Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

How Paperclips Are Made

I’d never really given much thought as to how paperclips were made until I saw this.

That seemingly bottomless pot of them on my desk, so simple yet so useful.


Well, now you know.

Via today I learned.

Drone 100

Ok, so regular readers of my blog might have noticed I’ve been a bit MIA since Christmas.  It hasn’t been deliberate and I definitely haven’t stopped writing.  I’ve drafted lots of posts, but simply haven’t had the time to sit down to refine and publish them.

January has been all go for me.  I’ve been extremely busy at work, travelling abroad for meetings, buying a new car, moving house, supporting my wife who has started her new business,  and all with a one year old in tow generally causing havoc in the beautiful way only your children can.  Phew.

Now that I’m returning to some sort of normality I can get back to writing, Inspirational Geek 2016 starts now!

What better way to start than with 100 drones synced to music that set a Guinness World Record?

The beautifully choreographed light show features an orchestra on the ground playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 while Intel-powered drones swarm and dance in the sky above.

Full details and The Making Of… video here.

Thanks to Poorvi for initially sending this my way.

Flow Hive

I’ve had such a positive reaction to my latest post “What Happens If All The Bees Die?” that I thought I’d follow it right up with another bee-related article.

In my research and reading about the critical role that bees play I became curious about what it took to keep bees and produce honey.  It’s probably not something I can undertake with limited outdoor space for now, but if I had a bit more room I would definitely consider the beautifully designed Flow Hive.

“It’s the beekeeper dream, turn a tap right on your beehive and watch pure fresh honey flow right out of your Flow™ hive and into your jar! No mess, no fuss, and the bees are hardly disturbed.”

honey 1

The bees complete the specifically designed comb with their wax and fill the partially formed honeycomb cells with honey.  Insert the special tool and rotate 90 degrees to split the cells and turn them into a channel down which the honey flows, all whilst leaving the bees undisturbed.  For full details on how it works see here.


“It’s literally honey on tap directly from your beehive!”


Fantastic design which balances the purely practical aspects of extracting honey with the aesthetic.

Follow the Flow Hive story on their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.


I’m back (again).

I have a number of posts for the next month or so to get in before the end of the year, but in the mean time I wanted to share with you a few of my favourite images from my recent time away on safari in Tanzania.





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An absolutely incredible experience.  If you ever get the chance I can’t recommend it enough.

The full image set is on my Flickr here.

Mind The Map

Recently I managed to get across to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden to take a wander around the Mind The Mapinspiring art, design and cartography exhibition.

I really like the London Transport Museum, it’s such a creative and enjoyable place to visit, in addition to the great content they have on offer.

The exhibition itself looks largely at the history of maps portraying London.  Ever since Harry Beck‘s famous electrical wire interpretation of the London Underground (probably one of the finest ever examples of outstanding graphic design), the cartography of the city has been continually inspired, deciphered and re-imagined by others.

You don’t need a specific interest in maps, or even London, to appreciate and enjoy this exhibition.  The collection is home to a range of artworks, posters, and varying efforts demonstrating how different artists saw the city in different ways.  One of the great aspects were the snippets of information that gave an insight to the different artists, such as the following effort from MacDonald Gill.

Worked on last of the London map all day – doing colouring till 3am Tuesday – until I completed it

Despite having a much more flowing and artistic interpretation to his maps, versus the straight (though still geographically inaccurate) lines of Beck, both the map styles retain a sense of clarity and affection.

Some of my other favourite examples on show were Harry Beck’s original 1931 effort of his underground map, received with great success.

Special World Cup edition of an early Pocket Underground map (1966).

3-D presentation of the map, white space removed and carefully draped about its central point.

What’s great about the museum is that your entry ticket can be used for unlimited re-entry over the next 12months, terrific value regardless of any of the special exhibitions that are on there.

The exhibition is running until October 28th so head down to Covent Garden piazza and take a look.

Who Is Banksy?

We’ll probably never know the real answer to this question, but that hasn’t stopped Aardman Animations having a cheeky little guess.

Enjoy.  And keep smiling, it’ll be Friday in the morning.


Clearing out some cupboards at work, and recycling (aka throwing out) lots of old papers, leaflets and files, we came across a few old books. Now, most of them were along the lines of “Windows 95 for dummies”, “Photoshop installation guide (with floppy disks!)” or “Guide to Dreamweaver v3.0” and promptly found themselves a new home (aka the charity box). However, one real gem stuck out, and without anybody else seeming to be too bothered about it, I am the proud new owner of “Slogans” by Nigel Rees.

It is in near perfect condition, sleeve and all, and contains some real classics that have stood the test of time, some shockers that unsurprisingly never really took off, and some very ‘on brand’ logos and adverts for their decade. Given the rather PC society we live in these ‘on brand’ moments would never see the light of day today, let alone be shown in high definition in your living room, or 40ft up in the air on a billboard, so it’s a good job I found them really.

I think this is one of my favourite ever ads. Ever. I’ve even got one of those vintage-y looking postcards of this too.

I also really like this one.

Other highlights includes the origins behind Guinness’ advertising slogans (including why toucans feature so heavily).

I’m sure you all recognise one of the first drafts of what this came to be.

Found a nice couple of political party related ads from the late 1950s and early 60s.  How apt given the current topic that dominates most evening news slots at the moment.

An “electrical broom” anyone?  A mere $6.25, and will it “increase the life of your rugs by years”.

Taglines also feature heavily throughout this book.  All are genuine, although some had more of an impact and were ultimately more successful than others.

“Coughs and sneezes spread diseases – Trap the germs in your handkerchief”.  This from the 1942 is not too far off our current “Catch it, bin it, kill it“.

And the hand drawn nature of these really appeals to me.

To be honest I could easily put the whole book up here, but I’ll have to leave it there for now.  If you want to read more you’ll do well to track it down, I’m not 100% sure it is still in print, but if you look hard enough you may find an odd copy on eBay.  If no luck, there’s a similar book by the same guy over on Amazon.

Merry Christmas

Inspirational Geek wishes you a very merry Christmas.  See you in 2010.


As a keen cyclist I think Stop SMIDSY is a pretty good idea.

Stop all that ‘Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You’, because sometimes sorry just isn’t enough and, sadly, it’s becoming more and more frequent.

smidsy stop sign

“Bad driving intimidates and harms innocent people. Cyclists and pedestrians are particularly endangered by negligent or aggressive driving because we’re not encased in a few tonnes of metal every time we set out on the roads.”

The site campaigns for cyclists, and pedestrians, to report accidents and near misses when experiencing bad driving. The idea is to collect and share these stories to “build the political will to change how society deals with bad driving.”

The campaign is endorsed by the CTC, so spread the word.

The Good 100

Over at Good they’re putting together something quite awesome.  It’s called The Good 100 and it’s “100, or so” ways to get inspired from a variety of cities, gardeners, neighbours, vehicles, ideas, scholars, people, patents, and international aid (the list goes on) being published throughout October.


Some great little icons for the overview too, I mean it’s really all about the content but some lovely web images are a nice touch.  So are the behind the scenes shots of the model making.

An “absurdley complex process of nomination, ranking and voting” has produced this list, so enjoy it.  I am.

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