Choking Victim; Poster

In 1974, Dr. Henry Heimlich published findings on what was to become the Heimlich Maneuver. A week later, the first choking victim was saved by the method. In 1978, New York City passed a law requiring that every establishment, regardless of size or design, “where food is sold and space is designated specifically as eating areas shall have posted in a conspicuous place, easily accessible to all employees and customers, a sign graphically depicting the Heimlich Maneuver or a comparable technique instructing on how to dislodge food from a choking person.” The bill was passed unanimously by the City Council in 1978 (five days before Christmas and its feasts.) “Dislodging food from person choking; poster” became Local Law 43 when signed by Mayor Koch on December 29. The law notes that it “does not impose any duty or obligation on any proprietor, employee or other person to remove, assist in removing, or attempt to remove food from the throat of the victim or a choking emergency,” and that the NY Department of Health “shall make signs available, and may charge a fee to cover printing, postage and handling expenses.” The posters are distributed along with your restaurant license.

In 1997, the posters were dramatically redesigned. An article in the UK Independent On Sunday (November 30, 1997) notes

“The Department of Health grew concerned that, in a city like New York, where dining in is the exception, habitual restaurant-goers may suffer from over-exposure to Heimlich signs, and that, over time, the charts risk becoming so much civic-minded wallpaper.”

To the rescue came students from Parson’s School of Design who redesigned the old institutional orange design with a jarring new constructivist design in primary colors. The poster is certainly harder to miss, though with 10 years of exposure it may be time again for a redesign.

Choking Victim Poster

Update 1/2005: For a more extensive history of this poster design, see Guns, Butter and Ballots. Citizens take charge by designing for better government, January/February 2005. (Towards the middle of the page.)

>  16 August 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , , , ,

Infrastructural Warfare

“The Israel—Palestine war is not simply a struggle over territory between two national entities. It is driven by Israel’s systematic denial of modern urban life to the Palestinians. One of the lessons of the battle of Jenin is that the bulldozer that demolishes houses is also a weapon in the wider strategy to prevent the Palestinians from creating a modern, normal, urban society.”

See ‘Clean territory’: urbicide in the West Bank by Stephen Graham on OpenDemocracy.

>  9 August 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

What is E-Democracy?

“E-democracy represents the use of information and communication technologies and strategies by democratic actors (governments, elected officials, the media, political organizations, citizen/voters) within political and governance processes of local communities, nations and on the international stage. To many, e-democracy suggests greater and more active citizen participation enabled by the Internet, mobile communications, and other technologies in today’s representative democracy as well as through more participatory or direct forms of citizen involvement in addressing public challenges.”

Steven Clift has a nice list of E-democracy links. Check some of his own articles, too.

Found via VoxPolitics.

>  8 August 2002 | LINK | Filed in ,

Electric Police Cars

In February 2002, London’s Metropolitan Police initiated a three year test of two two-seater electric cars “to combat high traffic levels in cities and will be used for general purposes such as burglary reporting and house visits.” The cars are cheap to run and emissions free. Electric cars are exempt from the Mayor of London’s new congestion tax.

>  3 August 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Camo in the City

At the airport in New York, two beefy guys stand akimbo in full camoflague gear, semi-automatic weapons casually slung. How very funny to see them decked out in green jungle camouflage against the commercial white interior and cheap gray carpet. In fact, it’s pretty clear the camo gear is not to conceal, but to be unavoidably present. Like the machine guns which may or may not be loaded, it is a loud signifier of military-ness, a show of force, a warning and reminder of the presence of power.

>  26 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in ,

Stop Esso

On July 9, a Paris judge ordered Greenpeace to stop using a parody of the Esso logo in its StopEsso campaign in France, pending a full hearing of the case.

“Stephanie Tunmore, Greenpeace climate campaigner said, ‘This court case is just another attempt by Esso to use its money as a means of continuing its dirty business unhindered.’ Esso claimed that the dollar signs Greenpeace has used in place of the “SS” in the logo linked the company to the infamous Nazi “SS” and damaged Esso’s reputation. Appropriately, the French judge Justice Binoche categorically rejected this claim. And although Esso was seeking 80,000 Euro per day if Greenpeace did not comply, the judge reduced this sum to 5,000 Euro per day. The judge also rightly ruled that Greenpeace can continue to use the term ‘StopEsso’.... StopEsso is a coalition of groups, including Greenpeace, campaigning around the world to stop Esso from sabotaging international action to address climate change, such as the Kyoto Protocol.”

Exxon had also asked for Greenpeace to remove all the meta-tags from their site because the StopEsso campaign site was coming up third when you searched for “Esso” on Google. They should have read the FAQ. Because of all the interest in the court case, StopEsso is currently the number one search result.

>  23 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Falun Gong Hacks China TV

“The banned Falun Gong spiritual movement jammed one of China’s main television satellites for eight days and briefly beamed a video into millions of homes during last month’s World Cup soccer finals.... [Falun Gong] has survived a three-year campaign of repression; it also marked the most sophisticated challenge so far to the Communist Party’s control of the media.”

See the Washington Post.

>  18 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Solar Heating, USA

According to the 2000 Census, Eldorado, New Mexico has the nation’s highest percentage of homes heated mainly by solar power: 13.2 percent. The numbers are pretty dismal: “According to the census, the number of U.S. homes heated primarily by solar energy fell from 54,536 in 1990 to 47,069 a decade later. Federal and many state tax credits for solar homes have long since dried up.” As of 2000, Eldorado had 317 solar homes. Also of note, 8 of the 10 cities are in Hawaii.

>  16 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Congressial Markup Language

“The purpose of this website is to provide information related to the ongoing work of the U.S. House of Representatives in relation to the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Under the direction of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the House Committee on Administration, the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House have worked together with the Library of Congress and the Government Printing Office to create Document Type Definition files (DTDs) for use in the creation of legislative documents using XML. As this is an ongoing project, it is important to note that the DTDs presented here have not been finalized, and may change over time.”

>  15 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in ,

Women in Iran Battle Taboo with Blog

“The web is providing a way for women in Iran to talk freely about taboo subjects such as sex and boyfriends. Over the past few months there has been a big jump in the number of Persian weblogs which are providing an insight into a closed society.... ‘I could talk very freely and very frankly about things I could never talk about in any other place, about subjects that are banned,’ said one of the first women to start a blog in Iran.”

From BBC News.

>  15 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

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