Author: JN/Archives


Took this picture of two otters at Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park. The one on the right is chowing down on a good-sized cutthroat trout:
{click pic for full-size 80K image)


Had to check out after reading about it. It’s kind of like YouTube Pro. Given that they’re doing limited commercials and putting things on there that people actually want to watch without being hunched over the screen, the TV industry might avoid the RIAA’s fate. The video quality is pretty good. At full-screen, I could sit back six feet and it looked fine. Want to watch Saturday Night Live clips or full-length The Simpsons or whole movies like “The Big Lebowski” or “The Usual Suspects.” Hulu is “joint venture owned by NBC Universal and News Corp [Fox]:”

Hulu offers U.S. consumers a vast selection of premium video content, on demand, free and ad-supported: full episodes of TV shows, both current and classic, full-length movies, thousands of clips, and much more.

There’s also short films, like from the Sundance series The Art of Seduction, “Not Pretty, Really:”

Bill Heinz

AP Photo: Bill Heinz at typewriterWilfrid Charles Heinz, sportswriter and M*A*S*H co-author, passed away at 93. Sez WSJ: “Bill Heinz Was a Writer to Relish.” A memorable W. C. Heinz excerpt:

There were 39,827 people there and they had paid $342,497 to be there and when Graziano’s head came up out of the dugout they rose and made their sound. The place was filled with it and it came from far off and then he was moving quickly down beneath this ceiling of sound, between the two long walls of faces, turned toward him and yellow in the artificial light and shouting things, mouths open, eyes wide, into the ring where, in one of the most brutal fights ever seen in New York, Zale dropped him once and he dropped Zale once before, in the sixth round, Zale suddenly, with a right to the body and left to the head, knocked him out.
–The Day of the Fight, 1947

Baitoushan stratovolcano

Was just looking at North and South Korea because I picked up David
Halbersham’s The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War today and saw this:

Massive Baitoushan stratovolcano, also known as Changbaishan and by the Korean names of Baegdu or P’aektu-san, is a relatively unknown, but volcanologically significant volcano straddling the China/Korea border.

A 5-km-wide, 850-m-deep summit caldera is filled by scenic Lake Tianchi (Sky Lake). A large Korean-speaking population resides near the volcano on both sides of the border. The 60-km-diameter dominantly trachytic and rhyolitic volcano was constructed over the Changbaishan (Laoheidingzi) shield volcano. Satellitic cinder cones are aligned along a NNE trend. One of the world’s largest known Holocene explosive eruptions took place from Baitoushan about 1000 AD, depositing rhyolitic and trachytic tephra as far away as northern Japan and forming in part the present caldera. Four historical eruptions have been recorded since the 15th century.

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Kara Walker Silhouette Exhibition

Usually when you think of silhouettes, the images conjured up consist of rabbit heads on the wall or the quaint illustrations in old historical novels. That’s not the case with this exhibition at the Whitney:

“…a danse infernal of sex, slavery and chitlin-circuit comedy.”

Toyota video game for the X-Box 360

 From the WaPo:

“Behold the Toyota Yaris. It’s moderately priced, gets good mileage, and has a gun turret capable of destroying toasters and bike-riding sumo wrestlers as it cruises down a track.

Not every Yaris shopper gets the turret option; that’s a feature reserved for Xbox 360 owners who download a free promotional video game Toyota is releasing today to build awareness of the Yaris among 20-somethings.

We wouldn’t do a Toyota Sienna game, for example,” [a spokesperson] said of a minivan model. “That wouldn’t be appropriate for this audience.”

 Hey, man! I drive an AWD Sienna. With its robo-doors and super expensive run-flat tires it is the perfect stealth combat vehicle…think the GMC motorhome in Stripes.

The Price of Liberty

Robert Hormats, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, has a new book out – The Price of Liberty – on the history of America’s war financing. From the time of Alexander Hamilton, this country has always financed its wars when they occurred – until the current war in Iraq. “One central, constant theme emerges: sound national finances have proved to be indispensable to the country’s military strength” (and long-term national security). Obviously, our finances have never been more unsound. So where are we headed this time?

Marketwatch review

Where Have All the Bad Domain Names Gone?

Stumbled on this while trying to do something more useful: – lists of domain names that have expired. The page I came across had ones that obviously were just meant to be short-lived like but then there are just some that make you wonder, like and or the perhaps reformed (or cured)…and how could anyone give up or And so much for the so-called “long tail” effect, where any niche market could be fulfilled. Obviously, there just weren’t enough fetish seekers interested in Or maybe there was just too much info in, as in you really shouldn’t wear something that revealing at your age.

If you have any particularly macho Spaniard friends, here’s their opportunity to grab Was just too obvious? She was my girlfriend until she found out about I may have been but I’m sure not admitting it. And why the hell would I want to do was so two centuries ago. But we should still raise a toast to

Thinking outside the circle

If I ever hear someone say the trite expression, “Think outside the box” I immediately think: Only a person who can’t think outside the box in the first place would utter such a thing. But this now, kind reader, is something entirely different and even amusing so check out this page.

Where Does a Militant Shop for a Good Ski Mask?

Slate’s Explainer has the skinny on the fashion ins and outs of buying a good one that reps your clan, creed or splinter group. See the video.

The only time I was able to ever wear one was while actually skiing…while it was below zero. I even had (briefly) a neoprene model that worked rather well at 30 below but felt slimy inside after a few runs. (The skis wouldn’t work well anyway since it was too cold to create the micro-thin layer of melt water that you actually glide on). So, in a way, I’ve gotta hand it to these wild ‘n’ crazy guys with their AK-47s and a desire for anonymity/clan identity/scary-looking-motherf’erness. That is badass when the average high for July and August is 91 F. (But the humidity is low, my friend).

Design for the Other 90%

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has an exhibition and website showcasing design done for people who don’t have money, power outlets or even running water. As a designer, I have often worked on projects aimed at the 10% that do have all those things and more (although, ironically, some of those projects were items such as travel brochures for expeditions to places like Mongolia where you can get away from all those trappings of wealth whenever you get sick of them). While one often pays at least some attention on usability and impairment issues, the reality is that most of the focus is on creating something cool, unique and that gets away – as much as possible – with using the latest and greatest.

I have found, however, that accomodating design (i.e. the equivalent of curb-cuts in sidewalks) makes it easier for all audiences to use a product or a site. Many of the items you’ll see on this site look like they’d be useful even in a first-world environment. It makes you think about how many design resources are wasted because they’re aimed at a narrow, mostly wealthy audience. “But hey, the beautiful finish on that Apple flat-panel display really makes it run better.”

Graffiti Collector

While searching for other things, I happened to come across a great collection of graffiti images from Greece. They’re organized in a nice viewer application too.

graffiti are everywhere if you have eyes to see them…

even behind other newer graffiti like pages one over another…

here I collect them in photos.. apart of groups

By the Force of Arms

While Britain can’t wait to rid itself of Blair, France has elected a Dubya-lover…but still no fool when it comes to futile foreign entanglements:

“Mr. Sarkozy has long defended France’s decision to stay out of the war, citing the bitter lessons of his country’s tortured history in Algeria and Vietnam.

‘We were kicked out of Algeria less than 50 years ago, so don’t tell us that we don’t remember and that we don’t understand,’ Mr. Sarkozy told an audience at Columbia University in 2004 in explaining France’s decision to stay out of the Iraq war. ‘We lived what you are living through in America before you. We were in Vietnam before you, and our young people died in Vietnam.’

He added: ‘In France, history is something that counts. Please don’t be angry with us because we remember what happened to us. Is there even a single country of the world, at any time of history, that was able to maintain itself in a sustained way in a country that was not its own, uniquely by the force of arms? Never, not a single one, even the Chinese.’

That analysis of the Iraq war sounds remarkably similar to the one articulated repeatedly by Mr. Chirac both publicly and during private meetings with Mr. Bush.

‘In Algeria, we began with a sizable army and huge resources, and the fighters for independence were only a handful of people, but they won,’ Mr. Chirac said in an interview in September 2003. ‘That’s how it is.'” – NYT

Slave in a Box

Slave in a Box cover

To file under “Things I Never Knew:”

The first illustrator for Aunt Jemima advertisements was none other than N.C. Wyeth.

“Aunt Jemima’s ready-mixed products offered middle-class housewives the next best thing to a black servant: a ‘slave in a box’ that conjured up romantic images of not only the food but also the social hierarchy of the plantation South.”

More on the book

50th Anniversary of Neue Haas Grotesk – AKA Helvetica

…AKA Arial and other clones. MOMA is holding a commemorative exhibition to celebrate what has become the most widely used typeface in the world.

As a graphic designer and occasional typographer, I have preferred to avoid Helvetica. Not because it is a bad typeface. To the contrary, it is one of the cleanest, most readable ever designed. But its ubiqity and, to a degree, sterilility, compel the use of other typefaces.


Some more info related to the comments posted:

It’s interesting that they mentioned in both the WaPo article and Helvetica film synopsis how much it has been used for signage. I immediately thought of Frutiger, which was commissioned expressly for signage – first for France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport – but now it’s what’s used in Switzerland. Frutiger is also a Swiss designer. I think it’s a more aesthetically pleasing typeface, particularly in heavier weights.

Like Helvetica clones, such as Arial, Frutiger has been closely copied by Adobe’s Myriad and Microsoft’s Segoe:

NPR: Climate Change Worries Military Advisers

water scarcity thumbnail
larger view

Even the military is starting to see the light or feel the warmth, as the case may be. I thought the most interesting point (made in the audio portion) of the story was retired Gen. Anthony Zinni’s comment that the real resource war isn’t going to be about hydrocarbons. It will be about hydrology or, in other words, water scarcity. He noted that many of the same places in the world that are rich in oil are poor in water.

NPR story | source for map