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“Bad Ass” Aggie Ring Goes to the Art Deco Edison Memorial Tower and “Big Ass Lightbulb!”
Design Gift Ideas
Image by flickr4jazz
I could tell that Aggie Ring was impressed. After several moments of silence he spoke out and said, “If my Eyes of Texas aren’t deceiving me, that’s the biggest damn lightbulb I’ve ever seen! I guess it’s true… Everything IS bigger in Jersey!”

The Aggie Ring woke me up early this morning. In fact it was even before 11:30 a.m. so I knew he wanted to do something. I asked the Aggie Ring, “What do you want to do Aggie Ring?” The Aggie Ring replied, “I want to go see the lightbulb!” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about so I said, “What lightbulb?” The Aggie Ring said with emphasis, “Let there be LIGHT!” Then it hit me. Aggie Ring wanted to drive him up the Parkway to the site of Thomas A. Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory so he could see the Art Deco Edison Memorial Tower and “Big Ass Lightbulb!”

Other than the time he told me that he thought Elvis took our change in a tollbooth on the New Jersey State Turnpike, Aggie Ring has great ideas. It’s only about a 20 to 25 minute drive up the Parkway from our house so Aggie Ring and I set off to see the Edison Memorial Tower. The last time we’d been there it had been in horrible shape and they were beginning work on restoring it. That was a bit over a year ago so I assumed that Aggie Ring figured out that they would be finished with the conservation work on the historical site.

When we drove down the little side street where the tower is located the Aggie Ring was overwhelmed with awe at the restored site. Aggie Ring was truly “speechless!” It’s just as beautiful as the day it was built. They did an incredible job on the restoration. After a few moments sitting in the car just looking out the window Aggie Ring broke his silence and asked me, “Did you bring a cigar? Edison loved his cigars and I think he’d have wanted you to smoke a cigar while you’re looking the place over.” Unfortunately I had left my cigars at home so the Edison “smoke out” will have to happen on a future date.

The laboratory building is no longer at this site but it’s still impressive to think of not only the electric lightbulb, but all of the other great inventions that Mr. Edison invented here. Aggie Ring said, “Imagine. He did all this stuff without the help of an Aggie Ring!”

The Aggie Ring and I walked around the tower and took some photos of the “Big Ass Lightbulb” and the historical plaques at its base. The Aggie Ring and I are planning on going back some evening when the lightbulb is illuminated. Aggie Ring said, “It would be cool if you could get a photo during a thunderstorm when there’s lightning behind the tower.” I told Aggie Ring, “You’re crazy! I’m not standing out in a field during a lightning storm with an Aggie Ring on my finger! Maybe if we can get a VMI grad to come with us. Their rings are so damn big a lightning bolt would hit one of them before us!”

Aggie Ring said, “It’s a good thing Edison invented the lightbulb or there’d be a lot of Waggies drinking their tequila shots by candlelight!” I told the Aggie Ring, “True… Those Waggies love their tequila the invention of the lightbulb makes it a lot easier for them to pour the tequila and do body shots!”

Aggie Ring asked me to provide some info on the Edison “Big Ass Lightbulb” Memorial Tower for your educational enlightenment (“Get it?” Aggie Ring said):

Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Menlo Park Museum, New Jersey

"Let there be light." Thomas Alva Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory and Memorial Tower. Those of us on the Jersey Shore call it the "Big Ass Lightbulb!”

The Edison Tower, located on the site of the original laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey, to which Thomas Alva Edison moved in 1876, was erected in 1937 as a monument to the great inventor. The Tower is the gift of William Slocum Barstow to the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation Incorporated in behalf of the Edison Pioneers. It was dedicated on February 11, 1838, the ninety-first anniversary of the inventor’s birth.

Rising 131 ft. 4 in. above the ground, the tower looms as the highest discernible object for many miles. Surmounting the 117 ft. 8 in. concrete-slab structure is a 13 ft. 8 in. replica of the original incandescent lamp which, when illuminated, can be seen for a distance of several miles. It once served as an airplane beacon. The Tower is designed for pressure of wind at a velocity of 120 miles per hour. In its construction, which consumed slightly less than eight months, approximately 1200 barrels of Edison Portland cement and 50 tons of reinforced steel were used.

The large bulb on top of the Tower was cast by the Corning Glass Works. The replica bulb contains 153 separate pieces of amber tinted Pyrex glass, 2 in. thick, set upon a steel frame. The bulb is 5 ft. in diameter at the neck and 9 ft. 2 in. in diameter at the greatest width and weighs, without the steel frame on which it is placed, in excess of three tons. Before the restoration, inside this Pyrex glass bulb were four 1000 watt bulbs, four 200 watt bulbs, and four 100 watt bulbs. A duplicate of each was arranged as automatically to cut in should its companion bulb fail.

