Thursday, September 12, 2013

a non-identifying ID card

Over the past 20-years, Janice 'Lokelani' Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has carried two separate IDS - a state ID card and a driver's license.

The driver's license was printed with an abbreviated version of her family name and her first and middle name was completely left off.

However, to counteract this, the Hawaiian Governor's office allowed her special dispensation to accommodate her full name on her state ID, but that expired in May and her problems began when her new one arrived laid out the same as her drivers license.

Her frustrations began when she contacted her local county on Hawaii and asked them what could be done - they suggested she change her last name to make the situation easier on her and them.

a non-identifying ID card.
This might be what they mean by "close enough for government work"

Just think, there are only about 1.3 million people in Hawaii so with a 26 letter alphabet the Hawaiian government could assign a unique 5 letter surname to anyone with a name 6 characters or longer. So, "Dwight D. Eisenhower" could become "Dwight D. Abcde".

If we treat capital letters as distinct from lowercase letters everyone in Hawaii could have a 4 letter surname so "Michelangelo Buonarroti" could become "Michelangelo AcDQ".

Imagine how much ink that would save. The time save by having to type fewer letters! Don't be selfish, those Hawaiian DMV computer hard drives cost money and it just might process a 4 letter name more quickly than a 36 letter name thereby saving someone at the DMV a millionth of a second or so.

Often bureaucrats are more concerned about the impact on bureaucrats than whether a policy actually works, like issuing a card to show a person's ID should actually shows the person's ID as opposed to issuing an ID card that does not show the person's ID. It is easier for them to try to get her to change her name than for the bureaucrats to be inconvenienced.

If only the Hawaii DMV had a database of resident names so they could have planned around these types of issues.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A chair of note

August Thonet of Gebruder Thonet bent wood chair, 1870
Not necessarily built for comfort
A chair made in 1870 of 2 pieces of solid beech wood by August Thonet of the Austrian furniture company Gebruder Thonet (Brothers Thonet) as a demonstration of their steam wood bending technique.


Gebruder Thonet No. 14 bent wood chair, 1859
Thonet's #14 chair
Gebruder Thonet started as a craftsman but embraced mass production. Michael Thonet, the father of the Thonet Brothers and founder of Gebruder Thonet, even built much of his own machinery. In 1859 they introduced the Thonet's #14 chair and by 1900 they had sold 40 million.

pics from the magazine Fine Woodworking #20 (Jan 1980).