William Tell

By | That's life | 9 Comments

 

William Tell and the iPhone

Hear the words ‘William Tell’ and probably the first thing that comes to mind is the apple on a head and Tell shooting his arrow through its centre.  Well, at least, that’s how it is for me. But after drawing this cartoon I realised I knew very little of this Swiss folk hero.

Tell was a 14th century crossbow marksman who assassinated Gessler, the tyrannical Austrian bailiff of Habsburg (royal house of Europe).  Gessler’s demise unwittingly started with the very first action he took when first placed into power. Symbolically, he put his hat on a tall pole and demanded all that pass bow to show their respect. When William Tell and his son visited the town, Tell refused to bow. Outraged, Gessler set a punishment. A choice of execution or Tell could shoot an apple from the top of his son’s head. Tell suceeded and was granted pardon. However, the plot thickened, as Gessler was curious as to why Tell had two arrows, instead of one. Tell indicated it was a spare, should the first miss, but later the truth was revealed. The second arrow was marked for Gessler, in the event Tell missed the apple and killed his son instead.

Upon hearing this, the pardon was overruled and Tell was captured. A ship was to take him to the castle Küssnacht dungeon. However, a storm broke and the seaman fearing their own safety allowed Tell, an accomplished sailor to steer the ship to safety. Naturally, he chose to return to a ‘dungeon free’ shoreline, where he jumped ship. Gessler tried to hunt him down, but was assassinated by Tell.  This spurred others to start a rebellion to the Austrian rule. Eventually, the Swiss won and formed the Old Swiss Confederacy.

So, a rather long preamble, but I’m interested in understanding…

How far would you go to save your phone?

Growing pains

By | Animals, That's life | 4 Comments

Grow chart

I fondly look back at the early days when both my daughters were young and keen to get measured using the door frame to record the results.  Standing on tippy toes was a trick both tried regularly. I could laugh at the time because for me there was no competition…yet. However, I knew the time would come that they would surpass me and surpass me they did this year. At the tender ages of 13 and 15 they now tower over their tiny 5 ‘7″ mother. However, I’m not the shortest in the family. Our pet golden retriever Ollie will always be the shortest. 🙂

What height stories do you have?

The end of the rainbow

By | That's life | 2 Comments

Same sex marriage

For overseas visitors, you possibly aren’t aware of the result from the recent vote by Australians on ‘same sex marriage’. I’m so happy that the final vote was in favour with 61.6% Yes.  Now all we need is the government to pass the legislation in parliament to make it official.

The internet

By | IT and Computer Stuff, That's life | No Comments

National broadband network Australia

This is one of those cartoons where context is all. So if you don’t live in Australia, you probably are not aware of the National Broadband Network (NBN) debacle currently going on here. According to NBN’s website, NBN

“was established in 2009 to design, build and operate Australia’s new high-speed, wholesale local access broadband network. Underpinned by a purpose to connect Australia and bridge the digital divide, nbn’s key objective is to ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices, and at least cost.”

It’s fair to say it has not lived up to their bold vision. Rather than go into the nitty gritty details, I thought these Newsline headings would provide a flavour of the issues faced.

“ACCC to review NBN after complaints about network soar… THE consumer watchdog has launched an inquiry into NBN Co’s standard of service as complaints about the network continue to rise.” News.com 2 Nov 2017

“NBN’s constipation: Problems go much deeper than a lack of fibre…EVERYONE thinks they know the problem with the NBN. The truth is, it goes far deeper than we know – and it can’t be fixed.” News.com 25 Oct 2017

“Almost half NBN users report problems, with delays and slow speeds top hurdles.” Courier Mail 23 Oct 2017

“NBN director Michael Malone says complaining customers should be sent ‘to the back of the queue” Business insider, 30 Oct 2017

From my perspective, I only wish we hadn’t converted. Our internet drops out regularly (2-3 days vs once a month on the old system) and often when it’s running, the bandwidth is so tight that only one person can use it at a time.  Bring back the good old days, I say…

What do you miss from the ‘good old day’?

The big wave

By | That's life | 4 Comments

The great wave of Kanagawa

Just having a bit of fun with the famous woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by the nineteenth century Japanese artist Hokusai.

Japanese woodblock printing involves the artist’s final sketch being glued to a piece of wood, typically cherry. The horishi (block carver)  then carefully carves away the line work to create a relief of the former art work, which is destroyed (or rather removed) during the carving process. This process is repeated for each colour, resulting in a series of blocks, ready for the surishi (printer) to then rubs with paint for printing. This process enables a number of prints to be made, but is limited by the life of the wood; typically 5,000 prints.

