Friday, August 18, 2017

Please keep an eye out for this ferret

We may never know what happened to this ferret - but thanks to Google instant translate we at least know what the sign says.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Cold war foosball in Hungary

Look carefully, the US team is wearing little felt caps and the Soviet team all have fur hats.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dollar a day storage and you won't guess what happened

No wait - we could have totally guessed this might happen.

The sad part is that a dollar a day sound really cheap, but it isn't actually so cheap IMHO.

EDIT: Adding the tag "lessons on signage" do not have your storage advertising poster be half burnt to a crisp in the fire that is manifest to have consumed your entire building.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

The cutest credit card

Regular blog readers will know I have a thing for personalized credit card design (and Eli too). I've made credit cards with gunshots through them, chunks cut out, and a few that I actually drew on by hand. But this time I wanted to go all out cut an entire shape.

Help me name the seal by leaving a comment!

Note the card isn't valid until signed, so there you have my signature. Also note that the magnetic strip is totally fine.

The best part is how cute the little guy (girl?) fits tucked away inside my wallet.

Actually swiping the card is also super fun, both for the person swiping, and for the little one too.

When I first decided to cut out a shape - I wanted it to be a clothes iron - I would cut out the handle. But alas the strict capitalone censors forbade it due to possible trademark infringement, even after I blurred out the company's logo. I'm glad though because ironing is naturally boring and seals are naturally awesome!

Below is what the card looked like before I cut it out. Note that the text is upside-down so the magnetic strip can end up on the bottom.

Sadly I haven't been able to find the original source of the image, it is one of those that appears a million places online though Google correctly identifies it as "animals doing yoga poses"

Help me name the seal in a comment!

PS: To see my former credit card designs follow this link:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What winning the super bowl taught me about SpaceX

This year my city of Boston was in the super bowl and so I decided to go out to watch the people who were watching the super bowl. But after witnessing the swing from almost losing to final super bow victory I realized that I am not so different than these hardcore Boston sports fans because ...

I'm a die-hard SpaceX fan

Here are a few reasons:

  • I'm always cheering for SpaceX, no matter what happens during the live telecast launch events
  • All other rockets SUCK because they use obsolete technology and won't ever be as strong as our rockets anyway
  • The "refs" be it NASA or the Air Force are always unfair to SpaceX ... but even they can't stop us from winning

Also there is my talk about SpaceX and the mars mission to the futurists of Shanghai meetup group

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Genius Gasoline Can from Thailand

I spotted this gasoline can in Thailand. You might be wondering what is awesome? Well check out the second little tube above the first tube.
Now imagine yourself pouring gasoline, in essentially all cases you will be pouring it into a mostly empty gas tank through a small hole (with the notable exception of some mad science experiments). Gas tanks that are mostly empty are actually filled completely with smelly air that is dangerously flammable. If you fill the tank with a normal gas can then as you pour you push the smelly air out; but with this one, the smelly air gets sucked up into the can. How much? Exactly the right amount.

And what might be the main design intent here, you wouldn't be able to overfill a gas tank with this kind of can.

Aaand Bonus, the handle is curved, so you can pour it easily in various states of full.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ye Olde Port-a-potty

When I saw this van, in my mind I couldn't help but insert the word "pot" after "chamber":

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Worst pharmacy ever

A new pharmacy company is advertising the NYC subways. This ad does not instill confidence in them; in fact, based on this ad alone, I would never fill a prescription through them:
See the CDC on when to take antibiotics.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ofo public bikes you can leave anywhere

Just when we were getting used to Mobikes a new bike share company popped up. We like them already because they didn't copy the Mobike color. This is just outside a train station, you can see a whole bunch of old mobikes (orange) and several of the new ofo bikes (yellow).

Another reason I like them: they chose the actual name of their company because the English characters "ofo" kind of look like a guy riding a bicycle. The Chinese written language is "logographic" and the visual look of the character sometimes is related to the meaning. I think it is great they are doing the same with the Latin alphabet without asking permission.

But the best thing about ofo bike is that they invented a bike you can leave anywhere and unlock with your phone ... that doesn't have any electronics! No GPS and no network connectivity of any sort, meaning they can pump out a huge number really cheaply. How do they do it?

The first difference from mobike is the lock, it is an old-school mechanical combination lock. When the code is right pushing the button unlocks the bike immediately. Like mobike, manually closing the lock locks it again.

You use the app to get the combination lock code by punching in the license plate number of the bike.

When you start riding it keeps track of your location and tells you how far you went. When you tell the app you are finished riding - it used the GPS on your phone to estimate where the bike was left. You are on the honor system to lock the bike and scramble the combination. Naturally this isn't as accurate as having GPS built into the bike ... but they have made so many of these cheap bikes that you really don't need the app to find one ... they are everywhere.

Literately dropping them off the back of trucks all over Shanghai.

They ride fairly nicely - though like mobike - their seat is too low to be comfortable on long rides.

And guess what ... another primary color has been taken over by yet another public bike network. This one doesn't have any English options, and I'm not in Shanghai anymore so we'll have to leave it a mystery. 

Footnote on Chinese logography: The word bird   kind of looks like a chicken looking to the right, the word for "big" 大 kind of looks like a man with outstretched arms and the word for "fire" 火 kind of looks like a man waving his arms like he's on fire and also kind of like a bonfire.