Here’s something for all you manhole cover lovers (and I know you’re out there, because if you can think of it, it’s out there somewhere):

fujiyoshida.jpg

That’s from this vast collection of Japanese manhole covers.
I love the idea of making even such a mundane thing as a manhole cover an object of beauty. The Berkeley City Council never cared much about the appearance of their manhole covers; instead what they did was argue over the appearance of language (what the manhole covers should be called). The arguments went on and on, and finally they began to realize that “personhole cover” had an even dirtier sound to it:

“[Personhole] is not an acceptable de-sexed word.”
–Shirley Dean, councilperson from the Berkeley, (California) City Council, explaining why the Council changed the wording in a sewer equipment request back to manhole cover

I prefer the way the Japanese deal with appearances.