OK, so I’m watching Prometheus.

I’m watching Prometheus having a few casual perlenbachers (thanks lidl) and the geologist guy just heard there was a life ‘ping’ one click west of them.
Just so we are on the same page, the movie is set on a moon of a planet about two years travel distance away from earth in 2089.
The geologist reacted badly to hearing about this potential life source (I like rocks, that’s all I like) and said ‘let’s go east’, to avoid the unknown danger of the unknown.
Then you thought. East. East as in on a map, with north at the top you move towards the right of the page.
But how the hell did these people agree on what east was on this new moon planet?
On earth north is at the top of (most) maps, and we decided this based on the fact that the sun moves across the sky east to west, so we’d better keep one of the other two fairly constant. It doesn’t hurt that we developed the compass (thank you ferro-magnetic earth core) to help abstractly identify north.
But on this new planet moon, how do they assign west? What if they were upside down when arriving, and left is actually east? What if they have a rotation that isn’t effectively coplanar with the orbit of their sun? What if they can’t agree upon which way is left?

Which makes me think, how did we decide to draw maps ‘facing’ up? If I got my map of Ireland, or limerick ( both of which I took off my wall yesterday whilst moving out of my student accommodation) and turned it upsidedown would it not still show me how to get to the crescent shopping centre? The shape hasn’t changed, only my reference system to it.
Or how about the map of San Diego I am about to form in my mind this coming summer? What if I wanted to ‘learn’ it upsidedown, with a west rising sun, and a south facing map? I could do it, I just couldn’t refer to any other maps written in ‘north’.


Street art in Holland- part 1


This sea lion made from old oil drums played on the disastrous and destructive effect of oil spills


Jean Paul Gaultier's welcome message to the exhibition we visited


This keen fellow left me a little uneasy, what's that in his hand, and why is he 20 feet tall?


These lights were positioned like lifting cranes, and the design in the back ground was burned into the concrete by leaving a sign up in the sunshine


This was just a wind breaker outside one of the pubs we were in, but a very effective use of laser cutting



Last Thursday I was heading out for a social beverage with my college chums, it being Thursday and also a birthday of one social climber Shane mcHugo, so a soiree was on the cards. In preparation mode, I popped in to the off licence to see what was on offer. Remember, theme for the evening is a house party in Cedar Lawns: its going to get pretty insane.

So I’m browsing the canned larger section (thinking disposable, cheap and easy) when out of the corner of my eye I spot a boxed set in the world/craft beer section. Its a four bottle plus glass plus stand Kwak gift set. I’ve only heard about this beer from my ‘Crazzy’ ultimate frisbee friends in DCU, and by all reports its the shit.
I examine the box, making all the right noises. 8.4%. Check. Authentic glass and stand. Check. Blond beer. Check. Then I see the price. €27. I have 30 in my wallet and I have to pay for a lift home tomorrow. And I still need beer for the party.
Then I spot my laser card and remember its Thursday. Payday. Check.
Investigating the glass is almost as fun as drinking from it. It is held upright in a wooden stand; the brewery claims the glass was designed by the innkeeper Pauwel Kwak in the early 19th century for coachmen who would stop at his coaching tavern and brewery named “De Hoorn”. Travellers would often stop at an inn for refreshment, however the coachmen were required to stay with the coach and horses. Standard handled mugs were impractical for gloved coachmen sitting high up, so one enterprising innkeeper, Pauwel Kwak, had a special glass created for his beer. Its shape enabled it to be hung on the coach and be easily held in a thick glove. Drinking from the glass, the bulb at the bottom will remain filled for a relatively long time. As soon as air reaches the still-filled bulb, a large amount of beer will gush towards the drinker. This is accompanied by a characteristic sound which sounds like Kwak spoken quickly.
In most pubs that serve Kwak, its tradition to exchange your shoe for the glass, to stop you going home without giving it back. Its also said that when you forget to put it back in the stand you’ve had too much! (8.4%!)

Mouldy Coffee


So it was break time from design visualisation last week and me and Brian Lowe went for a coffee. We chatted about the milk dispenser, how the coffee cup I bring to get filled holds about twice as much coffee as the cup they give you (same price if you wink at the server), but what got out design juices flowing was the plant pot decorating / separating the floor space. Seeing it was poured concrete, I asked Brian what the mould would have to look like to be able to mould the features on the sides.


The Greek style meander (thanks to bellemaison23.com for the style name!) circles the entire opening, making a half-half mould impossible. Draft angles wouldn’t allow the mould slip away from the pot without being caught or damaging the delicate features.
We deduced it must be a four part mould, seeing that it looked like two axes of symmetry were present, each quadrant being identical. This would mean the mould would have four identical mould sections, each accounting for 90° of the circle, and allowing the draft 

A nice way to spend five while waiting for your coffee to cool.

Link to Brian’s design blog Brian’s blog

Link to belle maison’s design blog Bellemaison23 design blog