§ I participated in a focus group discussing ways to help hands-on interactive museums design great engineering challenges. It was fun to meet a bunch of creative peers from around the country. One thing we all agreed on—no one ever wants to read signs. Which, sure, obviously, but then someone in the group mentioned something that really set off a lightbulb in my head: traditional exhibit signage can inhibit guests analyzing, hypothesizing, making meaning themselves. There is no need to think when the sign can give you immediate answers.

So, good exhibit design should be intuitive which should negate the need for pre-interaction instructional signage. Then, afterwards, you want to leave some time and space for contemplation before revealing “how the magic trick works. How do you pull this off? I’m not sure, yet, but it’s an exciting challenge.

§ I got the tickets for my upcoming trip to Boston. It is a city I’ve always wanted to visit—one I almost stopped in during a road trip to Rhode Island a few years ago. I’ll be there in late March so I’m expecting weather somewhere between an apocalyptic polar vortex and balmy 60s.

§ Speaking of balmy, due an HVAC quirk my corner of the office has been in the mid-80s all week. I kept finding myself in a sort of dazed half-conscious stupor. It turns out my brain effectively stops working in those temperatures.

§ Caroline and I hosted my dad for dinner on Sunday and then her sister on Monday. We made butter chicken both times—an instant hit.

§ My current rewatch of The Leftovers has been hampered by the realization that it is basically a vehicle for making characters less likable.

  • Kevin, the protagonist, was deeply unlikable from the start.
  • Nora was great in the beginning, she single-handedly carried season two on her back, bringing much-needed pathos to the story. By season three she’s more spiteful and depressing than anything else.
  • Father and daughter John and Eva Murphy started off season two totally normal, stable people. By the end of the season, Eva has joined a cult and John has tried to murder multiple people.
  • Matt might be the single exception, becoming significantly more likable as the show progresses.

Don’t get me wrong, the writing is good—Damon Lindelof wrote unlikable characters well. At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t add up to something I get too much enjoyment out of watching.

§ I started on Reservation Dogs. It’s a shame it took me so long to get around to it. A unique premise! Thirty minute episodes! It is a comedy so the characters can be caricatures at times but they are also real, recognizable, human.

§ If we’re talking media, though, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you there is a new Longmont Potion Castle album out. I wish I knew how to introduce others to LPC but it might be impossible so instead I will leave you, curious reader, with a sample.

§ It has been foggy here in Cleveland for two days straight.

§ Links