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Remember Errol Morris' New York Times quiz about being an optimist or a pessimist about killer asteroids? It turns out the quiz wasn't really about being an optimist or a pessimist. It was about how fonts affect people's thinking. The quiz was presented in five different fonts, and the frequency of the answers were compared to the fonts in which the questions were asked.
We all know that we are influenced in many, many ways -- many of which we remain blissfully unaware of. Could fonts be one of them? Could the mere selection of a font influence us to believe one thing rather than another? Could fonts work some unseen magic? Or malefaction?
Don’t get me wrong. The underlying truth of the sentence “Gold has an atomic number of 79” is not dependent on the font in which it is written. The sentence is true regardless of whether it is displayed in Helvetica, Georgia or even the much-maligned Comic Sans. But are we more inclined to believe that gold has an atomic number 79 if we read it in Georgia, the font of The New York Times online, rather than in Helvetica?
Results from the asteroid quiz:Morris concludes: "Comic Sans has the lowest rate of agreement, and one of the highest rates of disagreement."
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[Video Link] The latest installment of the “Off Book” series from PBS Digital Studios is now live. The newest video takes a look at Glitch Art -- how unintentional digital mishaps can become, in the hands of some artists, things of beauty.
Glitch art can be thought of as looking at the very soul of a machine. Modern day consumer electronics are marketed with an expectation of perfection. And yet it’s inevitable that there will be mistakes and unexpected results when so much data comes crashing together. Digital artists working today see beauty in the unexpected and work hard to recreate this unique experience through stills, installations and live events.
Good news for fans of Love and Rockets: Gilbert and Jaime are going on tour to celebrate 30 years of making one of the world's best comic book titles.
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September 14th-23, the seminal Love and Rockets creators Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez will tour from Washington D.C. to Brooklyn as part of the 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets. Signings and readings await the Northeast this fall.
First stop on the Love and Rockets train are signings at Politics and Prose Bookstore in D.C. Experience the plush bookstore and lush linework of the Hernandez Brothers starting at 7pm on Friday, September 14th.
Heading back to the small press scene, Jaime and Gilbert special guests at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Sept 15 and 16th, with several signings at the Fantagraphics table at the convention throughout the weekend.
The following Tuesday, September 18th, the Hernandez Brothers will be signing at Atomic Books in Baltimore. Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 features a letter from Atomic Books' Ringmistress, Rachel Whang, who is also available for signing.
The Philadelphia Free Library proudly hosts Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez for a presentation in the Free Library's Montgomery Auditorium starting at followed by a Q & A session. After the talk, fans and friends can get their Love and Rockets books signed in the Library Lobby from 8:30-10:30 at night.
Friday nights may never be the same especially after September 21st when the avid fans of punk, the Hernandez Brothers, bring the house down at The Rock Shop starting at 7pm.
It was great to see US Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) wearing my "Critter" Boing Boing T-shirt (Cory posted the photo here as an update to his post about Rep. Polis' epic takedown of the laughably disingenuous Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart). Now I have a photo of Rep. Polis in another Boing Boing T-shirt ("Unizilla" drawn by Adam "Ape Lad" Koford).
The photo was taken by John Maushammer when Rep. Polis came to The Boulder Hackerspace and signed up for membership. Wow -- a US Congressman who is against the War on Drugs and is also a maker -- I almost want to move back to Boulder so I could vote for him next time he's up for re-election. Read the rest
Martha Rotter, a software engineer, grew up near St. Louis. She did not have skin problems in high school or college. After college, she spent six years in Seattle. Her skin got a little worse. In 2007, she moved to Dublin to work for an Irish branch of Microsoft. Six months after the move, she noticed her skin was worse than it had been in Seattle. In Seattle she would get a little acne or blemishes for a week or so and then they would go away. In Dublin, they weren't going away.
Her skin got worse. A year after moving to Dublin, it was always bad. The spots and sores were always uncomfortable -- "a headache on my face," she says. They were painful to touch. At one point Martha got a massage. Forgetting her warning, the masseuse rubbed oil on Martha's face. She screamed. "One of the most painful things ever," she says.
