Tesla’s Cybertruck has a serious problem that only a complete redesign can fix

From Jesus Diaz writing for Fast Company, “Tesla’s Cybertruck has a serious problem that only a complete redesign can fix“:

The problem, according to Musk, is the bright metal construction and predominantly straight edges mean that even minor inconsistencies become glaringly obvious. To avoid this, he commanded unparalleled precision in the manufacturing process, stating in his email that “all parts for this vehicle, whether internal or from suppliers, need to be designed and built to sub 10 micron accuracy. That means all part dimensions need to be to the third decimal place in millimeters and tolerances need [to] be specified in single digit microns.” Drawing a comparison to everyday products known for their precision, Musk added, “If LEGO and soda cans, which are very low cost, can do this, so can we.”

The cybertruck is not made from LEGO blocks or soda cans. It’s just not feasible to have such tolerances on parts that are so big and non-uniform at production scale. I suspect we’ll continue to see the truck’s release date pushed back as each deadline comes whooshing by until they admit defeat and do a redesign.

Art humor

Jeff Bezos Rowing Boat

Bobby fingers is back with another unhinged installment, this time opting for supersize scale.

animation Art

Living Works

I created these living works by animating some images from The Photography Book as well as a couple other pieces that I just happen to like. Using the magic of Photoshop I widened each of the images to an aspect ratio of 16:9. Check out the originals linked above each image to see what I changed.

I completed a project like this for a university class on Flash and I’ve always meant to make more but since the deprecation of the .swf format I wasn’t sure I could get it to work in html 5. It turns out, it’s not that difficult except that you may have to scroll if you’re viewing them on mobile or viewing from an RSS reader.


The Wreck of the Arden Craig 1911 St. Agnes, Scilly

Soldiers of the Sky

In the Car

culture technology

The Amazing World of DAK Catalogs

Cabel Sasser spent 10 years preparing this blog post. It’s a deep dive into the Golden Age of direct to consumer catalogues.

For a decade, I’ve been snapping up copies of a certain gadget catalog, one by one, when they’re up for auction. Collecting and waiting.
The catalogs were disposable, and that means not many people kept them. But, to me, they tell a critically important story of the golden age of electronics, gadgets, copywriting, and sales.
They deserve to be preserved.
And I’m the guy to do it.

The closest thing I had growing up, was the Consumers Distributing magazines.

Apple finance

Apple Earnings Report Q4 2023

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2023 fourth quarter ended September 30, 2023. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $89.5 billion, down 1 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.46, up 13 percent year over year.

“Today Apple is pleased to report a September quarter revenue record for iPhone and an all-time revenue record in Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We now have our strongest lineup of products ever heading into the holiday season, including the iPhone 15 lineup and our first carbon neutral Apple Watch models, a major milestone in our efforts to make all Apple products carbon neutral by 2030.”

• iPhone: $43.805 billion (up 3%)
• Mac: $7.614 billion (down 44%)
• iPad: $6.443 billion (down 10%)
• Wearables, Home & Accessories: $9.322 billion (down 3%)
• Services: $22.314 billion (up 16%)1

Jason Snell’s 6 Color Charts.

  1. All percentage changes are year over year looking only at the 4th quarter ↩︎

Substitute Teacher Conference

This weekend Andrea and I went to the ATA Substitute Teacher Conference in Calgary. Since neither of our extended families live in town, we drove to Medicine Hat to drop our kids off at my brother’s house.

I don’t remember the last time we got away for an overnight trip without the kids. With our travel expenses paid and the hotel advertising outdoor roof-top hot-tubs, it was going to be a great weekend!

The five hours of driving beforehand was a bit much but we found the conference itself very rewarding. It turns out talking to other teachers (both about teaching and about their adventures) was my favourite part!

Sitting next to Andrea during a talk, I discreetly used sign language ask her something — the teacher next to us noticed and asked, using ASL, if we knew sign language? We lit up and excitedly responded that yes, we know sign. Later, she told us how her son, at three years old, lost his hearing due to complications with meningitis. She shared her family’s journey into learning sign language and her son getting one of the first cochlear implants available. Because it wasn’t available in Canada, they travelled down to the one hospital in Los Angeles that offered it. She talked about the media attention that she got and about some of the difficult choices they had to make as parents about getting the surgery and how the deaf community reacted. Her story was inspiring. Eventually her son went on to be an engineer and now he works in the Google X lab within Alphabet in California. She says if you met him today, you would never know that he was once deaf.1

After winning some prizes2 we shared in some intriguing conversations while hot tubbing in the cool October air atop the hotel. A man named Peter told us the reason for his hand being wrapped in a plastic bag was a recent table-saw accident in which he seriously cut his right middle-finger. He explained that after making a really nice rip he turned off the saw and thought, “this 3/4″ sheet of plywood is pretty heavy for my brother to catch on his own so I’ll just do what I can to take some of the weight.” Without thinking, he brushed his hand across the blade as it was slowing. Looking down at his bloodied glove he knew right away he had a particularly serious injury. He’d lost the ability to wiggle that finger.

