David B Coe on getting the little details in world building right. Although, I'll point out, that riflemen wouldn't "fix" their bayonets to their muskets until given the order for defend or charge. There's several reasons for this, most notably 1) you don't want some bastard tripping and skewering the officers while on patrol duty and 2) firing a musket with a bayonet fixed could be quite disastrous (depending on both the mounting mechanism, the type of bayonet, and the trueness of the ball being shot). Fixing bayonets was left to almost the last minute when you would need them (like when you were out of ammo or the enemy's breath was blowing through your hair). But don't worry, most muskets of this time make great clubs (used that way more often that a bayonet charge - no matter what the movies say). Soldiers were often trained how to fight like that (hint, don't grab the barrel just after you shoot unless you have thick gloves on). Although it makes them sound tougher and gives them the air of desperateness/grittiness (which is why they were often painted that way).
Mer Haskell talks about the impostor syndrome.
Terri Windling has been on fire lately with her posts. In this one she talks about many things. When she discussed beauty, she's not talking about temporal beauty but something deeper. Something Robert Pirsig describes as Quality. She also talks about libraries, so, yeah, libraries.
Meg Rosoff on how to write. MY brain seems to be tracking the number of people who started in advertising or design and are now writing.
The online Graphis design annual. All the friends who have ever helped me move will be glad to see these competitions are now online (when designers do stuff for their own, we don't skimp on the little things, like paper - design annuals have been known to kill people when they fall off the shelves which collapse under their weight).
But also, here's something I really hate about design, and I can wrap it up with this. "Float like a butterfly," and then you're supposed to fill in "sting like a bee", but that's not a bee. That's a wasp. They aren't interchangeable. Clever visual, fucking falls apart in execution. But hey, it got an award. Stupid designers. It's the visual equivalent of intentionally misspelling a word or using bad grammar for no other purpose than to be cute.
"'The court did not agree, concluding that 'the evidence before the Court, at this stage, demonstrates something more and different than honest or even brutally honest commentary.' Elsewhere, it noted that, as phrased, the columns' argument 'questions facts—it does not simply invite the reader to ask questions.' All told, the columns 'are not pure opinion but statements based on provably false facts'." The suit Michael Mann (creator of the "hockey-stick" graph) brought against National Review for attempting to say the brouhaha surrounding Penn State's scandal with Joe Paterno's athletic team was a smoke screen to take pressure off of Michael Mann can go forward. While I agree this suit isn't applicable under SLAPP, if he wins I can't help but believe that certain "news" entities used to making shit up might need to clean up their act. At least for a little while. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Ask Ayn. "Because Ronald Reagan has deposed Jimmy Carter, and I predict that by 2013 my influence will be profound, and a new generation of leaders will hallow my name, and devotion to self-interest and capitalism and the free market will not be the exception but the rule, and these leaders will naturally share my disapproval of religion, my support of abortion rights, and my love of Godiva chocolates." Hahahaha. (Grokked from Tor.com)
"The modern system of retail pioneered by Gilman (A&P stores)… was the first piece of what I’ve come to think of as the 'American cloud': the vast industrial back end of our lives that we access via a theatre of manufactured experiences. If distant tea and coffee plantations were the first modern clouds, A&P stores and mail-order catalogues were the first browsers and apps." When I worked in Las Colinas, Texas (between Dallas and Ft. Worth), the closest food to the office was a McDs along this artificial canal (I later realized it was meant to be like the river walk in San Antonio). The whole set up was meant to be a Spanish American, SW kind of small shop center (very small). We even got there using a monorail (ran between all the buildings in this office complex). The place was maybe 2 years old when I was there, but it was supposed to look like it had been there for a century. All of the graphics, the distressed concrete (for adobe), and the fake wood just screamed that they place was bogus. But my office mates loved it. They bought into every single trick the architects did. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
The history of the National Geographic Society's cartographic typefaces. With a little on what your graphic designer is thinking about as they set your communications in type (or what they should be thinking about). (Pointed to by Dan)
So long, and thanks for all the fish. Turns out dolphins have both group and individual names. Well, that'll set some people back on their heels. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
The access pin code-breaking robot. Which might not take as long as 20 hours to break your 4 digit pin-code when you apply a little statistical analysis to the job. (Pointed to by Dan)
"While many people never speak to their fellow commuters, one woman in Japan owes a great deal to hers after being freed from beneath a 30,000 kg train when fellow passengers pushed it off her." And that's a difference in cultures. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Tweet of my heart: @AvoidComments I once showed a comments section to a man in Reno, just to watch him cry.
(Not directed at my commentators who are all well informed, insightful, and smell of spring flowers)