While no two disabilities are the same, impaired motion in a hand, arm, or leg can turn putting on a shirt or pair of pants into a long process. Jones thought about how to reengineer garments to make them easier for disabled and wheelchair-bound people to maneuver and to make them more functional during daily use, more attractive, and more comfortable. For example, when people are seated, their bodies are shaped differently from when they’re standing—essentially waists, hips, and thighs expand. Jones designed patterns to accommodate more width in those areas. Additionally, it takes more fabric to cover bent knees and elbows, so she designed sleeves that expand like an accordion to allow more freedom of movement without bunching fabric. She also restructured pant legs so that there’s extra fabric. The idea is that the clothes look polished and tailored for each individual.
The Spaceport is losing an estimated $500,000 per year, according to an investigation by KRQE. Among other maintenance and upkeep costs, the state spends about $3m per year on premiere firefighting services for intermittent rocket testing, despite the fact that the commercial space programs that were supposed to lease the facility have all pulled back their launch plans. New Mexico is not the only state with a horse in the commercial space race; Florida, California, Texas, Virginia have all won bids to feather billionaire’s space dreams with financial incentives. New Mexico just happens to have jumped in with both feet, building a whole facility for VirginGalactic and asking for little in return. State senator George Muñoz, who has described the Spaceport Authority as “throwing money every way the wind blows,” says it’s long past time the state cut its losses and got out of the game.
A classic example comes from the 1940s where there was a series of seemingly inexplicable accidents involving B-17 bombers. Pilots were pressing the wrong switches. Instead of pressing the switch to lift the flaps, they were pressing the switch to lift the landing gear. Should they have been penalised? Or censured? The industry commissioned an investigator to probe deeper. He found that the two switches were identical and side by side. Under the pressure of a difficult landing, pilots were pressing the wrong switch. It was an error trap, an indication that human error often emerges from deeper systemic factors. The industry responded not by sacking the pilots but by attaching a rubber wheel to the landing-gear switch and a small flap shape to the flaps control. The buttons now had an intuitive meaning, easily identified under pressure. Accidents of this kind disappeared overnight.
By adding friction to an otherwise limitless activity, you get a game – and with hugball, each different friction added over the years created a different sport. You can’t use your hands: football. You have to stop play between each tackle: American football. You can only pass the ball backwards, but you can kick forwards: rugby. In football, not being able to touch the ball with your hands opens the game up and spreads the players around the field, creating a fluid and constantly shifting playing area that resists rigid strategy and defies statistical models. In American football, the friction leads to a rather stilted game where tactics have to be carefully pre-planned. Rugby, though, is one of the most fascinating sports from a game design standpoint. The core friction of being forced to pass backwards when you need to go forwards creates a fundamental tension that is released when someone makes a great run, a strong hit – or a perfectly weighted kick forward resulting in a moment of chaos followed by relief or jubilation.
Drawing helps us see better. We never look at anything with so much attention as when we’re drawing it, and it’s a thinking attention, comparing this shape with that, the breadth of a hand with the span of the glass it’s holding, the darkness of that shadow with the brown of the velvet curtain, the foliage of that silver birch with the quite different leaves of the hornbeam beside it. Learning to draw is learning to see much
Within the context of an ambitious exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, Burden of Proof: The Construction of Visual Evidence, the film is doubly illuminating not only for what it shows, but for the ways in which the filmed evidence was created and presented. The filmmakers followed a set of specific instructions – “several photos should be taken of each body”, for instance, and they had to be taken “as close as possible” in order to “show, within the limits of the photograph, the entire body”. Alongside each image, detailed information had to be provided about the location, date, quality of film stock used and a written description of what had been filmed. For an image, whether moving or still, to work as evidence at Nuremberg, it needed to be forensic in descriptions of detail and context.
A £37,000 arts project to make music from the sound of nuts falling from a tree has hit a bit of a snag: the chosen tree is nut-free this year.