Luckily it was still attached and surgery to reattach the tendon would come a few days later. He got an X-ray showing the detachment but claims after a prayer on it from his pastor he was playing the organ at church the next night.3

Next, a nice woman named Elicia told us about a dangerous adventure she had in her younger years when she and a group of about five people hiked a mountain in Waterton where sheer cliffs dropped off just below them. They decided to take a shortcut up bypassing the switchbacks and found themselves on some shale just above the dangerous precipice. They all insisted it would be fine and Elicia, the lone hold out in the group, finally relented. When they got about halfway across the dangerous path one of the girls began crying. She sat down and refused to go any further while declaring that she would wait for a rescue team to find them. Elicia explained that no one would be coming anytime soon. She explained that even in the very best case scenario it would be at least 24 hours before anyone thought about rescuing them. After some time the weather began to turn and the group convinced the girl that if she didn’t move it was going to get very dangerous if the wind and rain began to pick up. Just then two young men peered down at them from a path above and called to them giving encouragement. They even jumped down into the shale like skiers slaloming down one jump after another. Seeing that, it inspired Elicia that the shale would hold if one got deep enough into it and the group got the courage to climb out of danger on their own.4

We crashed that night close to midnight and the next day enjoyed informative talks and delicious food. The ATA knows how to put on a worthwhile event. I started to feel a little under-the-weather and talked Andrea into leaving slightly early (though I wanted to stay but my head was just pounding) and we made the trip back to the kids and ended the weekend the next day back in Lethbridge feeling great about our lives and our livelihoods. I don’t believe in miracles per se but nevertheless one can’t deny life itself is a miracle. I like to reflect on that often.

  1. A miraculous story. ↩︎
  2. A heating bag and a box of Smarties. ↩︎
  3. He considered it a miracle. ↩︎
  4. She felt it was miraculous they got out — I guess it was an evening of miracle stories. ↩︎
life religion

What Religion?

Yesterday in class I had a grade 12 student ask me if I was a Christian? Taken aback by this loaded topic, I took a moment to reply.

I stammered — “No, I’m not a Christian.”

“Then what religion are you?” he persisted.

I found myself recalling this quotation by Douglas Adams:

“I really do not believe that there is a god — in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously.”

As regular readers know, I too have thought a great deal about it, and it’s an opinion I hold seriously, nevertheless instead of proudly declaring my radical atheism I quietly hedged, “I’m less religious,” (whatever that is suppose to mean).

Although I’m still surprised that he would actually ask such a personal question, I think I understand where it came from. The student interogator presented a distinctly muslim appearance and we had just watched a documentary about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. The film, though balanced, covers the most heated conflict of the twentieth century and there is a heuristic convenience in knowing which religion those around you subscribe. I suspect he wanted to pre-determine my perspective on the conflict but my non-religious status defused any oncoming discussion in utero.

And that was it.

He dropped it and asked some other students what their beliefs were but as other students watched me, each doing their own mental analysis of the scene, I pondered why I couldn’t be the proud atheist role model I wanted to be? 1 It’s unusual to talk about ones beliefs in a public school setting but since it came up, I wanted students to know that the perfectly happy, healthy, well-adjusted non-believing teacher in front of them practices what he preaches with regard to the importance of critical thinking.

  1. I wonder if the recent stabbing of a teacher in France just five days ago by an Islamic terrorist had me feeling reticent. I feel silly admitting my thought process but the chilling effect of such ideological murders is real. ↩︎

Juggling in Animation

Youtube user, Jasper Juggles, gives us a fascinating deep dive into the many different depictions of juggling in various types of animation:

Jasper has a spreadsheet detailing over 200 instances of juggling in animation ranked by accuracy and difficulty from 1918 to today.

(via Waxy)

humor news

Loo & Order: Stolen Thrones Unit

Yesterday, 35 porta potty toilets, some of them full, were stolen from Ludlow Autograss Club (racetrack) in Pencombe, Herefordshire.

Maisie Olah and Matt Hutchinson writing for the BBC:

The units are owned by Three Counties Toilet Hire which said replacing just one would cost about £1,000.

Neil Griffiths who set up the company in 2020 said: “I’m slightly baffled by it.

“The [toilets are] not easy to move about and some of them were still full. So [the thieves] took full toilets.”

Police don’t know who took them and they have nothing to go on.

backmasking video

Kelly Clarkson Plays the Backward Song Game

This video isn’t backmasking, per se, but backward songs nevertheless… watch as Kelly Clarkson competes with Jimmy Fallon to be the first to identify each of the backward pop songs: