Warning signs in Texas

September 7, 2014

On several Texas rivers one may rent a large tire inner tube, to float down the river on a good day.

Safety instructions sometimes are minimal, but effective.

Safety rules at a river float rental company, location unknown. Photo via Cathy Ordeman

Safety rules at a river float rental company, location unknown. Photo via Cathy Ordemann

Tip of the old scrub brush to Cathy Ordemann.


If great scientists had logos . . .

August 11, 2014

These are quite creative.  I wonder who invented them?

Other possibilities?

Maybe:

Edison's logo?

Edison’s logo?


“Earth’s not warming; it’s dying”

August 8, 2014

From the same designer who brought us INY; would this graphic design symbol get people more properly concerned?

Designer Milton Glaser suggests a logo for discussions on global warming . . .

Designer Milton Glaser suggests a logo for discussions on global warming . . .

Designer Milton Glaser created this logo; he’s serious, according to Salon, today.

Milton Glaser is famous for uniting New Yorkers under the simple, iconic “I Heart New York” logo. (He also designed the label for Brooklyn Brewery and, as I learned on a recent tour, had the good sense to emphasize the beer’s borough of origin back before it was cool.) Now, at age 85, he’s out to rebrand the climate movement. The pitch: a hazy black circle with just a small band of green (read: Earth), which people can purchase and wear as a button. In a poster hung on the exterior of the New York School of Visual Arts‘ East 23rd Street building, the logo is accompanied by the slogan “It’s not warming, it’s dying.”

The obvious problem, right off the bat, is that Earth is warming: It’s done so rapidly over the 20th century, and is expected to continue at an even faster rate over the next 100 years. The world’s governments agreed that we should try to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels to try to avoid the worst consequences of that warming, yet we’re on track to blow right past that limit. While Glaser obviously agrees that this is a problem, the slogan obscures that point. And as someone attuned to the world of climate deniers, I can’t help thinking that getting the hashtag #itsnotwarming to go viral might not have the intended effect.

(Also, as Fast Co.Exist points out, it’s not the planet that’s at risk of dying — it’s us.)

But those are technicalities. Glaser told WNYC’s Brain Lehrer that his problem with the word “warming” is that it “sounds reassuring and comforting.” So if your complaint is that the slogan sounds overly pessimistic, well, that’s kind of the point. “Either Earth is dying or it’s beginning to grow again,” Glaser explained. “My preference would be that it was beginning to grow again, but for the moment I have no evidence of that.”

More at Salon.

What do you think?  A good idea?  Better indicator of a more appropriate message?

(Yes, Fast Co.Exist is right — remember this cartoon?)


What ARE these Christians advertising?

August 4, 2014

Not your usual bon mot from a church sign; probably from College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California

Not your usual bon mot from a church sign; probably from College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California

Found this on Twitter, from an @DocBobLA.  I believe the sign is from College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California.  An  enlightened bunch of Christians — they even have a Twitter account, @CAPCOakland.

Some Christians take the Gospels seriously, even in those scriptures not exactly found in the New Testament, it would appear.  Would that others follow.

Update: I see @CAPCOakland tweeted this sign earlier.

 


Family stickers on the van . . . too far

June 6, 2014

It was spotted in Utah, of course (note the mountains in the background).

Yeah, we had that family living next door to us for a while.

Look closely, it appears not to be a claim for a polygamous family . . . oy.  Surely, it is a joke.

Utah too big family - BnvLS6RIMAAl8xY

Maybe it’s a kindergarten teacher who thinks all students are her kids, or his kids. Maybe the driver just wants to start conversation, or convulsions of laughter.


Signs of life: GPS not advised

May 14, 2014

From space, from the satellites, the route may look shorter.

But on the ground, it may not work.

State Highway Signage, US 11 and VA 56; near Steele's Tavern, Virginia.

State Highway Signage, US 11 and VA 56; near Steele’s Tavern, Virginia. “GPS Routing Not Advised” Photo by Linda Walcroft

At the View from Squirrel Ridge, comments suggest that Virginia has several places like this, where the GPS favoring the shortest route may include inclines and turns that trucks cannot make.  It’s hell to back up a big truck for several miles of twisty, narrow roads.

More:


“Go fly a kite!” Um, but not here.

May 14, 2014

I do not believe I have ever seen such a sign before:

Odd sign, until you realize it's difficult to fly a kite in a canyon and avoid the power lines.  Photo from Poky Tom's Flickr files, Thousand Springs, Idaho.

Odd sign, until you realize it’s difficult to fly a kite in a canyon and avoid the power lines. Photo from Poky Tom’s Flickr files, Thousand Springs, Idaho.

About 1982 I bought a couple of kites and string and kept them in my office on Capitol Hill.  I hoped someone would some day tell me to “go fly a kite,” whereupon I would announce that’s exactly the thing to do, grab the kites and rush to the Washington Mall to fly them. (Do they allow that stuff, there, anymore?)

