Excellent high-voltage warning glyph

I'm having a pretty great time in Vancouver this week on the Pirate Cinema tour. Granville Island has lots to recommend about it, but I'm especially taken with the electrocution hazard glyphs on the access-plates set into the sidewalk. They even beat the lightning bolts that leap out of electric risers on the streets of San Francisco. What is it about the Pacific Northwest and awesome high-voltage signs, anyway? It's like this is some kind of lost valley where the coelacanth ancestors of Reddy Kilowatt never went extinct.

Electrocution warning icon, market, Granville Island (Vancouver Writers Festival), Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada


  1. You know what one of my favourite things about Granville Island is?
    When you decide that you actually need to get some food item there in spite of the crazy prices, and people off the tour buses are strolling around the market area four abreast as slow as humanly possible! It’s awesome!

    (Honestly, I’m pretty tourist friendly, and never understand people whose automatic response to visitors to their town is hostility, but seriously: they’re gawking at frickin’ groceries, and nobody’s buying any of those perishables to take back to the bus with them…)

  2. Is Lileks the original trademark holder/creator of the lightening bolt/power outlet/light bulb character? I would have sworn that our local power company (APS) was using that guy back in the seventies.

  3. I’m impressed – danger graphics are extremely important!

        -> Huzzah for BC Hydro & PG&E <-

    Now, if only poison graphics were placed on household caustics & pesticides

  4. Since I can’t find a contact page for site problems, I’ll note here that when i come to BB I frequently get redirected to a bestprizedraw.com scam site.  It ONLY happens when i visit BB so I presume it is something about your site and not my computer.

    1. Sounds like a redirect virus on your PC. Usually these do redirects for google or bing, but I’ve heard of them reported for other ip addresses. The virus substitutes a bad IP address for the desired IP address.

      To find out more, enter the following string into your favorite search engine:
      browser redirect malware
      (conceivably, you may have to do this from an uninfected computer)

      Several public domain programs are available to cure this: try searching out malwarebytes or TDSSKiller

  5. Hey, if you’re still in the area Cory, try to checkout Eat Art – they’re up False Creek, so to speak, a few blocks past Main Street.  The Mondo Spider is worth a look see, as is Titanoboa and Daisy.

    1. Cory is speaking at the Great Northern Way Campus this morning, right next door. Part of the same building. It’s worth checking them out, they’re super nice folk with some giant terrifying machines.

  6. The pic from San Fran you link to is a pretty standard high voltage warning icon. The same image is in the power room of the corp I work at in SW Ontario.

  7. What is it about the Pacific Northwest and awesome high-voltage signs, anyway?

    Not sure if it’s related, but the Pacific NW is/was a big center of hydroelectric power. In the book Cadillac Desert, the author credits the abundant hydroelectric power for helping the U.S. win the Pacific war, as the electricity helped create the aluminum smelting industry in that region–apparently aluminum smelters are basically giant resistors–and the American aircraft industry could turn out aluminum craft faster than the Japanese could shoot them down.

  8. I quite like the warning signs in Turkey too – they are quite a bit cutesy: http://brutales-licht.de/cache/alanya-08/Alanya_08_Dim_Cave_08_800.jpg

    And also quite metal, when embedded in concrete: http://brutales-licht.de/cache/alanya-08/Alanya_08_Dim_Cave_06_800.jpg

  9. If you should take the new sky-train out to the airport you’ll notice they mounted all the electrocuted men the wrong way. They appear to be jumping into the electric arc, rather than being blasted by it.

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