actively bad parts, which are few; it’s that most of the film is indifferent, tedious. The one thing a children’s film can never be is boring, and this film frequently is.
Here’s the only scene that I ever end up rewatching these days, probably because every new generation of ASFR fetishists rediscovers it and thinks no one else has ever seen it. That said, pretending to be a windup doll is definitely playing to Sally Howes’ strengths - it’s probably the most natural she is in the whole film.
And look - it’s Anna Quayle! It’s Gert Frobe! It’s … my god, is that Benny Hill? It’s always fascinating to see talented character actors get utterly lost in muck like this.
Three reasons I shouldn’t post this:
1) I just said I was likely not going to post anymore today, and yet here we are.
2) I said I wasn’t going to post any more royal wedding related items, and yet here we are.
3) I so hate to follow that wonderful, beatific Swan Silvertones song with something this crude, rude, low, and generally in poor taste.
But it just must be posted. It MUST. It demands it.
Ice-cold beers are vended toward increasingly inebriated targets at 50 psi. Whenever alcohol and projectiles get together, good things are bound to happen!
(Hat tip: Dan Lyke.)
A confluence of really bad ideas.
Did you ever notice that no one ever tries to sell men a “personal confidence system” involving their genitalia? There are plenty of men who have zero confidence in their genitalia, but no one goes there. (And no one tries to convince men to glue shinies in intimate places, either.) I will let you write your own thesis about social constructs and inherited baggage and gender norms and so forth.
I agree with one of the Consumerist commenters that linking this Onion clip at this point, while not quite entirely germane, is somehow appropriate. (NSFW tag mostly for clip, which might raise an eyebrow or two at the office.)