Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Marginalia from the holiday.

1. The Coke holiday ad this year is just annoying me, mostly because I keep wanting to tell people when I watch it, "You see that, that's appeasement. The little penguin will come back and say the polar bears have promised peace in our time."

2. I have a housepet now. I got a Roomba for Christmas, now I have to restrict the urge to mod it with a speaker and chips so it screams "Exterminate!" while it works.

3. Plans to see the ABA Pittsburgh Xplosion fell through on Monday as their holiday games were postponed, because of event competition. They apparently scheduled the game on the same night as the annual appearance of the Harlem Globetrotters.

4. I think I'm becoming overwhelmed by the tyranny of Avenir. Avenir is the sans serif that seems to be everywhere right now. Not quite a Futura, not quite Avant Garde, not really at all Helvetica. And when I say it's everywhere, I mean it. Yahoo's using it for titling, as is USA Network, as is Toyota in an ad, as is one of the books I'm trying to read. It's not so much that it's actually overwhelming me mentally, I'm just struck by the suddenness with which it took over the slot the other fonts took, and the mental association I have with that suddenness is overwhelming whatever messages the text is trying to convey.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I finished reading Freakonomics, (which is interesting in ways that people wanting to find interesting ways to look at things will love, and for those of you that don't want to find that will hate,) and I got stuck on a passage, in parentheses no less.

"(In Finland, whose education system has been ranked the world's best, most children do not begin school until age seven but have often learned to read by watching American television with Finnish subtitles.)"

Am I wrong in thinking (outside of the obvious correlation does not imply causation issues), that a cheap way to simulate this in America is to turn on the closed captioning on the TV? And how many paranoid parents can I take in with this?
Well, if this doesn't kill the ABA, nothing will. Read this.

I place the odds of a stinging expose at 70%. The odds of a comic novel at 90%.

More here.