So the end print is a collaboration between artist, carver and printer. Interestingly, the ownership of the final work belonged to the hanmoto (publisher), who could do as he wished with the blocks and prints.

I love this print for it’s line work and limited use of colour, but it was the curling waves that inspired me to draw this cartoon.

What art or artist inspired you to do something new?

Fifty shades of diversity

By | That's life, Word play | 2 Comments

50 shades of greyWell, it’s been a long time coming this cartoon…

I started earlier this year, thinking it would be a fun exercise to draw as many different aspects to diversity through the cartooning of different faces. Well, let me tell you, fun it was, but easy – not. You see, my imagination started to run dry after only four faces. So, I had to seek inspiration external to my own little bubble and hunt for ideas elsewhere. And where else is a better place to start, than right here at home in Melbourne, during my daily train travel to work.

Those of you who live in Melbourne, would know that we are proudly rich in our strong ethnic background. Along with this comes the joys of a diverse culture which is expressed through everyday life here, especially in the choice of food venues…But I digress…

Pretty much, every face you see here (except for the original four, and perhaps just one more – can you spot it?) travelled along side me in the train to work. Fortunately for me, the majority of people these days are so absorbed in their technology that they were blissfully unaware of the cunning exercise being undertaken.

What do you love about the diversity in your home?

Lights! Camera!

By | That's life | 4 Comments

Lights! Camera! Selfie!

It never ceases to amaze me what wonders technology can bring into our everyday lives to make life easier, yet at the same time, perhaps more absurd than ever before.

Let’s consider the snapping of the ever humble selfie. I mean, I thought it was simply a matter of extending one’s arm out so that you take on the appearance of a Romanesque sculpture and then trying to look normal whilst getting your thumb to click the ever elusive button to take the shot. But technology and our love of all things gadgety has enabled businesses to boom in a society that loves sharing images of themselves. Check out MacWorld’s 7 selfie enhancing products. Personally, I think you can’t go past the Joby GripTight GorillaPod Magnetic XL.  I think using it might be simpler than calling it by name.

So, what’s your selfie tool of choice?

Fear not, no judgement here. You’re in the safety of the world wide web.

Musical chairs

By | That's life, Work | 4 Comments

Office musical chair dance

Funny, how the past comes back in later life.

For me as a child, musical chairs was one of my all time favourite party games. That, as well as pin the tail on the poor donkey and eating cake (that’s food, does that count?)

So what was your favourite party game and why?

 

When presented with a second chance

By | That's life, Work | 3 Comments

The IT cloudHopefully the exit is different from the entrance, in that a lift would be really handy when accessing the cloud…

But hang on, let’s imagine if that were possible…  The fastest elevator currently is Taipai 101 in Taiwan. It travels at a speed of 59 km/hr (37 mph). If we assume our average white fluffy cloud to be at a height of 4km (2.4 miles), then this elevator would take us 4 min and 6 sec to reach our destination. Pretty impressive when you consider that the first ever elevator installed by the Otis elevator company in 1857 in New York travelled at a modest 20cm per second (40ft per min). That would definitely require a packed lunch for our Otis elevator trip, with a duration 5 hrs and 33 minutes.

But you know what? I think I’d take the old tech option and enjoy the journey.

Which elevator would you take and why?

Thinking together

By | That's life | 9 Comments

Thinking together - the unified whole is greater than the sum of its parts

And now for something completely different…Yes, you’re right, not one of my normal cartoons. I thought I’d mix it up a bit and share with you some of the other cartooning work I do.

I’ve been looking at ways of introducing art into our workplace as I’m believe that art helps spark people’s imagination and put simply, makes them feel good. But, the art had to fit in with the business environment (hey, we’re a serious bunch of engineers at work); it had to be another element of the business that made sense amongst the library of engineering standards, 3D CAD machines and meeting rooms.

Ultimately, this idea manifested itself into what I call The Art of Us. This is one panel from a growing series of panels that I’ve checker boarded onto the big blank beige wall opposite my desk (What is it about engineering offices and their love of all things beige or warm grey?). Each panel aims to depict in images and a few words the culture of our organisation and express what it means to work here. But best of all, it’s a community project and allows anyone in the business to get engaged in the art.  These aren’t my ideas; these are the thoughts and feelings of people in the business. They simply tell me what they think one of our cultural strengths is and I interpret their thoughts and feelings into a one panel drawing.

So what do you think?

What word or phrase would you use to describe the culture of your workplace?