Sacred Circle

IMG_3827This neat little architectural flourish is found on an otherwise unremarkable downtown Columbus office building.  Seeing it raises the age-old question:  which is cherubim, and which is seraphim?  If I recall correctly, one of them is supposed to be a head with wings, and one is supposed to be a baby with wings.  Which is which?

Whatever . . . I like the fact that someone saw fit to add a nifty bit of ornamentation to a blank wall.

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One Down and One to Go

Yesterday Sarah underwent a six hour double lung transplant surgery after receiving lungs from an adult donor. Last week a Pennsylvania judge ruled that both Sarah Murnaghan and Javier Acosta who both at the time had advanced cystic fibrosis and maybe weeks to live should be eligible for adult lungs.

The judge’s ruling overturned an existing transplant policy that made children under twelve wait for pediatric lungs or be offered adult lungs only after adults on the waiting list had been considered because pediatric lungs are rarely donated.

I clearly don’t have the medical knowledge to know whether or not the judge’s ruling was ethical, but I can’t understand why there aren’t more organs being donated. While the loss of a loved one would be tragic especially if it was a child, why wouldn’t their loved ones want to give the extraordinary gift of life or extended life to someone else ?

I have been an organ donor for as long as I can remember. According to one website the donation of one organ can save as many as eight people and one tissue donor can enhance the lives of as many as fifty people. So if you are not an organ donor already why not become one and make sure that your family is aware of your wishes. Javier is still waiting on his lungs.

About Skeuomorphism

Did you ever wonder why the delete file on your computer looks like an old-fashioned wire trash can that you haven’t seen in years, or why your email icon looks like a letter?  The answer has to do with skeuomorphism.

Skeuomorphism — in addition to being a great Scrabble word — has to do with the concept of patterning computer images after “everyday” objects.  It was a focus of Steve Jobs, who thought it would make computers more accessible and user-friendly to people who don’t wear pocket protectors and button their short-sleeved shirts up to the neck.  Rather than typing a line of code, you could just drag something you wanted to delete to that trash can on the screen.  The use of skeuomorphic objects made computers easier, and almost intuitive, to use, even for skittish people who formerly worried that one false keystroke could cause a hard drive crash.

But those skeuomorphic objects have grown more and more . . . anachronistic in our fast-moving modern world, and an increasingly tech-savvy populace started to make fun of them.  Who uses actual file folders, anyway?  Will kids even know what those objects are supposed to represent?  Why should your e-books be displayed on a cheap-looking wooden bookshelf?  Who wants ’70s-era, bulky looking headphones on the “desktop” of their sleek, super-thin, ultra-light laptop?  And we all know that, in the modern world, something that becomes the object of ridicule isn’t likely to last long.

So apparently skeuomorphism is out, at Apple and elsewhere.  The tech designers are confident that people are comfortable enough with computers that they don’t need to clutter computer screens with representations of outdated objects.  I’m not quite sure what will replace it, but that wire wastebasket is going to be tossed in the trash bin.