Alas, none of our pitched battles over policy and press release phrasing got to that point.  The kites got lost in the move from Maryland.

I came up on this photo, and the explanation tickled.  You may see why.  Poky Tom wrote:

Grounded at Thousand Springs! 

Today, the first day of World Wide Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) Week 2011, I was excited to finally end my 3-year jinx of getting skunked during WWKW. The weather was good with reasonable wind. We knew the Thousand Springs area would be great for photography. We pulled into the parking lot, which is shared by the Thousand Springs State Park and the Idaho Power hydro power facility. I got out of the car and was immediately confronted by this sign. Curses! Move on.

 

I’ve never heard of kite aerial photography as something almost organized.  Poky Tom has some wonderful shots from a kite, though.  He also uses a 30 foot pole to get great results.

But, no, you can’t fly a kite there.

More:


Signs of life: Endangered squirrels

May 13, 2014

From jbendery (Jennifer Bendery) --  I learned today that there are endangered squirrels, and apparently they have ginormous tails. (h/t @kate_sheppard) pic.twitter.com/Uu4QxiDa5M

From jbendery (Jennifer Bendery) — I learned today that there are endangered squirrels, and apparently they have ginormous tails. (h/t @kate_sheppard) pic.twitter.com/Uu4QxiDa5M

A lot of punchlines possible, e.g., ‘if the squirrels weren’t slow, maybe they wouldn’t be endangered.’

Still a rather unique sign, no?

I wonder where it is?  This sign marks habitat in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge  in Maryland for the Delmarva fox squirrel.

Update:  Well, maybe not wholly unique; World Wildlife Fund has this one — again, without a note about location.

Slow - squirrel crossing sign © Michael Mallet

© Michael Mallet


George Takei’s Mothers Day decal find, “Eat Local”

May 12, 2014

Shouldn’t be controversial in your neighborhood, should it?

Decal for your car, to support breast feeding among new mothers.  Available at Amazon.com, from Red Clay Designs.  Thanks to George Takei.

Decal for your car, to support breast feeding among new mothers. Available at Amazon.com, from Red Clay Designs. Thanks to George Takei.

More:


Signs of life: “Support Boy Scouts, buy a brat!”

April 1, 2014

Peel your eyes, you can find signs in real life better than any punchline you could dream up for one of those fake sign sites.

Comes this story from Minnesota Prairie Roots (with more details there):  Harriet Traxler of Carver, Minnesota, drove U.S. Highway 212 between Chaska  and Cologne, Minnesota, coming on a sign at a garden store, selling food for a Boy Scout fundraiser — we guess.

Minnesota, in the summer, you don’t sell just hot dogs.  You sell brätwurst.  Bräts. Or, if you don’t have the letter with the diacritical markings over the top in your sign kit, “brats.”

Oh, you see where this is going, don’t you?

“Here’s the sign Harriet spotted several years ago in front of a garden store along U.S. Highway 212 between Chaska and Cologne, Minnesota.” Caption from Minnesota Prairie Roots. Photo by Harriet Traxler

Ms. Traxler notes the sign was gone the next day.  Sold out?

We hope they hit their fundraising goals, but we might worry about just what it was they were really selling.

Punctuation and diacritical markings!  They can prevent horrible misunderstandings!


A sign of some apocalypse in Dinosaur, Colorado?

December 28, 2013

It’s an interesting town, Dinosaur, Colorado 81610.  It’s on the south side of US Highway 40, a very short distance east of the Utah border.

And it touches on the Colorado part of Dinosaur National Monument.  The Wikipedia entry gives specifics:

The Town of Dinosaur is a Statutory Town located in Moffat County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 339 at the 2010 census.[5]

The town of Dinosaur was originally named Artesia; the current name was adopted in 1966, to capitalize on the town’s proximity to Dinosaur National Monument.[6] The monument headquarters is located just east of the town on U.S. Highway 40.

And:

Many streets in the town are named after dinosaurs, including Cletisaurus Circle, Tyrannosaurus Trail, and Antrodemus Alley.[8]

It’s a setup, a straight line waiting for a good comedian.

Brian Switek, the science writer now based in Salt Lake City, suggests one area ripe for comedy:

Wait. What?  Dinosaur Baptist Church?

Brian Tweeted that he wasn’t looking to ridicule, but: “I just imagined thyreophorans, maniraptorans, sauropodomorphs, and their ilk in the congregation.”

That might produce even more comedic situations.

It’s a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated congregation.  Aren’t you curious how Sunday school goes for dinosaur-crazy kids in such a church, in such a town?

Signs of life, signs of the times, signs of something!

Another shot of the directional sign for Dinosaur Baptist Church, from earlier in 2011, I think.  From Text of the Day.

