Archive for the ‘Biology’ Category

Gummi roches

November 23, 2010

Regular readers of this blog should have noticed my recent post about the Roche card quiz game, presented in a box reminiscent of the design of the Roche drug boxes. It appears that the company has gone one step further in crumbling its brand identity. Roche appears to have produced its own version of gummi candies, shaped after Roche’s famous hegaxon logo. And instead of gummi bears, I have named them gummi roches.

Just another example of having fun with your corporate identity, despite being a huge multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company.

Lambda.

[image © LambdaPhage].

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Roche Helveticum forte

October 31, 2010

Those who are familiar with drugs from Roche are probably aware how the drug boxes look like. Roche has a specific design for drug boxes with lots of white space, two proprietary fonts and two hexagons in one of the corners: one being filled with colour, typically blue and the other bearing the Roche logo. In essence, almost all of their drugs are packages in the same looking white drug boxes; the only difference is the name of the drug.

However, if you happen to visit the Roche central offices in Basel, you will encounter yet another Roche “medicine” called Helveticum forte. This one is also packed in they typical Roche white drug box, but the content is far from being an active drug. Instead, you can open the Helveticum forte box to find 36 playing cards and a small booklet that explains how to play a card game. This is because Helveticum forte is not a real drug that Roche decided to give for free to all their visitors, but a card game containing all sorts of different trivia for Roche.

In fact, the instructions of the small booklet tell you of a game that has two phases. In the first phase, two or more players are dealt with some cards with the aim to complete quartets (books of cards of the same rank). They do this by asking their fellow players if they have the cards the need to make the quarter and by losing their turn if they do not manage to find a card. When a quarter has been made, this needs to be laid down. After all the quartets have been laid down, the second phase of the game begins, in which the person who has completed a quartet asks the person on their left one of the questions contained in the quartets. For each correct answer, the respondent is being rewarded with a card and at the end, the person with most cards wins the game.

Helveticum forte is obviously a fun and creative way for Roche to pass on corporate information to a visitor. But what is more interesting is Roche’s willingness to package this board game in a “bogus” drug box, similar to the design of their real drug boxes. It can create a lasting impression.

Lambda.

[all images © copyright LambdaPhage]

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008

March 10, 2009

Natural History Museum Cromwell Road entrance (source Wikipedia)

Natural History Museum Cromwell Road entrance (source Wikipedia)

The idea of organising the same exhibition every year would probably be rejected as outright crazy by many museum directors in London. Yet, for the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” exhibition, it is the annual photography competition that supplies it with fresh and original images of wildlife. The competition, running for the 45th year and jointly organised by the Natural History Museum in London and the BBC Wildlife Magazine draws thousands of entries by professional artists and amateur enthusiasts.

Sun Jelly, Nature in Black and White - Winner (© Carlos Virgili)

Sun Jelly, Nature in Black and White - Winner (© Carlos Virgili)

It consists of different thematic areas that include animal behaviour, life in the underworld, animal portraits and animals in their environment, plants, nature in black and white, and creative visions of nature. The exhibition, however, is mostly famed for its special awards: the Gerard Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife, the One Earth Award, that showcases the interaction of human and the natural world and the Young and Adult categories of the wildlife photographer of the year.

Deadlock, Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals - Winner (© David Maitland)

Deadlock, Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals - Winner (© David Maitland)

This year, the exhibition entries were again a mixture of images that were carefully planned and executed, represented technically challenging shots and conditions but also images of the unexpected, the funny and the remarkable variety of wildlife. Among the photos we noted was a picture of a jellyfish in exquisite detail in the “Nature in Black and White” category and a striking image of a snake and a frog entangled in a “Deadlock” that according to the photographer lasted for several hours. Other interesting shots included an underwater image of two arrow crabs and sea urchins in “Daddy long legs” and an amusing photo of a black macaque in “Bleak outlook” that has made it to the banners of this year’s competition advertisements. However, the most artistic and skillfully taken photographs were –without doubt – the ones featured in the awards. For example, a few silver lines in a black background were enough to betray a silhouette of a polar bear in sunlight in the “Creative Visions of Nature” category. Equally, a theatrical display of a lion chasing a giraffe in afternoon sunlight in Africa and the image of an endangered snow leopard were awarded the Young and Adult Wildlife Photographer awards respectively.

Daddy Long Legs, The Underwater World - Specially Commended (© Jordi Chias)

Daddy Long Legs, The Underwater World - Specially Commended (© Jordi Chias)

After visiting the exhibition, you feel the sudden urge to get your camera and start experimenting, hoping that you can make it into the next years’ exhibition. But even if you can’t wait that long, you can buy many of the featured images in posters. And if you do not have time to see the exhibition, go to the museum’s internet gallery instead, where you can browse all of the winning categories in the comfort of your home.

Lambda.

P.S.: Read about the exhibition in Greece at my other post.