Too much in gear? (A tri-umph?)

Here’s a quiz for mechanical engineers, professional and budding: What’s the story on these gears?

David Brooks (the one known to science writers as “The good David Brooks”) writes in his Granite Geek blog:

If you’re going to draw gears, don’t draw 3 interlocking ones

Smithsonian.com has launched a new blog called Department of Innovation to track “all things innovative, not just in science and technology but how we live, how we learn, and how we entertain ourselves.”

The logo of this cool new enterprise is shown here. You don’t have to be a mechanical engineer to notice something a little wrong with the gear arrangement: In this configuration, none of them can move. One poster to the blog suggested that they might stand for the president, Congress and the Senate.
Hey, at least they didn’t try to put any spin on it. Hahahahaha – get it???

UPDATE (August 9, 2011):  The Department of Innovation blog has a revised logo [reproduced here], accompanied by this explanation: “Thank you to everyone for your comments about our logo. We have since shifted the gears and switched in a new logo.”

Some of the blog’s commenters expressed doubts that the new design reliably fixes the problem. Comment #87, by someone called Josh, says: “Even the new logo will not work…the smaller gear on the bottom does not have the proper distance between the teeth as related to the larger gear. The teeth will sheer off! Seriously, while the designer created an eye catching logo, if you are going to be in the Dept. of Innovation then do something that a) is innovative and b) works!

  • Richard Rae

    I imagine this department will be one of those that doesn’t have “teeth”. Definitely gives new meaning to the phrase “grinding to a halt”.

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