Off Campus

25 July 2005

And the Franklin goes too...

Taking a bit of a diversion with this one... going to kill two blogs with one stone this week, and give out our first web award. "The Franklin."

In the history of mankind many people have sought improvement in their daily lives. People who'll question what is, and take a shot at improving on the status quo. I'm not talking about the poor souls who re-invent the wheel on a regular basis because they can, but rather those who add pinstriping and pneumatic tires to make for a flashier, if not comfier ride.

Leonardo Da Vinci was one such man. Arguably one of the smartest men in history, this inventor brought Europe out of the Dark Ages with advances in both art and science. And then just a "couple" years later an inventor on this side of the pond, Benjamin Franklin, did the same for the new America.

Though Franklin had his triumphs - bifocals, newspapers, the library, the fire dept, daylight savings and a little thing called electricity - he had his misses too. Reworking the English language via a new alphabet among the biggies. Despite being more efficient and perhaps easier to learn, try as he might, he just couldn't get the colonies to adapt to relearning what they already knew.

Perhaps this resistance explains why we are still stuck with the inefficient QWERTY keyboard or why we're the last country to hold out on the switch to metric.

(and here's the brilliant segue...)

This brings me to the Franklinesque spirit shown by one Mr. Robert Dunstan. A furnituremaker in Wyoming who's challenging the Imperial (English) and Meric systems to give up their weaknesses, and combine their strengths into his new system. A system he humbly calls "The Bob." Dividing the ruler into 24 units instead of 16 (or 32). You can read all about it at and judge for yourself whether it was insight or courage that inspired the production and marketing of Bobsrule.

I for one, (tired of being firmly entrenched in the camp of the 5 feet, 7 inches 5/8 and a sixteenth) raise my kite to you!