Cars at the MFA

Last week I checked out the latest exhibit at the MFA: Speed, Style, and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection. The exhibit is heavily advertised around Boston, and there’s no reason it won’t be popular. First of all, people love classic cars. When you put them in a museum you get the addition of the art audience. Finally, you get to cash in on the fact that the cars happen to be owned by someone whose name is also a famous brand (Mr. Lauren happens to own the cars, his clothing designs have nothing to do with the exhibit).
Going to a car show is a little bit out of character for me (as is betting on sports, which I did the same day), but I enjoyed the exhibit. Least impressive was the McLaren F1. This car will whisk you and two friends to a top speed of 240 miles per hour, and you’ll look ridiculous getting there with the steering wheel right in the middle.
The wide variety of shapes and styles reminds me of just how innovative designers can be, and how disappointing it is that almost every modern car looks exactly the same.

TypeKey Comments

I think comments are once again enabled. There were lots of problems with spammers and I tried to use the TypeKey service but apparently set it up incorrectly. It’s working correctly now, so you can comment after creating a free TypeKey account (also useful for commenting on other sites).
Now, for anyone having a problem with TypeKey on their Movable Type site and getting an error message like this: “The site you’re trying to comment on has not signed up for this feature,” here’s the secret: in addition to adding the TypeKey token to your Movable Type settings, you also have to add the path to your comment’s script to your TypeKey account. You need something like this: “http://[your site]/mt/mt-comments.cgi”

Book Report: Blink

Malcom Gladwell's BlinkI just finished reading Malcom Gladwell‘s Blink, currently number one on the New York Times bestsellers nonfiction list. Gladwell’s previous book, The Tipping Point, was a good read and Blink was almost as interesting. Blink looks at the human subconscious and examines the interaction between conscious and subconscious thought (ie justifying a quick judgment with a rational argument). ITConversations has a recording of Gladwell summarizing some of the book, and it’s an interesting speech for those who don’t want to invest the time to read the whole book.
I think Gladwell has discovered a great recipe for pop-social-science writing. It goes something like this: (1) pick a theme; (2) find some interesting academic studies related to that theme; (3) find some business cases that demonstrate the results of the studies; (4) summarize, add some commentary, and invent some words to describe the recurring concepts. The result is a non-fiction book that applies very directly to people’s lives. Our thoughts and behavior are explained in the context of our branded culture.