February 27, 2006 6:24 PM   Subscribe

The Catseye - similar to Botts' Dots, [Wikipedia talk] is in the final 10 for the Great British Design Quest.
posted by tellurian (12 comments total)
Love the term catseye, which I've never heard in the US. According to tellurian's link, however, they're properly called "roadstuds."
posted by rob511 at 8:29 PM on February 27, 2006

Really interesting post - I like how the Spitfire and the Routemaster are up against... errr.... Grand Theft Auto? The top 25 is nicely esoteric. Shame the Penguin paperback got knocked out.
posted by greycap at 11:17 PM on February 27, 2006

I hate these things. They presuppose that all road users must be cars or trucks. Ever hit one on a bike?
posted by fixedgear at 1:34 AM on February 28, 2006

I think he presupposed that it might be a good idea to help prevent cars and trucks going off-road. And I doubt that during WWII they were thinking ahead to you and your ten-speed.
posted by Frasermoo at 2:46 AM on February 28, 2006

I'd rather my bike risk hitting a catseye than an oncoming truck that had strayed over to my side of the road in the dark.

At school I remember a rumour that Percy Shaw got fabulously rich by being paid a royalty of a penny for each catseye installed. Surely not true?- I did find here that he spent £500 of his own money having them installed on a dangerous stretch of road to prove their effectiveness. Here is the patent by the way.
posted by rongorongo at 3:05 AM on February 28, 2006

When I was little I always wondered how the people underneath the catseye (the people with the torches to make it shine as you drive towards it) always managed to get ahead of our car...
posted by patricio at 4:15 AM on February 28, 2006

WWW is sure to be the final winner.
posted by acrobat at 4:36 AM on February 28, 2006

In light of the world-changing hyperrevolutionary incredible impact of the WWW, it's hard to see it not winning. But this is a design competition, so I'm disappointed British Road Signage didn't make the top 10 cut. I really hope Concorde wins. It didn't change the world, but my god was it beautiful...
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 4:38 AM on February 28, 2006

Like all great British inventions, he got the idea on the way home from the pub.
posted by PurpleJack at 4:42 AM on February 28, 2006

acrobat - the reason I had Catseye as the post rather than than the competition itself is because I think that it will win.
Competition: Concorde, Spitfire, Mini, K2, Routemaster bus = dead. Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider = games (give me a break). I'll pay the Underground but WWW is so much more than Tim Berners-Lee.
posted by tellurian at 4:54 AM on February 28, 2006

The Cat's Eye. It's simple, robust, touches the lives of millions every single day, fulfills an essential role and is hardly otherwise noticed. It has just about every essential feature of usefulness possible.
posted by vbfg at 6:11 AM on February 28, 2006

The Catseye also has some extraterrestrial cousins: the Apollo lunar retroreflectors. These are still being used with lasers in New Mexico, Texas, and France to measure the distance between the Earth and Moon (to within one millimeter.)

Just in case we start wandering out of our lane...
posted by cenoxo at 10:17 AM on February 28, 2006

« Older Iran's Nuclear Weapons   |   Pictures of the Year Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments