This is well outside my norm, but I’m up for a little controversy today. Here you go (it’s a two-parter):
The floor is open to serious, whimsical and even sarcastic responses.
While I do not need more ‘proof’ that coffee is good and not, as one friend calls it, ‘the devil’s urine’; this article in Yahoo’s food page offered pleasant support to an already pleasing endeavour. Although, I must say that I have a slight issue with number 4: ‘[Coffee] can harbor bacteria.’ (Keep in mind, this article is about facts and not benefits; the two can be quite different).
My issue here is that, in light of what the ‘fact’ states, bacterial growth is not necessarily the fault of coffee; the fault in this case lies with those who fail to clean out their coffee makers. (Heaven forbid that I suggest humans need to own up to the problems they cause and not assign blame elsewhere). Moreover, the propensity for bacterial growth is not something exclusively inherent to coffee; nearly any (if not all) food stuff has the potential of becoming the host for a bacterial Glastonbury. Thus, there is no real (or even good) reason to single out coffee in this way. Shame.
Now, time for more coffee.
Umm . . . sorry. Don’t really know what to tell you. Maybe, get a different/better phone? Exercise a little patience and check out the page when you are on a computer/laptop?
. . . Why wou- . . . what were you thi- . . . can I slap y- . . . do you want your kids laughed at, or beat up?
[wanders off into the next room to slam his head against the wall]
YahooTravel supplies us with a captivating look at ‘10 lost cities of the world‘. Forbes.com runs the same story but adds five cities to the list. These sorts of categorisations make me laugh primarily because such places are not lost; they’re found, and have been so for quite some time. If these cities were truly lost, we would not be reading about it on Yahoo or Forbes . . . or anywhere else, for that matter. Why? Because they would be lost–i.e. unseen by us. ‘Lost cities’? Give me a break; the Yahoo and Forbes writers aren’t fooling anyone (I hope).
Despite the misnomer, one thing about the pictures is unmistakable: the ancients were incredible in their skill.
 What I found interesting was that the above headline is what the article says, but the header in the internet window reads: ’10 Cities of the Lost World,’ which carries a different meaning.
The empirically sustained, infallible guides of human existence (i.e. scientists) have once again brought us to an luscious oasis of historical fact: all human language seems to have a single origin. What an amazing find! Oh wait, I have a feeling that I’ve heard this story before . . . but I’m trying to remember where.
The ‘artwork’ mentioned in this story is quite impressive; the journalist’s attempt at being profound and dramatic, not so much. After a gander through the available photos, I failed to see how ‘unless you look really closely, you’ll miss him entirely’ could possibly be true.* Maybe I have a rare gift and I can spot easily what other people miss. Or maybe it’s the fact that the dude is not ‘truly invisible’ (as the writer suggests), and his shape and shadows give him away, and that his painted self disrupts the natural and seemless blend of colours in the background. You want to see someone do invisible or disappear from sight completely, try playing hide-and-seek with a US Marine Corps sniper or a team of US Navy SEALs.
* I’ll admit that one photo did take a couple extra seconds.
I have no idea why I’m even bothering posting this, other than the fact that this sort of thing bothers me. Per my usual practice, after lunch I checked through my various e-mails and had a quick glance through the news. I did my absolute best to resist clicking on one particular link simply because I knew what it would be and I knew how it would affect me. However, I failed at doing my absolute best and I was proven right on both counts. Here’s the link.
Here’s my problem. Not only are some of the styles shown utterly atrocious–in both style and price–but collectively they are truly nothing new. The article touts these style as ‘the latest’ and newest ‘trends’, ways for ‘updating’ one’s waredrobe; none of which is really true. What’s shown is nothing more than a throwback to an era that most people (in the right minds) would love to forget–in terms of the fashion. There is a reason why the styles that plagued the late-70s, all of the 80s and the early part of the 90s all disappeared without much of a fuss. It’s because they were crap, and in some cases humilitating (retrospectively speaking).
The only thing ‘new’ about these trends is that they cost more, and in most cases they cost more just so that people can look cheap. However, just because something costs more doesn’t mean it’s worth more or worthy of purchase. (And let’s not forget that, in some cases [style wise], just because it costs more it does make the person look less cheap). Things where large sums of cash should be spent are things that are unique, classy and/or desireable for reasons other than mere aesthetics. None of these trends are these things, primarily because they do nothing more than focus on visual appeal (which is rather demeaning) and wind up homogenising everyone (which is rather derespectful).
Okay; I’m done. Back to my paper.
More and more, people say certain things that have a completely different meaning than what they honestly believe they mean. Or, to put it differently: people will use particular words or phrases in ways that make absolutely no sense, all the while believing such words or phrases are entirely appropriate and even necessary for what is said. Or worse, they believe such words or phrases are accurate reflections of what is truly the case.
For example, I cannot tell you how many times I hear people using the word, ‘actually’* and their use of that term makes zero sense in relation to what they are saying. In fact, more times than not, how they use the term winds up creating (interesting, and sometimes even humourous) confusion. Walking back from the bank just this morning, I overheard some eleventeen-year-old girl announce to her similar-looking-in-terms-of-clothing-and-hairdo-eleventeen-year-old friend, ‘I actually went over to his house . . .’ Well, genius, how else are you going to go over to his house? Metaphorically? Allegorically? Figuratively? Metaphysically? What?
Here’s another example, and this is one that prompted this posting. After returning from my lunch, I checked out YahooNews just to see what’s up in the world and came across this story. Here’s my rant. The article clearly states that the idiot boy in question escaped death just barely and walked away untouched; yet, the title of the article says, ‘Boy’s Near-Miss Playing Chicken With Train.’ I’m sorry, but a ‘near-miss’ means contact; a ‘near-miss’ would mean that the idiot kid would be a grease spot on the tracks; it doesn’t mean he walks away untouched! (1, 2, 3, 4, . . . okay, I’m better now).
It is because of stories like these, and uses of language such as those, that I have to console myself with this kind of advice. Okay, back to work.
* I have the same beef with how people (mis)use, ‘literally’. Go here for a great take on this.
I’m pretty much a dork when it comes to fonts. I always search for new and interesting (not to mention, free) fonts to load onto my computer, because you just never know when you’re going to need them.* I also find myself trying to figure out fonts when I see them, either in real life situations (billboards, shoppe names, etc) or on the screen (credits on TV shows, movies, etc). Yeah, it’s sad.
This morning, I came across this article about how people can save money on printer ink just by changing the kind of font they use. In many ways, the article was quite interesting and helpful; and yes, when the article rattled off a list of certain fonts to use, I knew exactly what they looked like. Again, sad. But I was struck by one comment near the end of the article:
But while using less ink at home can help you buy roughly one fewer printer cartridge each year, it’s not necessarily better for the environment. That’s because some fonts that use less ink, including Century Gothic, are also wider. A document that’s one page in Arial could extend to a second page if printed in Century Gothic. Blohowiak said her research suggests that ink comprises the main cost of a printout, but the environmental costs of paper are probably higher.”Maybe the individual characters use less ink, but if you’re using more paper, that’s not so green, is it?” said Allan Haley, director of “words and letters” at Monotype Imaging Inc. in Woburn, Mass., which developed Century Gothic.
I half expected that an article about saving money would turn into a discussion about being more ‘green’ (which seems like a contradictory pun to me–is that possible?). What struck me about this ‘changing fonts to be more green, yet it doesn’t seem to be so green’ dilemma was that the obvious solution was completely overlooked. Before dealing with the obvious, let’s use the variables of Blohowiak and Haley’s argument to see just how big the difference would be:
Seems like Blohowiak and Haley might be onto something. But wait a minute; here’s a thought: why not simply change the size of the font in the second instance? (*gasp!!*) What a revolution this would be! Here’s what happened when I applied such a groundbreaking theory:
There you go, Blohowiak and Haley; problem solved, greenness maintained. Now, where’s my medal for alleviating this environmental crisis?
* For the work I do, that’s hardly ever.