In the shadow of error

I’ve currently been reading Enlightenment aberrations: error and revolution in France by David William Bates. It’s rather interesting. I’ve only gotten through a fraction of it, but so far it’s full of wonderful myths and dramatic perceptions on the notion of error. I’m not sure if I’ve already discussed the fact that the latin root of error, errare, meant “to go off track”, or “to walk at random”, and in 16th Century France, erreur meant “a voyage involving adventures”. In it’s original sense, error had a much more physical definition than the psychological connection to truth we attribute to it today.

Networking the world’s beaches

A wee post about risk and how to design with risk rather than against it. The beach has always been an area of great attraction, and great intrepidation amongst us humans. With growing pollutants and extreme weather conditions, our beaches are becoming more like ones out of JAWS – unpredictable areas that are difficult to gauge if it is safe to swim, or, if you’re so inclined, surf, sail and fish. So what if our beaches were equipped with sensors that measured environmental conditions and fed that information through the internet to people in real time?

Well Britain’s next-door neighbour has already started doing this.


Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency has worked with IBM to set up for people to track data received by solar-powered sensors on buoys floating in the sea. The website has a bit to be desired in communicating this information effectively. First-off it would be good if it worked on safari. But the framework is there. They just need a good designer to help them reach the audience they desire.

Football meets Guitar Hero


Curiosity is a natural ability and innate inquisitive behaviour, evident from the observation of many animals species and humans, that engenders exploration, research and learning. Curiosity causes one to explore the universe around oneself, compiling new information from what one already has.

[translated from the portugese wikipedia]

Thanks to Jenny for the tip.

A pattern of error

via fffound

Trap Street

Compairing Oxford A-Z from 2000-2005 reveals a trap street- Goy Close via The Map Room

A trap street, or errata, is a fictitious street inserted into maps to purposefully trap potential copyright violators of the map. Normally quite innocuous, these fictitious bits of information are used as proof to spot where plagiarism has taken place. It’s not just a matter of creating fake streets, rivers, buildings or even towns, but also design errors, such as rivers bending another way and added roads that are used as tell-tale signs to prove a copyright holder’s case. Publishers deny the existence and purpose of trap streets.

Must get my hands on this book by Mark Monmonier revealing the methods cartographers employ to “confuse potential enemies or to trap copiers”. Never knew cartography could be so dramatic!

Living in a Reverse World

A scientist experiments with altering people’s perception. Subjects wear glasses for several months that flips their vision back to front with hilarious results.

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.

These past three weeks have been strange and peculiar. It’s been an dark adventure. Purposefully trying to push yourself away from what you know and feel comfortable with is rather stressful and mentally challenging. Futhermore, trying to done the hat of public performer in real-life situations can result in making you look like someone’s who’s lost their marbles. I’ve become a confuddled traveller, lost without really knowing where they’re trying to get to. So, in such a situation, it’s very difficult for someone to help me get on track.

In an average lifetime we spend

6 months waiting in queues
4 months having sex
3.5 months making tea