Backtalk - 04/24/2008

April 24, 2008
Creative Office Engineering

All work and no play makes for a dull workplace. So says Bosch Rexroth, whose “Creative Diversions” area looks at the fun side of engineering (boschrexroth-

Here’s the latest Top 10 list offering: Creative office engineering. Many of us spend 40+ hr a week working our fingers to the bones in an office somewhere and we need some way to release our creative energy, right? See below how hardworking people found ways to show their creative side ... all with their job in mind.

10 - Get Some Fresh Air While You Work

9 - Here’s Hoping Trash Pick-Up Day is Today

8 - Happy Hour has Never Been Easier

7 - Sale on Aisle 12. Aluminum Foil

6 - Why Not Garden at Work?

5 - Fore!

4 - Would You Like Butter on That?

3 - Dude! He Got a Dell

2 - Anyone Got a Pen to Leave a Note?

And the Number 1 Most Creative Office ...

1 - Think of All the Time You Could Save!


News at 11 — Check your T-shirt

Created in 2004, T-post, a wearable magazine, rewires the way people get the latest news. The difference between T-post and other news media is that every six weeks you receive a new t-shirt based on a current news item instead of a magazine. Designers are chosen to design their interpretation of a news story, which is then combined with the actual news and printed on the inside of the t-shirt.

“Because the news is printed inside the shirt, the subscriber is left with an opportunity to interpret and communicate the meaning behind the shirt. It really becomes the subscriber’s interpretation of the story, which is even more interesting to hear about I think,” says T-Post Editor-in-Chief, Peter Lundgren. What started out as an experiment is now delivered to over 50 countries. For more information, visit


Kruzin’ the streets

The Fourth Annual Chi-Town STA-BIL Kruze & Car Show is taking place on May 31 In Chicago. The event, a collaboration between Car Show and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, last year raised $30,000 in donations. The Chi-Town STABIL Kruze is Chicago’s largest outdoor classic car cruise and exhibition. Immediately following the cruise is the Car Show (from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) featuring pre-1988 registered cars along Chicago’s lakefront in the Soldier Field South Lot. Also featured this year will be the Ford Mustang — all Mustangs are welcome. One-half of the car-show registration fees and 100% of any spectator donations will be given to the charity.

Go to or call (847) 997-8624 for more information or to register your car.


Blog bytes

Go to and check out: Vicki Burt – Talking medical * Podcasts about engineering: I’ve been casually searching for engineering podcasts for the last three months. I haven’t had a lot of luck. Search for engineering on iTunes, and you get lots of podcasts about computer programming and information technology. Don’t even think about finding anything relevant on a search for technology.

I’ve managed to find a few science, technology, and engineering-related podcasts. Podcasts, by the way, are audio files that you can play on your computer or your mp3 device, like an iPod. What distinguishes them from plain audio files is that they are associated with RSS feeds. So if you subscribe to a podcast feed, anytime a new podcast is published the RSS feed notifies, say iTunes, or When you open iTunes, it automatically downloads the new podcast. I listen to podcasts on the bus and while I’m jogging.

Have you found any technical podcasts? What would make you listen to an engineering podcast? The latest news? Tutorial information? Feature stories read aloud by a sultry voice? I’d like to know what you think. Lee Teschler —

From the editor’s desk

* Cool helicopter crash video: Ouch! At least no one was hurt.

* Innovative packaging in Japan: If you’ve never been to Japan or designed a product marketed there, you might not know how obsessed the Japanese are with packaging. The article, “Japan: Japan leads the way in packaging innovation”( Japan_Packaging_Innovations. html), is interesting from that standpoint. I didn’t know, for example, that flexographic printing isn’t considered up to snuff for Japanese packaging.

The writer, Michael Fitzpatrick, turned to Neil Kozarsky, president of T.H.E.M. (Technical Help in Engineering & Marketing) to find out why Japanese packaging remains in the forefront of innovation and successful consumer relationships.

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