Archive for November, 2015

Giant penny found on sidewalk

November 17th, 2015

Fnnch penny

Walking along Valencia the other day I spotted a rather large penny painted on the sidewalk. The design features the phrase “IN FNNCH WE TRUST,” alluding to local artist fnnch.

Fnnch is best known for the honey bear designs, and if you look closely there’s an outline of one in the penny.

Other changes deviate from the design of a US penny, but the one that caught my eye is a very subtle — is Lincoln smiling? One has to wonder what’s making him so happy; perhaps he just likes honey bears.

My homemade pipe stool

November 13th, 2015

Pipe stool

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about design, and specifically how the environments we encounter can suggest that one take a certain course of action. By keeping my shoes near the door to my apartment for my own convenience I’d accidentally created a bad design — a situation that subtly suggested one should remove one’s shoes, but didn’t offer any place to sit while doing so.

I honestly don’t care if people remove their shoes or not but I want people to feel welcome if I’ve inadvertently suggested it. What I needed was a place to sit.

Yeah, I mean I could have just bought a chair or a stool, or even found one on Craigslist. But that’s no fun.

Loosely following the design from this blog post I bought some iron pipe fittings at the hardware store and for the seat I purchased a tree slice from Amazon. I removed loose bark from the tree slice and applied a few layers of spray-on lacquer.

The pipes were more of a challenge. After a couple hours of wrestling with heavy iron pipes (and getting a few bruises along the way) I managed to get the pipes locked tightly into place. Then it was simply a matter of adjusting the caps at the bottom until the thing was level, and the floor flanges on the top so they were all level with the seat.

A few screws later, and I had a most unusual homemade stool. But most of all I solved a small design problem I’d accidentally created in my own living space.

Wait, why did The Flash run past the Transamerica Pyramid?

November 5th, 2015

The Flash runs past the Transamerica Pyramid

The Flash is a fun TV show based on the comic books. It’s set in the fictional “Central City” and this week’s episode is no different.

So why then, on the way from his headquarters at Star Labs to try to capture Dr. Light at the Bank of Central City does The Flash run west along Washington Street past the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco’s Financial District?

The Transamerica Pyramid is one of those instantly recognizable structures. The unusual intersection with Columbus Avenue seen at the bottom of the screen cap (above) is a crystal clear indication that we’re looking at an image of San Francisco itself rather than merely some Transamerica-like knockoff in the fictional Central City. This is the real deal we’re looking at, no question about it.

Here’s some of my own top fan theories on how The Flash wound up here:

  • On the previous night The Flash had stopped by Vesuvio to read Howl after purchasing it at City Lights. He stumbled out of the place completely shitfaced and forgot to close his tab. No judgement man, it happens. He just had to stop by again when he had a chance to pick up his card.
  • The Flash recently took a free personality test and discovered the truth about “engrams.” He stopped at the Scientology Center across the street from the Transamerica Pyramid to find out more, but after speed-reading Dianetics he ultimately decided Scientology wasn’t for him.
  • Look, it’s kind of embarrassing but The Flash still uses Groupon. I know, I know. But he’s a poorly paid young police detective and he has to take what he can get. So one day he bought a Groupon deal for some pasta at a shitty tourist trap in North Beach. Knowing he had a significant head start on Dr. Light he decided to take advantage of the deal before it expired, running all the way to San Francisco for a quick bite at The Stinking Rose.
  • The Flash ran faster than the speed of light, causing his GPS to malfunction. He wound up in San Francisco by mistake.

Okay, that last theory is off the table because there’s no way The Flash could break the speed of light. But the others? Totally plausible.

At the end of the day my theories are just ideas from a fan. I hope one day this popular TV show finally reveals the true secret behind this curious jaunt from Central City to downtown San Francisco!