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!
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!
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.
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.
Clever. Hurts like hell if you step on it though.
Related Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEfP1OKKz_Q
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.
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.)
Seeing as Chantelle got me roped into her little side-project idea of baking the best tasting treats you’ll ever receive as a gift, the website I whipped up for her needed an appropriate logo.
Despite the fact that I am of course rusty as hell, I managed to churn this out over the course of an hour, the end result of which isn’t all that bad if I say so myself. (In any event, it was a great excuse to pick up the old pencil and eraser once again!)
Related Link: http://www.cookiesandcakes.co.za
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).
If you have visited this site before, you might have noticed that something doesn’t quite look the same since you last set foot on these pages. You would of course be right. Over the period of the last two days (well evenings), I have meticulously taken everything apart, given everything a good spit and polish, added a lick of paint, and reassembled it all to present to you the new and improved, rather fiery and dashing, House of C.
Hope you like it.
(And if you spot anything amiss, let me know!)
I finally got around to designing a usable logo for my collective group of work that has always gone under the banner of Rugged Rock Studio for as long as I can remember (that or CodeUnit when it comes to my programming work).
Anyway, wanting to emphasise the strength and durability of the name, I opted for a rocky fist (think the Thing from Fantastic Four if that helps) and adopted a brown palette as the main color scheme for the studio logo. And after a bit of pencils, fineliner, scanning and a quick dab of Photoshop wizardry, out popped the following three web elements which will now adorn and serve to tie together my various web presences as I make an effort over the next while to give everything a much needed lick of fresh paint.
First, the official Rugged Rock Studio logo:
Next, the Rugged Rock tab which will hang above all my sites:
And finally the official Rugged Rock Studio icon, which will become the favicon for the majority of my sites:
Way back in October 2007 I was commissioned to come up with a logo for the newly established Environmental Policy Research Unit that fell under the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town. Since I was recently asked to dig up those old designs and send it through to a new administrator for that project, I thought it a good idea to post it up here as a reminder to myself that this was also something I found myself doing in those bad old days when one still needed to scrape together pennies from which ever direction they came, no matter what work you were required to do in order to get them! :)
As you can see, the accepted logo was a pretty simple silhouette-based piece of work that highlighted the environmental nature of the research unit through the symbolic use of an majestic tree in front of a setting (or rising) sun. I then used a nice emboldened font of their official abbreviation and in order to explain the abbreviation further (because of the newness of the unit), I placed the full text of the name in an umbrella view over the tree and sun symbol.
(Below the logo you can see the web banner I proposed for their standardised site design.)
Looking at it now, I can’t help but think that I still quite like the design I came up with. It’s not particularly colourful, but it is bold, gives you a good idea of what the unit is about and tells you exactly just who it is whom you currently are reading about!