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In the beginning...

Quantum Cat Designs is a startup clothing line for men. The company was founded by me, Hans P. Larson, after I had designed shirts for myself for years, had increasing requests to design them for friends, family, and co-workers, and was approached by strangers about the shirts as well.

My clothing design interest began in 1996-1997 while I was living in Taipei City, Taiwan.  Like many youth, I wanted to travel and see the world. After graduating college in 1996, I moved to Taiwan from the U.S. so I could study Mandarin at the National Teachers University.

When I was living in Taipei, it was not uncommon for foreign students studying Mandarin at local universities to have part-time jobs working in the business sector or teaching English. One of my part-time positions in Taiwan was working for a trade company. After I had been there awhile, a trade company staffer took me to a local high- end tailor shop and told me I could have a set of business shirts and suits made on the company expense accounts.

The clothing I designed with the tailor did not conform to most people’s ideas of what business clothing should look like. While the clothes were deemed a bit “different” by the company staff, the designs were nonetheless well-liked. I had chosen a lot of different fabrics and color combinations on my suits and shirts, and the designs were very eye-appealing.

I held on to these custom-made clothes for several years after returning to America.  In subsequent years, I never lost interest in custom-made clothing. I would pick out textiles and buttons and have dress shirts made.

Besides having the freedom to turn my ideas into items of apparel, there was a practical reason for having custom-made clothing:  I have really wide shoulders and big arms. Finding shirts that fit well at most department stores is difficult for me, since most stores only carry men’s shirt sizes up to a 2XL, and I generally need a 3XL or 4XL to fit my shoulders. For this reason, I include big and tall sizes in my clothing lines.

Since the shirts I made for myself and for people I know got a lot of attention and compliments, I started to consider starting a clothing line. In 2011, I was returning to Phoenix to catch an airline flight after visiting friends in rural Arizona. On my way to the airport, I stopped at a diner in Apache Junction. The entire wait staff gathered around my table, admiring and asking questions about my custom shirt. That was the day I firmly decided to make my interest in custom clothing into a business.

T-Shirts

The T-shirts are designed by my brother, San Francisco-based artist Nikolas August Larson, or Nik. He has made a name for himself in recent years doing chalk murals around San Francisco, primarily in the hip Mission District neighborhood. You are encouraged to view Nik’s blog, chalkvisions.com.

Nik has been drawing T-shirt designs for several years. His T-shirt production was small scale, due to the starving artist effect. Quantum Cat Designs is now making Nik’s T-shirts accessible to the public. Enjoy! 

Ecological Considerations

Quantum Cat Designs is not solely built around the idea of providing ecologically and socially responsible garments. However, we do plan to provide garments incorporating the most ecologically and socially responsible fabrics, such as natural bamboo and hemp. Future clothing lines will likely incorporate novelty fabrics, such as banana fiber and pineapple fiber.

Name-Calling

Curious about our name?

The name Quantum Cat Designs was originally suggested by Nik. I thought of many cool names for the company, but all of them were registered and taken. Luckily, Quantum Cat Designs was not taken. The name Quantum Cat refers to the late Austrian physicist ­Erwin Schrödinger’s famous theoretical cat box quantum physics experiment. (I do not believe that Schrödinger’s cat box experiment refers to Quantum Cat’s quantum litter box!)

For those unfamiliar, here are the details of Schrödinger’s experiment.

Schrödinger’s cat box experiment is meant to be a theoretical thought experiment. To my knowledge, nobody has actually done this experiment. Animal cruelty issues would come up.

The point is to take the uncertainty of the quantum states of small particles and subatomic particles and apply these small particle states of flux and uncertainty to a scale that humans can relate to more easily. Schrödinger’s cat box experiment is meant to wrestle with the idea of observation making a state definite, but a lack of observation leaving something in an undetermined state. The cat box experiment looks into the issue of quantum entanglement, which refers to particles and other things that have been separated still maintaining a quantum connection. Schrödinger’s cat box experiment looks at the quantum entanglement issue of formerly interacting particles and objects being separated, and then both having an undetermined state until one is observed. The cat box experiment is also devised to have the state of one particle observed and made into tangible and non-theoretical state by virtue of the cat’s state.

We at Quantum Cat Designs have also observed quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement happens when the Quantum Cat is given a very large ball of quantum string to play with. This also relates to string theory.

The issue of observation affecting the outcome of an experiment or action is like posing the question, “If a tree falls in a forest and there is nobody around to hear the falling tree, was a sound still made.” The observer and that which is being observed are considered to be the basis of reality according to some Hindu philosophers. Quantum physicists have also given this concept a lot of thought.

Schrödinger’s cat box experiment involves putting a cat in a box and then sealing the box. In the box is a small amount of a radioactive material, and a Geiger counter pointed at the radioactive material. If one atom decays and releases a particle, the Geiger counter will register this action and trigger an electrical switch that would release a lethal cyanide gas charge into the sealed box—with the poor unfortunate cat inside. To set this theoretical experiment up properly, there would have to be a 50% chance of this atom decaying over a one-hour time frame. If the radioactive material and the cat inside the box cannot be observed, the question concerns what state the atom is in, and by proxy, what state the cat is in—living or dead.

The Answer

Schrödinger never solved the mystery, but we at Quantum Cat Designs have the answer at last. Schrödinger’s cat box experiment poses the question, “Is the cat alive or dead at the end of an hour in the box.” The answer? It matters not if the cat is alive or dead; the cat is very sharply dressed!