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November 9, 2003

Open thread 10
Posted by Teresa at 08:59 AM *

Because we do, that’s why.

Comments on Open thread 10:
#1 ::: Rachael HD ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 09:56 AM:

A terrifying misuse of taxidermy indeed. Between that and foolishly following the "link-fu" links at Boing Boing my head has not been right since yesterday. Really, life was better when I had a dial up at home and only surfed around at work, kept me from going to sites that would give me nightmares.

#2 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 10:39 AM:

Those boys playing with swords look like they know what they're doing. Isn't one of them parrying in prime?

#3 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 01:02 PM:

Jim: I had the same thought myself. Where would get fencing lessons in Harlem in the 30s?

Rachael: Boy howdy I'll say. I simply stared in horrified fascination. Where *do* people get these ideas?

MKK

#4 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 02:01 PM:

I can finally say that I've seen something to top the Chocolate Moose. (That was a carved wooden moose with a hidden cavity in its hindquarters. When you pressed on the moose's tail, a nugget of chocolate would drop out of its butt.)

And lest we forget the classics: The Toilet-Shaped Ice Bucket.

#5 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 02:12 PM:

Rachel: well, I have long since ceased to be amazed at the power of the Internet to horrify and scar me for life. I think it was the "Gold Experience Scatology Figure Collection" that really broke me. (I won't provide a link, not wanting to expose others to it. All in all, less disgusting than some other things I've seen, but still not recommended.)

In an entirely different vein: "Ceto's New Friends", a children's book about alien abductions and the people who feel it's a horrible lie, designed to make children amenable to alien abductions.

#6 ::: rbs ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 04:29 PM:

Thanks for linkting to the Mars sunclock.

Just a heads-up that they're will be an update posted within the next few days. There's a slight bug that affects the size of the big display window when it runs on Windows (maybe Linux, too, but not OS X). Also, a couple minor new features are being added

#7 ::: fliptopjay ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 04:33 PM:

1930? Harlem? You mean at the high point of the Harlem Renaissance? Of course someone could teach you proper fencing or proper stage fencing.
That's a performance and I count at least four players in that picture. That three of them are working on a narrow raised plank adds to the draw. This is one of those times I want my time machine (holds breath til she turns blue) because I'd bet money they were doing scenes from Shakespeare.

#8 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 04:55 PM:

I discovered today that on Friday night a bunch of people in Utah were enjoying a soup I'd invented in Edinburgh. This charmed me enormously. Anyone else have stories of far-travelling recipes?

#9 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 05:16 PM:

"Where would get fencing lessons in Harlem in the 30s?" Probably some school or other. Or perhaps someone at Columbia, which is not far away.

#10 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 05:18 PM:

Does anyone else have the sense that we are coming to a breaking point in US national politics? It's my sense that things are reaching a breaking point. The radicals in charge now have not won the victories they have hoped for in Iraq or at home. The best economic news is that we've had one good quarter--if you have investment income--and the job market isn't getting worse. The President's approval ratings are dropping. So if they're going to consolidate their position, they have to do something.

#11 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 05:24 PM:

Oregonians: Fred Meyer is carrying frozen turducken.

Or, as they call it, "Tur-Duck-Hen."

#12 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 06:09 PM:

I keep imagining Aukstrichturduckensquakeetummingbird ("The meal with strata"), but, well, Thanksgiving's coming and I'm afraid someone would ask me to brine one.

#13 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 08:31 PM:

RE: wierd taxidermy

I regularly go to a site called Disturbing Auctions Daily. It's at http://www.disturbingauctions.com/daily/ and is a collection of oddities that people have found while searching eBay or ragging on eBay users inability to spell their way out of a paper bag. The funny thing is that apparently eBay uses US at DA to find inappropriate/eBay-illegal auctions -- it gets mentioned in DA and gets yanked within 12 hours...

#14 ::: Rachael HD ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 09:00 PM:

John - I'm afraid to pass along your idea to my brother for fear one will make an appearance. I still remember the looks on everyone's faces the year my brother brined a turkey with brine that was a wee bit too strong. Sort of made me glad I am a vegetarian.

#15 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 03:13 AM:

You know, Neil explained everything, but CNN explained a bit more, at least with this line:

Fawcett, 40, was the "indispensable" royal aide said to have regularly squeezed the Prince of Wales's toothpaste.

Not only that, but he's much prettier than Camilla.

#16 ::: Vassilissa ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 04:00 AM:

I think it's time I delurked. I've been reading here for a while.

Hi, all.

#17 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 04:34 AM:

Fawcett, 40, was the "indispensable" royal aide said to have regularly squeezed the Prince of Wales's toothpaste.

Snorgle! Thanks for pointing that line out, Kevin. Brilliant.

#18 ::: Elric ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 08:48 AM:

Jim,
they learned fencing style the old-fashioned way. They watched Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro, and Errol Flynn in Robin Hood and Captain Blood. There were other early swashbucklers that had decent fencing in them. And some kids learn more than how to wave a stick around from them.

#19 ::: Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 09:57 AM:

The turducken? Just goes to show you never know where you're going to find highly entertaining writing. I went through the rest of the site, but the turducken was a true gem.

#20 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 10:09 AM:

Errol Flynn kinda waved his sword around. Basil Rathbone, now, that man could fence. (As, incidentally, could Cornell Wilde, who was an Olympic saber fencer.)

#21 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 11:03 AM:

More on the Prince of Wales Scandal -- Headline from CNN News:

Prince Charles seeks advice in brewing scandal

Okay, guys, another clue! It has something to do with tea.

#22 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 11:21 AM:

James, I must respectfully disagree...obviously it has to do with Guinness Stout. No doubt intriguing in the palace to get some kind of Royal preference or other...oh, never mind, that's not working. You're right.

I wonder if, after a scandal has completely come to light, the UK press call it a "pouring" scandal? Do they say "the scandal which has been brewing for so long has now been poured, sweetened with two lumps of sugar, lightened with a spot of milk, and drunk by all concerned" when they mean it's what we would call "yesterday's news?"

OK, OK, I just need more sleep, that's all.

#23 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 11:44 AM:

I've figured it all out, from clues left in the press!

Prince Charles told the fellow who squeezes his toothpaste "I like my tea like I like my men: Strong, hot, and sweet."

Since sweet tea is an abomination (unless also served with milk), I can see how folks would want to cover that up.

#24 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 11:51 AM:

[violently suppresses comments about men, milk, and after-all-he's-the-Prince-of-frelling-WALES Charles]

#25 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 11:55 AM:

Just as the hot water comes to a boil, and before you put the scandal into the pot, pour some of the newly boiling water into the pot and slosh it around, so that the inside of the pot is well warmed, and then pour it off. Add the scandal to the pot, and pour boiling water over it. THEN COVER THE BREWING SCANDAL. (This last step is often omitted, especially by Americans, who are accustomed to their scandals coming in prepackaged folds of tissue paper used to brew individual servings in a cup.)

The scandal should brew for three to five minutes 96 depending on how strong a scandal is desired 96 and then served immediately. Do not allow the leaves to soak indefinitely, as this will cause the scandal to become stewed, with an excessively bitter taste.

An improperly prepared scandal can be far worse than no scandal at all, but a well-brewed scandal is one of life's great pleasures.

#26 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 11:58 AM:

I omitted to add that we Westerners have a lot to learn from the Japanese, whose elaborate ritual known as the Scandal Ceremony is a high art form, with subtlety and grace, that teaches an ongoing lesson on the nature of life and awareness.

#27 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 12:05 PM:

Unfortunately, Alan, the Japanese Scandal Ceremony is often also followed by another ritual called Seppuku...I do not envy them in this respect. (Or many others, except for Taiko drumming.)

#28 ::: ben ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 12:31 PM:

More on comment spam (illuminating):

invoice?

#29 ::: Rachael HD ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 01:11 PM:

Teresa, I know you read Boing Boing but perhaps you didn't follow this link, it seemed like something you might be interested in. It is a page of typesetting and editing ideas to increase emotional content in writing.

http://snookie.apostasy.org/~agrant/typesetting.html

#30 ::: Rachael HD ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 05:01 PM:

Alright, so I just saw the heading and thought it interesting, when I read it through I realized how silly. Sorry.

#31 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 06:06 PM:

Rachael, that is interesting, but mostly not in a good way.

Snooky's reinventing the wheel. It's laudable to think about how the physical placement of text affects meaning and readability, but there's already a large body of thought, opinion, practice, and scientific research that's been brought to bear on that question. That centuries-long conversation is neither so overpopulated, nor so settled in its conclusions, that Snooky couldn't find a place in it; but he-or-she should catch up on the backthread. Words into Type and Eric Gill might be a good place to start.

