November 7th, 2005

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The Boondocks

The BoondocksWatched the series premiere episode of the Boondocks tonight.

It wasn't bad. But I would just like to point one thing out. Despite how "edgy" it might be, or daring, or open about racial issues, there's some irony in the air.

As I was watching, I was immediately struck by how... how freaking anime the show looked, it was painful. So I waited for the credits, and sure enough, the show was animated in Korea, by Koreans. BOONDOCKS was animated by people that have probably never met a black person before. And the article I linked to above was written by a white guy.

(And of course, let's not forget that this post was written by someone who's half-asian and half-white, thereby closing the loop.)
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The iPod Nano's proportions

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I find the iPod Nano's proportions disturbing.

There's a concept known as the "golden ratio" in mathematics; that ratio is approximately 1.6:1. That ratio (and the Fibonacci sequence, the mathematical sequence that "zooms into" the golden ratio) comes up in architecture, art, and even more tellingly, nature repeatedly. For whatever reason, it's just the perfect ratio, the one most pleasing to the eyes in countless examples. It just is.

The iPod? 1.7:1 ratio. Hmmm.

The iPod Nano? 2.2:1 ratio.

So the point I was making (and I couldn't remember the term for it yesterday, which is why I just said "although it'd have a more pleasing look if it was slightly shorter and wider - the ratio of height to width is a little odd") was that the ratio of height to width isn't optimal, it's not the most attractive one. I think (and I know this is an odd assertion, but I suspect not far off) that part of the reason people found the older iPods attractive (or at least why the form factor didn't distract people) was because it essentially comes close to the golden ratio. And I suspect (since I personally do find it a little odd looking) why the Nano isn't quite as pleasing to the eye, front-on, is because it misses the golden ratio. I could be wrong, but look at this:

vs.

The wider one, obviously, won't fit in your pocket as nicely*, but it just looks more... comfortable, somehow. I think it's because of the golden ratio.

* - Of course, considering the horror stories about the iPod Nano being so fragile and easily scratchable, you probably don't want to keep it directly in your pocket without protection.