How a hyphen can bring down a rocket

Giants and Titans | Birmingham Creative Agency

 

We talk a lot about the accuracy of copy, spelling, grammar, etc when Beautifully Crafting our work but why such a serious focus?

Aside from being very important it’s what sets apart great comms from just great comms, sparks intrigue not just interest, makes systems run perfectly not just ok.

As an example, one of the most infamous typos in history was made by NASA and it’s not natural to think that NASA would be too obsessive over grammar. Well…

In 1962, NASA attempted to launch Mariner 1, with the intention of probing Venus. The craft exploded less than two minutes after takeoff as we know.

Multiple theories emerged surrounding the reasons behind the craft’s failure, but the most commonly cited explanation, directly from Mariner 1’s post-flight review board, is that a lone “dropped hyphen” in the computer code instructions incited the flight’s demise.

Richard Morrison, a NASA official, said:

“The hyphen in question gives a cue for the spacecraft to ignore the data the computer feeds it until radar contact is once again restored. When that hyphen is left out, false information is fed into the spacecraft control systems. In this case, the computer fed the rocket in hard left, nose down and the vehicle obeyed and crashed.”

The omission of the hyphen, which set NASA back $80m, was deemed by “2001: A Space Odyssey” author Arthur C. Clarke to be “the most expensive hyphen in history.”

So if a missing or erroneous hyphen can bring down a rocket, you can imagine now why we not only craft our creative so beautifully but also our copy, code, designs, data, and so on.

We don’t want the batteries dropping out of our mice due the incorrect use of the possessive apostrophe!

Giants and Titans | Birmingham Creative Agency | Mariner 1

The Mariner 1 launching prior to the disaster

Toyota tops the viral chart on Back To The Future day

So the 21st of October 2015 was THE day that all Back To The Future fans will know is a seriously significant date and Toyota decided to get the original duo onboard for their latest pieces.

Toyota’s two videos – one being a teaser version of the other – claimed viral video chart victory on the day and when you watch them it’s easy to understand why with the film’s stars, Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd, got involved.

The full-length video has received almost four million views and been shared over 112,000 times in the past seven days.

Pretty epic stuff and a seriously well made piece showing the power of video as a branding tool.

Stunning interactive video by SPP

Here’s a really clever interactive video from Swedish Pension Firm SPP that shows two alternative visions of 2045.

SPP-interactive-video

The smart part of the video is the interactivity: by sliding the vertical divider bar left or right, we are shown SPP’s ‘sustainable saving’ version of 2045 contrasted with the rather darker, gloomier alternative.

Combining creativity and technology in this way makes the point in an amazingly effective way. Check it out at http://earth2045.com/

Augmented Reality for kids colouring

If you have children or you’re a big kid yourself like some of us are, then something conceived or designed by Disney will be in your house somewhere. DVDs, dresses, lunch bags, pencils, story books, pens, you name it they do it.

And now the humble colouring book has been Disney-ified with an Augmented Reality app…

Who knew that a little colouring book would now be powered by real-time texturing, outlier rejection algorithms, surface deformation recovery thus outputting a 2-D image into a 3-D one by completing occluded 3-D areas not evident on the 2-D model.

And there was most of us thinking it was just a simple case of tree > chop > pulp > dry > press > print and voila!

Nope, colouring is far more complicated than that as most under 10’s will tell us!