Idea: The different parts of a sentence, e.g. noun phrase, subject, verb phrase, preposition, might be made typographically distinct in a subtle way, so a reader could subconsciously tell what each word's role was visually before having to understand it.
This makes me wonder whether Snooky's bilingual, and is irritated by the English language's habit of grammatically running on credit for half a sentence before giving you enough cues to tell what's going on: Need brooks no delay, yet late is better than never. The trouble with this idea is that (1.) the process can't be automated; (2.) it wouldn't necessarily help (see here); and (3.) what does heesh think prepositions are for?
It's now possible to determine the structure of a sentence as an author types it (using the technology behind the grammar checkers found in popular word processing programs).
Nope. Not hardly. To test this proposition, take a chunk of Edward Gibbon's writing and run MSWord's grammar checker on it. Word will infallibly suggest that any instance of "which" not preceded by a comma should either be turned into "that", or should have that preceding comma supplied. Gibbon's statement about the early Church fathers -- "The enumeration of the very whimsical laws which they most circumstantially imposed on the marriage-bed would force a smile from the young and a blush from the fair." -- takes some damage when you do that. Newlyweds are forced to spend their time in bed enumerating whimsical laws; and the awkward absence of the comma following "marriage-bed" which was necessitated by the comma following "laws" is obnoxious to the ear.

Word is also of the opinion that in this sentence about the early clergy -- "Constantine gave them security, wealth, honours, and revenge; and the support of the orthodox faith was considered as the most sacred and important duty of the civil magistrate." -- the verb should properly be were rather than was. I can only think it doesn't register semicolons.

(Yes, I'm digressing a bit, but you've all heard my standard illustrations on this subject. If you're going to keep reading me, the least I can do is occasionally come up with some new ones.)

When typesetting, keep phrases and related words together.
I take it he's not setting justified text. Or possibly he means you shouldn't divide them at pagebreaks: nice if you can manage it, but frequently not feasible.
If a word must be split, it's better to do so at a syllable boundary.
I'd have sworn it was an error to do it any other way.
It's more important that some words be kept with other words than that some individual words be kept whole.
One keenly feels the absence of illustrative examples.
By using subtle character cues, one could also indicate the role of each word in its sentence.
Those are usually referred to as "the other words in the sentence."

Here's where the real terror begins:

Mood-Supporting Typeface Manipulation

Looking at the typesetting for various books over the years it's become apparent that typeface can be used to support the mood of a message. An author should be able to select a section of text in a word processor and choose from menu items like Tense, Suspenseful, Angry, or Serene and have that supported by things like amount of kerning, serifs, even-ness of character spacing, line spacing, italicization, line weight, and character shape.

We can all speak in Hallmark cards!
The author should only have to worry about mood, not how the mood is achieved.
Is it possible to be more wrong?
I suspect that the effect of typeface on mood is a transient effect.
That depends on the typeface. Irritation is a persistent effect.
Once the reader gets into a long passage of text he or she filters out the effect of typeface. It's only when things change that the reader's mood is strongly affected. Thus the typesetting system would have to make an ongoing series of changes to keep renewing the desired transient effect.
And now, we not only need an automated objective system for determining grammatical structures in English; we either need something similar for determining where larger structures of meaning begin and end, or we're going to leave that determination to our typesetters.
Research problems: What is the emotional effect of typeface on message? How long does it last? Do different effects last different amounts of time before they need renewing? Which moods are easy to achieve and which are more difficult? How does all this vary depending on the base typeface - i.e. do variations on Times Roman give better suspense than Helvetica? Does it matter if the reader is aware of the changes? Must the changes be noticeable to be effective?
A reassuring set of questions. By time he answers them, he'll be considerably older, and presumably wiser.
Idea: Once the author has selected an area of the text and marked it as melancholy, say, the specific character manipulations employed will vary depending on the location of each character within its surrounding sentence, paragraph, or discourse. It should be possible to use an ATN to determine what parts of each sentence are nouns, noun phrases, subject and object, subordinate clauses, etc. Different parts of each sentence or paragraph should be morphed in different ways to support the mood of the whole communication.
That'd be something. I'd pay a few bucks at a carnival to see a thing like that.

Less optimistically, I suspect its closest resemblance would be to certain black-and-purple typographical novelties I've seen on the webpages of teenage goths.