The Edison Tower has been completely restored and when complete, the bulb is now illuminated with modern Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. Mr. Edison would be pleased with this, I’m sure.

While we don’t have any records of exactly what was said when Mr. Edison perfected his invention, I suspect one of his workers shouted out something like this: “Holy Mother of Baby Jesus on a Donkey!” “Mr. Edison, You’ve done it!!! You’ve perfected the Electric Light!!! You truly are King of Kings!!!!”

The tower is located on a mysterious plot of land and exactly at midnight on the night of a full moon, it would be a perfect site for the ritual sacrifice of virgins. Too bad we don’t have any of those in New Jersey! 🙂

*********************

Aggie Ring says, “The Road Goes On Forever, and the Party Never Ends!”

“Bad Ass” Aggie Ring Goes to the Art Deco Edison Memorial Tower and “Big Ass Lightbulb!”
Design Gift Ideas
Image by flickr4jazz
I could tell that Aggie Ring was impressed. After several moments of silence he spoke out and said, “If my Eyes of Texas aren’t deceiving me, that’s the biggest damn lightbulb I’ve ever seen! I guess it’s true… Everything IS bigger in Jersey!”

The Aggie Ring woke me up early this morning. In fact it was even before 11:30 a.m. so I knew he wanted to do something. I asked the Aggie Ring, “What do you want to do Aggie Ring?” The Aggie Ring replied, “I want to go see the lightbulb!” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about so I said, “What lightbulb?” The Aggie Ring said with emphasis, “Let there be LIGHT!” Then it hit me. Aggie Ring wanted to drive him up the Parkway to the site of Thomas A. Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory so he could see the Art Deco Edison Memorial Tower and “Big Ass Lightbulb!”

Other than the time he told me that he thought Elvis took our change in a tollbooth on the New Jersey State Turnpike, Aggie Ring has great ideas. It’s only about a 20 to 25 minute drive up the Parkway from our house so Aggie Ring and I set off to see the Edison Memorial Tower. The last time we’d been there it had been in horrible shape and they were beginning work on restoring it. That was a bit over a year ago so I assumed that Aggie Ring figured out that they would be finished with the conservation work on the historical site.

When we drove down the little side street where the tower is located the Aggie Ring was overwhelmed with awe at the restored site. Aggie Ring was truly “speechless!” It’s just as beautiful as the day it was built. They did an incredible job on the restoration. After a few moments sitting in the car just looking out the window Aggie Ring broke his silence and asked me, “Did you bring a cigar? Edison loved his cigars and I think he’d have wanted you to smoke a cigar while you’re looking the place over.” Unfortunately I had left my cigars at home so the Edison “smoke out” will have to happen on a future date.

The laboratory building is no longer at this site but it’s still impressive to think of not only the electric lightbulb, but all of the other great inventions that Mr. Edison invented here. Aggie Ring said, “Imagine. He did all this stuff without the help of an Aggie Ring!”

The Aggie Ring and I walked around the tower and took some photos of the “Big Ass Lightbulb” and the historical plaques at its base. The Aggie Ring and I are planning on going back some evening when the lightbulb is illuminated. Aggie Ring said, “It would be cool if you could get a photo during a thunderstorm when there’s lightning behind the tower.” I told Aggie Ring, “You’re crazy! I’m not standing out in a field during a lightning storm with an Aggie Ring on my finger! Maybe if we can get a VMI grad to come with us. Their rings are so damn big a lightning bolt would hit one of them before us!”

Aggie Ring said, “It’s a good thing Edison invented the lightbulb or there’d be a lot of Waggies drinking their tequila shots by candlelight!” I told the Aggie Ring, “True… Those Waggies love their tequila the invention of the lightbulb makes it a lot easier for them to pour the tequila and do body shots!”

Aggie Ring asked me to provide some info on the Edison “Big Ass Lightbulb” Memorial Tower for your educational enlightenment (“Get it?” Aggie Ring said):

Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Menlo Park Museum, New Jersey

"Let there be light." Thomas Alva Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory and Memorial Tower. Those of us on the Jersey Shore call it the "Big Ass Lightbulb!”

The Edison Tower, located on the site of the original laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey, to which Thomas Alva Edison moved in 1876, was erected in 1937 as a monument to the great inventor. The Tower is the gift of William Slocum Barstow to the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation Incorporated in behalf of the Edison Pioneers. It was dedicated on February 11, 1838, the ninety-first anniversary of the inventor’s birth.

Rising 131 ft. 4 in. above the ground, the tower looms as the highest discernible object for many miles. Surmounting the 117 ft. 8 in. concrete-slab structure is a 13 ft. 8 in. replica of the original incandescent lamp which, when illuminated, can be seen for a distance of several miles. It once served as an airplane beacon. The Tower is designed for pressure of wind at a velocity of 120 miles per hour. In its construction, which consumed slightly less than eight months, approximately 1200 barrels of Edison Portland cement and 50 tons of reinforced steel were used.

