October 2009

“To own or possess is to monopolize the use of something permanently. Hence the need to possess betrays a degree of insecurity. Possession is a way of ensuring access to whatever it is we want to use or enjoy: we are so anxious that the object be there when we want it that we are…more

Excellence within constraints

“As a child I used to be fascinated by Ferraris, but now I’m totally bored by them. To make a car for, say, $40,000 is much harder than making a car for 10 times that amount. A Golf is a work of genius because it’s excellence within constraints. That’s what genius is.” – Malcolm Gladwell.

Bill Watterson on the real world

“If you ever want to find out just how uninteresting you really are, get a job where the quality and frequency of your thoughts determine your livelihood.” – Some thoughts on the real world by one who glimpsed it and fled – Bill Watterson at Kenyon College.

A joyous gift

A little boy (maybe 5 years old) wrote to Maurice Sendak telling him how much he loved his books, his drawings, everything about him. As you might imagine, Sendak gets a lot of fan mail, but he was so moved by this one that he wrote the boy back and enclosed an original drawing, just…more

Let my people sleep

“On the average, A students get 15 minutes more sleep than B students – ‘every fifteen minutes counts’…Edina, MN moved its start time an hour later – the top 10% of graduating class went up 200 SAT points on a 1600 point scale.” – Ashley Merryman at Pop!Tech.

Ostrich Rider costume

I think I’ve found my costume for this year.

The Fun Theory

The Fun Theory designs products and experiences that encourages positive actions (saving energy, recycling, etc) by making them more fun.

The Ultimate Productivity Blog

This should be the first blog I read every day.

The iterative writer

I’m very interested in the intersection of fiction (written or filmed) and design, and while science fiction icon Bruce Sterling said recently that [“design has more to offer fiction at the moment than literature has to offer design”](http://magicalnihilism.com/2009/10/14/icon-minds-tony-dunne-fiona-raby-bruce-sterling-on-design-fiction/), I’ve found it extremely valuable as a designer to learn from both writing and the writing process….more

Spring-loaded hub smoothes out your pedal stroke

This looks really interesting, and jives with my own experience surging on climbs with each stroke. The folks at [RoadBikeReview are skeptical](http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=155208), as are [the commenters at Bicycle Design](http://bicycledesign.blogspot.com/2009/10/e-hub.html), but while I admit any energy storage system will lose some amount of power, the benefit of reducing acceleration and deceleration on climbs may be worth…more