a book about fonts

fonts collage

“just my type” by simon garfield (2010) is a fun, entertaining survey of the most popular fonts of our time

ever wondered what font candidate obama used in his winning campaign in 2008? / maybe not, but it’s gotham \ in 2010, the tea party & sarah palin used the same font <perhaps hoping for a similar outcome> but to less success / gill sans is one of my favorite fonts \  it made its first appearance in 1928 and was created by eric gill who disturbingly had a sordid private life / i have not paid attention to ikea in a long while and so i did not know that in 2009, they changed their font from futura to verdana \ a decision based upon being able to use the same font for the print catalogue & the website / but apparently people noticed the switch and some were not happy about it \ oh no! the verdana Os do not resemble the swedish meatballs!

some of the most interesting processes of font design are those that transpired in transportation <subways * airports * highways> / frutiger for the roissy airport <which is now paris charles de gaulle> \ johnston sans for the london underground / transport in european highways \ ubiquitous helvetica in the new york subways / interstate or highway gothic <in upper &  lower case for better readability> in u.s. highways / though both transport & interstate are being replaced by newer fonts such as clearview to improve legibility in driving conditions <new york city will change its capital letter road signs to mixed-cased clearview & will take until 2018 to complete>

passions certainly do rise in the font & typeface world / indeed a nation can be created based on its font citizens \ which is what the guardian did on april fool’s day in 1977

san serriffe collage

about the nation of san serriffe | http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/San_Serriffe

travel guide | http://wikitravel.org/en/San_Serriffe

more about fonts <in video>

“helvetica” gary hustwit 2007  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJfUpQMAxec

“typeface” kartemquin films 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ZKA2GcJmc


i heard about this book on npr

my 2014 yinzer car~

my yinzer car1

thanks to my two favorite people, i will now be driving not just any new car but what they have christened my Yinzer Car~ yeah! / pittsburgh winters are not the most pleasant for driving-averse people like me \ but with a Yinzer Car~ <all-wheel drive | steelers*penguins*pirates*hunting decals are standard> i know i’ll be alright through sleet & snow!

side note:  a nice friendly female salesperson sold me the car at shadyside honda / i paid more than if i had purchased from the monroeville dealer but the snideness & condescencion of the men there was offensive enough – so i took my business elsewhere \ they were quite busy and not lacking in customers so i knew that it would be unlikely that i could negotiate / they could have parried me in a nice way \ but it seemed like kneejerk reaction to them to brush off & talk down to a female customer / it was very easy to walk out


mileage:  690 one month later, 1001 on 2/10


my most listened to | 2013

favorites music4

favorite covers
nirvana | where did you sleep last night <lead belly> oh me <the meat puppets>
no doubt | it’s my life <talk talk>
michael stipe & coldplay | in the sun <joseph arthur>

favorite acoustic versions
ellie goulding | lights <live at the cherrytree house>
the church | under the milky way <mtv unplugged 1990>
mumford & sons | winter winds <bookshop sessions>

simply favorites
the smiths | there is a light that never goes out * bigmouth strikes again
radiohead | reckoner <live from the basement> * codex * lotus flower * there there * paranoid android
the cure | lovesong * closedown * wendy time *  from the edge of the deep green sea
kraftwerk & coldplay | computerliebe  & talk
& pandora radio

christmas eve 2013

xmas eve 2013 - posterize

candlelight service at the first unitarian church of pittsburgh & a visit with rowing friends at the southside’s double wide grill <same folks who brought us the pittsburgh icon beehive coffeehouse, established pre-starbucks in the early 90s>

merry christmas, happy holidays

xmas blog pic - red

the christmas season fills my favorite young people with much excitement & joyful anticipation / they savor and enjoy it the best \ it is one of the rare times that they adamantly just want to stay home /to them, decorating for christmas, the tree & stockings are a must \ i have happily relinquished the chore to them / it is also this time of year that we are once again graced with the goofiness of barney from their baby days <it has become their tradition to watch barney christmas while posing santas & snowmen all over the house> \ i watch as they make their memories of this happy season / indeed my own fondest childhood memories are of pasko in the philippines \ the same excited anticipation for presents, for goodies that only appear during this time of year <apples, grapes & chestnuts imported from our neighbors, china & taiwan> and for traditions <simbang gabi, parol, belen, pagmamano>

and so in this season of goodwill and good tidings, whatever it means to you and how ever you celebrate it <or not>  i hope that you are savoring and enjoying this universal happy chill out time \ merry christmas  happy holidays / and may you have {happy > sad} days, net positive in 2014!

