Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Make mine a double.

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Inconspicuous Braille

As a form of public art
  [vote for,

Handrails in public places, for instance, could have Braille poetry on their underside. Whereas most of the public would feel only manufacturing imperfections, the blind would meander slowly down the rail reading Whitman.
nilstycho, Jun 27 2004

1.6 million blind in the United States by the year 2020 (not a pun) http://www.ama-assn.../04/26/hlbf0426.htm
[Klaatu, Oct 04 2004]

braille reading speed & how to improve it http://nfb.org/lega...bm0305/bm030508.htm
[ryokan, May 28 2008]

Dymo in Braille http://www.emptech...._details.php?ID=472
"You do not need to know Braille to produce Braille labels using this Dymo gun. Select the required letter from the print alphabet dial, squeeze the gun and Braille character of that letter will be embossed on to the Dymo tape." Cheap, easy and doable [Klaatu, May 28 2008]

XKCD http://xkcd.com/315/
[DrWorm, Oct 03 2010]

Braille Graffiti http://www.citypape...lle_street_art.html
[JesusHChrist, Aug 18 2013]


       Love it, nils.
lostdog, Jun 27 2004

       .: :: ': :. .. :' ':
DesertFox, Jun 27 2004

       excellent. could also use it to describe the surroundings to the person. (+)
xclamp, Jun 27 2004

       Don't they already do this in America using chewing gum?
DrCurry, Jun 27 2004

       Top of the rails should show letters for the rest of us otherwise it is discrimination.
kbecker, Jun 28 2004

       [kbecker] - no it isn't. No one's stopping you from learning Braille.
Detly, Jun 28 2004

       No one's stopping you from poking your eyes out, either.
thumbwax, Jun 28 2004

       Transparent braille stickers could be printed off and then stuck under hand rails, so the blind too can know that you woz 'ere y2k.
spiritualized, Jun 28 2004

       Too expensive.
britboy, Jun 28 2004

       I know NOTHING about braille. Is it expensive to produce braille books. If not why aren't all books printed with braille beneath the text, or is it the relief too pronounced to make the words legible. help me out bakers.. I'm v. ignorant on this subject.
etherman, Jun 28 2004

       Braille on the underside of railings? Wouldn't half the people read the story backwards, depending on which way they travelled along the railing?   

       Other than that, love it (+) Braille stickers would be a neat way for non-blind people to pass notes too.   

       [On a similar note, in a gallery the other day, I noticed that the explanatory plaques next to the paintings had braille translations underneath. What were they saying? "There's a really really neat painting here, sorry you can't see it" ? ]
iivix, Jun 28 2004

       The stickers could have two rows of braille, separated by a steady ridge, and with each row being identical but laid out in reverse to each other so that the message could be read while moving in either direction. Bi-phase style (sort of).
bristolz, Jun 28 2004

       [etherman], yes, it's quite expensive to print in braille. A basic braille printer for home use can run over $2000, while a label printer (which is what you'd need for this very cool idea) would be close to $1000.   

       For someone who already happens to have a braille label printer, though, this would be a nifty public art project.
samx, Jun 28 2004

       IIVIX: Maybe you could print the strips somewhere near the handrails of escalators. If they move too fast, the kerning of the braille might need to be adjusted.
nilstycho, Jun 28 2004

       I'm just not seeing this working out too well...I could imagine blind people being too concerned with making their way up/down the stairs without tripping to appreciate it. In addition, if you're holding me back from making my way upstairs because you want to read a bit of Shakespeare, blind or otherwise, you'll hear about it. [-]
Pocketassreturn, Jun 28 2004

       Maybe it says, "Here's a step right here...and...here's a step...and the last step is coming up right...here...now only 20 meters straight ahead to the exit. Good luck!"
FarmerJohn, Jun 28 2004

       after careful concideration you have my bread, for this idea. its quite simply beautiful. it should be extended to the undersides of all street furniture and cafe tables.
etherman, Jun 29 2004

       some dalai lama quotes may be the thing to combat urban stress.
etherman, Jun 29 2004

       Our business cards at work have the same information embossed on a clear plastic sticker in braille. We get these done by a commercial printing house so it shouldn't be too expensive to get some of the stickers run off for your own 'art' projects.
oneoffdave, Jun 29 2004

       "Confuscious say, if the lead just went taught, then guide dog just fell down steps"
Funny moment with blind guy who always travels on my train (with his canine companion). Some nubbins whose not met Phil before sits down opposite and starts petting dog (whose name eludes me, but unimportant for this anecdote) - without even asking him first. Phil (who's not completely blind) obviously notices but says nothing, as is used to absurdly rude strangers treating his dog like a pet, but not so bothered as he's not working at that particular moment.
Anyway, nubbins says "I love these blind dogs - how long have you had him?"
To which Phil replies "Two years, and hope he's not fucking blind or I'm in a shit load of trouble when I get of this train."
goff, Jun 29 2004

       This is why I love the HB. Simple. Thoughtful. Bun.
yabba do yabba dabba, Jun 29 2004

       [iivix] I'd love to think athat they say things like:
(next to jackson pollock) "Famous guy who threw paint around and then attached a load of white middle-class american angst to it. Imagine sneezing in multiple colours and capturing the result. You're not missing much"
goff, Jul 01 2004

       Braillant! +
spekkie, Jul 01 2004

       Has there ever been a definitive name for a dog that leads the blind?   

       I've heard of 'Guide Dogs', 'Blind Dogs', and 'Seeing Eye Dogs', each one ridiculous. The dog isn't a guide, a boy scout, a cub, or a brownie; the dog isn't blind, and 'Seeing Eye Dog', well that's just three words that don't even go.
spiritualized, Jul 01 2004

       "Guide dog" in UK, though "Seeing-Eye dog" is generally understood. The dog *is* a guide, in that it guides its handler.
angel, Jul 01 2004

       I have a question.... if a blind person cannot see then how will he know that there is a sticker / sign / handrail to read?
farker, Jul 01 2004

       The dog tells them.
Boffo idea, it might even encourage me to learn Braille.

       //Whereas most of the public would feel only manufacturing imperfections// and chewing gum.
calum, Jul 01 2004

       More guide dog buffoonery: A collegue was in London with his guide dog and he had to ask directions. The person he asked bent down and told the dog where to go.
oneoffdave, Jul 01 2004

       [bris] - Use palindromes.
lurch, Jul 01 2004

       Use mono-directional bumps on the label. Instead of the bump being a round hump, make it a sloped bump. In the correct direction, the bump would stand up and be felt. In the incorrect direction, the bump would be pushed down and not felt. Feel the face of someone who has shaved recently. If you feel in the direction that the hair lies, it feels smooth. If you feel opposite, it feels rough.
GenYus, Jul 01 2004

       braile beards!! excellent. watch this space!
etherman, Jul 01 2004

       //In addition, if you're holding me back from making my way upstairs because you want to read a bit of Shakespeare, blind or otherwise, you'll hear about it// Pocket-ASS-return Are you not thinking, or just plain stupid? If they have to read the text on the bottom of the hand rail, they need to be moving as they do. Duh!
energy guy, Jul 01 2004

       //Pocket-ASS-return Are you not thinking, or just plain stupid? If they have to read the text on the bottom of the hand rail, they need to be moving as they do. Duh!//   

       Well, if you want to play that game, [energy gay], I'll play.   

       Here's what I was saying. Blind people would be slow walking up/downstairs anyway, so they would be moving, but it would take them a long time to process each letter/word and therefore would walk even slower...unacceptable, on a public stairway. I'm not saying I'm gonna push them down the steps...   

       So. Yes. I am thinking. And no. I'm not plain stupid. I just wish everyone on this website would stop acting like a saint for two goddamn seconds and admit they would be annoyed by someone taking way too long ascending/descending stairs. That's all, end of story.
Pocketassreturn, Jul 01 2004

       [pocket ASS] - so basically what your saying is you want to put an end to people walking slowly on public staircases? What about people who can see & walk slow? Old folks? Theres a difference between pretending to be a saint, and being considerate. Of course some people are just plain assholes (or pocket ASS holes). Oh yeah, and in case you thought I would be offended by being called gay - I'm not a homophobic pocket Asshole.
energy guy, Jul 02 2004

       So, [PAH], you get offended by blind people? How about a newborn child learning to climb stairs? How about someone who just broke both of their femurs? They're not trying to be slow and offend you, they're just trying to get up/down some friggen stairs.
swimr, Jul 02 2004

       Imagine the braille on the handrail of one of those serpentine things built for long lines. Everyone else is standing waiting in line; the blind dude is impatiently reaching ahead to keep reading the story...
lurch, Jul 02 2004

       I like it. Stealth poetry.   

       But, it's not like braille is terribly conspicuous to begin with. I don't recall seeing huge braille billboards distracting me while driving. :)   

       How many inches per second can an experienced braille reader read anyway? I know we had a blind user reading this site at one time. Maybe he can tell me.
half, Jul 02 2004

       I agree with [pocketassreturn], in public places, this would considerably slow traffic. Much like gawkers alongside a carwreak, the line is as fast as its slowest member... But putting the stuff in lines is good...   

       Friggin pseudosaints...
daseva, Jul 02 2004

       // in public places, this would considerably slow traffic //   

       Considerably? I don't think there are enough blind people in any public place at any one time to cause considerable slow down
spiritualized, Jul 02 2004

       OK, OK! Christ! You don't put this in high-traffic areas like airport lines or difficult-to-navigate narrow stairways. Problem solved. Sheesh.
nilstycho, Jul 02 2004

       I don't believe there is a problem. Like I said, when are you going to get enough blind people in the same place to cause a slow down? Unless the next Royal Blind Society convention is held at Heathrow Airport, there shouldn't be a problem.
spiritualized, Jul 02 2004

       [swimr] No, I'm not offended by blind people. Come on, that's ridiculous. And as far as newborn babies trying to climb steps and people with broken femurs...they're not exactly fit to be walking around in public places, are they?   

