Tag Archives: design

How does a Baby Nappy (Disposable Diaper) Work? Science, Technology & Curiosity 26 JUN 2016

A disposable baby nappy is actually quite a cleverly designed product, the current iterations consisting of five different layers, each with its own specialized role to play. Furthermore, the superabsorbent polymer in the diaper’s core is unbelievable in terms of its ability to soak up massive amounts of liquid!

hand changing a baby nappy

EngineerGuy, otherwise known as engineering professor Bill Hammack, is a well known science and technology documentarian who has gone ahead and put together this very informative video on what is quite an… absorbing topic:

As much as I moan about the cost of nappies, these brilliant little things really do make life with a baby/toddler so much easier!

Related Link: EngineerGuy | YouTube

The British Power Plug is actually a damn good Design Science, Technology & Curiosity 22 APR 2015

British presenter and tech personality Tom Scott dives a bit into just why the British plug is considered such a superior and safe design as opposed to some of the other power plugs around the world.

(Pleasingly, some of those features mentioned are also found in South Africa’s Type M plug standard as well – that’s got to count for something, right?)

If you couldn’t be bothered watching the video, here’s the run down as to why the British plug is so good:

Prong Design: Like standard U.S. grounded plugs, the U.K. wall plug has three prongs. But the design of these prongs makes it nearly impossible for you to shock yourself accidentally. Unlike in U.S. plugs, half of each prong is coated in insulation. Because of this, even if a plug is not fully inserted into a socket, touching the exposed part of the prongs can’t give you a shock.

Socket Design: Any kid with a fork or a screwdriver can light his hair on fire in the United States by jamming it into a wall socket. Not so in England, where it would take at least two screwdrivers to manage the same calamitous trick. The U.K. plug is designed so that the grounding prong is slightly longer than the prongs responsible for transferring current. Like a tumbler in a lock, this grounding prong is responsible for “unlocking” the socket, giving access to the more dangerous live and neutral terminals.

Built-In Fuses: During World War II, a copper shortage resulted in the British government putting fuses into every plug, instead of wiring them directly. Although the built-in fuse adds bulk to the U.K. plug design, it’s also safer: In case of an unexpected electrical surge, the fuse simply blows and the electricity shuts off, preventing fires, electrocutions, and other accidents. It also makes U.K. plugs easier to fix.

Circuit Design: Finally, there’s the wiring inside the plug itself. Not only is it extremely intuitive, but it has been thoughtfully designed so that if the plug is tugged and the wiring frays, the live and neutral wires are the first to become disconnected, while the grounding wires—the ones responsible for preventing human electrocution when they come in contact with a circuit—are the last to fray.

british power plug

Clever. Hurts like hell if you step on it though.

Related Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEfP1OKKz_Q

The Ingenious Design of the Aluminium Beverage Can Science, Technology & Curiosity 11 APR 2015

Engineering professor Bill Hammack is a well known science and technology documentarian who has been the face of his engineerguy.com project for quite a number of years now.

This time around he takes us through the engineering choices underlying the design of the worldwide icon that is the beverage can. He explains why it is cylindrical, outlines the manufacturing steps needed to created the can, notes why the can narrows near it lid, show close ups of the double-seam that hold the lid on, and details the complex operation of the tab that opens the can.

In other words, it turns out that quite a bit of thought has gone into the design of our modern day soda can.

indian girl holding a can of fanta orange

Related Link: http://www.engineerguy.com/ | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUhisi2FBuw

The Rugged Rock of Craig v6.0 Redesign My Life 25 AUG 2012

Right. If you are a regular reader of mine, then you might have noticed a fair number of changes around these pages. As I mentioned previously, in an effort to streamline my online presence and thereby reduce the amount of work I needed to do in order to keep everything up to date, I one by one closed down all of my other web presences, pulled in all the data, and merged it with what already existed on the craiglotter.co.za domain. So this means no more sites like codeunit.co.za, ruggedrockstudio.com, guestspark.com or houseofc.co.za, no everything can now be found under the umbrella of The Rugged Rock of Craig site.

In keeping with all of these changes, I also took the time to modify the design of this site, making some pretty big changes like dropping the right hand sidebar completely, fleshing out the footer area, introducing infinite scroll on all the looped pages, and finally compressed all lists such that they only show excerpts, allowing for a more focussed browsing experience.

And seeing as this is the sixth year that this blog is in operation, I’ve arbitrarily decided to refer to this latest redesign as v6.0 of craiglotter.co.za!

(As always, let me know what I might have screwed up. There are a couple of tweaks I still want to make here and there, but for all intent and purposess, this site is now stable again.)

Gordon’s Beach Lodge Winter Special Brochure Sketches, Paint & Photoshop 19 JUL 2011

Just to prove that I’ve still got it if needed, I quickly whipped up this delightful green and white wordy little brochure for Chantelle for use in a post box drop in order to promote Gordon Beach Lodge’s (GBL) Winter Special that is currently on the go.

I thought it came out pretty nice, and fits the current Winter Wonderland that Gordon’s Bay’s tourist committee are currently chasing (hint, their strategy involves putting fairy lights on the milkwood beach walk).