Monday, August 8, 2011

Smithsonian Inspired By Obama's Call - Frozen Innovation

The Smithsonian Institute has been inspired by Obama’s announcement last January that the country had reached a “sputnik moment” in its competition with China to be the economic leader of the 21st century.  Obama declared the moment, but couldn’t produce a sputnik (a bit more inspiring than Carter's 'malaise speech', but just as effective).  As even the Smithsonian put it:
. . . but the subtext was that the country needs an attitude adjustment. . . . It made for one fine sound bite.  But it hasn’t exactly inspired a bunch of innovation rallies and bake sales. So in the spirit of banging the drum for new ideas and fresh thinking, this blog will track all things innovative. . .
And by doing so, the Smithsonian has created the Department of Innovation, and what department can do without a snappy logo?

It didn’t take long for someone to note – on its own web page, at comment 10 – that the gears don’t work.
“I love this feature.  I thought, however, that I would comment on the Department of Innovation meshing gears logo.  The gears can’t turn.  Perhaps that was the intended effect?”
A reader notified Michelle Malkin, who passed it along on the internet.
As Rob wrote me this morning: “Check out the logo. 3 interlocking gears arranged in this fashion will not move in any direction. They are essentially locked in place. Which when you think about it, is a perfect analogy of today’s government!”
Another reader puts it well: 
“Not to pick at nits, but the position of the gears (interlocking, thus unable to turn) is not the only problem with the logo. The gear pitch (space between tooth centers) is not consistent. I realize that it’s a logo and not a technical drawing, but it hurts my eyes to look at it. Even if the small gears were separated, the gears would likely jam during the first revolution…”
How wonderfully apt.

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