Monday, October 28, 2013

2100 Symbol Crash

I went into a store recently and noticed something odd. It was an example of how we cling to familiar symbols. There was a picture of an old timey video camera on a sign. The sign said, "Warning. These premises are videotaped."

Videotaped? Really? In this digital age? I think the term video-recorded would have been more accurate. Or just plain recorded. If they wanted to get technically specific about it they could say digitally or electronically recorded. 

It was interesting though, because not long after that I saw a truck for a security company that had the same ancient video-cam on its logo. I suppose it's no different than RCA occasionally reviving the Terrier and big-horned Victrola gramophone in its logo. But I don't know. The RCA thing was technology that hung around longer than the heavy camcorders of the 80s and 90s.

It's like a styling salon logo having a symbolic figure with padded shoulders, neon socks, and big hair.  

I had another such encounter with symbol fixation. I was getting ice out of my ice dispenser in my refrigerator. And it came out crushed rather than whole. I noticed as I looked at the button labels on the dispenser that it said "crush" and "cube."

And it finally dawned on me. They are not cubes. Cubes have 6 equal squares as sides. Cubes used to come from ice trays. The ice polygons that come out of my machine are rounded crescent-like wedges.

“Lunes” is the closest name I can find in my mathematical research.  A tessellation of lunes makes an n-gonal hosohedron. So my icemaker should give me the choice of crushed or non-tesselated hosehedron lune. 

I may need a bigger door on my freezer to fit the label. 

America, ya gotta love it.

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