Is my job making my skin bad? she wondered. She was working a lot, taking clients out, losing sleep. She started to go out less so that she could get more sleep. She stopped working on weekends. This didn't help.
She tried many skin creams and face washes. "Neutrogena and Clearasil make a lot of products," she says. "On a bad day I could easily drop $50 on two or three things." For several months, she spent $100/month on creams, astringents, and soaps trying to find something that worked. Nothing did.
She tried fitness. She went to the gym four or five times per week. Read the rest
Ain't it pretty? The first color panorama image of Gale Crater, the landing site for the Curiosity rover. Thumbnail versions of images taken by the Mast Camera were combined to form this 360-degree view. From NASA:
Scientists will be taking a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage's rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can also be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.
The images were taken late Aug. 8 PDT (Aug. 9 EDT) by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing. Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does and this image was taken in the late Martian afternoon.
The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter is a 700-page hardbound crime novel that's written in the form of three separate crime novels (which are all tied together). The 1931 novel is in the style of Georges Simenon. The 1941 novel is in the style of Raymond Chandler, and the 1951 novel is in the style of Jim Thompson. I'm looking forward to reading this!
Below, an essay by the author that explains how he conceived of the novel. Following that, three short excerpts from each novel.
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In the summer of 2007, I moved back to Baltimore after a year’s sojourn in New York City. I was in the grips of a crippling depression, spending my days immobile on the couch with a book, except for the two or three hours I managed to write at the library.
One of the books I read at that time was Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald, and I was once again enamored with Sebald’s first person narrator, a precise, ruminative stand-in for Sebald himself. I wanted to do something like it, so I began a book about an anguished, brooding man reading books on a couch. Sounds exciting, right?
In this book, the books the narrator read were going to appear in full: a mystery, a romance, a western, a history, a biography, sci-fi, everything. I described it as David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (another of my favorite books) as written by W. G. Sebald.
The first book I wrote within the frame narrative was a Georges Simenon pastiche set in 1931, Malniveau Prison, simply because I was reading a lot of Simenon during my long days on the couch.
Todd Allen of Comics Beat reviews Archer & Armstrong, a brain-rotting propaganda comic book produced by the liberal media elite (and funded by George Soros, no doubt).
When the teasers for Archer and Armstrong #1 came out, there was a little bit of noise from the political parts of the web about what an awful liberal smear job the book was because of some villains billing themselves as the 1%. I’d gotten a good laugh out of villains calling themselves the 1% and wearing golden masks of bulls and bears (an obvious stock market joke) and I figured the usual noisy political types might be over-reacting. Come to find out, Archer and Armstrong is a much more political book than I was expecting. It’s also utterly hilarious. Unless you’re a dogmatic Republican with limited-to-no sense of humor. If you’re one of those, stay FAR away from this comic. It will set you off.
This gem is written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Clayton Henry. It opens with a straight forward scene of ancient Ur (as in Mesopotamia and The Epic of Gilgamesh) where a mysterious device is set off which destroys civilization. And if you’re a fan of the old Eternal Warrior comic, there’s an Easter egg in there for you. Flash ahead to modern times and a Christian fundamentalist theme park which teaches you how dinosaurs and cavemen lived together.
John Streeter, who is a television producer with NASA at Johnson Space Center in Houston, sends this cool video and tells Boing Boing:
NASA.gov link, and here's the video on YouTube.
It is all real, all shot from the International Space Station and all beautiful. It is time-lapse photography that showcases stars, cities at night, lightning storms and the aurora all from the vantage point of the space station. Also, there is a link at the end where you can visit, download and create your own videos if you wish.
The station is a remarkable engineering achievement and this is just a small side benefit of being in orbit. I hope you enjoy.
Time-lapse video from ISS NASA ISS time lapse compilation Time-lapse video taken from International Space Station orbiting ... Space Station time-lapse video with Imaginary Foundation ... TIME LAPSE of the Northern Lights from Space Read the rest