Expansion of idea: Some effects might be indicated by the author in multiple parts, such as marking part of the text as anticipatory, part as climax, and part as denoument. More generally, any emotional effect might be indicated as rising or falling over a swatch of text, e.g. rising serenity.
Lord, lord. If the author can't do that with words, the designer won't do it with typography.

#32 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 06:37 PM:

Rachael, how can you apologize for mentioning it when I've had so much fun with it?

#33 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 08:43 PM:

Am I the only person here who can't read "A Fairy, a low-fat bagel and a sack of hammers" without adding the words ...walk into a bar, and the fairy says...?

Cheers,
Tom

#34 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 09:51 PM:

A Fairy, a low-fat bagel, and a sack of hammers walk into a bar, and the bartender says, "Hey, aren't you the string I just threw out of here?" and the Fairy says "Maybe I should have said 'Babe Ruth.'"

T -- wasn't there some brilliant scheme a while back to add meaning to telephone conversations by adding scent to the air based on the tone of the conversation? Or something like that?

#35 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 10:21 PM:

Of course we already employ some conventional methods of varying typeface to express things: italics and bold type. Or even underlining, small caps, and all caps, and combinations of all the above--and thus we can all write like The Plain Truth.
But really, why stop at certain words. Individual letters or even serifs, ascenders, descenders, or the holes in O's or A's...the possibilities are endless. We can all look like a combination of Garner Ted Armstrong, Ogden Nash, and e.e. cummings...with lots of Piers Anthony exclamation marks at the ends of our sentences!

#36 ::: Rachael HD ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 10:51 PM:

In prose, or really any type of lengthy writing mood should of course come from word choice, setting, all of those writerly things, but I do wonder in shorter writing how to accurately convey tone. We have all dashed off a quick e-mail we thought funny only to have someone think it rude. Emoticons don't fit in in a work setting after all. Still, can't really see setting the computer to - what? - use color to convey an up-tone? Tilt the font in funny directions to imply pacing?

On a somewhat unrelated note, I was helping a friend write a grant and the granting organization had the format online, you had to download it and use it, and it didn't allow any changes at all, drove me nearly mad. Made me wonder why fiction markets don't do the same. Or is it a nice way to reduce the slush pile? If someone can't be bothered to figure out the submission guidelines they probably aren't writing anything worth bothering with anyway?

#37 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 11:00 PM:

I'm very fond of Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School, with the hand-written Arabic grammar that advances the narrative, the Map of her Dreams, and all that.

Way back in the eighties, I was walking the third floor of Kimpel Hall with Bill Harrison, trying to explain what I found so appealing about the book, and he said, "Oh, it's got 'funny stuff'."

I could hear the quotes in his voice.

I love Bill, but I never did take one of his workshops.

#38 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 11:38 PM:

James: Errol Flynn kinda waved his sword around.

The 2nd Arisia (1991) had a weapons ]demonstrator[; I don't know enough to judge how knowledgeable he was, but he gave a snarky demonstration of what he called "Flynning": threaten high vs parry high, threaten low vs parry low, ad dorminem(*). Lots of waving and clanging to no effect.

Alan: <chortle>.

(*) No, that isn't good Latin.

#39 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 01:47 AM:

I laughed so hard at Mike's poultry suggestion I hurt myself, and presumably frightened the neighbors (though if they aren't used to me by now, it's probably hopeless.) When you make a meal with strata, and brine it, you end up with steinsaltz, so of course there must be extensive commentary. Isn't this familiar to everyone from rasff?

#40 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 01:51 AM:

ad soporem, however, is.

#41 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 04:01 AM:

The typeface distinctions forget that the reader's perceptions are as important as the author's intention, and you should give the reader an option of different display faces as suits their need, as you can do with the default display face as your web browser.

What I'd really like to do is have that option set up with the close captioning on my TV set, so I could watch the Presidential address and see little mushroom clouds every time Bush say's "nukular," with maybe an attractive faux-arabic script for Bagdad, and a nice dripping display type like "Blood of Dracula" whenever Bush mentions or alludes to dead people.

#42 ::: ChrisL ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 11:26 AM:

Why bother with typeface? just use some flavor of XML to denote your <anticipatory> , <melancholy> or <climactic> sections. That way, it can be formatted in cultural and disability-sensitive ways. Just drop in your style sheet and enjoy the magic of literature.

