Wired's Picture of the Week

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yogi
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Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 22 Sep 2018, 09:06

To a harried motorist, the Huangjuewan flyover is a vision of hell, a mishmash of lanes and ramps that go in eight in directions.
I thought this could only happen in America.

THE PICTURE: https://media.wired.com/photos/5939b25f ... 49754c.jpg
THE STORY: https://www.wired.com/story/photo-of-th ... m-hell/amp

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 22 Sep 2018, 12:31

Almost looks like the Poplar Street Bridge project I worked on, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 22 Sep 2018, 13:33

I've seen a few 'spaghetti bowl' interchanges around Chicago, but none of them are 12 stories high. That's an amazing feat of engineering, particularly for the traffic engineer.

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 23 Sep 2018, 10:34

When I worked in Highways and Planning at Sverdrup & Parcel, you wouldn't believe the number of serious mistakes made by the engineers that us lowly draftsman caught.

One of them was so bad, it reminded us of the cartoon of the train tracks

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If that comes out the way intended.
Hmm, looks ok in edit mode, but not in posted mode. I'll add dots.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 23 Sep 2018, 16:59

I've seen that cartoon in reference to the cross continent railway where tracks started to be laid at each coast. When the met in the middle ... your drawing shows what happened. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 24 Sep 2018, 11:19

Something similar happened in the designs for the connecting highways to cross the Poplar Street Bridge.

In another set of specs for the drawings they had two highways criss-crossing each other at the same elevation.
They never really fixed this problem, just added a curve in each and had them come out together side by side onto the bridge.

I think the entire time I spend working in Highways and Planning it was just a daily routine of change it, change it, and rearrange it, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 24 Sep 2018, 12:00

I worked with engineers nearly all my professional life. There is a core group that is burdened with the design of a product and all it's implications. Once the design is accepted, read that to mean given a budget, no more design effort is applied. It's all tweaking and patching after that. I'm guessing the same approach is used in fields other than electronics.

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 25 Sep 2018, 11:33

You got that right Yogi!

And sometimes it is not the engineers who design things, the advertising department comes up with something they design, then give that design to the engineers to make construction plans. Then when it didn't work, they called me to make their bass ackwards designs work. At least they paid me for it, hi hi.

Try to tell an engineer working from advertising department plans, that creating a gravity cylinder within an existing gravity environment requires an opposing gravitational force. Unfortunately, to overcome the force of gravity on the top side of a horizontal spinning cylinder more than doubles the gravitational force on the bottom side of the cylinder.
Then, if what you are working with requires capillary action, and you exceed capillary forces, you've defeated the whole idea. In other words, advertising departments should not be designing things that cannot possibly work right, and then expect the engineers to figure out how to make it work.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 25 Sep 2018, 12:59

It took quite a few years of working with engineers to figure out some of the basics of how a business is run. There is a constant mistrust (for lack of a better word) between marketing, engineering, and accounting. Then there are the executives who think all three are stupid idiots.

While there was a perennial complaint that marketing was clueless about what was and was not feasible, it is indeed the marketing people how know what the customers are looking for. If that were 100% true there would be less of a problem, but marketing is driven by sales and they try to make markets where none exist. Thus the wild eyed ideas they bring to engineering are typically based on some PR guy's wet dream. The marketing people in turn accuse the engineers of being out of touch with the company's customers. To some extent that is true in that the engineers create things that are practical. Of course you might have a difficult time convincing manufacturing how practical is your design, but that's another issue. Thus it's a constant battle between customers and engineering with marketing putting their spin on products and services.

Neither Marketing, engineering, nor manufacturing like the people in accounting. After all is said and done, it is the accountants who have the final say over what can or cannot be done. And, those people are out of touch with both customers and engineering needs. During all my thirty six years in the corporate workforce I've seen millions of dollars wasted because there was poor communication, misunderstanding, and outright stupidity preventing transparent cooperation between the three major groups. In a way I don't blame the accountants for what they did because they had to face the executive management and explain why things are not more profitable. But, if all these groups could work as a team, the costs would be reduced enormously and the profits increased accordingly. Motorola did a lot to try and accomplish this balance, but it remained a theory to the day I had to leave the company.

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 26 Sep 2018, 15:42

Everything you mentioned above is why I hated all of my jobs except for the short time I was in a writing team at Hachette Publishing. We all did work together as a close knit team, and even what the ad departments had us include was doable without much hassle.

