Disturbed by the randomly placed candles on his grandfather's cake, industrial designer Carlo Heckman came up with the "Heckman Method" in the 1950s for putting candles on a cake where one long candle crosses four smaller ones. Unfortunately, the idea didn't really take off since more wax ended up on the cake this way, but it's still a charming idea. Read more about Heckman's work at Core77. [via notcot.org]
Update (9:30 p.m.): I regret that I completely overlooked the important note at the end of the post: Carlo Heckman is the creation of designer Matt Brown as part of Core77's "Design Fancy" series of short stories about fictional designers. You may have seen Matt Brown on Serious Eats before as the creator of the flavor spoon and the self-slicing pizza.