A different take from this medal collector …
Vancouver’s unusual Olympic medals carry on a recent trend of designs that reflect the character of the host country.
“This medal is going to stand out as one of the most impressive ones,” said Jim Greensfelder, a collector who wrote a reference guide to Olympic medals.
Mr. Greensfelder, who lives in Venice, Fla., predicted that some people won’t like the Vancouver medals because of their undulating design. “But I think their uniqueness, in fact, will be a big positive as people receive them,” he said, noting that athletes commonly compete in multiple Games and enjoy winning distinctive medals.
Organizers proudly revealed the medals today for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and the description was naturally enthusiastic:
“The medals, revealed today, each feature a different crop of larger contemporary Aboriginal artworks and are undulating rather than flat — both firsts in Games history. The dramatic form of the Vancouver 2010 medals is inspired by the ocean waves, drifting snow and mountainous landscape found in the Games region and throughout Canada. The Olympic medals are circular in shape, while the Paralympic medals are a superellipse, or squared circle.”
A couple of random thoughts. Whenever you can get the word undulating in a release, it’s impressive. Let’s put it this way … that word doesn’t make its way into NBA copy very often. And if it did, a phone call from an editor would probably follow.
After a morning of looking at images of the medals, and two cups of coffee later, I am still not sure whether I like the look. But the viewpoint of a junior high art-class laggard hardly matters and, quite frankly, no athlete is going to quibble with the quality of appearance of a gold medal.
Colleague Ron Judd, columnist at the Seattle Times, summed it up quite nicely on his Twitter feed this morning: “Vancouver 2010 medals display traditional native 45-RPM-record-left-on-dashboard-in-sun design.”
He probably got all A’s in art class.
— Lisa Dillman
This is an original Chestnut canoe, named after the designer who crafted one of the world’s first durable “lightweight” canoes.
In a quirky bit of canoeing lore, it was someone named Bob who designed the boat, so “Bob’s Special” became the model name. But no one seems to know who Bob is so it’s impossible to trace the lineage of this fine craft. All I’ve ever known since childhood is that “Bob’s Special” is one of the fastest solo canoes around.
It was built in 1970 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and it became one of the most popular canoes the company made. First and foremost it was designed for fishermen and solo-trippers. It’s still a joy to solo in.
Copyright © Kevin Teichroeb.
At the time it was the cutting edge for lightweight canoes, designed to weigh only 50 lbs, measuring 15′ in length and still able to carry upwards of 700 lbs.
Our Bob’s Special moved to Ontario when my father bought it new, and then on to Vancouver when he drove it out here for me to have several years ago. If I stretch the point a bit, I can say that this canoe has been to all three Canadian oceans: the Atlantic, where it was built, the Arctic, where we took it all the way down the Lake Superior watershed to James Bay, and to the Pacific, only minutes from where it sits in our garage now.
It’s a little worse for wear these days, but it still raises eyebrows when it’s taken off the roof of the car and set down in the water. The design beauty of a traditional cedar-canvas canoe definitely still holds some attraction on a quiet, early morning paddle along the upper reaches of Indian Arm, BC.
Thinking of Tofino the other day and found this article. Be sure to find the video at the bottom of the post …
Not Your Daddy’s Longboard
BY CLIFF KUANG | Tue Jul 14, 2009 at 2:50 PM
A maverick surfboard maker–and former Apple designer–creates “the most radical leap in board design in 50 years.”
After quitting his job as a designer at Apple in 1998, Thomas Meyerhoffer dedicated himself to surfing every day. But he hated his boards, and set about inventing a new one. Though initially laughed at, the design is now something of a blockbuster–the initial run of 1,000 copies sold out, and the backorders stretch through February.
As The New York Times reports, Meyerhoffer–who has also designed for Porsche and Cappelini, and created everything from paper towel dispensers and ski goggles–approached the task with zero preconceptions. He let trial and error guide him; as he says, “I never designed the board to look this way. It became this way.” Not without a lot of intensive work, though: Meyerhoffer originally started producing prototypes using CNC milling, but that wasn’t precise enough so he had to re-learn the lost art of manual board shaping.
What The Times article manages to skip entirely is why the board actually works …
Meyerhoffer Longboard by Modern (watch video):