Another shot of the directional sign for Dinosaur Baptist Church, from earlier in 2011, I think. From Text of the Day.

From a different angle, one can see that the church is just a couple of blocks off of Stegosaurus Freeway.  Wow.

2007 photo of the sign showing street signs at the intersection of 6th Street and Stegosaurus Freeway.  Photo by Will Gelnaw, who has copyright to it.

2007 photo of the sign showing street signs at the intersection of 6th Street and Stegosaurus Freeway. Photo by Will Gelnaw, who has copyright to it.

Still, it’s fun to imagine a nice, small town church, with dinosaurs in the back pews singing along.  (Instead, Chris Clarke suggested, they are hiding in the Rocks of Ages . . .)

More:    

Welcome to Dinosaur, Colorado

Welcome to Dinosaur, Colorado (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)


Signs: “Check caching”

October 21, 2013

Utah has a Cache County, which includes most of the Cache Valley.  In 7th grade Utah history, if not before, Utah kids learn that the name came from the old Mountain Men, French-descended fur trappers who plied the area well before the Mormon pioneers and even John C. Fremont.

A trapper could collect a half-ton of beaver pelts in a season, to sell to a large corporation to export to Europe to be made into felt.  He wouldn’t want to carry that weight around with him.  So trappers would make a place to hide their furs until trading time — a “cache” in fractured French, from the word “cacher,” which means “to hide,” in this case. (See also Colorado’s Cache la Poudre River.)

Utah’s Cache Valley at least one year hosted the grand rendezvous of fur trappers and their hosting corporate suppliers and buyers, and for much of a decade or longer was a place where fur trappers hid their furs awaiting the rendezvous — great American explorers and pioneers like Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger, James Beckwourth, Peter Skene Ogden and Thomas Fitzpatrick.

Maybe the people who made this sign didn’t know that history.  I found it in Alvarado, Texas, after all.

There is a world of difference between “cashing a check” and “caching a check,” though.  Surely there is an Abbott and Costello-style comedy routine in this sign:

Check caching in Alvarado, Texas?

Check caching in Alvarado, Texas?

Six words on that sign.  Three of them are misspelled, 50%.

I imagine someone entering the store to cash a check, handing it to the clerk who promptly drops it into a slot in a mysterious box and says, “All cached.”  “Where’s my check?” the customer demands.  Abbott and Costello enter from the back room.

Then I got stuck with an ugly earworm for the next few miles, with Tommy James infecting my brain.  But for the want of an “e” it could have been the Beatles or Pink Floyd.

I hope the merchant got a heckuva discount from the sign maker.  At least 50% off.

Camp near the head of Cache Valley, Utah - NAR...

Cache Valley, Utah, in the late 19th or early 20th century; camp near the head of Cache Valley – NARA – 516657 via Wikipedia

Cache Valley, Utah, today, after an infusion of cash. Jim Bridger wouldn't recognize the place.  Wikipedia image

Cache Valley, Utah, today, after an infusion of cash. Jim Bridger wouldn’t recognize the place. Wikipedia image


Signs: “Church” — warning signs?

October 13, 2013

Our drive through central Texas and the Hill Country a few days ago provided some good fun and much needed break, though our destination was a memorial service for a friend who died very prematurely.

Kathryn noticed these odd signs first.  I’m not sure of the purpose.  These are in the information sign mode, the yellow diamonds used to warn drivers of hazards ahead.

The hazard?  “Church.”

"Church" warning sign in Burnet, Texas

“Church” warning sign in Burnet, Texas

One might imagine these signs are posted to warn drivers on Sunday.  About noon, when these churches’ services let out, the roads around them may be filled with people who are only too happy to go meet Jesus right now — so watch out! and drive accordingly.

Texas offers all sorts of strange things to those willing to drive the state’s highways, and see ’em.

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A sign to take seriously

September 7, 2013

jordanfhiggins  More good advice. #NASASocial

jordanfhiggins More good advice. #NASASocial

Sometimes signs just don’t command the attention they should.


Signs: Pancho Villa Highway? Zapata Road?

August 15, 2013

Another from Don Knuth’s collection of diamond signs, this one collected in Mexico:

Mexico diamond warning sign, from Don Knuth's collection

Location: N16°55.642′, W96°21.618′ photo taken 2008.02.26 in Oaxaca, Mexico by Paula Darwent Near entrance of Mercado de Artesanias (Calle Reforma), San Pablo Villa de Mitla

Perhaps this sign is supposed to warn us against water on the road.  Or mirages on the road.

But when I saw it, I thought of this:

Or maybe this one:

The sign is in Oaxaca, an area that rallied around Zapata.

There’s gotta be a story behind that shotgun blast spray on the sign.  Even more appropriate to the stories of Zapata and Villa, yes?

I wonder what the sign is warning us about?

More:


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