I thought these two were related:
I’ve learned that the web has countless ways to say “no,” or to say “meh.” It has fewer ways to say “yes.” Readability looks like a way to say “yes” to people doing hard work—whether they’re journalists, essay and fiction writers, publishers, editors, fact-checkers, illustrators, photographers, proofreaders, circulation specialists—or the people who write the checks. The web needs more “yes.”
Paul Ford via Frank Chimero
My persistent frustration with most web design is that it doesn’t give me what I want or, for that matter, what the site seems to want to give.
Google ads, tag clouds, and excessive hyperlinks litter the page, forcing type smaller and smaller just so it can “fit above the fold.” Or, worse, the tl;dr Tumblr crowd who present us with nothing but acontextual photos and clever sentences from the first paragraphs of The New Yorker articles in large, bold, sans-serif type.
Fuck the fold. And fuck tl;dr. I like scrolling, I like long reads, and I like large (enough) type.
In case you missed it:
Recent viewing: I can’t more strongly recommend The 39 Steps, which we watched as part of the AFI Silver Theater’s Hitchcock Retrospective. Occasionally slapstick and often disorienting, the whole show is elliptical but rich, especially so for a sub-90 minute feature film.
I also recommend Inside Job. Though the tone gets pushy and the filmmakers do an uneven job of keeping all the facts in order, they are to be credited for getting at the deeper systematic causes of the 2008 financial crisis with an unusually strong indictment of higher education institutions – and perhaps it only seems strong because it is merely present.
Oh, and I have a working television at my residence for the first time in almost six years. What’s everyone doing for Oscar night?
You could say it all started last winter when, in preparation for being cooped up for days, I decided to make a meatloaf recipe that called for soffritto. I learned what it was and how to make it for this meatloaf – two parts red onion, one part carrot, one part celery, diced and caramelized in olive oil to a kind of oblivion. I achieved this in a cast iron skillet kept over low heat for around an hour. It smelled wonderful.
This winter, I made the meatloaf again and a little extra soffritto to have around the apartment. And I learned that it’s not all that different from mirepoix, the ingredients of which can be had prepared from Trader Joe’s, so I’ve started to make soffritto-style mirepoix a regular ingredient in my rotation. And having read a bit about Maillard reactions in McGee’s On Food and Cooking, I realized that onions responded to this method with a brilliant and deep caramelization.
So now then. Because there’s just soffrito-style mirepoix laying about, I’ve added it to my sandwiches, which in combination with mayonnaise has to be among the best condiments I’ve accidentally created*. The oil in the mirepoix drains into the mayonnaise, thinning it to the consistency of a dip, but then recombines with the vegetables to form a kind of indescribably aromatic paste – I imagine different proportions and varieties of mayonnaise would be suitable for different applications.
But this is all lead in for the revelation I had last weekend at Shing’s house on Monday:
Caramelized-onion bacon jam.
Cut up a few slices of bacon, pan fry them to a satisfactory crispness (but not too much). Remove the bacon, leave the fat. Put a finely diced onion in the pan. Flatten it out a bit, add oil if there isn’t enough bacon grease to cover the surface of the pan. Cook on low heat for an hour or so, until the onions are sweet and bronzed. Mix the cooked bacon and onions.
*I also accidentally combined sriracha ketchup and have since deployed it as a regular fried chicken topping.
…certain brands, and bands, can so glammer the market that a mere 10 percent share is nothing short of ubiquitous. Apple is that good, Radiohead is, and not much else.
The Apple Of Rock
While I don’t buy the build-up completely, the payoff is astute. While there may be “not much else,” surely there is something seemingly ubiquitous, operating beyond its milieu, at a grander level of aesthetic criticism.
There is, right?
Back from Houston, with a foundational chunk of literature review written and a substantial amount remaining this evening. In the meantime, I’d like to believe that on the other side of this kitchen is a refrigerator that would give Christina a hug.
We are visiting Christina’s family in Houston to ring in the new year. I am carrying a gnome from Georgetown in my duffle bag, a gift for her folks she picked out.
It has a G on its hat. The G is for gnome.
Highs in the 50s and 60s, lows in the 30s. Looking forward to the Menil Collection, Forbidden Gardens, some thinking time with a laptop and a table outdoors, and a nap on the flight.
via This Isn’t Happiness
I watched the White Stripes in concert at the El Rey in 2002. It was game 6 or 7 of the Lakers-Kings series. Mikey, Eric, and I waited outside the venue before doors, listening to passers-by comment on the game.
Brendan Benson and The Well-Fed Boys opened for them, as did Whirlwind Heat, though I wish I’d forgotten that fact. “Fell In Love With A Girl” was getting regular airplay, and the music video was pre-meme viral. Whether the El Rey was at capacity was not question. Mikey, less than a week off an appendectomy, opted to break from the section in the pit where Eric and I had a clear line of sight to Jack White’s pale, veiny arms. Mikey spent the set at the side of the stage, and by his account, a short distance from Heather Graham. Jack spent the set incoherent but radiant, the encore with a burning cigarette tucked into the bridge of his guitar.
I don’t remember the set list, not that I could discern it half the time. I remember he played “Jolene.” I wouldn’t feel this expression of woozy energy again until I discovered scotch. It was perhaps the fourth concert I’d watched as a young music fan. It remains, hundreds later, among the best live musical performances I have witnessed. Every rock show I’ve attended – and perhaps every shot of brown liquor I’ve taken – since has been held up against the light of that night.
I sit down at rock shows, take a digital camera. I sip my scotch now, now I can afford sippable stuff. I take my bourbon with ice. It doesn’t burn so much now. I prefer it that way, most of the time.
America has a way of taking a good idea, mass-producing it to the point of profound mediocrity, then losing our sense of where the idea comes from.
Michael Ruhlman, quoted in the Times
This is from an article about pepperoni pizza. Clearly this is a quote that doesn’t simply apply to pepperoni pizza. (And I love pepperoni pizza.)
It’s hard to appreciate the variety of UIs though, since turning the screen off removes virtually all evidence of them. To spotlight these differences, I looked at the only fragments that remain from using an app: fingerprints.
Remnants of a Disappearing UI via things magazine
I often play Boggle on my iPod touch during my commute and end the day with a four-by-four grid of smudges clustered around the home button.
- Magenta (Stencil duplicator, 1880)
- Cyan (Spirit duplicator, 1923)
- Black (Laser printer, 1969)
- Yellow (Inkjet printer, 1976)
Just in Time, or A Short History of Production by Xavier Antin (via Kottke)
Clever concept, beautifully executed.