Robert Blinov’s blog

Coat hangers & hooks

Bad: hangers. I have to insert the hanger between the sleeves only to have my coat fall when I suspend the hanger on the rail.

Good: hooks. I just hang the loop.

Jan 20   design   life

Eth & thorn

I would proudly use eth (ð) and thorn (þ) for the two ths, if only they were in a keyboard layout.

Jan 12   language

Rollable TVs

Rollable TVs have a little talked about advantage: they are compatible with any reasonable aspect ratio.

Jan 8   design

Time cafés are evil

There’s this notion of time cafés which is spreading far and wide. “Pay for how much you stay, not how much you eat”, they say.

While all-you-can-eats are a bargain, time cafés not only make you cram yourself with food, but make it a competition for the fastest time to do so. This is no good, as food waste is a big problem.

Time cafés are also the worst place for family reunions or days out. Instead of a long day drinking tea with crumpets, you get less precious moments with these valuable people. (The best place for long family days is the home.)

Why do people go to time cafés?

Jan 6   idiots
Jan 1   controversies   naming


2018 was a good year. Less dramatic and eventful than 2017, but more fundamental for my future. I became a designer, mostly thanks to Bureau Gorbunov Designer School. I earned my first proper money and got my first actual job. I started sharing my thoughts more openly and learned a new language. I learned how to code, interact with people, and read 481 books. I became Booksearcher’s secret advisor and finally spent a summer in Italy. Oh, and albeit I started playing guitar in 2016, this year was the first one when I started doing so seriously.

Most things that happened in 2018—like the Hawaii false missile threat—make me think This was 2018?!: that’s how long this year was.

I see what I want 2019 to be like, and I’m ready to make it happen. Happy New Year!

Dec 31   life   self-improvement


It’s way too easy to die. It’s time to eradicate diseases and let people live forever if they want to.

Dec 27   death

Ecosystems via subscriptions

As more and more services now work only by subscription, bundles are saviours. These bundles today are the ecosystems of tomorrow.

Dec 13   economics   ecosystems

How to make Russia a better place

When Russia hosted the World Cup this year—an event of international importance—the host cities got streets cleaned and trash thrown away, made life safer and the overall appearance neater. (Oh, and people were friendlier)

The more such events Russia hosts (or any country, for that matter), the better everything will be. It’s a pity that Ekaterinburg didn’t win the Expo 2025 bid.

Dec 13   problem solving   Russia

Gates in libraries

There are three ways to do this.

Moscow’s Foreign Language Library. Gates, a stern security guard, librarians that don’t understand one another, no single database, RFID tags for security purposes, a ban on bringing backpacks in (!). The wide variety of books is the only thing that saves this library from obliteration.

Pigna’s library. The honesty system at its finest. Just a heartwarming librarian and no security features. They make an assumption that everyone entering isn’t there for a random reason (which is close to truth).

The Russian State Library for Youth. A total absence of any visible gates or security features. Anyone strolling by can enter and read a book. As for bringing a book home, all one has to do to register is to show an ID. Every book has an RFID tag used for theft prevention, as well as for scanning books. I was surprised at how efficient the system was when I first took some books home: I stacked the books, put them on a table along with my library card, and I could go out. No librarian or gate needed.

There’s only one way to do it right.

Dec 9   automation   design   library
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