Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sorry I haven’t been posting too much of late. Work, and all. Not that I haven’t wanted to — but tiredness and the desire to vegetate takes over...

So, to business. It’s snowing outside. Not heavily, and not forecast to be that heavy here either, but it is snow! And it’s also the first snow I can remember this early in the winter. So, I think it deserves a hearty “WTF?!”.

So here, for your enjoyment, are two typographical delights: the WTF ligature (which also includes ROFL for good measure), and the interrobang. (Warning: the first link isn’t suitable for work at time of posting, due to a rather yucky picture a good way down the page; hopefully the forum ops will remove it.)

Via MetaFilter.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Big scary clouds

Now, that is one massive big fuck-off scary cloud. Actually, if you want to get technical, it’s a supercell. Who are we to argue? I found it, via Plep (see sidebar) at the Cloud Appreciation Society (aww), and it links to the photographer’s own staggering site.

If you ever wanted to tell whether that 400-year-old document or Roman tablet you have is authentic, or just understand them better, go to this Palæography site.

“You need not say anything. You have nothing to hope from any promise or favour and nothing to fear from any threat whether or not you say anything.” The Miranda warnings of the world, at Metafilter.

And finally, and most importantly of all, BBC Radio 3 is broadcasting the complete works of J.S. Bach from the 16th of December, ending on Christmas Day. There will be quite a galaxy of performers, presenters and interviewees — and, arguably, the finest single corpus of pieces by any composer/musician, ever.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A miscellany (mostly Londonish, actually)

I went on an unashamedly pleasureable surf just now to distract myself from the looming job (pah) and in the process turned up some rather fine things. The Virtual Tours of Architecture site has a basic layout but gems within. Among them are London’s Black Friar pub (which I’ve never been to and really must go before they ban smoking) and the Frank Lloyd Wright room inside the V&A.

Even if you’re not interested in astronomy, the BBC’s Sky at Night TV series, presented since time immemorial by Patrick Moore, is enchanting. Moore is always fun to watch anyway, but the most endearing thing is that the programme never pitched itself to mass appeal, so you feel you are eavesdropping on geekery. The site’s strength is that you can actually watch the episodes.

Sticking to London (it is autumn after all and I won’t be able to make Thanksgiving with Jonathan), Croydon Tramlink is the capital’s only tram network. Apart from trains and tubes, it was one of my first well-used routes when I lived in South London and had to commute to the meadows outside Mitcham each day.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec inspired licentiousness in his own time, and his work has inspired many artists since. The site concentrates on how his work and Montmartre worked off each other.

Belfast has, so far this week, felt very autumnal and raw — lots of high wind and cold wetness. Already the Christmas decorations have gone up in the local shopping-centre, and while I hate that kind of thing because it dissolves the magic of having a very concentrated celebration, this small exhibition of London Underground posters inspired by winter and Christmas is worth a look.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005


God, I never thought I’d be starting a post with that title anytime soon. Boing Boing has a post about Razzle-Dazzle camouflage, used primarily in World War I battleships to confuse the enemy.

When painted with strange stripes and colours, it’s difficult for a submarine commander, for example, to tell precisely which heading the ship is on, as well as its size, outline and speed.* You can see why. The effect must have been bewildering, as this painting shows.

* This mattered because torpedoes were slow and the movement and angle of the target were crucial to a hit which would actually pierce the hull in the right place to cause magazine explosions or enough flooding to force a capsize or sinking.

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