I worked part-time for Watling Ladder Company, who by the way made great ladders.
Then along comes the discount stores demanding we leave off certain parts to reduce their cost.
I swear, some of the ladders that went out of that place under private label names were downright dangerous to use.
We made ladders for them without the folding handle brace, relying on a slat on the paint tray to hold it from spreading open, and no spacer under the steps for the rod to hold tension. But, Watling was not liable for injuries on private custom orders to the buyers specs, so they assembled them as ordered.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 26 Sep 2018, 16:52

You might find it hard to believe, but the broken departments within the corporations create a healthy competition. Each group is looking out for it's own interests, as opposed to working towards a common goal set by the corporation. That common goal is implied but much like the elephant in the room. All corporations are in business to maximize profits. It's that thirst for perfection, or as some would call it, greed, that brings out the best in people. Competition is a very good thing for business in that it forces people to improve what they are doing or go out of business. That's exactly what happens in this country. Unfortunately, it takes some businesses many years of stupidity and poor business practices to get to the point of bankruptcy. Those are the ones from which we all suffer.

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pilvikki
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by pilvikki » 27 Sep 2018, 12:15

engineers?

say, you guys fly much....?

asking for no reason at all...

:whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 27 Sep 2018, 12:45

Agreed Yogi!
I've seen a lot of start-up companies excel and grow for short periods of time.
Then they grow a little too much and things begin to change.
Quality goes down, and prices go up to cover the greater losses they experience when they lose control of the operation of the company.
Or the other scenario, the owner who started the business and worked his fanny off to make it a go, once it is doing well, he sits back on his haunches and expects all he hires to have the same drive he had, even when he no longer has that drive himself.
A man my dad was in the service with opened a small hobby shop in what used to be shoe repair cubbyhole.
When the new strip mall was built, he rented a single. His business grew fast and he rented a double.
During the heyday of the slot car craze, he rented a second double two doors down. A busy single was between his two doubles. Eventually he was able to take over the single when that store moved to larger quarters elsewhere.
The hobby shop now had the equivalent of 5 singles all opened up into one humongous store.
As one hobby craze faded, another usually took it's place, so the far end double was always teeming with activity.
Over the years his health continued to decline, and he reached the point, even though he knew better than to do it, turned the business over to his son, rather than sell it for some amazing offers.
Within only two years, the son ran the business into the ground, downsized three times until he was back in the original double and it was failing too. In one last effort to stay afloat, he moved into the smallest single used by an insurance salesman, which put him at the bad end of the strip mall, as far as walk in customers.
He was no longer a hobby shop, but heavily into Dungeons n Dragons paraphernalia and they type of crowd it drew caused him to lose his lease.
The only good thing about this is his father passed away before he saw his store totally destroyed.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 27 Sep 2018, 13:06

Hi Vikki. Mmm, I do not have much occasion to fly, but I have no fears of doing it. The security at the airports makes me nervous, but I do get some special treatment being the age I am. Other than that, flying is no big deal.

Both large corporations and tiny mom-n-pop operations are prone to go through what you describe, Gary. The people who establish successful companies have a driving force behind their dreams, but their successors lack that intense drive. I'm thinking Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and what happened to their companies when they left. Motorola too was a hugely successful family type company until the grandson of the founder came aboard. He was there just to preserve the family investments, but didn't care much about the business. I don't think the founders of wildly successful companies should regret what their successors do or do not do. It is the founder that made the mark, and in many cases the success is solely due to whatever charisma was built into the founder. Take that away and the identity of the company changes.

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 27 Sep 2018, 13:25

I wish the soda water companies would look back at how they got started and quit coming up with all these designer soda that fail, and as a result they discontinue lines of product where there is no competition.

Diet RC was the only company who made a cola without Aspartame or ACE K.
They discontinued it a few months back, but after thousands of complaints said they would start it up again mid September. We past that date and it's not on the stores buying lists yet.

Pepsi came out with PepsiONE, the only soda in their entire lineup without Aspartame.
They also came out with several designer drinks that didn't sell. So which one did they discontinue? PepsiONE.

The Choke-a-cola company still makes Diet Coke Yellow Cap or Yellow band, made with Splenda, it too has Ace K in it.
Big stores like Walmart only stock 3 to 6 cartons, and it sells out instantly. So they never have any on the shelves when you go to buy it. They may stock 1000 cartons of Coke, 1000 cartons of Diet Coke, and only 6 cartons of Diet Coke Yellow Cap. Makes no sense. You can't sell what you don't stock enough of to sell.

