Weekend 556.0

I just finished maintenance on Playmobil365.com. My tribute project celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Playmobil is 9 years old! Updates included link hygiene, comment culling, platform hardening, etc. The BIGGEST update was retrofitting categories to EVERY post. This was an old ambition and finally used some downtime to tackle. There are a couple of vignettes and now you can easily isolate the posts and photos related to those stories. All of this was done as early preparation for a 10-year anniversary project (details soon).

If you’ve never visited Playmobil365.com there are tons of tributes to classic video games (Pac-Man and Sid Meijer’s Pirates), 80s bands and artists like A-ha, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Paul Simon and Howard Jones, Disney animation, artists, imagineers and theme park attractions, football clubs like Southampton, Morecambe, and Metz, writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Jeff Bridges via TRON and The Big Lebowski, places like London and Bermuda, and Hayao Miyazaki, Makoto Shinkai, and Haruki Murakami and FINALLY pop culture references like the nod to Garth Marenghi and Stanley Kubrick.

DM me if you can name the movie tribute to Miyazaki and Shinkai and the book title of the tribute to Murakami.

>>> BONUS: Sweet, sweet, sweet tyre pron.

Speaking of…

There have been some significant 20th and 50th Anniversaries the last few years- Naruto, Kingdom Hearts, NY Islanders, and Walt Disney World.

Weekend 215.0 (Inventors Edition)

Brompton Rear Tyre(1) The Nucleus of the Digital Age: In pursuit of hydrogen bombs, a math genius and a brilliant tinkerer in Princeton developed the modern computer (WSJ)

(2) A related quote from Breaking Ground by Daniel Libeskind

“Nobody has captured that awakening as exquisitely as Marcel Proust in Time Regained, when the narrator trips against ‘the uneven paving-stones in front of the coach house.’ Until that fateful moment, for almost 3,500 pages, the narrator of Remembrance of Things Past has grown increasingly full of despair, and is convinced that he cannot, and should not, write. Then, suddenly, ‘when, recovering my balance, I put my foot on a stone which was slightly lower than its neighbor, all my discouragement vanished.’ And in that instant of intense sensory memory, ‘as if by magic,’ he recalls the sensation of standing on two uneven stones in the baptistery of St. Mark’s in Venice. He realizes that he is experiencing the same particular sensation he experienced years before, when the taste of a madeleine brought back memories of his childhood. This moment, in which Proust realizes he is going to write his book, is for me profoundly architectural. A whole world of sensations, ‘all of which had been waiting in their places,’ was waiting for the inherent meaning and structure—or architecture—to be revealed. The shaping of space is important because it engages the body and the mind, emotion and intellect, memory and imagination.”

(3) A quote from Brompton Bicycle by David Henshaw

“Using his considerable influence, Moulton persuaded Dunlop to develop improved high pressure bicycle tyres, and although he might not have realized it at the time, by choosing the existing 16″ x 13/8″ (ISO 37-349mm tyre, Moulton had set the pattern for the futre of development of the folding bike…Dr. Moulton went on to develop an even better 17-inch (ETRTO 369mm) tyre in cooperation with Dunlap, based on a pre-existing tubular racing tyre, but this size remained something of a oddity, used only on Moulton bikes. It is for his work in proving and developing the 37-349mm tyre that Dr. Moulton will be remembered in the folding bicycle world.”

(3a) More quotes from Brompton Bicycle by David Henshaw

“Quite when the Brompton name evolved is unclear, but Ritchie chose it because his flat was situated in the Brompton district of West London, with an eagle’s eyrie view up and down the Cromwell Road and across the Brompton Oratory. A mile or two east or west and the machine could have become the Kensington, the Belgravia or even the Pimlico. Brompton – bu pure chance – was an inspired choice. It had a timeless British ring to it, but without the implied snobbery of other West London addresses. It was smart, yet workaday. Ideal for a folding bike that was designed to appeal to everyday users.”

“‘My heart sank in 1979 after the ICFC failure.’, said Ritchie, ‘but it was one of the best things that could have happened to Brompton. If I had gotten an institutional investor behind me and proceeded with an ill-though through product, it would have sunk without trace.’ In the event, those few crucial extra months of design work had made all the difference. Barring a few design changes, the Brompton was now equipped with all the innovations that would make it such a unique, practical, and long-lived commercial success.”

“And so it was, quite by chance, that Elliott Automation not only gave Andrew Ritchie a grounding in computers, but some essential ‘hands on’ mechanical skills. He could never have guessed it at the time, but these apparently unconnected multi-layered skills – engineering design, computer design, and practical metal bashing – were to serve him well in later years.”

(4) Made Better in Japan (Wall Street Journal Magazine)

(5) Akatsuki Katoh: Moulton & Brompton

Weekend 209.1 (Tires/Tyres)

Yeah. I’ve added a category for tires/tyres because of my obsession with vulcanized rubber. Photographs of tires/tyres for me are like hi-res food shots to foodies.

I watched Tokyo Story last night and Noriko [Setsuko Hara] was employed by the Yoneyama Trading Company whose business was tires apparently (?).

Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story

Speaking of pron; here is some new bike pron! The first is an illustration/drawing by Scott White from Bermuda Journey. The second is from another movie with Setsuko Hara called Late Spring.

(1) Get-Tough Policy on Chinese Tires Falls Flat (WSJ)

(1a) The reincarnation of the Playmobil Classic Car (6240) with accompanying tire pron!

This has nothing to do with tires but was part of my weekend reading:

(2) Boardroom Conquerors (WSJ)

“The good life, Mr. Kluth suggests, is not to be found by trying to imitate those we consider leaders and successes, who are rarely all they seem. It consists of doing what we must, as well as we are able, perceptions and consequences be damned.”