I was at the Clerkenwell Design Week today, when I saw some glass coasters that gave me an idea. Why can’t we have dishwasher-safe coasters? I have a messy office because, I tend to drink masses of tea all day. My late wife, always complained about the state, with tea stains everywhere.
The picture shows the one, I’m using at the moment. Pristine it isn’t!
So I went to John Lewis, arguing, if anybody would have them, they would. I found these by ashortwalk, which although, the main material will stand up to a dishwasher, the cork pads won’t.
I should say that the research I did at CDW, indicated that many would like dishwasher-safe coasters. The office market could be bigger than domestic.
This week is Clerkenwell Design Week.
There’s still two more days if you want to have a look.
Californian senator Leland Yee said he wanted a law passed to stop the manufacture of 3D-printed guns.
“I plan to introduce legislation that will ensure public safety and stop the manufacturing of guns that are invisible to metal detectors and that can be easily made without a background check,” he said in a statement.
According to Defense Distributed, most of the 100,000 downloads have been in the US, followed by Spain, Brazil, Germany and the UK.
The blueprint has also been uploaded to file-sharing site the Pirate Bay, where it has become the most popular file in the site’s 3D-printing category.
Calls to make such a gun illegal and stop the downloading, will fall on deaf ears. After all to create an illegal gun factory, all you need is a few thousand pounds or dollars to buy a quality 3D printer. Many aspire to have a weapon for personal protection or to settle scores with rivals or neighbours.
This gun is still crude and what worries me is not this gun, but the follow on designs, that will be possible as 3D printing gets more affordable and a lot better.
How long will it be before a crime is committed using a gun, that has been downloaded from the Internet and printed?
The replacement trains for the sub-surface lines of London Underground, show a lot of clever thinking to deliver effectively two different but identical trains.
For the Metropolitan line, an eight car train is needed, with a generous proportion of seats, as the line goes a long way into Metroland.
For the Hammersmith and City, District and Circle lines, a seven car train is needed, with longitudinal seating.
Bombardier came up with the S Class train, which satisfies both these requirements. It is a unique design for the Underground, in that it is through-gangway train, where you can walk from end-to-end.
The replacement trains for the rest of the Underground, will probably borrow heavily on this design.
I travel on these trains about once a week or so and feel they are a great improvement on the previous trains. I first used them, during the Olympics to get back from Wembley Stadium, where they were able to move 1,500 or so people a time away from the stadium, in an air-conditioned train. The A Class trains they replaced had more seats, but a smaller capacity and a ventilation system from the 1960s.
I’m a great believer in 3D printing, as it is a technique, that would have helped me greatly in the past, with some of the companies, in which I invested.
But this story, where some idiots in Texas, have designed a gun produced on a 3D printer horrifies me. Their aim seems to be to give everybody an affordable firearm.
But how do you police such a technology as 3D printing?
You can’t! Especially, as in a few years time, it will be one of the mainstays of small scale manufacturing.
These stools are unique.
There is five or six of them, but today I can only find five, so either I can’t count, one has gone missing in the move, or there only ever was that number.
Every home should have some as they are so useful.
They are idea for sitting round the dinner table and easily fit in between chairs.
They are as sturdy as the man who stands at the base of an tower of acrobats and are ideal for standing on.
Two or more also make good stands for cutting long pieces of wood.
They are still pretty immaculate too, as they were hand made from oak, in Suffolk by a furniture maker called Julian Ellis around 1980, to match the table that I’m sitting at now.
But Julian didn’t design them! I did! And of all the things I’m proudest of designing it is these humble but oh so useful stools.
My Internet trawl for the New Bus for London, picked up this article in the Financial Times called Touched With Madeness about Thomas Heatherwick.
So many quirky ideas, may look good on paper, but can’t be made. His can, although he had a few early ones suffered from problems. But then so did Brunel’s.
Hence the idea that every idea and design should have the quality of madeness or the ability to be made.
To get back from the English Garden, I used a bus.
They were on of the most information-rich buses I’ve ever seen.
As London buses do, they also give you a running commentary of the route.
The only thing they lack, is decent maps at the bus stops.
Note how they use real video displays, whereas British buses and trains use simpler displays using LEDs.
One of my Internet trawls found this restaurant, called Beagle, that is opening in Hoxton. I paid it a visit today.
One of the staff said they would be doing gluten-free food, so I think I’ll give it a try after it opens on Monday the eighth and when I return from my travels to Budapest.
The designers seem to have done a good job.
I wonder if it will set a precedent for stylish restaurants in stations on the London Overground!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to eat and drink your way in a complete circle around London!
I heard good reports on the television of the rebuilt Reading station, so today, as I hadn’t anything specific to do, I decided to go to the town and have a look at the work that has been done.
I think Isambard would have been proud of what has been done, as he rarely did boring! And the new Reading station is certainly not that!
The concept of the station is very simple. The thirty metre wide overbridge is connected to all the platforms by escalators and lifts. Then at one end there is another set of four escalators and lifts to take people to the main south entrance.
But in all my life, I’ve never seen so many people walking wide-eyed in awe around a new building or even an art gallery. One guy told me he’d come into the station specifically to photograph the building and had taken fifty pictures. Even railwaymen who’d probably seen it all, were walking around giving the new station a critical look.
There was also the teacher, who’d travelled with me from London. She was amazed at it all, especially as she had left on Thursday from the old Reading station.
Very little has been reported on the media about the design and quality of this new station. The only news seems to be stories pointing out the fact that the handover is a few days late and there’s a bit of chaos. None of the stories mention, that the project will be completed a year ahead of the original plan.
I do wonder if Reading is the shape of stations to come.
The wide overbridge concept is used in a similar, but smaller and less dramatic form at Leeds and Derby, but how many other stations could benefit from this type of design?
In the pictures, you’ll see some of Inter City 125 trains, that are used on all services from London to the West and Wales. They are genuine high speed trains capable of 200 kph, ride as smooth as silk and they are now forty years old. I doubt they’ll all ever be retired, as for running through the Highlands of Scotland and from Bristol to Cornwall, where electrification is virtually impossible, there is no other fast train, that can handle the route.
So at last, these trains have got a modern station, to complement their design.