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Wednesday: July 27, 2011

A Purely Coincidental Resemblance, I Hope

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:19 PM GMT-0500

It’s less threatening from this view, but from ground level the James Madison University Recreation Center looks strangely like Kim Jong Il’s palace in Team America: World Police. Especially after dark, of course.

Tuesday: July 26, 2011

Sometimes Font-Style Is More Than Just Esthetic (or Should That Be Aesthetic?)

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:46 AM GMT-0500

In yesterday’s Best of the Web Today, James Taranto referred to “academic cum rapper Cornel West”. That would have looked much better with the Latinate ‘cum’ in italics, especially for readers unclear on the difference between a rapper and a wrapper. Perhaps the Wall Street Journal [Ed: don’t forget to italicize!] doesn’t have any of those.

Thursday: July 21, 2011

What Comes in a Plain Brown Wrapper?

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:03 PM GMT-0500

Yesterday, Dustbury and Ann Althouse blogged the death of Alex Steinwess, who invented the album cover in 1939. Before that, “[t]he covers were brown, tan or green paper. They were not attractive, and lacked sales appeal.” (So Steinwess, quoted by Dustbury.)

Some countries were quicker to improve the esthetics of their album covers than others. These two were published as late as 1958 and 1961 respectively:

Of course, German publishers may have been slow to add unnecessary frills after the destruction of World War II. Or perhaps buyers of Heinrich Schütz records expected something in a plain brown (or tan) wrapper. The music on both records is quite austere stylistically.

Wednesday: July 20, 2011

A Comforting Thought

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:00 AM GMT-0500

As of . . . almost, almost, . . . NOW! – noon Eastern Time on July 20th, we are five-eighths of the way through Obama’s first and (almost certainly) only term. If we can make it through the next year and a half without any permanent damage, we can . . . relax? No, get down to the huge task of fixing what needs to be fixed.

Saturday: July 16, 2011

Gruesome Ambuiguity

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:30 PM GMT-0500

When I saw the top story in today’s local paper, my unconscious assumption was that “shelter”, not further specified, meant “homeless shelter” rather than “animal shelter”. Since the headline was “Shelter to Shorten Euthanasia Wait”, I was flabbergasted for the 5-10 seconds it took to realize my mistake. Perhaps I would have figured it out sooner if I hadn’t read half a dozen of M. R. James’ ghost stories before going out for take-out pizza.