Tiger Moth

Sitting in the trainer's seat of a beautifully restored de Havilland Tiger Moth. Built in late 1930s for the Australian Air Force. Used by Indian Air Force through the 50s and 60s. Fell into disrepair and purchased by Robert Murphy in Toronto Canada in 2003. Robert faithfully restored everything to its original state. This is a morning circuit around Oshawa Ontario Canada. Music Royal Air Force March Past, Central Band of the Royal Air Force (2008).

Bankers to Reap Record Bonus Haul

Yup. That's the headline in today's Globe & Mail Report on Business. After all the crap that's gone on during the past year and a bit, they're doing it to us again.

Designing A Car

Unless you are fortunate enough to live close to very convenient mass transit, your car is something you have to buy and wrap around yourself before you set out into your community. In North America, unless you live in New York City, or  in downtown Toronto, chances are you own, or someone close to you owns, a car.

Cars are designed by artists to make them appealing, and by engineers to make them functional and reliable. Oops - forgot the marketing and advertising folks, who respond to, or more often, influence, public desire.

Provide Services, Not Goods

Our economy is based on us consuming things. The more we consume, the better the economy looks. Companies thrive by buying raw materials and labour cheap wherever they can, and selling at a profit. The more goods sold the better. We're used to thinking of the economy as having three sectors - primary (resources), secondary (processing and manufacturing). and service (shipping, marketing, retailing, financial and everything else). The first two are suffering in North America because of globalization, but that's a topic for a future post!

Designing a Car

There are over one billion cars operating on earth. In about fifteen years, there will be over two billion. Cars and trucks already contribute over one-third of the global warming gases, and consume about three-quarters of the oil. What can we do to accommodate the new drivers in the developing world?

Preventative Approaches to Design

I'm sitting at the kitchen table looking at the items around me. Holy smoke. Everything was designed by engineers, architects, technicians, and artists. Absolutely everything - even the potted plant that tries desperately to remind me of the real world.

We Symbolize

Have you ever really thought about a dictionary? Of course, it's a collection of words and their meanings. But, unless you already know a great deal of the words' references to each other, a dictionary is completely unusable. We can define a chair, for example, as something to sit on. That doesn't narrow it down, though. It has to be something we've made, allows our legs to bend down below our waist, lets us pull up to a table, and on and on.

Specializing

The repercussions of being a specialist changed dramatically when our world became industrialized. Our complex society requires specialists to concentrate on smaller and more focussed aspects of the world, so much so that the need for and the consequences of their work falls outside their own expertise.

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