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Will It Go Round in Circles


[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry by Kirsten Hively, who will enlighten us regarding an intriguing category of items that are sometimes rendered in sports-themed designs.]

By Kirsten Hively

One of Brinke Guthrie’s “Collector’s Corner” entries a while back featured this 1961 Cola-Cola Ball of Fame. As Paul noted parenthetically at the time, this type of wheel-chart gizmo is called a volvelle, and the Ball of Fame is a really cool example. I should know because I recently acquired a Ball of Fame. Mine is in slightly worse condition than the one Brinke linked to, but it’s still very nice. It’s now part of my growing volvelle collection.

My recent interest in volvelles was sparked by a vague memory of those circular chart things that were more common in the pre-digital era. Remember? Star charts, info-discs that would reveal facts about each state in the union through tiny cutouts as you turned them, all sorts of guides in circular form. I had no idea what these things were called, but then a friend pointed me toward Jessica Helfand’s book Reinventing the Wheel, where I learned the word volvelle, the name used for astronomical wheel charts in the Middle Ages.

But that’s just one term that’s commonly used for these wheel charts. As it turns out, there isn’t a universally accepted name. In fact, part of their charm is the varied names they give themselves: Cal-Q-Lator, Staroscope, Fact-Finder, Deduct-O-Graph, Profitometer, Wheel of Knowledge, and so on. It’s a mystery to me why these things aren’t more popular ”” they’re such perfect combinations of information, graphic design, and physical object.

Helfand’s book contains beautiful photos of her impressive volvelle collection, a brief history of volvelles, and some discussion of contemporary volvelles. But while the photos are enticing ”” especially those from the mid-century heyday of volvelle design ”” they’re also frustrating, because you can’t spin them, you can’t lift their tops to peak inside, you can’t flip them over (many volvelles are double-sided). That frustration became the seed for my own collection. I needed to hold one of these wheel charts in my hands. So I bought the Punctuator. But while it has an amazing name, delves deeply into a favorite topic, and is double sided, it’s a bit plain, design-wise. So my quest continued, and soon I had myself a nice little collection.

I’ve now acquired over a dozen volvelles. Most are printed on card-stock, but one is tin. The largest is a foot across; the smallest, only three inches. The topics range from the fertility cycles of farm animals to fascinating facts about the counties of Pennsylvania. Many were originally used as promotional giveaways, like the Tip-Top Know Your USA volvelle. Recent acquisitions include a cocktail guide and an amazing double volvelle that will help you choose the right filter for your car.

There are a couple of others I’d like to have, but I’m pretty happy with my collection and how it looks hanging on the wall in my studio, next to my coffee cup lid collection. Volvelles are generally easy to hang, because most of them have eyelets at the center to join the two (or more) spinning disks. But one of mine has a solid brad (so I’ve hung it from a bulldog clip), and another is inside a booklet (so it sits on a nearby shelf).

All of which brings us back to the Ball of Fame. It’s a lovely volvelle, with all the things I look for: It’s double sided, it has an eyelet in the center for easy hanging, it has some graphics (the straight text charts are generally a bit boring), it’s round (volvelles are sometimes square or other shapes), and it has a wealth of detailed information:

It doesn’t have any cool arrows and it’s not handwritten, but otherwise it’s pretty wonderful. It has American League teams on one side and National League teams on the other. When you dial the outside edge to a year from 1901 to 1960, the windows reveal facts for that year, including MVP; the team that led in stolen bases; leaders in batting and pitching; even the attendance of that year’s World Series or All-Star Game.

My favorite section, though, is the park dimensions, which seems to be unrelated to the year it lines up with. In this handy window, though, I learn that center field at Fenway Park is 420 feet, left field at Comiskey Park is 352 feet, and the approximate seating capacity of County Stadium Is 44,000. There’s a blank spot for the Mets’ stadium, which the user is invited to fill in by hand, but I think I’ll leave that blank in memory of Shea.

Helfand’s book shows three other sports-related volvelles: the 1953 Batter’s Pal, Arnold Palmer’s golf stroke advisor, and a beautiful 1932 Olympic event guide. I haven’t seen any of those for sale (and I have a feeling the ’32 volvelle would be well out of my price range even if I did), but I’ll keep looking. If anyone has spotted other sports-related examples, I’d love to hear about them.

Tracking down a specific volvelle isn’t too hard if you know its name ”” Ball of Fame, Cal-Q-Lator, or whatever. But if you’re just looking for volvelles in general, that’s trickier, because there’s no widely accepted name for them (many of the people selling them on eBay seem to be unfamiliar with the word volvelle, so they use all sorts of other terms). But that’s part of the appeal for me, since I love a good research project.

But here’s a thought: If you can’t find what you’re looking for, why not DIY?

That’s what I’ve been doing lately. After a few false starts, I was successful with the Wheel-O-Stirrups, which I made with research assistance from Paul (and assembly assistance from Scout and Mojo Jojo). It’s not perfect ”” there are some alignment issues I’d like to fix ”” and it was waaaaay more work than I thought it would be when I started, but I’m pretty pleased with it. As you turn the wheel to align each team name with the arrow window, another beautiful stirrup design is revealed, along with some basic information about the stirrup and the team for that year (I arbitrarily choose a single year for stirrups that were worn for multiple seasons).

The only special equipment I used was a combo hole punch-eyelet setter (you can find them at most craft sores, usually with the scrapbooking supplies, or you could just use a brad to make matters simpler) and a circle cutter. I also used some heavyweight matte photo paper, a cutting mat, and an X-Acto knife to cut the holes

The hardest part is designing the thing ”” it’s a real graphic design challenge to include even a modest amount of information and still end up with an object that’s legible, much less beautiful. As I designed it I found out why the inner wheels of most volvelles usually include just type, not graphics ”” graphics make it that much harder to fit everything in, since they take up so much real estate.

Once I came up with the design, I used Adobe Illustrator to do the actual drawing, alignment, and rotation. If only my handwriting were good enough to do the whole thing by hand! Maybe I’ll work up to that.

Volvelles are tricky, so I recommend starting simply. But once you get the hang of it, the format practically invites insanely detailed content (paging Robert Marshall!). If you want some additional inspiration ”” or if you just want to see some cool gizmos ”” there are a few more pictures in my volvelles set on Flickr. If anyone makes a cool DIY volvelle, let me know ”” we can start a Flickr pool to show ’em off. And if you have questions or need advice, I’ve set up a DIY volvelle Facebook page, where we can discuss design strategies, share advice, and generally geek out over these wonderful objects.

[Kirsten will be displaying her volvelle collection as part of the City Reliquary’s Collectors’ Night on Oct. 11. I’ll be showcasing some of my collections too. — PL]

+ + + + +


Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie

I’ve previously mentioned that my first two favorite teams were the Vikes and Chiefs, who battled in one of the early Super Bowls. I liked both of those teams solely for the uniforms — or so I thought. Something I recently came across reminded me of the other reason: I thought it was totally cool that the Chiefs had a soccer-style kicker, and I dug his name too — lot different than, say, “Fred Cox.” So, leading off today, No. 3 for your Kansas City Chiefs…

• Here’s an official Jan Stenerud “soccer-style” kicking tee, aptly dubbed “the Sidewinder,” along with a great Stenerud card.

• Reader David Merrill pointed out this gold-plated Redskins football, just $900. (Shanahan touched it, that’s how it turned gold. That’s just the rumor.)

• Pretty cool RCA/NFL promo football from Super Bowl XXXII. Priced to move, too.

• Here’s a seller with lots of great MLB pins, buttons, and Post cereal patches, submitted by reader Mark Peterson.

• Sorry, this lamp just doesn’t look like Lynn Swann to me.

• Here’s a 1976 Orioles schedule featuring Brooks in an orange jersey [and featuring an apostrophe catastrophe from the days before digital typography, meaning there’s even less excuse for it — PL].

• Is this really the best photo of Jerry Sloan they could come up with?

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

+ + + + +

ESPN reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, my latest ESPN column is about how the Yankees almost changed their road uni in the mid-1970s.

Giveaway reminder: I’m currently giving away an original uniform painting from the Maple Leaf Productions archives. Full details here.

Party reminder: Uni Watch gathering next Saturday, Oct. 9, 3pm, at Sheep Station in Brooklyn. Phil will be there, Scott Turner will be there, and I suppose I might show up too (assuming I can muster the energy to walk around the corner from my apartment).


Small update (literally): Up until now, I’ve only had the Meats tees available in Medium thru XXL. But as several of you have pointed out with perfectly justified indignation, meaty pleasure isn’t just for big folks. So I just got a new shipment that includes some Smalls in gray (but not white, sorry). Full ordering details here.

Uni Watch News Ticker: A South Dakota research professor is conducting a survey regarding fans’ attitudes toward advertising on sports jerseys. Whole thing takes less than 10 minutes. If you want to participate, go here and then enter 136602 in the “Go to Survey #” field. ”¦ Didn’t take gumball helmet kingpin Bill Jones long to react to Wednesday night’s events in Tampa. Bill has also been creating designs for summer collegiate baseball leagues. ”¦ Neglected to mention that Travis Snider “honored” Cito Gaston by wearing a fake ’stache on Wednesday. ”¦ Umbro has signed an outfitting deal with the reborn New York Cosmos (with thanks to Stephen Wong). ”¦ Icethetics has put together a great roundup of minor league logo changes for the upcoming season. ”¦ James van Riemsdyk of the Flyers has an interesting NOB. ”¦ Oh sure, try to blame it on the meat. Bah! ”¦ Here’s the Blackhawks’ championship ring. Someone on the Chris Creamer boards did a bit of Photoshopping to show how it could have looked a lot better. ”¦ Now that’s one weird jersey. That’s Jefferson City High in Missouri (with thanks to Dieter Kurtenbach). ”¦ Ben Traxel sent along a bunch of very cool old NASCAR pics. Check out Richard Petty in the pillbox hat! ”¦ Jeff Ash has curated his newspaper’s latest gallery of vintage Packers photos. ”¦ Scott Mason found some Hulu footage showing how NFL penalty flags were white until 1965. ”¦ New uniforms for Bowling Green hockey (with thanks to Matthew Daley). ”¦ The San Antonio Rampage — that’s an AHL team — will be wearing Spurs-themed jerseys on Oct. 23 (with thanks to Gordon Taylor). ”¦ James Bernsdorf made himself a Buffalo area code Sabres jersey. ”¦ Jake Doyle sent along a bunch of great Boston-themed photos, including a shot of Milt Schmidt looking sharp in a Bruins cardigan and Teddy Ballgame and Johnny Pesky in their Navy baseball uniforms (was Ted really No. 14, or was he just holding someone else’s bat?). But the real prize is this menu from the Bruins’ 1939 Stanley Cup victory dinner. That’s the cover of the menu, and then everyone autographed the inside of it. So gorgeous, I’m not even going to complain about the wrong-facing apostrophes. Also, Jake notes, “In Bruins logo history, the bear usually has three legs, but here it has two.”

112 comments to Will It Go Round in Circles

  • Hoss | October 1, 2010 at 7:50 am |

    A friend sent me these links last night to Borntrade. From everything I’ve heard, this is how the 2011 Winter Classic jerseys will look:


    • Paul Lukas | October 1, 2010 at 7:52 am |

      Everything I’ve heard about the Pens jersey suggests that it will be navy, not columbia blue.

      As for the Caps, they’ll be officially unveiling theirs tomorrow, so we’ll know soon enough.

      • Hoss | October 1, 2010 at 11:27 am |

        Thanks for clearing that up. Either way, I’m not a fan of the design. A lot of people here in the ‘Burgh were hoping for the gold throwback from Mario’s rookie year.

        • BurghFan | October 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm |

          Before Mario’s rookie year. There were publicity photos with him in the gold jersey, but ’83-84 was the last season they wore them.

    • Steve Naismith | October 1, 2010 at 9:57 am |

      “Borntrade” has many blatant counterfeit jerseys… I wouldn’t trust anything there.

      • Gusto44 | October 1, 2010 at 10:42 am |

        Exactly, another red flag is being located overseas with no phone number.

  • art | October 1, 2010 at 7:53 am |

    I used to have some volvelles that were used as anti-piracy devices for computer games in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Every time you started the game it would ask a random question that could be answered by lining up the volvelle. Some even had multiple wheels.

    • Tom Nawrocki | October 1, 2010 at 9:30 am |

      To bring this back on-topic, there was a volvelle included with Earl Weaver Baseball that you had to use every time you fired the game up. The different categories on the wheel were different major league stadiums, as I recall.

    • concealed78 | October 1, 2010 at 9:37 am |

      Hardball III was another game that had a volvelle.

  • Marc M. | October 1, 2010 at 8:21 am |

    The whole Blue Jays team wore eye black as mustaches to honor Cito Gaston that night.

    • Ricardo Leonor | October 1, 2010 at 9:44 am |

      Now they should honor the sport by dumping the black jerseys….

      • tommyd | October 1, 2010 at 11:08 am |

        fantastic comment

  • StLMarty | October 1, 2010 at 8:23 am |

    I have a rectangular version. It’s called an E Z Grader.

  • tommyd | October 1, 2010 at 8:30 am |

    I worked in a newspaper advertising department for many years right out of college and re-sizing ads for different column widths was done just about hourly using a proportion wheel, which I still have in my desk… 16 years after my last newspaper job.

    • Ricko | October 1, 2010 at 11:10 am |

      I love those things. Must have three or four around somewhere…all belonged to my dad and then me.

      Still come in handy sometimes, too.


  • Taxman | October 1, 2010 at 8:32 am |

    Bill Jones’s link to his logo work seds us to a site in domain-limbo.

  • Taxman | October 1, 2010 at 8:35 am |

    US Ryder Cup rain gear is failing. Aesthetically, they are not very “golf-like”. But according to ESPN coverage this morning, the rain suits are soaked and not serving their basic purpose.

    • Andy | October 1, 2010 at 8:43 am |

      I was walking by a TV this morning, caught a quick glimpse and thought (seriously) ‘Why is that guy wearing a Colts’ jersey at the Ryder Cup?’

  • scott | October 1, 2010 at 8:39 am |

    So what was that Padres patch last night?

    • Paul Lukas | October 1, 2010 at 8:55 am |

      NEver did figure it out. Looked a lot like their 40th anniversary patch from last season but wasn’t quite the same.

      For those who don’t know what we’re talking about:

      • Komet17 | October 1, 2010 at 9:06 am |

        Just a guess: maybe a patch commemorating the team’s first National League pennant (1984, which is the year for this throwback jersey)?

      • =bg= | October 1, 2010 at 11:08 am |

        Man, I looked everywhere. Sign On Sandiego has a big gallery today, but no CU shots.

        That’s OK, our magic # is 1 and we get them @ home for three straight.

        GO GIANTS.

      • Shane | October 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm |

        Mentioned it on Twitter last night, just wondering if you know. Was Heath Bell’s nametag placed a little left of center on his jersey, or was the 2 just playing optical illusions with it?

  • Tim | October 1, 2010 at 8:54 am |

    If you turn on ESPN morning sportscenter you can see Jay Payton of the Rockies put on Chris Iannetta’s jersey. It was all caught and talked about on FSN Rocky Mountain with ESPN replaying the footage

    • Dave P. | October 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm |

      Anyone have the video clip of the ESPN Not Top 10 with Payton at #6 with the jersey snafu? I was actually at the game to see Payton since we went to high school together and can be seen in the video pointing out the uniform gaffe to the people around me. :)

  • traxel | October 1, 2010 at 9:01 am |
    • LI Phil | October 1, 2010 at 9:18 am |

      do you have a photo of the blues stanley cup ring for comparison?

      • Terry Proctor | October 1, 2010 at 9:21 am |


      • traxel | October 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm |

        Uh huh. So that’s how its gonna be. I’ll get you a ticket next year to see those Islander banners in the Sprint Center.

        • LI Phil | October 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm |

          you can keep those tix til 2015 at least


          let freedom ring…4 times

        • traxel | October 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |

          …and Kevin Kolb is the starting QB for the Eagles.

      • StLMarty | October 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm |

        The Blues don’t have the rings. The Blues have never won a Stanley Cup. They have been to the Finals, but they have never won.

        • StLMarty | October 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm |

          I’ll say… I’m gonna start a paper route, right now.

        • LI Phil | October 1, 2010 at 8:14 pm |

          “The Blues have never won a Stanley Cup.”

          im sorry marty, were my sarcasm tags broken again?

  • Sarran | October 1, 2010 at 9:07 am |

    I only say this because I live in San Antonio, but it is the Spurs, not the Sprus.

    • Paul Lukas | October 1, 2010 at 9:17 am |

      Thanks. Now fixed.

  • Schmeltzer | October 1, 2010 at 9:08 am |

    I was a kicker in high school and bought one of the Jan Stenerud tees. The actual tee looks identical, but I don’t remember that packaging, so they must have updated it. That was the mid 90’s; I wonder if they still sell that tee.

  • RS Rogers | October 1, 2010 at 9:15 am |

    The Wheel-O-Stirrups is a true thing of beauty. But the size may not be worthy of the subject – call it a very good prototype, or a successful proof of concept, then at least double it for the production model!

    Kidding aside, the WOS really is a masterful example of volvelle design. Terrific use of the form in terms of information display, and also extraordinarily well designed in purely aesthetic terms. Already has me thinking of other uni/logo info that could be systematically put into volvelle form. Or, since I didn’t actually know the word “volvelle” until this morning, into “‘wheel-o’ form.” World Series uni matchups by decade? All-Star/World Series logos by year? Logo, cap, home/road uni evolution per franchise?

    • Kirsten | October 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |

      do it!

  • Terry Proctor | October 1, 2010 at 9:19 am |

    Paulie- You spelled “SPURS” as “Sprus.” I didn’t realize what you were talking about until I opened the photo.

    Great NASCAR shots. That Number 1 car was made from a Crosley station wagon. Powel Crosley, who owned the Cincinnati Reds until his death in 1961, made radios, refrigerators (Shelvador) and a compact car. Crosley cars were built from 1939-53.

    And that’s the legendary Curtis Turner driving the Number 26 Holman-Moody built 1956 FORD convertible. NASCAR had a convertible division in the 1950s.

  • MG12 | October 1, 2010 at 9:21 am |

    I don’t think this got mentiond yesterday but the NY Cosmos (defunked NASL team from the 1970’s) released a new jersey. This team has been resurrected (even Pele has been announced as the team president) all with the hope that they might become the second NY MLS team.

  • marc | October 1, 2010 at 9:35 am |

    Re: ’74 Yankee road concept

    No wonder Gabe Paul wound up in Cleveland.

    • Ricardo Leonor | October 1, 2010 at 9:47 am |

      I think George would never have allowed the change. He was probably too excited about just owning the YANKEES that he would not have considered such a radical change….he probably would have fired them both!!!!

    • =bg= | October 1, 2010 at 11:05 am |

      MWAH HA HA HA.

      I -remember- reading about this back in 74! I -SWEAR- I read something about Yankees hanging road unis..but could never find evidence. As I recall, I thought they were gonna add pinstripes to the road gray.

  • JamesP. | October 1, 2010 at 9:45 am |

    Happy Stirrup Friday!

    Thank you, Commrad Robert for sending these beauties!

    • andrew | October 1, 2010 at 10:19 am |

      so good! did you receive those recently? I haven’t received mine yet, and am very eager for the chance to break them out.

      • JamesP. | October 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm |

        Yeah, just got them in yesterday. Perfect timing for Stirrup Friday!

    • CraigD | October 1, 2010 at 10:57 am |

      I will be ordering the ’57 Reds poste haste. Comrade Marshall’s site says they are on order. Is it safe to assume I can just put my order in? What the hell, I’ll do it anyway. I want in on the Revolution.

      • JamesP. | October 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm |

        I would either e-mail Robert and ask him the status or wait till he says they are in stock.

  • Ry Co 40 | October 1, 2010 at 9:50 am |

    kirsten’s ticker contributions are always amongst my favorites, and i LOVE the unique collections that paul will talk about from time to time (beer ads that feature bowling… brilliant, IMO). so, a full post from kirsten and a collection turned DIY?!?! what a great way to send us into the weekend!!! thanks for sharing!

    also, that bruins menu… UNREAL! everything about it!

  • kevin | October 1, 2010 at 9:55 am |

    There is a great book called Reinventing the Wheel by Jessica Helfland
    about those wheelie-deals.

    • kevin | October 1, 2010 at 11:28 am |

      I can’t believe I did that. I swear I read the post!

  • Mitchell | October 1, 2010 at 10:03 am |

    Funny comment in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the firing of a too-lax (but successful) AA manager:

    “Under [Pirates Director of Player Development Kyle]Stark, the Pirates’ system has had the air of rigid discipline, from strict enforcement of rules to pitch counts to all players being required to wear their socks high.”

    Read more:

    • Paul Lukas | October 1, 2010 at 11:23 am |

      Always puzzles me why so many people refer to it as wearing the SOCKS high. The socks are usually high all the time. It’s the PANTS that need to be worn high.

      • Chance Michaels | October 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm |

        I guess because people tend to hear “wear your pants high” and think of this.

        Socks might always be high, but they don’t always look high.

  • Johnny F. | October 1, 2010 at 10:17 am |

    Howdy guys. Rainy day gives me a chance to check in on UW, when I haven’t been able to for most of the golf season (and very few rainy days). Looking forward to being back regularly when winter kicks in.

    Anyway…..I couldn’t help but come on here and bash the U.S. Ryder Cup rainsuits. This day in age, with the tech available for golf clothing (particularly raingear), this is just flat out embarrassing.

    They could have kept it very classy, looked very good and stayed bone dry in a basic FootJoy DryJoy suit.

    Wet and weighing them down!?!?! The current suits looked like early-90’s track suit material. I just don’t get it. It will be interesting to see what they are wearing post-rain delay. Also funny that Tiger said “no way, I’m not wearing that thing” even in the awful weather.

  • Chance Michaels | October 1, 2010 at 10:30 am |

    Cool volvelles.

    I have one from the 1930s telling you what color shirt and tie to wear with what color suit.

    • RS Rogers | October 1, 2010 at 10:45 am |

      Man, I need that one desperately. Also, I could totally use a volvelle that matches instrux for each of the various necktie knots with which type of tie/collar to use with that knot.

    • Kirsten | October 1, 2010 at 10:57 am |

      Chance, I’ve never seen that one and it sounds fantastic–do you have a picture of it?

      And thanks everyone else for the nice comments. It was really fun to write about these.

      • SeanMcSean | October 1, 2010 at 11:10 am |


        You need to get a copy of Led Zeppelin III on Vinyl. The album art is a volvelle. No info, just changes the artwork:

        • tommyd | October 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm |

          What a shame that album art is now just a.jpg image for a digital download. Truly a lost medium.

      • Chance Michaels | October 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm |

        I don’t have a pic, but I’ll snap one for you. It’s very cool.

        • Kirsten | October 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |

          thanks, Chance. I’d love to see it.

          and Sean–I actually tried to buy that Led Zeppelin album recently, but was foiled by some eBay chicanery. I’m keeping an eye out for it in the used bins at my local record stores.

  • Mike V | October 1, 2010 at 10:48 am |

    US Ryder Cup team has wardrobe malfunction…

    • Dan N | October 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm |

      Also in that article it answers why Tiger’s gear did not have his name stitched on the back. He switched from a large (with name) to a generic smaller size (no name).

  • Jeff | October 1, 2010 at 10:53 am |

    That Bruins dinner menu – what in the hell is that on Jack Crawford’s head (the “3” of “38”)???? I looked and found this pic:

    (dig those socks!)

    Has Uniwatch ever talked about the fact of this being the first helmet in the NHL?

  • Inkracer | October 1, 2010 at 11:07 am |

    Per the New England Revolution’s Facebook page, at least the Revs goalie(s) will be wearing pink in their next game, to support Breast Cancer Awareness.

  • War Damn Eagle | October 1, 2010 at 11:14 am |

    Yep, the US team ditched their raingear and bought stuff from the merchandise tent:

  • Bryan | October 1, 2010 at 11:23 am |

    Minnesota TWolves sell space on building, rather than uniform and draw interest of both Twins and TWolves fans.

    • LI Phil | October 1, 2010 at 11:26 am |

      im sure it’s not, but that sign totally looks p-shopped

      • Bryan | October 1, 2010 at 11:30 am |

        I believe it is a p-shop rendering, but the actual ad will be up for the baseball playoffs.

      • Ricko | October 1, 2010 at 1:14 pm |

        Yup, is photoshop for TV and newspaper purposes.

        Actual sign is going up. As of yesterday’s evening news, had only the “S” so far.

        First thoughts were, “Oh, what, like we don’t have enough reasons to think the T-Wolves are a organization whose chief product seems to be chicken shit?” or “If they had any gonads they’d have put up their own board trumpeting Ricky Rubio.”

        Then I realized that after a couple games it’s just gonna become part of the scenery from the stands.

        Now, walking around the plaza darn near right underneath it might be a different story altogether.


    • Andy | October 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm |

      Seems a little hypocritical of the Twins, though. I’m sure everyone hanging out in that area downtown loves looking at all the Target Field signs. If you’re going to sell ad space, you put the ad where people will see it. The Twins are doing it, and now, so are the Wolves, and the Twins have a problem? Granted, it’s not optimal for it to be so visible from inside the stadium, but if you don’t want visitors to your establishment seeing other ads (or you don’t want non-paying passers-by looking in), then you should have closed off the entire perimeter.

      • Ricko | October 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm |

        Very few of the signs at Target Field face the downtown area. They face mostly west and south, away from downtown.
        And the space in question on Target Center certainly doesn’t face the city.

        But I don’t disagree with you at all.
        It’s bad both ways.
        Makes the T-Wolves look opportunistic. seeing as there’s never been advertising in that space before.
        Makes the Twins look “whiny” for complaining about it…and a little dense for not realizing it could happen and doing something proactive about it.

        Mostly, though, as I said, before long it will just become part of the scenery.


      • Chance Michaels | October 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm |

        Hypocritical? Absolutely. Here’s what the Twins had to say about the corporate sign interfering with the unspoiled view from their corporate sponsor-branded park (emphasis mine):

        “What we were most surprised by is the sheer size of the sign … how the sign dominates the civic gathering place known as Target Plaza.”

        Um… right.

  • Tim | October 1, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  • mike 2 | October 1, 2010 at 11:32 am |

    Great lede today. Its not surprising at all that someone with an admiration for the Brannock device would also enjoy volvelles.

    All private pilots are familiar with pilots computers. They’re fascinating devices, invariably made of metal or plastic (not cardboard) because they need to be durable.

    Here’s one on a keychain:

    I still have one around somewhere. They’re absolutely amazing in that they manage to cram so many functions into a single (non-electronic) device in such an elegant way.

  • Jeff S. | October 1, 2010 at 11:49 am |

    Some things are just too, uh, amazing for words.

    Exhibit A: Ryan Howard “Hi-Def” T-Shirt:

    • Jimwa | October 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm |

      I can very much see that line becoming wildly popular. I am impressed at the attention to detail in continuing the image on the back inner collar (not that it would ever been seen while worn, but nice to see in an ad like that).

    • Ricko | October 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm |

      I have a vision of a lot of husbands saying,
      “C’mon, Honey, please wear this Hooters Girl Hi-Def t-shirt I bought for you.

      “Or maybe this one of Megan Fox?”


    • RS Rogers | October 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm |

      Here’s a link to the whole line of High Def shirts so far:

      I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with how much I actually kind of like the Joe Mauer shirt. The best has to be the Jeter shirt, however: Are there really very many male Yankees fans who want that view of Jeter’s junk festooned across their backs?

      The back of the Pujols shirt, however, has Albert pointing up at the wearer’s head in praise.

  • pflava | October 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm |

    I really enjoyed the volvelle piece today, but I think my favorite part was this…


    • Kirsten | October 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |

      ha, thanks. I’ve been meaning to make more pet school portraits for the pets of friends, but haven’t had time.

  • pflava | October 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm |

    Any time the Bears play the Giants, that’s generally going to be the uniform-game of the NFL weekend. WIth the Falcons wearing their beautiful throwbacks against the Niners, Sunday may be an exception.

    • EMD | October 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm |

      I would like the Giants unis more if they weren’t made of that craptastic mylar-esque material that warps everything in sight and makes pants stripes wider than Kardashian ass.

      • pflava | October 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm |

        Well, there is that.

      • Chance Michaels | October 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm |

        Get used to it – the whole league will be wearing it soon.

