Sunday, February 18, 2007

design: floor lamp

We needed a floor lamp to reach over a sofa.
  • Artemide inflates their Tolomeo design (1989) to make a Mega version for a reasonable $500. But unlike their killer Tizio (1972, by Richard Sapper), I've always felt the Tolomeo poorly engineered and not especially attractive.
  • Similarly, Flos inflates the Archimoon by Philippe S+arck to make the Superarchimoon. Limn has it on display, it's better constructed than the Tolomeo but costs $7000.
  • Giant AnglepoiseAnd again Anglepoise inflates their eponymous Anglepoise, but it's not readily available in the USA.
  • Flos Arco lampFlos also makes the classic Arco lamp (1962, by Achille Castiglioni) with a shade on a curve for $2500 but that's real Carrara marble. Nice, but too 60s white shag rug conversation pit, and our living room has a low-ish ceiling. You can buy knockoffs of this for less.
As I bitched elsewhere, all of these use crappy wasteful incandescent bulbs. They're playing with scale but there's no re-engineering of the light source.

IKEA Samtid floor lampWe finally found Samtid at IKEA. $34.99 plus CFL bulb. Sold!

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eco: where are the brilliant LED lamp designs?

Went to Design Within Reach looking for some lamps. They have lots of OK "mid-century" designs for lamps, but almost every single one is packing a bloody incandescent bulb, one that wastes 95% of its electricity as heat. Have they not learned about compact fluorescents? Go to IKEA and every lamp has a CFL.

What's worse, is where are the LED lamps with brightness adjustability, color mixing, and amazing new forms that take advantage of the featherweight of LEDs? DWR only had two LED lamps, they should have dozens.

There's more technology in a $35 Black Diamond LED headlamp for the outdoors than in any lamp in the entire store. Pathetic! I guess "designers" only know how to mount a conventional bulb socket onto their creations. Actually mastering LED circuitry and electronic controls is too hard for them.

As I said before, Design without engineering is bad design, and there's a lot of it out there.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

cars: post-SUV era

We've been looking to replace our car for over two years, and nothing has changed. All-wheel drive snow car means an SUV, or a VW/Audi with monster engine, or the cheap Subaru Outback Sport. People who ski have money but as more suffer the lack of snow at resorts, more will care about the environment; sell us a suitable car!

If this rumor is true, BMW is looking beyond the SUV.
Both would be five-door, five-passenger vehicles with rear or all-wheel drive offered. They're designed to be sporty and yet capacious, with ride and handling to BMW sedan standards. They'll eschew larger wheels and tires that add unsprung weight as well as high centers of gravity that diminish ride and handling quality.
And if they're less tall they'll have better aerodynamics. Still no hybrid option.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Valentines: most amazing book of love ever

Come February 14th, you can't help thinking about the four kinds of love:
  1. "Philia"
    Friendship, brotherly love
  2. "Eros"
    The drive to create or procreate
  3. "Agape"
    The one who is devoted to the other
  4. "lust"
    The current favorite
or maybe all 57:Chapter II of 'Love is Hell': The 57 Varieties of LoveLove is Hell, far more than the Simpsons or Futurama, is Matt Groening's magnum opus. Every single panel is stuffed with jokes, ideas, and painfully true insights.

I just ordered five more copies. This and Anna Karenina say more about love than any other books I've read. From Amazon's Look Inside the Book, the cover, and Chapter I.

And, damn, I just realized he wrote the strips in 1984. Best music ever, LA Olympics, the festive federalism design movement that the Olympics introduced, Macintosh release (shortly after Lisa and VisiOn. The high point of Western civilization!

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Friday, February 2, 2007

White House lies about global warming responsibility

Here is an exact transcript of US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman's response to the recent IPCC report that solidifies the overwhelming consensus. It's in the context of opposing any kind of mandatory control on emissions:
Even if we were successful in accomplishing some kind of debate and discussion about what caps might be here in the United States, we are a small contributor when you look at the rest of the world.
What a bald-face f***ing lie!

In 2002, USA contributed 24.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Here's the chart.

Inaction in action, bolstered by lies.

I've updated his Wikipedia biography to nail him on this; anyone know how I can save a piece of audio from the BBC World Service for proof?