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February 28, 2010

When Steve Jobs met Paul Rand

NeXT logo

Paul Rand might very well have been one of the most influential graphic designer of the 20th Century. He's best known for his logo design... Rand created the iconic logos for ABC, IBM, Westinghouse and UPS.

In the early 1990s Steve Jobs hired Rand to create the logo for his new computer company, NeXT.

The Brain Pickings blog has uncovered a great video of Jobs talking about what it was like working with Rand...a meeting of two great iconoclast perfectionists.

I asked him [Rand] if he would come up with a few options. And he said, 'No, I will solve your problem for you, and you will pay me. And you don't have to use the solution - if you want options, go talk to other people. But I'll solve your problem for you the best way I know how, and you use it or not, that's up to you - you're the client = but you pay me.'

See the video here.

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2010

Mogul migration

Photo of a mogul field by random_matt. Photo available via a Creative Commons license. Original at http://www.flickr.com/photos/random_matt/2905034454/

Every skier knows that moguls are small (and sometimes not so small) snow hills made by the cumulative action of skiers. Moguls fields form as more and more skiers turn at the same spots, each turn spraying out a bit more snow that over time grows into larger and larger hills.

But it turns out moguls don't just grow and shrink in size, they also migrate. Uphill.

Writing in Physics Today, three scientists explained that as moguls get larger, skiers are more and more likely to make turns on the downhill side of the pre-existing moguls. Each time they do they dislodge a bit of snow that lands on the uphill size of the mogul below. Thus over time the uphill side of each mogul grows, while the downhill side is abraded away.

A typical mogul moves uphill at a rate of roughly 8 centimeters a day, or about 10 meters a season.

Image by random_matt/flickr.com published under a Creative Commons license.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

How to speak kitchen

image from eggbeater blog

Ever since I read Twyla Tharp's book about the practice of creativity, I've realized that NOTHING is more important to achieving artistic success than putting in the hours upon hours of practice. (Take THAT, people who think talent is God given).

That fact is driven home again in this essay by chef Shuna Fish Lydon laying out just what it takes to make it in a kitchen...

Memorize your station, and the station next to you. Inventory, taste EVERY PIECE OF YOUR MIS EN PLACE EVERY DAY, every night, every service. Even if you are the only one on your station. Even if you don't want to. Some ingredients/components just take a few hours to go off. If you serve bad food it's on you. Have INTEGRITY. And if you hate your job/menu/chef so much that you don't care to taste your m.e.p., leave. Please. You have no time to waste
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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

Creating a new traffic sign

Taking turns sign

While there are traffic signs for most of the actions we perform with our motor vehicles (turning, stopping, speeding up, slowing down, etc.) Gary Lauder thinks there's room for one more.

Speaking at this year's TED conference, Gary Lauder unveiled his design for a traffic sign for the traffic maneuver that more than any other brings out the best and worst in people -- the alternate merge.

While an explicit instruction telling people to be nice to each other is never out of place, not everyone is happy with the sign. Some call it ugly, others confusing. And there's an argument to be made that the last thing the world needs is more traffic signs.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:18 PM | Comments (0)