Kroger only stocks 3 cartons, and puts them on sale if you buy 4 cartons. Gimmick? They've never had 4 cartons at any given time on the shelves, and they won't sell only 3 cartons at the sale price. Must buy 4, but they never have 4.

Only about three times I was at Walmart when PepsiONE was still made did I find any at all on their shelves.
Can't buy what isn't there to sell. Pepsi blames Walmart, Walmart blames Pepsi, so they both are liars.
Seems to me, if you want a product to sell, you must have it on the store shelves available to buyers.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 28 Sep 2018, 08:50

All the big selling items have the same problem. Toilet paper, soup, chips/pretzels, and soda are way too prolific. There is only so much shelf space in the stores and the competition to get more and more of it is fierce. So, if you can sell three pallets full of regular Coke and only four cartons of Diet Coke Yellow, what do you think will get the most shelf space? Your taste in soda is impeccable, but you are in the minority.

I think we can appreciate the battle for shelf space but I am amazed at how some foods just are not heard of or stocked. Take mozzarella cheese as an example. I buy it in bulk for when I make pizzas and other Italian cuisine foods, which means I use a lot of the dry hard variety instead of the moist slimy kind. About ten years ago I was able to buy a particular brand, Sargento, of mozzarella made from whole milk. It sat right next to the stuff made from skim milk. Like your soda, they only had a few whole milk packages as opposed to two feet of shelf space for the skimmed milk variety. I often wondered why people used the tasteless skim milk cheese that did not brown when baked, not to mention having no taste. Well, the first thing that happened was they stopped stocking anything Sargento and put their in house brand in place of it. Amazingly, the in house brand did not come as made with whole milk. I talked to the butcher about this and he said it was a corporate decision but could order me whole 5-10 pound blocks from their distribution center. Even that was going to disappear in lieu of the house brand. No real Italian chef (which I am not) would use the skimmed milk variety, and the genuine made from buffalo milk is not available in this country. Down here in Missouri, whole mild mozzarella is nonexistent. I did find some at WalMart a time or two, but not any more. So, what is it about something really good, desirable, and easy to sell that makes it unmarketable?

I can give you a similar example for Spätzle which is now $11 for a 12 oz bag thanks to import duties being increased. That is the online price because they never heard of the stuff in the groceries around here. How about rye bread, the in house artisan kind? St Louis Bread Company makes a decent one ... about once a week. Maybe. There are three major chain stores in town and none of them sell rye bread with a hard crust. So I decided to make my own, but do you know how easy it is to get rye flour? Nearly impossible. Every other seed and wheat flour is readily available in all three chain stores. But no rye flour at all.

Which reminds me ... we took a trip to Kohn's Deli to celebrate our wedding anniversary last weekend. I have to admit that THEY do sell rye bread fresh baked, plus they also have Nova lox for sale. I thought I died and went to heaven when I saw that. Kohn's is unlike previous Jewish Deli's to which I've visited. It's an amazing place with great tasting food. The staff is overwhelming and helpful and I felt like I was right at home in my own kitchen while eating there. They are not pretentious at all. To say they are casual is an understatement. LOL I loved every minute of it. Too bad it takes more than 30 minutes to get there; but, they will deliver. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 28 Sep 2018, 14:32

The Dierbergs on Olive, east of 270, used to keep rye and pumpernickel flour in stock all the time, along with a few others I don't know what they were for. The Dierbergs west of 270 at Ross Road had Rye flour, but not pumpernickel. Go out further to 141 and they had neither. I guess it depends upon what neighborhood you are in what they stock.

I've never been in any store where either regular Pepsi or Coke shelves were not fully stocked, and the Diet version of each also adequately stocked. You never find an empty spot until you get down to the Diet soda's with no Aspartame, those shelves are always empty or near empty. Sold Out and not restocked. They could easily stock more so the shelves are not always empty, but they don't. Doesn't make sense to me. If a product is always sold out, it must be a hit they ignore.

Walmart would get over 200 cartons of Pecan Twirls in. They flew off the shelves like lightning. They used to carry Ms. Freshleys, then switched to only selling their own store brand. I assume the baker could not keep up with the demand for sales, because the shelves were usually empty, unless you were lucky to hit the store right after the shelf was filled. I normally bought six boxes at a time myself. It's one of the few products I went to Walmart for, and they quit carrying them completely. They do have another brand that is downright horrible tasting. Even our dogs wouldn't eat them, so they ended up in the trash.