       While we're on the topic. I've offended some of you. Obviously. But it definitely wasn't intentional. I don't know how many times I'm going to have to apologize...this is really getting ridiculous. You people just need to cool down, for God's sake. Most of the reason I'm such an asshole to you people is because I make a simple comment, it's blown out of proportion, someone says something in response to that comment that offends me, and I feel the need to defend myself. So. Here's the deal. I'm NOT leaving. And I'm not the asshole you people think I am, I'm just expressing my opinion...the point of the site is to get your opinion across about these ideas. So, plain and simple, stop adding fuel to the fire. That's all.
Pocketassreturn, Jul 02 2004

       Ya know, when you find yourself telling *everyone else* what their problem is, that's a good indicator where the problem actually lies.   

       nilstycho, ya oughta feel free to delete the whining annos.   

       I'm with half on this one. I don't see the need to hide the braille under the rail. Put it along the top, out in the open. Don't make the blind people have to avoid stuck gum bits and who knows whatever else people shove under there.   

       What appeals to me most about this is the existence of a braille message without a corresponding written word message for the sighted. Seems fair to me.   

       // Has there ever been a definitive name for a dog that leads the blind? //   

       "Service Animal" is the latest craze. I think "guide dog" is about perfect, though.
waugsqueke, Jul 03 2004

       "Service Animal"? That must be a stud bull.
Laughs Last, Jul 03 2004

       I like [lurch]'s idea of palindromes. I wonder if there is a braille equivalent to calligraphy. One other thought I had about the upstairs/downstairs problem is that I would imagine the a majority of the blind are right-handed readers, I could be wrong.
Spare parts, Jul 03 2004

       I love this idea. It is a form of urban art that appeals to those who are left of of much of the sighted art world. The idea is simple and pure genius and my only caveat is that I didn't think of it first.   

       This idea can be implimented easily, at minimal cost. As far as blind people impeding traffic flows, I find that unless the stairway is only wide enough for one, I can easily pass on the left. [do they pass on the left whilst walking in the U.K.?] I don't need a handrail.   

       I had a supervisor, when I worked as a social worker, who was blind. I did some work on his home (painting and setting wall paneling) when had his new home built. He bought paneling and had it installed with the backing facing out because the texture was more pleasing. I found that he felt isolated and that his only enjoyment was his sense of touch (Playboy magazine comes in a braille edition by the way). I believe that he could only walk as fast as he could read, so the entire argument about impeding traffic flow is a moot point.   

       For longer works of art, it would be nice to have a stop-character at each landing to let the reader know that a landing is approaching.   

       All in all, a delightful idea that could be implimented easily and bring joy to many of the blind people in this country <link> and others. [+++++]
Klaatu, Jul 03 2004

       Hmm, methinks we need molar covers with negative Braille to add a short message to a wad of gum before deposit under the handrail.
FarmerJohn, Jul 03 2004

       I'm with Pocketassreturn. Old people, young children, and the blind have no choice about their speed. People walking slowly on stairs reading a book do have a choice. And if their slow walking means I have to slow down too, they're being rude.
Voice, May 28 2008

       /I'm with [Pocketassreturn]/   

       You don't want to be. The poor sod had a short fuse, and enough people got offended that they just kept poking him, fishboning his ideas, etc etc. It was a vicious circle that made him about the most fishboned baker on the site. It was probably about 40% his fault, the rest was from the wolf pack that followed him about.
david_scothern, May 28 2008

       Based on the cited "good" braille-reading speed of 60 words per minute, you might need to space the letters somewhat widely and restrict the content to limericks, haiku, and aphorisms.   

       Still, it's a lovely idea. I hope it's baked in classrooms and playgrounds at some of the state schools for the blind. Might even help kids with their reading, according to the link.
ryokan, May 29 2008

       has anybody bothered to consider that perhaps the blind don't want to be "body-spammed" ?
FlyingToaster, May 29 2008

       Considering that most words must be read letter by letter rather than as a whole, and that reading braille (apparently) requires more concentration than reading visually, I think it would be easy to tune out if you weren't interested.
ryokan, May 30 2008

       Most blind people can't read braille.
nomocrow, May 30 2008

       Hi all, new here, but I just had to comment on this for posterity, the only problem I see with this is that most people read braille from left to right, meaning the pinky is leading on a right handed reader. So I would have to turn my hand around to read a rail on my right side as I walk, as not to perceive the characters upside down, switching my cane to my left hand of course. If the rail is on the left side, I would need to reach across with my right hand to read it, in which case it wouldn't be upside down, but also in which case it would really need to be on top.
kb7clx, Feb 26 2010

       // ...the pinky is leading on a right handed reader... //   

       This could be solved by putting the braille on a overhead bar, at similar height to the handrail on a bus.
Alx_xlA, Oct 03 2010

       //I feel it would slow people down//
i f t h e d o t s w e r e s p r e a d o u t . . .

       ...far enough you could get them running up and down the stairs
FlyingToaster, Oct 03 2010

       "sighted people suck" (link)
DrWorm, Oct 03 2010

       "This railing will end in 10 feet. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5..."
Cedar Park, Aug 19 2013


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