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Showing posts from June, 2020

Binary Schminary!

Friends, Our analog world is filled with endless possibilities. While a fancy digital computer monitor's 1.07 billion colors may seem like overkill, there are infinitely more colors in nature. The number of hues is only limited by our ability to perceive them. Similarly with sound. While we may hear up-to 10 octaves, the 120 chromatic scale notes contained therein are merely arbitrary stops in an unlimited array of possibilities. Skeptical? Try tuning a guitar by ear --or listening to a Bollywood movie soundtrack. And that’s just the audible range. There's a  black hole playing B flat a whole 57 octaves below middle C. Right? Pick any topic and the number of possibilities is similarly boundless. Resolution? Subatomic particles to super galactic clusters. Time? A jiffy to an eon. Math? Will get your head spinning (and that's before you leave the integer, real number realm). Why, then, do binary choices hold such appeal? Perhaps it's comforting to simplify our immens

Delayed Graffitication

Friends, My brief stint as a graffiti artist involved the letter "Z" (borrowed from "Zorro"), some chalk (borrowed from my 6th grade classroom), and several walls on my way home (borrowed as my canvas). This week, memories of this "gangsta" childhood moment came rushing back, triggered by some utility graffiti  in my 'hood (neighborhood, to the uninitiated). The 811 gang (a.k.a. the 'call before you dig' crew) has been tagging sidewalks and streets with the "Zorro tie-fighter" sign. Like their Star Wars counterparts, the spray-painted orange eye sores never seem to travel alone. They're lined-up every few feet to ward-off rival gangs. Who knew a gang war of epic proportions could be brewing in the deceptively tranquil Denver suburbs? You may na├»vely buy into the illuminati fake news that these markings are actually pointing-out communications (orange) fiber conduit (tie fighter symbol) going both ways (the letter "Z"). A

The Most Useless Invention --Yet

Friends, Do you ever look at something and wonder what the designer was thinking (or smoking)? While I’ve run across the “solution looking for a need” phenomenon, there is usually some perceived benefit that comes from the extraneous feature. This week I discovered that’s not always the case. Enter Domino’s Pizza “open on other side” tab (see photo). Arguably the most useless “feature” ever conceived. For some reason beyond comprehension, the packaging designer at Domino’s decided their sauce containers needed a small protrusion that looks like something you’d grab to open the lid. Except, it’s not! While you can use it to try to get to your sweet icing or ranch dressing, this will result in an unseemly tear. As best as I can tell the tab’s sole reason for existing is to tell you not to use it! Never mind the fact that if the extra tab wasn’t there, folks would gravitate towards the tab you’re actually supposed to use. Even if we as a society have come to rely on gratuitous instructi

Donuts With OCD, --Yeah You Know Me!

Friends, Have you ever caught yourself straightening-up a painting when visiting a friend? How about discreetly kicking gravel off the sidewalk back onto your neighbor's yard? Do take photos using the Fibonacci sequence to balance the subject? If so, you may enjoy some degree of OCD --"suffer" seems harsh. Mild perfectionism, as I call it, comes under many guises. People fuss over behavior, organization, phrasing and numbers. One might always boil precisely a dozen eggs, make a spiral with a dozen registration stickers on one's license plate or feel compelled to shoot a photo of two dozen flying moths so it's neatly divided into thirds. One might. One might even have a donut with "D" shaped sprinkles while drinking from a Dunkin' cup in a color-coordinated tie-dye shirt --or, one's nephew might. Mental disorder? Maybe. Then again, sane can be boring. I find fastidious folks fascinating --feel free to differ. Self-incriminating photos notwithstand