businessweek’s 2013 jealousy list

busweek jealousy title

kudos to businessweek for coming up with their first annual jealousy list, a compilation of journalistic pieces in 2013 that the businessweek staff would have killed to write but more benignly have just turned them green with envy & resentment / a great way to call out <interesting * thought-provoking * amusing pieces> that the rest of us missed \ and very gallant & gracious of the businessweek staff

check it out:


my favorites:

  • npr’s “Planet Money Makes A T-shirt” via multi-media traces the creation of a planet money t-shirt from the cotton used in making yarn to the factory where workers & machines spin the yarn to make the t-shirt to the transport of the t-shirt from low-wage factories overseas to the u.s. / an engaging exposition of the economics of production \ what’s cool about this project was that it was funded via kickstarter <and currently selling the t-shirt for $30>
  • it would be shortsighted for mcdonalds not to hear out jeb boniakowski’s vision for a mcworld at new york’s times square <i and my favorite young persons LOVE times square!> in the long titled the awl article “We Must Build An Enormous McWorld In Times Square, A Xanadu Representing A McDonald’s From Every Nation”
  • atul gawande’s new yorker article “Big Med” extols the efficiency of the cheesecake factory and what the health care industry can learn from retail chains \ long an advocate of standardization of practices in hospitals, gawande brings a colorful flavor to this issue by observing the efficient process of the kitchens of the cheesecake factory

with apologies to chickens, ducks & quails

eggs collage1

i just love the incredible edible egg! / it’s an excellent source of protein \ and it can be used & prepared in so many ways that you can have it in different renditions everyday as breakfast and/or a meal <i’ve had many a two-egg sandwich after late night rowing practices> / boiled <hard or soft> | fried <scrambled, over easy, sunny side up> | poached | omelet \ you use it for baking | as binder or to make awesome breaded pork chops | to make egg nog | to make leche flan <the best uses just yolks>  / and this is just with chicken eggs

i’ve become a regular at the new asian store on smallman street near the 31st street bridge in pittsburgh’s strip district \ i discovered that they have such a wide variety of eggs <fresh quail eggs | canned quail eggs | salted duck eggs | four versions of preserved duck eggs> / most surprising of all, they had the filipino delicacy balut which is boiled duck embryo <known as gross out egg in extreme reality tv shows> \ but they were technically penoy, not balut, which means that the duck embryo was not in very advanced devlopment / but it was just as awesome!

here’s another shout out to one of my favorite waterfowls, the incredible duck \ check out the amazing & cute wood ducklings / on the 2nd day of their life, they have to jump down from their nest which is 70 feet above the ground <because it is nestled high up in an oak tree!> \ their long slow-motion fall to the leaves & undergrowth is visual poetry

PBS | Nature: An Original DUCKumentary | Aired: 11/14/2012 | 56:00



about selected eggs from wikipedia

A balut or balot is a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines. They are common food in countries in Southeast Asia, such as Laos (khai look ໄຂ່ລູກ in Lao, Cambodia (pong tia koon in Cambodian) and Vietnam (trứng vịt lộn or hột vịt lộn in Vietnamese). They are often served with beer.  The Filipino and Malay word balut (balot) means “wrapped” – depending on pronunciation.

Century egg or pidan (Chinese: 皮蛋; pinyin: pídàn), also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg, is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing.

A salted duck egg is a Chinese preserved food product made by soaking duck eggs in brine, or packing each egg in damp, salted charcoal… Salted duck eggs are normally boiled or steamed before being peeled and eaten as a condiment to congee or cooked with other foods as a flavoring. The egg white has a sharp, salty taste. The orange red yolk is rich, fatty, and less salty. The yolk is prized and is used in Chinese mooncakes to symbolize the moon.

Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many countries, including western Europe and North America… In the Philippines, kwek-kwek is a popular street food delicacy, which consists of soft-boiled quail eggs dipped in orange-colored batter before being skewered and deep-fried. In Vietnam, bags of boiled quail eggs are sold on street stalls as inexpensive beer snacks. In South Korea, large, inexpensive bags of boiled quail eggs are sold in grocery stores. In Indonesia, small packages of hardboiled quail eggs are often found to be sold by street vendors as snacks.