Courier Prime is a free and open source monospaced typeface by Alan Dague-Greene. It’s an improved Courier, designed to be ‘less blobby’ with a bolder bold and real italics.
Since the beginning, screenplays have been written in Courier. Its uniformity allows filmmakers to make handy comparisons and estimates, such as 1 page = 1 minute of screen time.
But there’s no reason Courier has to look terrible. We set out to make the best damn Courier ever.
Preamble: Firstly, check out The Alternate Diff blog for more things to do in Cardiff (found via a profile on the Cardiff Blogs blog). Secondly, I’ve created a new page to serve as a public editorial calendar for this blog. It’s going to serve mostly to remind me about upcoming blogging topics, but those may frequently be local events so there’ll be some overlap.
Onto the events →
This blog usually hums along at a healthy 400-600 views per day, with most of the traffic coming from search engines.1 Occasionally a popular post pushes that to 1,000 or so.
Yesterday was somewhat bigger.
Halfblog.net stats for Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Why so popular? →
Most infographics on the web consist of generic graphics backed up with (lots of) poorly researched text.
When done well these informational graphics use charts, diagrams and illustrations to make complex ideas easier to comprehend. At their best the results can be quite illuminating.
Randall Munroe has produced more than a few great infographics for xkcd. His infographics can be broken down into three rough categories:
- Pure gag charts,
- Jokey graphics with a serious point, and…
- Well-researched highly informative graphics with some jokes sprinkled throughout.
For this post I’ve compiled the more informative types. There’s a list of some (but not all) of xkcd’s novelty graphs and charts at the end of this post.
For science! →
S.G. Collins explains how the technology didn’t exist in 1969 to actually fake the Moon landings in the way most conspiracy theorists seem to believe. Even if you were Stanley Kubrick.
I particularly love his delivery: he’s both monotonous and compelling, sarcastic and likeable.
Important note: I’ve seen people complaining about the ‘unnecessary gay joke’ he makes at the end – a play on the ‘homo’ in ‘homo sapien’. Of course, this is actually a reference to the latin meanings of the words: Homo is the genus of hominids that includes modern man and sapien loosely translates as ‘wise man’.
I’ve created a new page that collates all the custom header images I’ve created for various posts and pages here on halfblog.net, for your viewing pleasure.
Up Goer Five is one of Randall Munroe’s more famous recent xkcd infographics in which he attempts to describe the workings of a Saturn V rocket using only most commonly used 1,000 words in the English language. Here’s just a part of it:
Inspired by this, The Up-Goer Five Text Editor is a fun tool (created by Theo Sanderson) that restricts the user to just the same 1,000 words. Anything not in that tiny dictionary will be given familiar squiggly red underlines.
The Up-Goer Five Text Editor
Scientists have been trying to explain the work they do using only this reduced language. Here’s the work of a paleontologist summarised:
I study tracks, trails, places where animals make homes, and shit, both new and old, and figure out how animals do these things.
Tony Martin, paleontologist
Some of these passages come across as quite patronising (“We burn dead black stuff so that we can build things, power our houses and make our cars go.”), but some of the better ones are quite poetic. io9 has a beautiful description of Saturn:
There is a world that goes around the sun, ten times farther away from the sun than the world we live on. This world is really big – about ten times as wide as our world – and most of it is thick air pulled tight together. It has big beautiful rings around it, made of many pieces of ice.
A loving upgoerfive intro to Saturn and some of its moons, by Rachel Klippenstein
It’s worth reading the full thing.
What does this have to do with SEO? →
I’ve finally been able to download my tweet archive from Twitter. I’m really impressed with how they’ve made the data browsable and easy to explore. Here are my first tweets from January 2007:
Fascinating, no? You can also see some account details, which informed me that I am user ID #703,673 and that I joined on 25 Jan 2007, 8:53:08 PM (UTC).
You can get your own tweets (if they are available to you) via your settings at twitter.com/settings/account.
What else do you get? →
I find a lot of my reading material via Digg, who occasionally link to a BBC Future story that looks like the kind of thing I’d be interested in.
However these articles (which appear on a
bbc.com domain, not
bbc.co.uk) are blocked from within the UK. Instead, I am presented with a ‘help’ page that tells me the following:
BBC Future (international version)
We’re sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com.
‘Dear Points of View…’ →
I’ve been using Instagram for over two years and have uploaded 380 pictures so far. I thought it would be nice to gather some of my favourites together (and try out the new WordPress.com gallery layouts).
Even more pictures →