#43 ::: Jame Scholl ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 03:05 PM:

I'm trying not to give up on the hope that new politicians will save us from the current politicians.

In the meantime to keep things amusing, there's always Texas' absurdist version of Shwarzenegger.

#44 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 06:25 PM:

I have my doubts about the Nanofrog picture.

That could be a Megafinger, and if so, kudos to the cattle-farmer's kid who took a slice at the dorsal branch of the Giant's ulnar nerve.

#45 ::: Isabeau ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 07:50 PM:

It92s more important that some words be kept with other words than that some individual words be kept whole.

Here92s my example: As I read “The duToitification of the Western Conservative” with steadily mounting glee, I was distracted every time a line break fell between “du” and “Toit”. I would have put a nonbreaking space between the two words.

And the reaction Bush expected from the EU on steel tariffs was “they will give in, because we are America and everything we do is God92s will.” This is the man who expected the Iraqis to realize they were Wrong and knuckle under without a struggle.

#46 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 11:25 PM:

The Mars sunclock is pretty cool.

Question: Does anyone know of an Earth sunclock that is native to OS X? I'm getting a little tired of starting up Classic at every session just to run the old sunclock program.

#47 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 12:24 PM:

Video Review: Harry Potter... Witchcraft Repackaged: Making Evil Look Innocent.

Fifteen minutes of the video is just grainy footage of a moronic debate they taped off MSNBC. In it, a bookstore buyer and a Southern man argue over whether children should be allowed to read Harry Potter books. It?s brought to a climax when the mediator reads a passage from one of the books about an evil wizard drinking unicorn blood, then stops to incredulously shout, "Unicorn blood! Unicorn blood!? Can you explain that!?"
#48 ::: JasonK ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 12:56 PM:

Actually, regarding typesetting, it would almost seem that Snooky wants to take a comic book approach to type. Witness, for example, the Sandman, where the oft-praised lettering job really did do a lot to help along the mood. That said, comics are fairly "multi-media" and no matter how good the lettering job, the mood it helps to convey is meaningless if the quality of the text and art aren't similarly high.

Now, it's possible that Snooky only intends his/her comments to apply to the web, another fairly multimedia... uhm... medium, and not to printed material (I doubt it, but I confess I only scanned the other text and may have missed something in either direction). If this is the case, Snooky's point might become a little... well, not stronger. Less laughable/absurd, say? On the other hand, given the quality and pre-eminence of the text on this page and others similar, we may be forced to just say that Snooky's not a "content person."

#49 ::: Jason ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 12:56 PM:

Actually, regarding typesetting, it would almost seem that Snooky wants to take a comic book approach to type. Witness, for example, the Sandman, where the oft-praised lettering job really did do a lot to help along the mood. That said, comics are fairly "multi-media" and no matter how good the lettering job, the mood it helps to convey is meaningless if the quality of the text and art aren't similarly high.

Now, it's possible that Snooky only intends his/her comments to apply to the web, another fairly multimedia... uhm... medium, and not to printed material (I doubt it, but I confess I only scanned the other text and may have missed something in either direction). If this is the case, Snooky's point might become a little... well, not stronger. Less laughable/absurd, say? On the other hand, given the quality and pre-eminence of the text on this page and others similar, we may be forced to just say that Snooky's not a "content person."

#50 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 03:59 PM:

BTW, Britney's Guide does, in fact, contain a good basic summary of semiconductor physics. You could even study for an advanced undergraduate course exam using it. Whether it would be more or less annoying than using the textbook, I leave to the reader.

---L.

#51 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 04:32 PM:

Sandman typography wasn't varying lettering by the current mood of the character speaking but in relation to the voice of the individual character, analogous to the effect of choosing a voice actor with a distinctive accent and/or voice to read a certain character for a radioplay.

Typographical tricks are useful as embellishment, but aren't going to save poor writing.

#52 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2003, 06:06 PM:

I think I ran across a riff on the mood-influencing typography idea in a book called "Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone." It was a very interesting read. It's probably still on my bookshelves somewhere.

As for Errol Flynn -- most of the fencers I know can go on at length about his fencing flaws, the worst of which is generally held to be "not listening to Bob Anderson." The beach duel scene in "Captain Blood"? That's not fake blood on Basil Rathbone's cheek. It's a real injury, inflicted by Errol Flynn not following the choreography. Even with the injury, Rathbone finished the take.

#53 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 11:59 AM:

You know of course that Auburn, WA, home of the banana museum is practically of suburb of Seattle. Wanna go next time you're in town?

MKK

#54 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 12:19 PM:

Rikibeth, I didn't know that about Captain Blood. Thank you for telling me.

#55 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 12:55 PM:

Regarding Satanic symbolism, it has long amused me that "holy" words (the Lord's Prayer, e.g.) backwards are Satanic prayers, but Satanic prayers backwards (the whole hoo-hah about "backwards mastering" of rock music) are still Satanic.

Does that mean that saying the Lord's Prayer backwards into a tape-recorder, then reversing the tape, will yield something that sounds like the Lord's Prayer in a funny voice, but is actually Satanic?

Just goes to show that the real world is bizarro world.

#56 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 05:47 PM:

Even by the standards of Branch Library Occult Research, that's a pretty lame example of the form. I cannot divine (if that's the word I want) where this person got the idea that the gesture of the Devil's Horns (the extended index and pinky fingers) is "exclusively American," unless he means that one of Columbus's lads did the "scutta mal'occhio" routine on arrival.

I'm curious, in that particular "I will go look this up when I do not have actual work to do, like beating my best score at Civilization III" sense, of whether there -is- any Exclusively White American Supernatural Lore. There is, of course, Native American lore, and Vodoun (while it has African and European antecedents) developed west of Atlantis, and there are the various non-magical complots about guys in blue helmets invading your town from submarines on the pretext of checking that your water is adequately fluoridated -- but the magic/Satanic angle seems to derive from European witchcraze strains, albeit debased, flag-draped, and glazed o'er with a sickly cast of carny sky-grifting.

Oh, is that the time? Sorry, must dash -- meeting Giles for a pint of Young's Double Chocolate Stout.

#57 ::: clark e myers ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 07:40 PM:

I'd be inclined to look at the works of Manley Wade Wellman and David Drake following Wellman - Old Nathan - as well as Alvin Maker and the sources for something awful close to exclusively white American supernatural lore - granted that exclusive anything can be argued. In particular the counterfeit/coining strain seems a native addition to the alchemy tradition. White salemanders may well ovelap.

#58 ::: Adina ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2003, 01:55 PM:

Teresa,

I was visiting links, and discovered that Bill Altreuter's blog has moved: he's now at http://outsidethelaw.blogspot.com/

#59 ::: Adina ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2003, 01:55 PM:

Teresa,

I was visiting links, and discovered that Bill Altreuter's blog has moved: he's now at http://outsidethelaw.blogspot.com/

#60 ::: Adina ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2003, 01:56 PM:

Oops. Sorry about the double post; Opera wasn't responding, and I thought I hadn't really clicked on the post button.

#61 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2003, 10:29 PM:

Has it occurred to anyone else that Snooky is talking about Vogon poetry? The image intensifiers and verbal enhancers, which had about the same effect on Ford and Arthur that overdone web design (or even imagining S's text "enhancements") does on some of us....

#62 ::: Rachael HD ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2003, 11:25 PM:

Ack, Chip, you're right. One of my favorite students has a web site with a bright yellow background and lots of pulsating flash, gives me a headache every time. Luckily he posts lovely art so I can still be proud of him.

#63 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2003, 05:04 AM:

Eros Ex Mathematica

The images in this room are created entirely from mathematical algorithms. If you find them offensive in any way, all I can say is that beauty (or obscenity) is in this case most certainly in the eye of the beholder.

Probably Not Safe For Work.

#64 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2003, 11:15 AM:

I confess to being quite fond of Tissot. I have a print of Hide and Seek in my office, hung where I can glance at it. I did not, alas, see the original while in DC—we got caught up in Boucher, Watteau, et alia, the day at the National Gallery.

---L.

#65 ::: Kriss ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 04:49 PM:

>>Typographical tricks are useful as embellishment, but
aren't going to save poor writing.

I have not been to the site of Snooky, because it seems to be
down at the moment. The concept of evolving type to
express emotion via a kind of gestalt is very interesting, to me
anyway. It opened a wee can of worms here:

http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/20465.html?1071678362

(These people like to debate such matters.) Trick typography,
much like slick design, will never make poor content shine.
What if the content, the writing, wasn't poor? Good
typography always enhances good content. Just because it
hasn't yet been achieved is no reason to doubt that it will.

kris.

Choose:
Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

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