Thursday, August 04, 2011

I brake for cats

Wheel stop
Mahwah, NJ, July 2011
About this photo: It's Thematic's red week, and you're invited to share your own red vision. Click here to get started.
I'm a huge fan of the industry trend toward painting brake calipers red - or some other noticeable color - and then making sure they're visible through the partially open wheel design. This reminds us that there's a bunch of engineering going on behind the scenes to ensure we get where we need to safely and comfortably.

This trend also runs somewhat counter to the trend toward shielding these very same bits from public view. Open the hood of the typical car, for example, and the engine is hidden behind shrouds of plastic. Dipsticks are being ditched in favor of electronic readouts. Automatic transmissions have almost replaced manuals (don't get me started on that one.)

The technologist in me realizes the irony here. I'm all about using technology to make life easier, simpler, more comfortable, and safer. And to a large extent I've based my entire career on it. But sometimes, I think about the visceral connections we once had that are now being lost, and I wonder whether we've lost something along the way.

Your turn: Is technology shielding us a little too much?


Kalei's Best Friend said...

There is good and bad to technology.. Yes, it can enhance our needs but it can also take out the creativity and interaction of people... What annoys me are cell phones.. yes,the convenience is great, but ever see someone in a restaurant? I saw a family and it seemed everyone had a cell except for the baby... and yes, the teens were on it, ignoring the adult convos... I wish medical technology would be better- cure for cancer, Alzheimer's, etc... those are what I want technology to burst thru in.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'm a little short on red this week, but I've got cats.

(OK, some of those cats are lying on red bricks...)

Anonymous said...

I find that I'm terribly drawn to classic cars (and trucks) for their simplicity, their clean lines and their hands-on necessity.

Something about the tactile interaction and the responsive feedback of a Super Hurricane L-Head 226...


Artlover said...

But there will be slots on the brake discs too. But these rims are nicer: