To be honest, I hadn't noticed, but this kind of sloppiness shouldn't be tolerated.
A petition has been launched to update the UK Traffic Signs Regulations to include a geometrically correct football. The ball shown on UK street signs to denote football grounds is made up entirely of hexagons. And if you care about your geometry, you'll know it's mathematically impossible to construct a ball using only …
Actually the sign is correct.
Amber Rudd is talking to football manufacturers right now. She's quoted as saying "I don't see why they can't make footballs out of nothing but hexagons, it seems perfectly simple to me. If they don't comply, the government will consider legislation to make them comply."
The country cannot afford both this and the Prime Sinister.
Reality will explode. Boris will become Prime Dexter. The world as we know it will end on thursday ....
Just mandate that the ugly game be played with 2 dimensional balls. Or street signs.
>> Or one of these.
I mean everyone is absolutely missing that it is correct, just not in Euclidian space, I mean you could teach about this interesting geometry (first made using crochet was the positive curvature space) which seems to be this chaps point, clearly doesn't understand enough about geometry.
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Also, just because he isn't following "a Lovecraftian monster from beyond our perception" doesn't mean nobody is. The Elder Gods just haven't blessed him with The Sight. For that matter, he obviously isn't aware of the hidden symbolism of the hexagonal football--but wait, I've said too much. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. Ia! Ia!
"I didn't think that were that many members of the Bullingdon Club left in the Cabinet."
Bbbut - imagine that they where chasing our great leader round the pitch, with the intention of administrating a long and effective subtle re education ....
THAT would be a match worth watching in all its gory.
"overpaid tosspots chasing a pigskin round a field."
The perpetrators of the petition want a word. They want to tell you the field isn't round.
Personally I think the sign should be changed to an image of an inflated porcine bladder in the interests of historical accuracy.
Clearly, it's appropriate that the sign should contain a stylized representation of a soccer ball, rather than a realistic drawing with curvature and shading to give an appearance of depth.
So a circular window into the flat tessellation of alternate-colored hexagons that is analogous to the surface of a spherical soccer ball is one simple way to achieve that.
Of course, usually curved lines would be used in a stylized representation of the pre-Eigil Nielsen style of soccer ball, just as they are in stylized representations of baseballs or basketballs.
Why is the mile the stupid measurement? Imperial measurements are based on human perceptions of distance. A mile is 8 furlongs, and a furlong is the furrow length of an field of one acre.
No more stupid than the metre being one ten millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the Equator.
By a somewhat lovely coincidence, the best answer to this question (IMO) is also provided by Matt Parker (yes the same one of the petition in the original article), via a video on Youtube:
Are Imperial Measurements outdated? | Number Hub with Matt Parker
Perfect shape.... 2 metric units...? Just leave it alone!
Why not just drop both of those marks and have it say "Stadium -->". Granted, the pictorial of a human smaller than a ball would have to be dropped from the far left. However, I see no issue with that from the poltically correct non-humans that will be seeing the sign.
Or... spend millions and make nothing into an insightful nothing (a government classic)
The mile is an excellent base unit. In this modern world, it should be divided into 65536 new inches, as opposed to 63,360 old inches. Then a new foot is 16 new inches, and a new rod/pole/perch is 16 new feet. A furlong is one eighth of a mile (512 new feet), and a cricket pitch is one tenth of a furlong at 51.2 new feet.
What could be simpler?
@Primus Secundundus Tertius (are you related to J R-M?)
Of course, the representations should be 0x10000 inches to a mile, a foot is 0x10 inches, rod/pole/perch is 0x10 feet, furlong 0x200 feet etc. Then you can have the beautiful confusion between hexadecimal and decimal number systems in schools, so we can easily separate our future developers from users.
@Steve Davies 3
Don't forget the bi-annual clock changing welly wangling that we go through
Don't worry - we have the Independent to help us tell if our phones have updated correctly with advice like
The clocks went back overnight. But did your clocks go back?
In the age of smartphones, smart TVs and smart home appliances, changing the clocks is at once much easier but more stressful. Almost everything adjusts automatically – but how can you be sure that it has?
The easiest way to know whether everything has updated is to check it against something authoritative, like the TV news.
and virtually the very same article about clocks going forward but this time published 10th March 2017, two weeks early ... The clocks went forward overnight. But did your clocks go forward?"
It's a national embarrassment that our new Aircraft Carriers have exactly zero (0x0, null, none) cats, traps and indeed aircraft for the foreseeable future.
Road signs are always conceptual, at best. For some years I was convinced that "Dam and Fish Ladder" was a Gaelic curse around Pitlochry. I was deluded, but also entertained.
I was going to suggest that it was time the non-barriered level crossing sign (steam engine) and speed camera sign (bellows camera) were updated to something more modern, but then I remembered that the government intends taking us back to the 1950s, so they are entirely appropriate after all.
But how should we tie the laces?
You'd need several high powered public enquiries, lots and lots of site visits for research, reams of paper for the reports and inevitable minority reports, impact assessments, sub committee reports on inclusion, gender equality, .....
We'd be bankrupt.
Surely footballs made of hexagons and/or pentagons are old hat now ... surely to be recognizable to the kidz of today they should use whatever the latest aerdynamic stitching shape that Nike/Adidas/etc have come up with/patented for their latest "must have word cup souvenier ball". Meanwhile, tjhey should be dealing with all the disappointed people going to zoos/wildlife parks to find that theire actually isn't an elephant there!
Meanwhile, they should be dealing with all the disappointed people going to zoos/wildlife parks to find that there actually isn't an elephant there!
Just install matrix LED panels showing the various animals present in the zoo being signposted. So that if you're looking for, say, an aardvaark, you can skip all the zoos that don't show one.
With augmented reality glasses, you could enter your animals of interest and only see the direction signs for locations containing those animals. The road safety aspects of minimising real signs to important ones, instead of littering the roadside with endless signs for uninteresting locations that still have to be read and filtered out, should not be understated (in the government funding bid).
With augmented reality glasses, you could enter your animals of interest
And see what? A sexier sheep? Muffin' the mule is illegal in all decent jurisdictions you know...
On which subject, there was a program on BBC4 on Sunday, called 'Addicted to Sheep'. I wasn't sure whether it was a hard-hitting documentary on farming, or aimed at a more specialist market.
The human mind has this amazing ability of being able to be used for more than a single purpose!
For instance, it is entirely possible to be consider several things to be bloody stupid ideas simultaneously. For instance; Anything Donald J Trump says, 'Hard Brexit', eating prawn salad that has been left out for 24 hours, etc. etc.
The generic pictures of cameras show a design of folding reflex with bellows that hasn't been around for very many years. The picture of a narrowboat on canal signs is something that would not be very practical, to say the least.
And the problem here is surely that the projection of a football onto a flat surface is rather complicated, so a generic hexagon tiling is much easier to do. Perhaps his improved signs should have a QR tag providing links to information about geometric projections, the problems of tiling a sphere, and the address of the nearest A&E.
@Stoneshop. I was going to post "Not in Ireland" but is seems our cousins over the small pond have better graphics than us.
>> Friday and ref Irelend (Guinness icon req (other dark beers are available)) so double whammy.
But if only the back brakes locked up (in pre abs days or via a little touch of handbrake) that would be the case.
As soon as the car is slewing sideways more than some 30 degrees from its direction of travel, all four wheels will be skidding and thus leaving marks.
"As soon as the car is slewing sideways more than some 30 degrees from its direction of travel, all four wheels will be skidding and thus leaving marks."
No it doesn't, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Depends on the surface and the rubber used in the tyres and the type of skid. The front tyres are directional and can pivot on the spot. If you do half a handbrake turn and then release the handbrake and roll backwards then the front wheels won't (usually) leave a mark but the back wheels will. Similarly if you send too much power to the back wheels of a rear wheel drive car and spin it, you will often just get rear tyre marks left.
Having worked in motorsport I've seen some very unusual tyre marks left, some of which would suggest a very mutant car if you hadn't seen the spin first hand.
There's also the one for men at work that clearly shows a man opening an umbrella.
Can be hard work, those damn things tend to get stuck much too often, especially those compact ones where the ribs are supposed to fold.
Apropos, there has been a study comparing the sizes of the pile of soil on those signs from across the world, but I can't find it at the moment. Personally I know of the difference between the Dutch and Norwegian warning signs for cattle on road: on the Dutch sign the cow is moving, the Norwegian one shows a stationary one. Which matches the actual animals's (lack of) action.
If your first impression after seeing the sign was "that car has spun around", then the sign has succeeded.
Signs aren't pictures, they're intended to convey an idea quickly, and unambiguously. Some signs don't seem to much sense if you analyse them, but the "odd" choices are there for a reason: "Food available" shows a spoon-and-fork because the more "obvious" fork and knife looks like a crossed-out fork at a distance, or "no food available". The bellows-camera is like that because no other sign looks like it, and it is recognisable as a camera. Same goes for the "choo-choo" train. The skid is missing tracks because showing two more of them adds visual clutter and obfuscates the meaning.
If you want a genuinely dumb UK road sign that needs changing, I would nominate this: http://www.key.co.uk/img/W/KEY/nt/IC/nt-img20070322130940_101357.jpg
If you said "footpath", you're in for a nasty surprise, but it's an perfectly sane assumption to make. Especially if, as a non-driver, you're someone who has never opened a copy of the Highway Code...
It actually means "No pedestrians", and while it is consistent with the rules of the road signage system, it's inconsistent with how people interpret symbols. There's a reason why the "no left turn" and "no right turn" and "no parking" got diagonal bars through their sign designs, but for some reason, this one escaped.
(Ireland uses a slight variation of the UK signage system, but one in which all round, "prohibition" signs have a diagonal through them to make the meaning clear; here's our "no pedestrians": http://trafficsigns.ie/rus-038/ )
My favourite UK sign-trivia is about the "School children" sign used in the UK: In the original international signage design, this sign depicted an older boy is leading a younger girl ( https://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/60395/60395,1217349674,4/stock-vector-warning-children-on-road-sign-illustration-15493621.jpg ), but the UK version has an older girl leading a younger boy ( https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/article_small/public/thumbnails/image/2016/05/09/08/children-road-sign-new.jpg ) because Margaret Calvert, who designed the signs, used to accompany her sometimes unwilling younger brother to school. That's about as close as a road-sign designer can get to self-portraiture, I think...
(Many countries now mix and match the "big-sister" and "big-brother" versions of this sign, but the UK exclusively uses young Master Calvert being dragged to class by his big sister...)
Actually, the new German train sign (introduced in 1992) is an "interesting" (depending on how interested you are in graphic design and signage, of course ;) ) example of how to change a design without losing recognition. I cannot find a link to the story I read about this now, sadly, so this is a summary:
This new version of this sign replaces a steam-train design ( https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bild_12_-_Unbeschrankter_Bahnübergang,_StVO_DDR_1964.svg ). Replacing this existing diagram posed problems because first, the old signs would remain in place; and second, other countries used (and continue to use) the "steam" version of this sign, and Germany, being in the centre of Western Europe, has a lot of transit traffic on its road network, so whatever the new one was, it had to be compatible with the other, older ones.
As a result, one of the concerns when drawing the new one was that it should not depart significantly from the dark-light patterning of the old-style "steam train" version when viewed from a distance. This is why the train curls rather than being shown side-on or head-on (which is the norm for pedestrian signs directing people to trains): a side-on view of a modern train would look too similar to the existing "trams sharing the road" sign, and a head-on version would be sufficiently different to not be recognisable at distance to drivers who are familiar with the old sign.
If you squint at the new version, and imagine a steam-train you should hopefully see that the roof and pantograph of the train form an area that could be considered the "smoke", and the view of the carriages curling behind look somewhat like the rear standing area a steam engine (I know nearly nothing about steam-trains, so those are definitely the wrong terms).
It's not identical, of course, but it still suggests the outline and pattern of the old version when seen at a distance in peripheral vision, and that was one of the goals for the new design: A driver who's familiar with the old sign will recognise the new one at distance as being "like" the old one. When they get closer, it'll look like a modern train, but the most important part of road signage is the recognition at distance.
It is a Flat Ball so it is geometrically correct.
If you are unsure then any member of the Flat Earth Society can explain it to you.
Flat Balls do behave geometrically differently to Round Balls. They also have different physical properties, not least that they do not bounce - one of the reasons why Flat Football never became popular.
You are certainly correct there, but I am sure you have noticed these Flat Balls they throw around do not bounce, nor behave well when kicked.
Maybe with Flat Football the players could simply kick each other instead of the Flat Ball. This could prove popular with a certain niche of footballers and fans.
I've noticed that footballers actually tend to hold their shinpads, which is even more amusing.
For comparison on Saturday playing rugby I acquired a foot long bruise up my arm ( with accompanying stud marks ) - that warranted a bout of profanity and a series of menacing glances looking for the culprit.
For the same reason that cartoons have only 3 fingers and a thumb, many roadsigns are not accurate representations, nor should they be. They are designed for quick comprehension and no more. If Matt Parker can design a pentagonal ball which is also clearer and quicker to recognose than the current model, I'll sign his petition.
cartoons have only 3 fingers and a thumb
A possibly interesting bit of trivia is that Bugs Bunny usually has 3 fingers + thumb, except in a scene from the Rabbit of Seville parody of Rossini's opera, when at one point he plays a piano tune on Elmer Fudd's head and briefly has the customary 4 fingers + thumb so that the piano playing works...
Then, you have to pay to go out and correct all the signs...
Try reading the article before heading straight to the comments section. Specifically the last paragraph:
He wants the current symbol 38, denoting footballs on traffic signs, to be updated so that future street signs are done correctly. "I appreciate updating all the old ones might be considered a misuse of taxpayers' funds," he said.
At least the impossible football is not particularly dangerous, except to mathematicians in the vicinity of football grounds. The truly dangerous one is the round one which appears to show Evil Kineval jumping a car. What that has to do with "No Motor Vehicles" is beyond me. I've lost count of the number of times I've carried on driving looking up and anticipating getting a good view of a stunt show, oblivious to the pedestrians diving for cover.
If you want mathematically/logically impossible, you want the slippery road sign.
Bear with me on this...
Remove those pentagons from the template and sew it up around a spherical ball. Granted, the holes will be pentagonal and the ball itself prone to bursting due to the inner bladder being exposed, but still...
The Government considers the current football symbol has a clear meaning and is understood by the public. Changing the design to show accurate geometry is not appropriate in this context.
The Department for Transport sets legislation on traffic signs for use by traffic authorities. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (TSRGD) sets out the design and conditions of use for traffic signs that may be used on roads in England, Scotland and Wales.
Traffic signs use symbols which enable drivers to take in the information quickly and understand the meaning of the sign. Symbols are often internationally recognised which is important for all road users, especially those who may be unfamiliar to the area.
In the case of a directional sign to a leisure facility (such as a football ground), the symbols used are a general representation of the activity being depicted. As such, drivers can then quickly understand the type of destination. The football ground symbol first appeared in TSRGD in 1994 and road users have become accustomed to its use.
The purpose of traffic signs is to “convey warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions” (Section 64 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984).
The Department for Transport commissioned research into road user’s understanding of traffic signs in 2011. This concluded that respondents “showed a good basic level of understanding as to what different types of sign meant” and recommended that signs should be kept simple.
The purpose of a traffic sign is not to raise public appreciation and awareness of geometry which is better dealt with in other ways. If the correct geometry were put onto a sign, it would only be visible close up and not from the distance at which drivers will see the sign. The detail of the geometry would also not be taken in by most drivers who were merely looking at the sign for direction. The higher level of attention needed to understand the geometry could distract a driver’s view away from the road for longer than necessary which could therefore increase the risk of an incident.
Additionally the public funding required to change every football sign nationally would place an unreasonable financial burden on local authorities. The Department could not justify the spending needed as an exercise to increase public awareness and appreciation of geometry.
For the reasons given, we will not be changing the football symbol used on a traffic sign.
Department for Transport
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