    • whiteray | October 2, 2010 at 2:46 am |

      Giants and the Bears is a good one,but Lions at Packers has its clean-line attractions. too

  • Glenn | October 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm |

    It’s probably a good thing the Rockies didn’t even make the playoffs. Our playoff tickets came in the mail a few days ago, and even if Colorado would have gotten as far as the World Series, apparently Games 2, 6, and 7 would have been played in Atlanta.

    WS2010 scan

    • DenverGregg | October 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm |

      Wow. The 2007 WS tix problem sent them scrambling in a completely different direction!

    • Jimwa | October 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm |

      More “variety of colored lines intersecting to form a pattern” in baseball (I don’t dare use the term plaid, and too lazy to look back to yesterday for the real name).

    • Ricko | October 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm |

      Woulda been great for “Talk Like a Pirate Day”, though.
      Rays, Rangers, Reds, Rockies…


      Now if only the Royals and Red Sox could slide in there, too.


      • BurghFan | October 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm |

        If we’re talking about the postseason, it’s not “Play Like a Pirate Day.”

    • Aaron | October 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm |

      I’m having a really hard time wrapping my brain around how that even happens.

    • RS Rogers | October 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |

      Jimwa, both patterns in question are plaids. Same pattern in the X and Y axis of the weave.

      I recently received an invitation for a fundraiser at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate, to celebrate the launch of a new 900-page biography of George Washington. In said invitation, I noted the following rather significant errors:

      1. Nowhere was the date of the event given; and

      2. It was spelled “Washnigton”

      Put me in the “How does that even happen” camp on both the Rox tix and the invite!

      • LI Phil | October 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm |

        that’s funny scott

        the rest of us got the date and the proper spelling in our invites :P

  • DenverGregg | October 1, 2010 at 2:09 pm |

    I’ve got a volvelle calendar for years 2000-2039, sadly I’m at the office and have no uploadable camera handy.

    • John Saiz | October 2, 2010 at 12:25 am |

      I had a volvelle calendar for 1950-2050… wonder how many people are still using ’em. I used mine until ’98.

  • rpm | October 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm |

    today’s entry was the greatest entry of all time, so let it be written. oh, and you stole my idea, so expect an armada firing cannonballs at your dwelling. just in case you have many an armada attacking and boarding on a daily basis, mine will be flying stirrups, you dirty rotten pirate.

    • Jimwa | October 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm |

      OK, who switched the black coffee into the orange pot again?

      • rpm | October 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm |

        i thought that was pretty tame by my standards. what can i say, i liked today’s entry.

    • Kirsten | October 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |

      an armada attack is about the highest compliment I can imagine. Robert, I will be sending an armada to your dwelling as well. avast, ye scurvy seadog!

      • rpm | October 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm |

        i really was thinking of making a stirrup based spin-o-matic, or a stirrup table of elements. but don’t send the aramada this weekend, it is the 40th annual pilsen artist open house. on second thought, send them tonight, a blood bath might be more entertaining then my last show in who knows how long.

        • Kirsten | October 1, 2010 at 8:00 pm |

          great minds think alike.

          all the good armadas were booked, so you’re off the hook for now. happy open housing.

  • Michael Emody | October 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |

    I read this article in the dentists waiting room Monday. Its about a Greek wheel-based “computer” of sorts, that was found in a 2000 year old shipwreck. It predicts solar and lunar eclipses.

  • interlockingtc | October 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm |

    Such a great post today.

    And remember…Enriched Tip-Top is Better Bread.

  • James Craven | October 2, 2010 at 12:22 am |

    Today’s Aussie Rules new 2011 jumper brought to you in Paul’s favourite color (note the Aussie spelling) by the Freemantle Dockers.

  • JTH | October 2, 2010 at 1:00 am |

    Yeah. Led Zeppelin III — best garbage-picking score ever. When I was 14, I found that (and it was in really good condition) along with a few issues of Gallery magazine.

    The only bad thing about that album is that the back cover of Led Zeppelin IV gets all scratched up from the little metal hub in the center of the album cover.

    • LI Phil | October 2, 2010 at 2:28 am |

      “the back cover of Led Zeppelin IV gets all scratched up”

      straight out of the mike damone school of dating

  • Bling Thing | October 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm |

    I can think of 30,000 reasons why Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championshop rings look better in with diamonds on the indianhead than some cubic zirconium Chris Creamer hack retouch job…