The large bulb on top of the Tower was cast by the Corning Glass Works. The replica bulb contains 153 separate pieces of amber tinted Pyrex glass, 2 in. thick, set upon a steel frame. The bulb is 5 ft. in diameter at the neck and 9 ft. 2 in. in diameter at the greatest width and weighs, without the steel frame on which it is placed, in excess of three tons. Before the restoration, inside this Pyrex glass bulb were four 1000 watt bulbs, four 200 watt bulbs, and four 100 watt bulbs. A duplicate of each was arranged as automatically to cut in should its companion bulb fail.

The Edison Tower has been completely restored and when complete, the bulb is now illuminated with modern Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. Mr. Edison would be pleased with this, I’m sure.

While we don’t have any records of exactly what was said when Mr. Edison perfected his invention, I suspect one of his workers shouted out something like this: “Holy Mother of Baby Jesus on a Donkey!” “Mr. Edison, You’ve done it!!! You’ve perfected the Electric Light!!! You truly are King of Kings!!!!”

The tower is located on a mysterious plot of land and exactly at midnight on the night of a full moon, it would be a perfect site for the ritual sacrifice of virgins. Too bad we don’t have any of those in New Jersey! 🙂

*********************

Aggie Ring says, “The Road Goes On Forever, and the Party Never Ends!”

D4D Design Social Documentation
Design Gift Ideas
Image by blese
blog.d4d-china.org

TASKING PEOPLE
HCD approach to tasking D4D researchers.

HMW improve the quality of information collected?
Guidelines for tagging (a taxonomy)
Action item: create a framework and taxonomy for collecting information

HMW match skills and interests?
Know your strengths
Offers*/Wants
Take a psychology quiz * (what kind of volunteer are you? what do you do in this situation? how well do you know the law? how would you approach x?)

Action item: prototype a survey

HMW better prepare prepare volunteers for research?
Database of Tools**: Research methods at the ready. Cherry picked per micro and mega-missions.
Coaching for Urban Field Studies (show respect,smile, be nice to people)
An ID card with the D4D story/mission and field tips on the backside. Phone number for a D4D official representative
A wad of fake money to throw in the air in case of an emergency
A t-shirt with Jet Li’s "one community" as a D4D partner (WWJLD?)
Action item: prototype a research kit or mission-in-a-box**
Action item: design a D4D ID card

HMW motivate and focus the energy of volunteers?
Progress bar* – Time left till Expo 2010
Progress map ***
A map of neighborhoods showing percentage of coverage, highlighting viring territory, hotspots like construction sites and migrant housing
A calendar highlighting weekend scouting parties (who’s coming, how many spaces are left).
A mission page with suggested methods (try this today!) to use and an invitation to accept the mission or pass.

HMW recruit or incentivize experts and insiders? *

CREATING MISSIONS
Type 1 mission, solo in your own hood. (weekdays)
Daily walk. *****
Making stronger relationships with the people in your neighborhood.
"Own your hood"

Type 2 mission, as a group do something (weekends)

Local + Expat Team. *
Locals help with language/culture, expats make it more comfortable? or less… hmm

One Good Deed a week. Reward feeling for the volunteer. Speak to 3 new people in your neighborhood

FEEDBACK
Monthly prize for Top Scout
Volunteer of the Month Award (web page and a real plaque for your wall or table)
Host an event
Tea and workshop ******
Getting to know the community to talk one afternoon

TOOLS FOR SCOUTING
Set up a separate blog: my most interesting, strangest, nicest day in the community.
MSN on the phone (official channel of communication)
MSN group – post photos**, chat room**
Youku Video Awareness campaign: sign up and watch updates from shanghai
Format*: strict simple questions and answers: where did you seen them, one challenge, one idea
Template for material ** – Identify what methods work -evolve into a kit for D4D volunteers.

Scouting Parties**
Spam your friends in a fun way

Posters
Email Photos and comments
SMS Tool to send members reminders *******

Benefits of joining my party
Learn about my neighborhood, explore new neighborhoods
Fun & Food
Host a scouting party in your hood
Be the Expert. Be the tourist.
Photo Walks***** sponsored by Lomo Store.
Video Walks* (Who is the flipcam of China?)
"Icebreaker" An excuse to talk to people in your neigborhood
Neighborhood contests (Nicest smile, Best service, Good Quality Good Price, Reliable, Persistent)
"Take me home"

Small weekend scouting parties leading up to a big holiday blast.*** Take it home

Making them comfortable. Give something back.
Gift of a polaroid.*** Pointer back to D4D.

D4D Urban Scout iPhone & Android app

2 types of missions. Solo missions for workdays. On your way to or from work. Group scouting parties on the weekend.

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