Glad you liked Kohn's Deli! Shame it is so far away from you though.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 29 Sep 2018, 08:29

Ahhh yes ... Dierbergs. There are two within 8 miles driving of my home and I used to think they were pretty good. Typically Saturday night is pizza night at Yogi's Den and I do it all by hand except for the crust. Up north I would get somebody's flat bread pizza crust - don't recall the name but they sell bread here too in O'Fallon. However, none of the stores stock the pizza crust. It's all pita bread size and not to my liking for what I do with it. So I tried everything all the shops had for sale, and none of it was even close to what we were used to. Fresh Thyme, an organic foods shop, had a ready made and baked in house pizza crust that we loved. Well, once they figured out I liked it so much they stopped making it and converted the cooler to a sandwich bar. Well, I can't get the mozzarella, so might as well do without the crust too. But then I discovered the second Deirbergs in the next town over from O'Fallon. It was one mile closer and reachable via the expressway. The best part was that they had fresh made pizza dough. I'd have to roll it out and bake it, but it was freshly made and tasted great. They don't handle that dough at the store in O'Fallon proper. We are talking about a separation of no more than ten miles as the crow flies, but the shelves in one Deirbergs do not have the same items as the shelves in the next closest one. There is a buyer in each store and I'm certain the shelves are stocked to that buyer's preferences and not to what the customers want.

Neither Dierbergs has rye flour but as it happens Schnucks does, and only one of the Schnucks at that. Given the scarcity of anything rye, I have to wonder why Schnucks carries the flour but does not sell in house made rye. In the case of Coke, I can understand why you see empty shelf space. It's partly due to the demands of the Coca-Cola company. They wont give the store any diet Coke unless they also stock a certain amount of regular Coke. So, if the store wants to sell Coke products at all, they have to do it on Coke's terms. That's not the case with rye bread/flour. So, I don't get it; literally.

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Kellemora
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by Kellemora » 29 Sep 2018, 10:32

Schnucks was our store of choice for many years, they always had what we wanted, and normally cheaper than Dierbergs.
However, that changed drastically for some reason. The Dierbergs closest to me for 20 years was at Ross Road and had the lowest prices of any Dierbergs and a lot lower than Schnucks which was right across the street.
My wife managed to coerce the store into buying things for her they normally didn't stock. Such as restaurant grade bacon, aka 20 slices per pound lean deli bacon.
We have no stores down here even close to a Schnucks or Dierbergs. We do have a Kroger, but it is not like the Kroger stores back home. We rarely if ever go to Kroger, except for a couple of items when i don't feel like driving to a store that carries them for less.
One of the most interesting things I've learned since moving down south, nearly every locally owned store in town is cheaper than Walmart, sometimes by a wide margin. I don't know how they do it, but they do.
Our cheapest grocery store in town has gone up in price a little since they expanded. They used to be more like an Aldi, but are now a step up from Jansen's IGA Foodliner, if you remember those.

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yogi
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Re: Wired's Picture of the Week

Post by yogi » 29 Sep 2018, 18:40

In some ways Schnucks is surprising. They have certain things that other stores do not carry; the rye flour for example. They have a section for sale items which is pretty impressive if you want what they put on sale. The quality of their produce and meats, however, is average. They don't sell lamb or veal, or they didn't the last time I asked the butcher about it. Also, Schnucks has something weird going on. Last year for nearly the entire summer some union dudes camped out in front of the store encouraging passers by to boycott Schnucks. I should have asked somebody in the store what that was all about, but I never did. I don't know where Schnucks is on the pricing compared to other stores. I don't often look at the prices unless it's on sale. I want to know if I'm really getting a bargain or not. LOL I thought Dierbergs was upscale at first, but now that I've shopped there a while I can see it's an illusion. They have a sushi bar which does custom orders while you wait but I never see anybody buying that stuff. Their produce is mediocre at best and I have my doubts about the meat. There is a fresh meat counter with prepared cuts, but the regular meat is over priced and very limited in variety.

Back north there was a Kroger store next door to WalMart. They got along fine until the WalMart decided to start selling groceries. It took about a year for Kroger to leave. WalMart makes it's profits by selling in quantity, but the likes of Aldi stay in business by not selling brand names. Some of that stuff is good, but you never know about the quality of what's on Aldi's shelves. I recall there being an IGA store in the neighborhood where I grew up. Mom preferred A&P and Krogers so that I never learned much about IGA. I'm at a point in my life where the quality of what I eat is more important to me than the price. That's why I'll pay $17/lb for lamb chops at Dierbergs. LOL

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