Friday, June 04, 2010

The designer

Excelsior gripped the stick, held it downward at a 45 and made gentle jabbing motions.

He frowned, lifted up the stick and pulled a small iron weight upwards a centimeter and counterclockwise around the stick a half-degree.

Then he again swung the stick downward and made the same pointing motions.

He next twisted his wrist so the stick made some loose sideways-eight motions.

His frown loosened and he let out a quiet hmmph of satisfaction. On the desk nearby lay a 0.7mm Parker Sonnet Indigo Mechanical Pencil, which he took up and used to record the measurements he had just taken in precise, straight strokes.

His eyes scanned the rest of the page and then the next 10 pages, which were full of numbers and diagrams. He occassionally eyed the stick that he had lain down next to him.

He held impeccable posture.

13 minutes and 50 seconds later, he heaved a long sigh, tapped the papers into order and placed them into a large envelope with address and stamp, already written and placed respectively on the envelope. He dabbed the glue of the envelope lid moist with a wet sponge piece and precisely drew two fingers along the edge to press it closed. He then stuck it out of his mail slot and lifted the flag to indicate mail pick up.

Afterwards, he sat down on his minimal cot, turned 90 degrees, laid down and fell asleep.

The night passed. At 5:15 am, he opened his eyes and turned his head to the door.

He went back to sleep.

The night passed. At 5:15 am, he opened his eyes and turned his head to the door.

He went back to sleep.

The night passed. At 5:15 am, he opened his eyes and turned his head to the door.

A package was there.

He sat up, grabbed the shirt neatly folded to his side and briskly, but not hurredly put it on.

Next his pants.

Then his slippers, first his right, then his left.

He stood and went to the package, which was long and rectangular and wrapped in brown wrapping paper.

With three efficient strokes of an exacto knife, he cut the paper and opened the box inside and removed the contents.

His eyes scanned the object from right to left.

Next he picked it up and felt the weight, bobbing it up and down in his hand.

He then pointed it downward and made the same gentle jabbing motions as before.

Lastly, his left hand traced the surface of the object from bottom to tip.

He looked to the side deep in thought, then placed the object down.

He left the room for 8 minutes.

When he returned, he walked purposefully towards the object.

He picked up the toilet scrubber and went back to the bathroom.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Google How to Save the News

The Atlantic has an interesting article on how Google is working to save the news.  As interesting as I find some of the quotes and observations made by Google execs and employees, I find Google News simply unusable.  I simply cannot focus on anything that looks worthwhile reading.  They really need to tap into the old newspaper knowledge on to graphically design a news page.